Heat Pump recommendations - Gulf Stream

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,445
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Has anyone used a Gulf Stream Heat Pump and if so, what are your thoughts? What other brands are recommended, etc. I am ready to pull the plug on something. Although, a gas heater may still be in the picture.

Our swimming demands are not needed in an instant, so a heat pump would work. Also, have clearance issues with a gas heater, etc. Thanks!
 

Trick

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2015
139
Waterford, MI
Can't speak about the Gulf Stream. I did take a look at it and seems very similar to the Aqua Cal I just purchased. They even are both made in Florida I think.

As far as the AquaCal Tropical T90 heat pump I purchased, first thing I noticed, this thing is BIG. It needs room to breath too, 12" on each side and 3' clearance above it. Its probably bigger then your gas heater.

The cost to wire it can get expensive. I'm an electrician and was cheap for me but I could see the electrical install costing $1200 and up for a licensed electrician.

There is also the cost of the plumbing and a bypass valve if needed. Probably another $120 in material. Again I did the plumbing myself and didn't find it too hard but could be tricky and you will need some tools.

Performance wise, my pump is 90k BTU rated, pool is 15k gallons and it heated the pool from 77* to 92* in about 18hrs (Only went that hot for the fun of it. We settled at 86*). This was on a cool 60* night too. I have not had it long enough to get an electrical bill but I don't hear the pump run that much and I still use my solar cover at night. Hopefully the electrical bill isn't too bad.

I'm very impressed with the performance of heat pumps. I'm super happy with how comfortable it is to getting into the pool and the freedom to use it whenever I want. So far I highly recommend a heat pump.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,445
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Trick:

I do not have a gas heater and yes the plants are both in Florida. Gulf Stream has gone a long way since they started up. Aqua Cal is $1,000 more with less of a warranty. I already received a quote for the plumbing (from an experienced person), who actually will be adding a salt cell and chlorinator (I know a little over kill), but easy when you need tablets for CYA, etc. Here is reasonable and fair.
This is our game plan for now, but during construction, the chlorinator may go (not sure). The township permits are very inexpensive and the heater is 2X the cost of a gas heater, but the gas line costs a fortune here. In addition, I have clearance issues where the gas heater would go in the yard (astheitcally would look horrible).

The electrical quote is on Wednesday. I can not imagine this being $1,200, but more in line of $750. Here In NJ, there are plenty of licensed electricians. Will post back once I get quote and put before and after pictures.
 

jza1736

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2017
536
Greenlawn, NY
The electrical quote will depend on how far the heater is from the panel. (conduit, wire, labor). I'm an electrician myself and my panels are 150' away from the pool equipment. I'm going to spend about $1,000 just for the wire.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,390
Quaker Hill, CT
For a 120kBTU heat pump you need at least a 50 amp circuit. If your wire run is more than 50 feet the cost for the wire alone is going to be significant. Not to mention trenching and conduit.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,445
Monmouth County, New Jersey
The original electrician (which was paid 95% from the pool company) installed both breakers, and the run, through pvc (gray plastic I mean) went about 65 feet with some bends, etc. The extra was not too bad, but the pool company paid for most of it.

The actual trenching outside is about 10' at most (Which I will do, once we are there). From the ground, the code or township allowed about 12", which is easy to dig. Yes, a 50 amp. circuit will be needed.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,445
Monmouth County, New Jersey
What do you mean by "clearance issues" with regards to a gas heater?
The township in where I live has clearance requirements for a gas heater. The vents have to be at least 5' from each window. The unit has to be 1' from the power outlet of the sand filter. I have very little room for error. In order to accommodate the clearance, my unit would have to come out in the yard (would not look pretty) and away from the sand filter. I can get the job done, but this would be an eye sore. In addition, the gas line would cost a fortune. I have received ridiculous quotes to run a gas line, either outside or through the basement.

The heat pump is a better alternative for me. The cost is not that much less, but for my needs, will work out better. I still have not ruled the gas heater completely. Waiting on quote from electrician(s). Hopefully I will not have to look for a second one. Thanks!
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,445
Monmouth County, New Jersey
The verdict is in. I had an electrician here on Friday. His quote was astronomical ($1,700). I called an electrician who worked on my home with the AC units. Explained the situation and he is at around $700-$900 max, approximately 50% of the pricing. Explained that I needed a quad at the fuse panel, and that outside the wire would need to be 18" deep and in a conduit. He has worked on these before. The salt cell can be wired to the existing pool pump electricity. This is the last step, so I have time.

I also called the manufacturer who produces the heat pump. The unit produces 25.57 amps at 230 volts. Based on my calculations, if the heat pump is on 12 hours per day for 30 days a month, the total cost would be $343.83. I was with someone yesterday, who on average spent $640 a month in gas charges to heat up the pool. We did not get into specifics of size or temperature, etc., so the calculations could be off. It sure appears that the heat pumps are efficient. The only downside is the time it takes to keep the water at temperature. I doubt the unit will stay on for 12 hours a day. I was also told that there is a 4.8 degree difference of coming out of the unit than coming in from the pool.

Next year, I will report the total cost (approximate) and temperature of water. If everything goes smoothly, then the month of September will be interesting to determine the cost at the end of the season. Will not keep pool open past September. I doubt the unit will run for 12 hours. In addition, the cost to turn the pump on for 12 hours is $4 per day. I could turn the pump on at 8 p.m. the evening prior and run through the night to heat up the pool. I was told that a solar blanket would reduce electricity costs about 50%, based on cool nights which dip in the upper 60's to lower 70's.

Here is the cost:

Heat pump $2,800
Permits $200
Electrician $900 Max
Plumbing $500 Max
Salt Cell $1,500
Pad $50
Posts, etc. $50

Total $6,000.

If I went with a gas heater, the installation cost would roughly be the same. The heater is less expensive, but the gas line would run about $2,500. Hope this helps!
 

Trick

Silver Supporter
Apr 21, 2015
139
Waterford, MI
Thanks for the update!

I'll let you know when my electric bill comes next month how much my cost went up. We have about the same size pool except yours being IG you probably hold heat better.

I have been noticing my heat pump rarely seems to be running during the day, but every morning its on when I go to work. Temps are down to 60* at night here. Because this HP is new to me, I have been running my pool pump continuously and the HP kicks on whenever it needs. Next year (or maybe next month), I will set the pumps to run only during the day, hoping that the higher day temperatures will help the HP run more efficiently and save on some electric costs.

The only downside of this is I'm getting a discounted electrical rate between 7pm-7am so I'll have to see what method leads to lower electrical costs.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,445
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Actually, IG pools do not hold heat as well as AG pools. You have walls that are hit by the sun, while the IG is buried in soil, which is cooler than your grass soil. In addition, 54" is shallower than 8' deep. Neither here nor there.

The electrician actually came in at $500 as he stopped by and is adding a disconnect. No digging required and an open basement. He said it is a very easy job. Smaller type of company, but really likes to help people.

Try a solar cover. I have mine on over the last few days and the temperature have been high 80-85 most of the time. I will be using the cover more often as I do want to save on electricity. Have to figure a way to get that cover in the pool by myself as it does take about five minutes. Taking out takes less than one minute each side.

Please keep me posted. Which heat pump did you purchase? Gulfstream or another brand? What size?

Hopefully everything will be done on my end by September 1st. Still waiting on permits.
 

remixmark

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2017
57
Saline, MI
Great choice! I have the Gulfstream HE 150 RA and I absolutely love it. The electric bill has been really great, probably better than what natural gas would've been. We keep our water 87-89. I love that it shows a super accurate temp on the read out too. I tossed my sh**ty thermometer we kept in the skimmer as it was always inaccurate.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,445
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Remixmark:

Wow, that is good news. I second guessed myself pretty much through the whole thing. Do you have any idea approximately what the cost (extra), for electricity is with the heater? Also, do you keep a solar cover on during the evening hours or not when in use?

I do believe that the HE 125 RA model is sufficient for the size pool that I have. Thanks!

- - - Updated - - -

Remixmark:

Wow, that is good news. I second guessed myself pretty much through the whole thing. Do you have any idea approximately what the cost (extra), for electricity is with the heater? Also, do you keep a solar cover on during the evening hours or not when in use?

I do believe that the HE 125 RA model is sufficient for the size pool that I have. Thanks!
 

remixmark

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2017
57
Saline, MI
Remixmark:

Wow, that is good news. I second guessed myself pretty much through the whole thing. Do you have any idea approximately what the cost (extra), for electricity is with the heater? Also, do you keep a solar cover on during the evening hours or not when in use?


I do believe that the HE 125 RA model is sufficient for the size pool that I have. Thanks!
When I wrote that message I asked my wife and we discussed this very issue. It's hard to say how much this appliance is costing us as we had to run our air condition a ton last year and only 1-2 weeks so far this summer. I feel like it's may be a few dollars a day and it heats up the 25,000 gallons very quick.

I do use a solar cover at night and we keep it on if we're not in the pool. I just bought a robot cleaner that is going to arrive next week so that will help on the days we're not in it to mix up the water. I'm not sure of the pros and cons of leaving the cover on for many days in a row and if using a robot with a cover on is smart or not.

I picked up the colver and reel for it on amazon. I think it will do great especially when we start getting into the colder nights like we have in Michigan. I hope to use my pool into the end of September if possible with the help of the Gulfstream of course ;).
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,445
Monmouth County, New Jersey
Remixmark:

With me, I will not really know until next year, but will have an idea for a few weeks in September. Assuming you have a straight pool. My solar cover is great, but the pool is free form and had to cut it in half. Use 1" PVC to roll up and put away. The diving board and hand rail in the shallow end steps gets in the way.

The good news is that with the cover and the heat pump, I think heating up the pool will be pretty quick. Yesterday, the top layer of the pool reached 90* and assuming around 85 everywhere else. The pool has been down for 2 days and today will be the 3rd day. Tomorrow, the system is up and running again. Waiting for the plumber to turn on and check for leaks. Although, have to say that the water looks still clear with no algae.
 

remixmark

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2017
57
Saline, MI
Remixmark:

With me, I will not really know until next year, but will have an idea for a few weeks in September. Assuming you have a straight pool. My solar cover is great, but the pool is free form and had to cut it in half. Use 1" PVC to roll up and put away. The diving board and hand rail in the shallow end steps gets in the way.

The good news is that with the cover and the heat pump, I think heating up the pool will be pretty quick. Yesterday, the top layer of the pool reached 90* and assuming around 85 everywhere else. The pool has been down for 2 days and today will be the 3rd day. Tomorrow, the system is up and running again. Waiting for the plumber to turn on and check for leaks. Although, have to say that the water looks still clear with no algae.
Yea I have a rectangular pool, see my signature for pix. We don't use a hand railing in the shallow end, no need for it for us. I also have a swimout in the deep end that helps move hot water to that end of the pool well. the 3HP Variable Flow pump is great at moving a ton of water ;)


You haven't been running your pump? Check your FC levels. Don't want that getting too low and have to do a SLAM!