Heat Pump Advice

MrPeePeeHead

New member
Jul 10, 2010
3
Hello folks,

This is s a question to anyone out there that owns, or has knowledge of heat pumps.

I have a 16x32 inground pool that gets a fair bit of sun. I use a solar blanket regularly, however I still seem to lose a fair bit of heat at night. I have no heater.

The pool temp is OK right now (~80), was up to 86 during a recent heat wave. But all it takes is a cold week or sun free week and I am down to 70 in a flash.

Long story short, I have had several gas installers come out to assess and give quotes for running a gas line. Problem is the meter hook up is at the complete opposite corner of where it needs to get too, which is my back shed where the pump etc. reside (see crude diagram below) I have concrete and interlocking along the side where the meter is, so I cannot dig and would need to run the gas line along the wall, which sucks. Plus, not one of these gas guys said they would do the actual digging, so once the gas line got to the back of the house, I would have to dig the trench through the lawn, around the pond and to the back shed.



They generally quoted $25/ft to install the gas line, and I would estimate that the run is close to 100-125 feet. So I'm looking at ~$3k just to run the line.

I was given an old, albeit unused NG heater, so the heater would be free, but since it was older, and the efficiency is probably low, I may have to replace it in a few years.

This method would be a big pain in the butt, as logistically, it would be challenging to run the line. One gas guy recommended a big propane tank .. but a) I don't want an ugly tank in my yard, and b) propane is expensive where I live. I am also not interested in solar.

SOOOO ... I have started to look at heat pumps. I have electricity running to the shed (although will probably have to run a new line back to it to handle the load), and I came across a heat pump that suits my needs that I can purchase brand new from Costco for ~$2700 delivered. Its an AquaPRO PRO1100E 112,000 BTU Heat Pump. I called local pool supply stores and they were charging $7500 for a similarly featured Hayward and $8500 for a similarly featured Jandy.

I had always heard that heat pumps were much cheaper to operate over time, but the initial outlay was more upfront. But in my situation, even with a free gas heater, it would still cost more to have the gas line installed than the cost of this heat pump!!

I live in Southern Ontario Canada, and hope to keep the pool ~80+ during the summer and extend the season, maybe Mid may to October. I would prefer a steady heat as I swim all week long, not just on the weekends or when people come over.

Any thoughts on how well these operate etc.??

Any feedback would be appreciated.
 

teebone110

New member
Apr 19, 2010
3
I have recently installed a heat pump to our pool and we also live in South Western Ontario.

It has worked great so far this year, easily maintaining the temperature between 80-86 degrees, based on our preference. We find that since we have been going through theheat waves, we have not been using it a lot. What is great, we can always turn it on to warm things up for functions, etc.

We ended up going with a Heat Siphon Z575, that is 126,000 BTU for our 16x32' pool.

We don' t have a solar cover and find that when needed, the heat pump can raise our temperature by about a degree an hour on average. Of course when the outside temp is warmer, it works better. For example, if the pool drops to 77 ovrnight, it can be within the low eighties by noon! It hasn't been too expensive to operate as well.

I say, go with the heatpump! Because you have a solar blanket, it should work even better for you with your application.

All the best!

T
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
teebone110 said:
I have recently installed a heat pump to our pool and we also live in South Western Ontario.
YMMV, but solar doesnt work too well in northern climes. The sun angle is not high enough for long enough. As I said, YMMV. I think a member from Minnesota said her solar worked well, but for others in northern lattitudes, not so much.
I wouldnt want it because of the way it looks on the roof. (just my opinion). :wink:
 

learthur

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Sep 9, 2008
243
The Woodlands, Texas, USA
Check and see if the model you are buying has a frost or coil freeze protection mechanism. Being that far north you may need it.

Another idea is a ground source heat pump with coil in your pond. Depends on size of your pond though.
Yes a heat pump may cost you about 30% of the operating (fuel) cost of the NG depending on your rates.
 

MrPeePeeHead

New member
Jul 10, 2010
3
Melt In The Sun said:
Why not interested in solar? Where are you located?
The previous owner of my home had a solar application on the roof some years ago but took it down before I bought the home because he said it was ugly. And I'd have to agree. Plus, I have of read varying success with solar systems where I live (Ontario Canada). This year we are having an excellent summer, however last summer was probably one of the wetter and cooler on record, and solar would have been pretty useless. I want to be free of playing a cat a mouse game with Mr. Sun, which is what I have always had to do.

teebone110 said:
I have recently installed a heat pump to our pool and we also live in South Western Ontario.
Excellent feedback, I appreciate your input. How much more would you estimate you spend on your electricty bill due to the heat pump??

bk406 said:
YMMV, but solar doesnt work too well in northern climes. The sun angle is not high enough for long enough. As I said, YMMV. I think a member from Minnesota said her solar worked well, but for others in northern lattitudes, not so much.
I wouldnt want it because of the way it looks on the roof. (just my opinion).
I do get a fair amount of sun on my pool and roof, but as I mentioned earlier, I, like you, agree that they are a bit of an eyesore. And its when the sun is not out that I need the heat. I am so tired of crossing my fingers to hope for sun the day before a social event, only to have none and temp drop to a level that prohibits anyone from using pool. Also, solar applications are quite pricey in my neck of the woods.

learthur said:
Check and see if the model you are buying has a frost or coil freeze protection mechanism. Being that far north you may need it.
It does. Supposedly it can operate in temperatures as low as 3.3 degrees Celcius (around 37 degrees F). this is the model:

http://tinyurl.com/2bcvqww



You Yanks always have better prices on everything but maple syrup and hockey sticks. So that link may not seem like the greatest price for you guys, but like I said, local pool supply stores were charging a fortune for heat pumps. Even importing from the US would be pricey once you factor in currency conversion, duties and around $700 to ship.
 

teebone110

New member
Apr 19, 2010
3
I am not sure on the exact price, as we also had our central air running all summer with the heatpump. I don't think its too bad though.

Just ensure that you buy a good heatpump that is sized appropriately for your application. I have friends who have not had good experiences as their heatpump was undersized.

If you are shopping around, check out poolheatpumps.com, as I purchased my unit from them. They offer recommendations for Canadian climates and provide a decent deal on shipping, taxes, etc. They may provide more answers that you are seeking.

Another friend of mine installed solar up here is cold old Canada. It worked out to about the same cost as my heatpump, but without any operating cost. It does well in keeping the temperature warm with the use of his solar blanket. The install was clean and didn't look too ugly. We chose a heatpump due to aesthetics and having it work when we needed it. So far were very happy with it.

Please let us know how things turn out.
 

MrPeePeeHead

New member
Jul 10, 2010
3
Thanks teebone. I went ahead and purchased the Aquapro 1100e. Its been delivered and I have the electrician coming out this week to wire it up.

Still looking for feedback from heatpump owners no matter where you live on your experiences with these units and how well they work. I bought it from Costco, so they are awesome with returns, so if she don't work like I hoped, back she goes.

Thanks all!!
 

ponti3900

Active member
May 26, 2010
28
Mississauga, Ontario
Thanks everybody for posting a costco info. Their price is almost identical to US prices but you save on border headaches. I have 15K gal pool and still debating to go with 50K BTU, 83K BTU or 112K BTU.

Any feedback on performance of a small heatpump (50K BTU) will be greatly appreciated.
 

no-mas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 16, 2008
405
FL
When do you plan to swim? Summer only or extended season? 50k, even 83k, seem way too small for a 15k gal pool in Canada.
 

ponti3900

Active member
May 26, 2010
28
Mississauga, Ontario
My choice is:
50K BTU for $1,699.99
83K BTU for $2,399.99
112K BTU for $2,699.99

So bigger pump is cheaper per BTU bit much larger and I am afraid noisier.

I plan to run it from 9PM Friday to bring temp up by 10 degrees by Saturday 11AM. Will that work?
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
Probably not. What kind of outside overnight temperatures could you reasonably expect for those 14 hours? I just started heating last week and got 1-2 degrees/hour in my 11,200 gallon pool, with the solar cover on and air temps in the 70s.
 

no-mas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 16, 2008
405
FL
ponti3900, I assume you'll be covering the pool at night. What are your air tempertures like? Is it humid in Ontario?
 

XsAllOverIt

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 8, 2010
560
Mount Airy, Maryland
I had a run of approximately 50' from my house to the pool house and everything was underground and I dug the entire trench due to the fact that there was electric running out to my garage (100 amp service) and didn't want the headache of someone hitting it. I LOVE my natural gas Pentair MaxETherm 400KBTU heater but I have a hot tub and it heats up really quick. I would opt for gas. The benefit of having a line with gas now is that I'm thinking of adding a hot water heater in my pool house and also running a gas grill. If you have any future benefits of gas, perhaps you should think for the long run. It cost me approx. $3000 to have the gas line run at 50'. Good luck.
 

ponti3900

Active member
May 26, 2010
28
Mississauga, Ontario
no-mas said:
ponti3900, I assume you'll be covering the pool at night. What are your air temperatures like? Is it humid in Ontario?
It is humid indeed. Temperatures - In May and Sept it is 50F min, 66F max. June-Aug - 60F min, 80F max (close to Buffalo, NY). I am really looking at using a heat pump in May, June and September. Also, soon we will have variable electricity rates with 5.5c/kW rate on weekends and after 9PM.

Solar blanket - I have it and will use it overnight.
 

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