Does anyone make an instant pool warmer? (If not...million dollar idea...)

ddas

Well-known member
May 21, 2013
120
Just fantasizing here because we've had an unusually cold spring and early summer, which has delayed the temperature being comfortably swimmable. (We're in SoCal.) Does anyone make a "pool bomb" kind of thing -- like a gas lantern (but on steroids) that you could light and float in a pool which could safely but quickly raise the temperature of a pool?

Obviously, I'm not asking for any dangerous DIY solutions...I'm actually thinking about a product that would emit enough heat, quickly, under the surface, to be able to warm water by an appreciable amount.

Is it even technically feasible?
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,356
Damascus, MD
I have a 400k BTU pool heater. 400k BTUs is more than both of my gas heaters, both of my gas furnaces, my gas cooktop and my gas water heater use combined! It heats my water 1-2 degrees per hour. The amount of fuel needed to do what you suggest would be significant to put it lightly. But if you could get the gas flow from your meter I suppose you could put multiple 400k BTU heaters and run them all at once. For your pool you'd get maybe 10 degrees/hour.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
217
West Palm Beach/Florida
Plutonium?
Technically I think Uranium might be a better fit. We are not trying to create an explosion but just heat water which is what a standard reactor does. I wonder if there is an aftermarket for a used PWR from an old sub or aircraft carrier. They would be smaller and more contained than a full blown reactor. Permitting might be an issue.
 
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Vickery

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2009
418
Perfection, NC
Permitting would be tough. As would getting one from a decommissioned vessel delivered. The PWR would be more compact but also more problems with the heat exchanger system. A BWR would be simpler. You could also use the pool to cook lobsters....
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
14,963
If you needed about 800 lbs of salt added to the pool, you could melt the salt and add the molten salt to the pool.

There would be a giant release of heat as the salt goes from liquid to solid. The phase change accounts for a large amount of heat added to the water.

The water heats up and becomes a gas, which expands at high velocity. Basically, the salt phase change triggers a water phase change.

 
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bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,680
San Clemente, CA
Technically I think Uranium might be a better fit. We are not trying to create an explosion but just heat water which is what a standard reactor does. I wonder if there is an aftermarket for a used PWR from an old sub or aircraft carrier. They would be smaller and more contained than a full blown reactor. Permitting might be an issue.
I thought plutonium had more energy potential and was somewhat safer? Wasn't that in part of the issue at Chernobyl?

If not forgive me... my nuclear science degree was voided when I was caught using sodium metal to heat my pool.... as if it wasn't bad enough to be missing 9 of my 11 fingers🙄
 
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Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,711
NW Ohio
Oh boy, math time!

Let's say we wanted to heat OP's 15,000 gallon pool by 10 degrees F in 10 minutes. So we have about 120,000 pounds of water (I'm going to do a lot of rounding) and to heat that 10 degrees will require 1,200,000 BTU of energy. Convert that to joules and we are looking at 1,266,000,000.

Since we need this to be portable and "safe" (please read that as air quotes) let's go with diesel fuel. Diesel releases 45,000 joules per gram, so we would need 281,333 grams of diesel to release that much energy. That would be roughly 74 gallons. Unfortunately diesel floats so almost all of that energy would be lost to the air above the pool and not in the pool. Also it would weigh 518 pounds, so getting it to the pool will be quite the chore.

So what's the serious answer? It's that you are talking about explosive amounts of energy release. You could get a million BTU commercial pool heater and do it in an hour, but you better have a LOT of water flow and a commercial sized natural gas line coming in to supply it. Watching the meter spin would be entertaining though.
 
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CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,390
Quaker Hill, CT
The gas turbine at the power plant I used to work at could have that pool heated in no time.

The exhaust boiler was capable of 35,000 lbs of saturated 125psi steam an hour. Granted it was a 10,000 up turbine and the exhaust came out at 1400F. I don't think you would like the gas bill.
 
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Deb04

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 12, 2008
374
Seacoast, NH
Our heater is broken at the moment. For a bit I was filling plastic bottles with pool water and putting them in the sun. After 2-3 hours the temp in the bottles was up 15 degrees. Then dump back in the pool and repeat. Then I calculated I’d have to do this 600 times to move the pool 1 degree.

Maybe I’ll start saving bottles...
 

AUSpool

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Sep 23, 2015
605
Brisbane, Australia.
Neoprene? It will keep warm things warm and cold things cold. While your at it I’m sure you could come up with an ingenious new design to keep a cold beverage colder for longer... :mrgreen: :cheers: