Big freezing pool. Time for a heater?

Give Me Sun!

New member
Oct 3, 2020
1
Austin, TX
Hi. I'm in Austin, Texas. Pool is concrete, I think. It's big, and cold. (No heater yet) We have no gas on the property, only electricity. Pool guy quoted me $6800, Not including electric. (Not sure what that means?)
Maybe I should do Solar?
Here's a pic. It's actually bigger than it looks. Pool equipment is behind shed.
Thanks for any advice!
 

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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,101
It's actually bigger than it looks.
On my screen, it looks like it's about 14" long.

How big is it really?

Pool guy quoted me $6800, Not including electric. (Not sure what that means?)
Probably means a heat pump, which would require a separate line from the breaker panel unless you have a really big supply to a subpanel for the pool. Heat pumps require a lot of power.

Get a few more quotes.

What power do you have at the pool pad?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,466
Bedford, TX
GMS,

Keep in mind that for a heater to work, you have to keep the pool covered when not in use.

While I'd love a heater, I am far to lazy to fool with a cover... :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,101
That's a curious statement. Our HP works fine and we never cover the pool. Always a nice 89 degrees or so.
It depends on the outside temperature, humidity etc. Added heat will be lost much faster without a cover. Your pool is relatively small and your weather is relatively good. So, your heat pump can keep up. You're paying more without a cover, which may not be a big concern for you.

In some cases, the heat pump would not be able to keep up even running 24/7.

Even if it can keep up, the added cost might be more than someone is willing to pay.
 
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revitup

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 30, 2019
352
Pawleys Island, SC
It depends on the outside temperature, humidity etc. Added heat will be lost much faster without a cover. Your pool is relatively small and your weather is relatively good. So, your heat pump can keep up. You're paying more without a cover, which may not be a big concern for you.

In some cases, the heat pump would not be able to keep up even running 24/7.

Even if it can keep up, the added cost might be more than someone is willing to pay.
Everything you state is completely true but stating that a pool must be kept covered when not in use for a heater to work is a huge generalization and simply not true. I just don't think it to be the accurate and useful bit of advice that the OP was asking for.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
21,101
You can keep an outdoor, uncovered Olympic sized swimming pool at 104 degrees in the middle of winter in Alaska if you're willing to pay for the heat.

For most people, a cover is a necessity for the heater to be worth using.

In some cases, people can leave the pool uncovered while using a heater and it will be worthwhile to them.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,194
Central California
I have solar and it keeps my pool about 5-10° warmer than it would be otherwise. I don't use a cover, I expect I could do better if I did. Those temps are mostly true in the middle of pool season, and less true in the cooler fringe months (mostly due to sun angle on the panels). We're still in a bit of a heat wave here, so my pool is still very swimmable. I just asked my neighbor last week about his pool temp, and his was 10° less than mine. He doesn't heat his pool. Which means for this month, I have a pool and he doesn't. Yay solar!

Do you have any neighbors with solar-heated pools? To ask how their solar is working for them? A distant second is to ask a local solar heater installer what to expect (they'll exaggerate). The point was, to gather some real-world data about how solar, or heat pump, or gas heat is going to work where you live, and what each might cost to install, maintain, and run. In addition to what you gather here, you need some local opinions, too.

PS. I'm with Jim. If I had a cover, I'd just look at it. I'd never actually swim in my pool! Waaaaay too lazy to cover a pool. I give up some swim season days rather than deal with a pool cover. And I have a gas heater that I have never turned on. Gas is too expensive for my pool budget. Which is the other reason I don't use a cover. If I can't swim in it, I can still look at the water, which I really enjoy, all year-round. A bubble cover? Not so much...
 
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