Fargo, ND Pool Heater - Gas or Heat Pump

Gopherboy6956

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2020
54
Fargo, ND
Hey All - Starting to plan ahead for Summer 2021 here - and this year i'm looking at switching out my Intex XTR 18" for a steel sided AGP.

I also want to get a pool heater this year, as the last two years have shown that the pool would have gotten a lot more use with one.

Of course - the decision comes down to Gas vs Heat Pump. We already have gas on the property, as it's used for our Stove, Water Heater, Garage Heater, Furnace, and Fire place. Additonally, the pool is probably only 30 feet from the gas meter - so there's a good chance i'll be able to branch off of that for the gas supply.

I've read a lot of the pros/cons of both heating methods - but I'm just concered that while the heat pump might be the more efficent and best choice for keeping the pool up to temp, our average June highs are in the mid 70s with lows in the mid 50's and that may not work out so well. Does anyone else operate a heat pump for pool heat near 46*N Lattitude?

Also - just for reference - we pay about $.25 / therm of gas here in the summer.

Thanks!
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,740
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
If you have the gas get a gas heater.

Raypak has a Gas Pool Heater Sizer. It tells you the Temperature Rise/Hr and Natural Gas and Propane costs to heat a pool in your local area to selected temperature by month. Adjust the natural gas cost and propane cost in the lower left to your local gas prices for accurate costs.

Pentair has a Heat Pump Calculator to determine the appropriate size Heat Pump for your location. Pentair seems to do honest calculations based on the physics and efficiencies of each type of pump and energy source.

Raypak also has a Heat Pump Heater Sizing App.

To get the most accurate cost comparison you should change the default electric kwh, natural gas price, and propane price to actual prices in your area.
 

Gopherboy6956

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2020
54
Fargo, ND
If you have the gas get a gas heater.

Raypak has a Gas Pool Heater Sizer. It tells you the Temperature Rise/Hr and Natural Gas and Propane costs to heat a pool in your local area to selected temperature by month. Adjust the natural gas cost and propane cost in the lower left to your local gas prices for accurate costs.

Pentair has a Heat Pump Calculator to determine the appropriate size Heat Pump for your location. Pentair seems to do honest calculations based on the physics and efficiencies of each type of pump and energy source.

Raypak also has a Heat Pump Heater Sizing App.

To get the most accurate cost comparison you should change the default electric kwh, natural gas price, and propane price to actual prices in your area.
Well - I did the Raypak Gas Heater sizer - it's pretty encouraging. Looking at less than $400 for the season to keep it at 85 - which is higher than i'd actually keep it.
It looks like a Raypack 156 is about the unit for me - The pentair calculator was very honest - and they told me stick to the gas heater lol.

Now I just have to wait and see what the local HVAC companies will charge to run gas off my meter. Thanks!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,740
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The more BTUs the better. Get the largest BTU heater your budget and gas line can support. Cost to heat to a desired temperature is the same. Just a bit more initial cost for a bigger heater that will heat the pool faster.
 

Gopherboy6956

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2020
54
Fargo, ND
The more BTUs the better. Get the largest BTU heater your budget and gas line can support. Cost to heat to a desired temperature is the same. Just a bit more initial cost for a bigger heater that will heat the pool faster.
Yea - I went fairly middle of the road in my selection - I think 150,000 BTU for a 7500 gallon pool will be good. Not the fastest of course, but enough so. Thanks!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,740
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
You may want to browse these prior threads while waiting for replies...

 

mchartra

Bronze Supporter
Oct 8, 2013
4
Canton MI
We put out pool in about 6 years ago. The PB really tried to sell us on a Heat Pump, but personally, I think he preferred to go that way as he wouldn't have to call in a gas fitter as the electrician had to come out for the rest of the work anyways. I also wondered if Pentair was running some back end incentive to push heat pumps because he was really trying to convince us to go that way.

We live in MI and heat pumps take a long time to heat compared to gas. Power costs here are not that cheap so in most cases, it's also more economical to use gas. A heat pump is most efficient when it's hot outside as it will transfer heat from the environment to the water. When would you mostly use your heater? Probably when it's colder and being in a northern state like us, I just don't think it makes much sense to do a heat pump in these parts.

If we lived in FL/TX or other parts of the south, a heat pump would likely be better.

Just my 2 cents -100% no regrets that gas was the way to go. We also use our pool more on the weekends than during the week so like someone else mentioned, if you leave it unheated most of the time and want to warm it up a day or two before, you can do that w gas- not really the way it works w a heat pump.

Good luck.
 
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kellyfair

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 29, 2016
4,193
Tampa, FL
Pool Size
7000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Was just stopping I; to say that while I know nothing about pool heaters, I do have some familiarity with heat pumps. Ours works just fine for heating during the few cold snaps we get, but I thought I would freeze to death at my aunt’s house in NC one winter. They also had a heat pump and it could not warm the house up enough when the temp got too low outside.
 

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coolviper777

Member
Jul 2, 2020
9
Pittsburgh, PA
Was just stopping I; to say that while I know nothing about pool heaters, I do have some familiarity with heat pumps. Ours works just fine for heating during the few cold snaps we get, but I thought I would freeze to death at my aunt’s house in NC one winter. They also had a heat pump and it could not warm the house up enough when the temp got too low outside.
The older house heating/cooling heat pumps are/were a very poor way to heat your house in northern climates during winter. My friend's parent's had one in their house. It was always running in the winter and the air coming out barely qualified as warm.

They just lose effectiveness below 40F, and once you hit around 25F, you are lucky if you are even getting half your heating BTU capacity. Hence your story about feeling like you were going to freeze to death at your aunts house in the winter. Gas heat whether radiant heat or forced air is ideal for northern climates.

Now that said, there are newer heatpumps, like Mitsubishi's HyperHeat, and other brands with similar techniques which are supposed to give you 100% rated BTU heat down to 5F or lower, and keep heating down below zero at reduced effectiveness.

As regards residential pool heat pumps, none of them have any technology like the newer Hyper Heat heat pumps. Power defrost/Heat-Cool models don't really count as they just reverse the refrigerant cycle to defrost the coils to allow operation in colder temps. But they too lose a lot of efficiency at low temps, they just extend how low they can run.

In theory, if someone took the guts of a 140K BTU Hyper Heat HP and put it into the pool HP, you should see effective heating of the incoming water even with outside temps in the 20's. But the problem becomes, the heat loss from the pool itself. You would need an enclosure and/or an insulated pool cover and insulated pool walls to keep your heat in.
 
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