Glacier Pool Chiller in FL?

pigskintd

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
29
Central Florida
I am highly considering a Glacier chiller because we live in Tampa and will not have a screen and our max pool depth is going to be 4'6". Has anyone on here had a Glacier in FL? I appreciate the help!
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
500
Flower Mound, TX
I’m in the Dallas area, so our climate is not quite as humid as yours, but close. The Glacier was the best investment I’ve made in our pool. We went from water temps in the mid-90s to low-80s and can even drop into the 70s when humidity drops below 45%. There are quite a few members on TFP that live in the Houston area that are having similar success with their Glaciers, and I think Houston’s combined heat and humidity is worse than yours.
 

pigskintd

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
29
Central Florida
I’m in the Dallas area, so our climate is not quite as humid as yours, but close. The Glacier was the best investment I’ve made in our pool. We went from water temps in the mid-90s to low-80s and can even drop into the 70s when humidity drops below 45%. There are quite a few members on TFP that live in the Houston area that are having similar success with their Glaciers, and I think Houston’s combined heat and humidity is worse than yours.
Awesome, glad to hear it! I feel like without it, given our depth, it will feel like a hot spring! Were you able to hook yours up to automation?
 

MCF50

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2020
288
Houston
I have seriously considered the Glacier and after a lot of research (regardless of what Glacier says) the system will not work well in high humidity areas like Houston. I have called them twice and talked to their designers and both times have been treated like a child. Another red flag I have encountered is no reputable pool builders will install them. The only installers I can find in Houston are HVAC or pool cleaning companies. Sorry, but I am not going to let a pool cleaning service install pool equipment requiring automated valves and tying into my Pentair control panel. Based on this I will probably go with a Pentair heat pump, which really is the correct way to do it.
 
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pigskintd

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
29
Central Florida
I have seriously considered the Glacier and after a lot of research (regardless of what Glacier says) the system will not work well in high humidity areas like Houston. I have called them twice and talked to their designers and both times have been treated like a child. Another red flag I have encountered is no reputable pool builders will install them. The only installers I can find in Houston are HVAC or pool cleaning companies. Sorry, but I am not going to let a pool cleaning service install pool equipment requiring automated valves and tying into my Pentair control panel. Based on this I will probably go with a Pentair heat pump, which really is the correct way to do it.
I have heard so many mixed opinions. It is so difficult to decide on what to do. I am a little worried about how expensive a heat pump will be to chill the pool. We are sticking with the gas heater for the spa so we do not want to do a heat/cool combo.
 

duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
345
Arkansas
I have heard so many mixed opinions. It is so difficult to decide on what to do. I am a little worried about how expensive a heat pump will be to chill the pool. We are sticking with the gas heater for the spa so we do not want to do a heat/cool combo.
I just put one in. It was 97 degrees here yesterday with 84% humidity. I ran it last night and it took my water from 90 to 83 overnight. I am still figuring out run time..but the longer I run it the colder it gets. I feel like I could turn it on and 3 days later my water would be in the 70's...which I don't want. I can run it during the hottest part of the day and it will hold the temp within a degree or two of where it was when I turned it on. They work as advertised even with high humidity. They can be tricky to install, but if you know upfront that you are putting one in then you can run a dedicated line and for it and make that easier. The heat pump heater/chiller is going to cost a lot to run...like adding a 2nd AC unit to your house.

Glacier was the official pool cooler used by the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo this year.
Glacier Pool Coolers keeps U.S. Olympic swim team's pool chilled | PoolPro
 

pigskintd

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
29
Central Florida
I just put one in. It was 97 degrees here yesterday with 84% humidity. I ran it last night and it took my water from 90 to 83 overnight. I am still figuring out run time..but the longer I run it the colder it gets. I feel like I could turn it on and 3 days later my water would be in the 70's...which I don't want. I can run it during the hottest part of the day and it will hold the temp within a degree or two of where it was when I turned it on. They work as advertised even with high humidity. They can be tricky to install, but if you know upfront that you are putting one in then you can run a dedicated line and for it and make that easier. The heat pump heater/chiller is going to cost a lot to run...like adding a 2nd AC unit to your house.

Glacier was the official pool cooler used by the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo this year.
Glacier Pool Coolers keeps U.S. Olympic swim team's pool chilled | PoolPro
That is great to hear! Is the humidity that high even at night? We are in the 80% range even at night. This will be my pool builders first time installing a Glacier unit, so I want to make sure it is done correctly. Is this the proper way to install? I am not sure what a dedicated line means (first pool).
 

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duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
345
Arkansas
That is great to hear! Is the humidity that high even at night? We are in the 80% range even at night. This will be my pool builders first time installing a Glacier unit, so I want to make sure it is done correctly. Is this the proper way to install? I am not sure what a dedicated line means (first pool).
The humidity last night dropped from 80% to around 60% overnight. We have times of the year that it's over 90% during the day and 80% during the night...but I have not run the chiller in that environment yet. Evaporative coolers will work regardless of humidity...they are just more efficient with lower humidity. Are you a sports fan, ever seen the evaporative coolers on the sideline of college football games in Florida?

The dedicated line to the pool is just a standard return...however many your PB is planning to install you need 1 extra with it's own line to the pump pad. They recommend it to be in the middle of the bottom of the pool. I would not do that. I would put it in the middle of the pool in the wall like a normal return but maybe lower on the wall.
 
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jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
500
Flower Mound, TX
It definitely works better in lower humidity, but as stated above, it works even during high humidity. What I’ve found is that it is better to get water temps low at the start of the season and keep them that way. That’s partly because I want to be able to jump in the pool at any time and not have to wait a day or 2 to cool it down, but also because once the weather gets really hot and humid, it takes longer to get the pool back to where I want it. My pool hasn’t been above 83° all summer this year, and we’ve had temps of 100+ and humidity above 80%. Our humidity typically drops a little during the day, as the sun burns it off, so I run the chiller from 3am - 8pm. 3am is usually when temp hits its lowest point. With that schedule, my pool stays in a range of high-70s to low-80s. If humidity drops lower than normal, it will range from low-70s to high-70s. Higher than normal humidity hasn’t changed the upper end of the range, probably because there is normally cloud cover and lower air temps during those conditions.

In regards to the comments above about working in the Houston area, there are a number of Houston-area members here who own Glaciers and have reported success, with 8-10° drops in water temp. Even 3-5° is significant and noticeable. As far as the heat pump goes, I did quite a bit of research, because I also was concerned about the effectiveness of the Glacier. A heat pump will cost you more upfront and when run in chiller mode it’s VERY expensive to operate - basically running an AC unit with no insulation and no roof. At least, that’s what I found when doing the research. I don’t have first-hand experience with one.

My equipment pad is also in full shade all day, so my chiller is probably more efficient because of that. At least that’s what my installer told me. My automation only consists of being able to program on/off times. Temp control isn’t a programmable item, but the chiller really doesn’t work that way, as you can’t set a temp and expect the chiller to reach it. I added mine several years after the original pool build, so it does not have a dedicated return line, but still works “swimmingly”!

Best of luck in whichever decision you make!
 
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jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
500
Flower Mound, TX
BTW - this is my water temp from yesterday morning - 77°! Our air temps are hitting 100° but humidity is currently just below 50%, which is why water temp is slightly lower than normal. But I love it that way! 🥶

1628792190905.jpeg
 
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pigskintd

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
29
Central Florida
It definitely works better in lower humidity, but as stated above, it works even during high humidity. What I’ve found is that it is better to get water temps low at the start of the season and keep them that way. That’s partly because I want to be able to jump in the pool at any time and not have to wait a day or 2 to cool it down, but also because once the weather gets really hot and humid, it takes longer to get the pool back to where I want it. My pool hasn’t been above 83° all summer this year, and we’ve had temps of 100+ and humidity above 80%. Our humidity typically drops a little during the day, as the sun burns it off, so I run the chiller from 3am - 8pm. 3am is usually when temp hits its lowest point. With that schedule, my pool stays in a range of high-70s to low-80s. If humidity drops lower than normal, it will range from low-70s to high-70s. Higher than normal humidity hasn’t changed the upper end of the range, probably because there is normally cloud cover and lower air temps during those conditions.

In regards to the comments above about working in the Houston area, there are a number of Houston-area members here who own Glaciers and have reported success, with 8-10° drops in water temp. Even 3-5° is significant and noticeable. As far as the heat pump goes, I did quite a bit of research, because I also was concerned about the effectiveness of the Glacier. A heat pump will cost you more upfront and when run in chiller mode it’s VERY expensive to operate - basically running an AC unit with no insulation and no roof. At least, that’s what I found when doing the research. I don’t have first-hand experience with one.

My equipment pad is also in full shade all day, so my chiller is probably more efficient because of that. At least that’s what my installer told me. My automation only consists of being able to program on/off times. Temp control isn’t a programmable item, but the chiller really doesn’t work that way, as you can’t set a temp and expect the chiller to reach it. I added mine several years after the original pool build, so it does not have a dedicated return line, but still works “swimmingly”!

Best of luck in whichever decision you make!
Thanks for the detailed response. I am going to take the advice from people that actually own the Glacier vs their research. I am going to go ahead and have them install the smallest one. It should also help that our pool is only about 8,000 gallons.
 

pigskintd

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
29
Central Florida
BTW - this is my water temp from yesterday morning - 77°! Our air temps are hitting 100° but humidity is currently just below 50%, which is why water temp is slightly lower than normal. But I love it that way! 🥶

View attachment 363705
That's impressive! Our humidity is higher at night , so would it be better to run it during the day with the lower humidity, or will the higher temp during the day make it not as effective?
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
500
Flower Mound, TX
I am going to go ahead and have them install the smallest one. It should also help that our pool is only about 8,000 gallons.
I don’t know the price difference, but I recommend oversizing if you have the space (and $!). I wanted the largest size, but it wasn’t in stock, so I went with the one rated for 30k gallons. My pool is 25.5k gallons, so the Glacier rating seems to be pretty accurate since my works fine. I still would have preferred the larger unit for insurance:)
so would it be better to run it during the day with the lower humidity, or will the higher temp during the day make it not as effective?
The key with these things is evaporation, so technically speaking, run time during lower humidity should produce better results. But as you say, the higher temp also has an effect. My sweet spot is starting when air temp is lowest (3am) and running until I shut the pump off (8pm). When you first run it, assuming you’re trying to cool down vs. maintain, you’ll go for 24 hours or more to get the temp you want. You can then play with run times to find what works best in your conditions.
 
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pigskintd

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
29
Central Florida
I don’t know the price difference, but I recommend oversizing if you have the space (and $!). I wanted the largest size, but it wasn’t in stock, so I went with the one rated for 30k gallons. My pool is 25.5k gallons, so the Glacier rating seems to be pretty accurate since my works fine. I still would have preferred the larger unit for insurance:)

The key with these things is evaporation, so technically speaking, run time during lower humidity should produce better results. But as you say, the higher temp also has an effect. My sweet spot is starting when air temp is lowest (3am) and running until I shut the pump off (8pm). When you first run it, assuming you’re trying to cool down vs. maintain, you’ll go for 24 hours or more to get the temp you want. You can then play with run times to find what works best in your conditions.
That sounds like a good plan! If the 30k works well for your 25.5k then I think I will save on the money and size of the unit. The small one is rated for 20k and my pool is only 8k.
 
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duckcmmndr

Bronze Supporter
May 7, 2014
345
Arkansas
I don’t know the price difference, but I recommend oversizing if you have the space (and $!). I wanted the largest size, but it wasn’t in stock, so I went with the one rated for 30k gallons. My pool is 25.5k gallons, so the Glacier rating seems to be pretty accurate since my works fine. I still would have preferred the larger unit for insurance:)

The key with these things is evaporation, so technically speaking, run time during lower humidity should produce better results. But as you say, the higher temp also has an effect. My sweet spot is starting when air temp is lowest (3am) and running until I shut the pump off (8pm). When you first run it, assuming you’re trying to cool down vs. maintain, you’ll go for 24 hours or more to get the temp you want. You can then play with run times to find what works best in your conditions.
This is great advice. I am still playing with mine figuring out the sweet spot to keep it where I need it. I can program it to come on/off on any schedule(s) that I want.

@pigskintd I think since your cooler will be rated for double your pool...you will be fine. I got the GPC210 which is rated for 30K gallon pools. My pool is 29,980 and it's working as advertised. I too wanted the next size up and it was unavailable anywhere.
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
500
Flower Mound, TX
One minor recommendation, especially if you have trees near your equipment: get a cheap tarp to cover the chiller during the off season. That makes it much easier to start up in the spring, as you’ll prevent debris from dropped in through the opening at the top.
 

pigskintd

Active member
Jul 7, 2020
29
Central Florida
One minor recommendation, especially if you have trees near your equipment: get a cheap tarp to cover the chiller during the off season. That makes it much easier to start up in the spring, as you’ll prevent debris from dropped in through the opening at the top.
Nothing above the unit at all. How load is the unit? It will probably be pretty close to pool just over the fence. Will I hear it from the pool you think? I will probably be 10 feet away from the once section of the pool.
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
500
Flower Mound, TX
I don’t even notice mine. It’s probably 15-20’ from the pool, behind a wooden fence partition that hides the equipment. It definitely makes noise, but it’s more like white noise - a large fan running. Not as loud as an AC unit.
 

MCF50

Well-known member
Aug 18, 2020
288
Houston
The humidity last night dropped from 80% to around 60% overnight. We have times of the year that it's over 90% during the day and 80% during the night...but I have not run the chiller in that environment yet. Evaporative coolers will work regardless of humidity...they are just more efficient with lower humidity. Are you a sports fan, ever seen the evaporative coolers on the sideline of college football games in Florida?

The dedicated line to the pool is just a standard return...however many your PB is planning to install you need 1 extra with it's own line to the pump pad. They recommend it to be in the middle of the bottom of the pool. I would not do that. I would put it in the middle of the pool in the wall like a normal return but maybe lower on the wall.
You contradictded yourself. You stated in your first email it was 84% humidity but in this email you state humidity went from 80-60%? That is a big difference. When the humidity dropped over night is when you got the cooling. If you run it with 80+% humidity the cooling effect will be reduced. It can only cool to dew point. Not possible to cool below that. Now Pentair and a couple other companies have developed some very efficient heat pumps. I have a gas heater and will use it for heating the hot tub/pool and use heat pump to cool. The nice thing about a heat pump is you can set the temp and forget. You can also set it to get to a temp and have it turn off. So cool from 88F water at 8pm to 82F water overnight and once it hits 82 it will turn off and not come back on.
 

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