Gas Heater, Heat Pump & Chiller?

Faithers03

Member
Feb 12, 2017
6
Saint Petersburg fl
I am getting ready to build a pool. I have selected my builder but the problem is I spoke with a couple different builders and of course they all had different recommendations. We are in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Our pool will get sun almost all day, no shade unless we add canopies. It will be about 25,000 gallons plus a hot tub. I think we want a gas heater for the hot tub so that it will heat up quickly and then a heat pump with chiller for the pool. We want to swim year round. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this. I can't seem to find many people who have a gas heater and heat pump.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,341
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

I have seen a few folks here discuss having a gas heater and an electric heat pump.

What automation do you plan to use to control both heaters?
 

Faithers03

Member
Feb 12, 2017
6
Saint Petersburg fl
Welcome to TFP.

I have seen a few folks here discuss having a gas heater and an electric heat pump.

What automation do you plan to use to control both heaters?
I am not committed to any particular automation brand, I haven't really even dug into researching it. My pool builder is one of those old school anti-automation people. I think I am actually going to add it when he is done and off site. It might end up costing us a little more money but it has been my experience that it is a bad idea to have a contractor install a product that they don't really like.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,341
Northern NJ
I am not committed to any particular automation brand, I haven't really even dug into researching it. My pool builder is one of those old school anti-automation people. I think I am actually going to add it when he is done and off site. It might end up costing us a little more money but it has been my experience that it is a bad idea to have a contractor install a product that they don't really like.
You can be painting yourself into some corners if you don't plan your equipment out.

It is best to select the same manufacturer for pump, SWG, and heat pump as your automation panel for them to work best together. Not all automation can control two heaters. I think the new Pentair Intellicenter can control a gas heater and a Heat Pump.

Automation requires proper planning of your plumbing and valves. And the valves need to support motorized actuators.

Electrical is usually run through the automation with the automation load center housing your pool circuit breakers. The electical panels your Pool Builder installs would need to be replaced or limit your flexibility with retrofitted automation.

The major pool equipment manufacturers give different length warranty's based on where the equipment is purchased and who installs it. In some cases you get longer warranty when a bundle of equipment is purchased together.

If you are unwilling to get your Pool Builder to install the equipment you want on your pool then I suggest you install the bare minimum of equipment - filter and pump - and line up another contractor to set you up the way you want. Even then your Pool Builder can paint you into corners with the size of your equipment pad, emplacement of the equipment pad, where the pipes are routed, and if the pump will work with the automation.
 

cwstnsko

Bronze Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
66
Mesa, AZ
I have a gas heater for my spa and a heat pump/chiller for my pool. I have it plumbed through 2 pumps that are separate, so I can heat or cool the pool at the same time I am heating the spa. My installation uses Omnilogic automation and it can control 2 heaters, but I could not find a way to configure it to control the chiller function, so I de-coupled the heat pump from the automation. It doesn’t seem like a big deal since I don’t typically make adjustments frequently. Heat pumps tend to be more of a set it and let it run vs the spa heater which is on for just an hour or two at a time .
 

John_and_Val

Gold Supporter
Mar 30, 2018
288
Sunrise/FL
I have the Pentair Ultratemp 140,000 btu with chiller option for my 26,000 gallon pool. It does work - I live in South Florida and I had it running June, July, August to try to maintain a 87 degree pool. Got a little pricey in electric but was worth not having to swim in a bathtub. In regards to noise - it is no louder than you A/C system for your house (maybe it is more quiet, depending on age of your A/C). I have not used the heat portion of it yet as my pool is hovering around 84 degrees now. Couple of things with the automation (intellicenter) from pentair and the heaters.....I run a heat pump/chiller AND a 400,000 btu Mastertemp. They are plumbed in line and hooked up to the intellicenter via RS-485 cable. The automation is supposed to regulate temperature via the heat pump 1st - if it can not maintain temp it reverts to the gas heater. But after that it does not go back to the heat pump to maintain. You have to switch it manually - Stupid in my opinion -
Also, when in chiller mode Pentair forgot to link the temperature differential up to the chiller portion. So if you have a chiller set point of 87 degrees, and your temperature bounces back and forth between 88 and 87 degrees - your fan will cycle on/off, on/off, on/off until the temperature is a constant 87 degrees. That my friends, will burn that fan motor up in no time!!!!
Also - in the programming you have a choice of heaters for your spa and/or pool. So no need to plumb seperate.

So, research your automation, research your heatpump - get the biggest you can fit- and make sure they all talk to each other!!!!!

Or hook it up to a relay and control it through there!