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Thread: Is my heater working correctly?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sahuarita, AZ
    Posts
    278

    Is my heater working correctly?

    We had a warm spell over the weekend down here in Tucson so I fired up the gas heater to go swimming. The pool water was ~48 degrees prior to turning on the heater and I started the heater going at ~6:00AM (granted it was probably in the mid 40's that early in the morning). It's a new Sta-Rite 400k BTU heater and it would only raise the water temp by about 3 degrees per hour. It took until about 4:00 in the afternoon to reach 80 degrees. This is the first time I've tried to heat the pool from so cold to so warm and I was honestly expecting a 400k BTU heater to do it quicker than that. Am I expecting too much?
    My Pool:
    12K gal IG gunite with 7' raised spa, gunite waterfall, PebbleTec Caribbean Blue finish, solar heating & in-floor cleaning system

    Equipment: Sta-Rite 300' Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC20 SWCG, Sta-Rite 400k BTU heater, Intelliflow 4x160 main pump & Sta-Rite 3/4 hp waterfall pump, EasyTouch controlls w/ wireless controller, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    86
    We can do a quick calculation. A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree F. Your heater is 400,000 BTU/hour. So, it should raise the temperature of 133,333 pounds of water 3 degrees F in one hour. 133,333 pounds of water is 16,667 gal. I don't see the size of your pool, but this seems like a reasonable size for a pool.
    11x27 in ground, vinyl pool
    ~12,500 gal
    PAC FAB (Pentair) Pinnacle 3/4 hp pump
    Pentair 24 sq ft DE filter
    One skimmer, one return (no main drain)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    86
    Now I see in your signature that you have a 12,000 gal pool. (Signatures don't show when your composing a reply.)

    3 F/hour for 12,000 gal is 288,000 BTU/hour. I suspect the 400,000 BTU/hour is the heat output of the burner. This would mean that 72% of that heat is getting into the pool water, which is a reasonable efficiency for a gas heater.
    11x27 in ground, vinyl pool
    ~12,500 gal
    PAC FAB (Pentair) Pinnacle 3/4 hp pump
    Pentair 24 sq ft DE filter
    One skimmer, one return (no main drain)

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Burbank, IL
    Posts
    109
    I just have to chime in here. It never fails to amaze me the amount of smarts and expertise present on this board. I have taken a lot from this board and I don't think I'll ever be able to give back as much. I mean, I've always considered myself a reasonably intelligent person, but some of you guys on here make me feel like a kindergartener. What a trip! This thing is a fun read. Thanks for the chuckle Exchemist.
    Wilbar 12 x 17 Buttress Free AG (~4400 Gal?)
    Hayward 225 sq ft cartridge filter
    1/2 HP Pentair Whisperflo
    Liquidator chlorine feeder
    Pool Rover Jr.
    BBB - it's the way to go

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    86
    I've also learned an incredible amount from this board. It's great to be able to contribute something back. And I was able to use what I learned in thermodynamics!
    11x27 in ground, vinyl pool
    ~12,500 gal
    PAC FAB (Pentair) Pinnacle 3/4 hp pump
    Pentair 24 sq ft DE filter
    One skimmer, one return (no main drain)

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sahuarita, AZ
    Posts
    278
    hehe, thanks Exchemist... I'm an aerospace engineer and didn't even think about just doing the math... not to mention I hated thermodynamics! I suppose a 72% total efficiency does sound pretty good considering the losses in the heater itself, the pipes in the ground, and heat loss to the atmosphere on a chilly morning.
    My Pool:
    12K gal IG gunite with 7' raised spa, gunite waterfall, PebbleTec Caribbean Blue finish, solar heating & in-floor cleaning system

    Equipment: Sta-Rite 300' Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC20 SWCG, Sta-Rite 400k BTU heater, Intelliflow 4x160 main pump & Sta-Rite 3/4 hp waterfall pump, EasyTouch controlls w/ wireless controller, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

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