It Finally Happened, Breaker Tripped

jseyfert3

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 20, 2017
1,878
Southern WI
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Not that I’d ever do this, but I think the appropriate means for making a flamethrower would be a compressed air source, not a shop vac.

Excuse me while I go call my brother to discuss an idea I had that’s completely unrelated to the topic at hand…
 
  • Like
Reactions: JamesW

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,822
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Not that I’d ever do this, but I think the appropriate means for making a flamethrower would be a compressed air source, not a shop vac.

Excuse me while I go call my brother to discuss an idea I had that’s completely unrelated to the topic at hand…

Would you consider being a Guide over at the Trouble Free Flamethrowers web forum? Asking for a friend …
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,822
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Not that I’d ever do this, but I think the appropriate means for making a flamethrower would be a compressed air source, not a shop vac.

Excuse me while I go call my brother to discuss an idea I had that’s completely unrelated to the topic at hand…

Would you consider being a Guide over at the Trouble Free Flamethrowers web forum? Asking for a friend …

One warning though - the Agree To Disagree subform can get a little ... heated ... :LOL:
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,291
Same guys different day.


I like the person behind the glass.

At least they have enough sense to stay out of harm's way.

On a related mote, the three guys now have a ward at the hospital dedicated to them.

It's the John Smith Memorial Burn Ward.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,822
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
A flame thrower would be extra fun here in Arizona. In Iowa, I basically used one (propane of course) to control weeds....

Weed torches work pretty well around here too if your yard is mostly rock’ed. But a propane tank is fairly expensive now so it’s not the cheapest method.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,452
Cabool, Mo
You guys are too much...
Since I work with water and electricity (MUCH safer than flamethrowers...😏) I have nothing useful to add to this discussion. I look forward to the start of TFFT (it's hard to say "trouble free flamethrowers") and thank you all for your tireless efforts on behalf of flamethrower enthusiasts everywhere.
Flame on! 🤜🤛 Wait, now I sound like like the dumbest of the fantastic four... Go flamers! No, that's not a good choice either... Burn baby burn! Nah, reminds me of the seventies... Ok, so the slogan needs work...
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,047
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
But you could redo the plumbing and add an external connection to a 400kBTU/hr gas heater and you can get the water up to full temperature in about 30 seconds!!! Now that would be awesome!!

I was actually wondering last night (while sitting in my hot tub) if it would be beneficial to fill it from my on demand water heater. I'm using the same number of BTU's regardless of if it comes from the tubs electric heater or from the on-demands gas burner. The on-demand is pretty efficient (not quite as efficient as the hot tub). I'm sure my cost per BTU in natural gas is cheaper than my cost per BTU in electricity.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,822
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I was actually wondering last night (while sitting in my hot tub) if it would be beneficial to fill it from my on demand water heater. I'm using the same number of BTU's regardless of if it comes from the tubs electric heater or from the on-demands gas burner. The on-demand is pretty efficient (not quite as efficient as the hot tub). I'm sure my cost per BTU in natural gas is cheaper than my cost per BTU in electricity.

I seem to remember posts long ago about someone hooking up their pool plumbing loop to a heat exchanger attached to their home heating systems (fuel oil based water heater for baseboard heating, not forced air gas heating). The system would open a valve to a heat exchanger allowing the household heater to warm the water. Now a swimming pool needs huge amounts of BTU’s to get warm but a hot tub, that could easily use a simple heat exchanger setup to keep it warm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rattus Suffocatus

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,457
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I'm thinking a small thorium-salt reactor... tennis ball sized or smaller.... for the pool not the hot tub.... Does Taylor make a roentgen test kit? Too far off topic? probably... rads in a pool...

But why more pools in a climate like AZ don't have exchangers off the AC systems in the summer is beyond me. I had a ground source heat pump in IA and it was cheaper than natural gas in the winter and practically free in the summer there... That 15Kgal pond should make a great heat sink in the summer... or even source in the winter...
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,822
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I'm thinking a small thorium-salt reactor... tennis ball sized or smaller.... for the pool not the hot tub.... Does Taylor make a roentgen test kit? Too far off topic? probably... rads in a pool...

But why more pools in a climate like AZ don't have exchangers off the AC systems in the summer is beyond me. I had a ground source heat pump in IA and it was cheaper than natural gas in the winter and practically free in the summer there... That 15Kgal pond should make a great heat sink in the summer... or even source in the winter...

The Hotspot systems are a more recent “pool gadget” that a lot of pool owners don’t find out about until after the fact. Truth is both my AC condensers are hundreds of feet from the pool equipment pad and, even if I had wanted to use one, it would have been a nightmare figuring out how to run lines to and from the condensers. I’m also not at all convinced it would be useful around here as most people are using their AC units when they don’t need to heat their pool. Maybe in the shoulder months you might be able to recover some heat but I don’t think the installation costs or maintenance headaches would be worth the marginal heat gain. We don’t really use our pool much when school starts up so it really isn’t an attractive option. It may be better suited for more tropical climates like Florida where AC units run almost year-round to keep indoor spaces dehumidified. And finally there’s installation issues - you find an HVAC guy willing to install one of those and give you any kind of assurance that they’ll help you out when something goes sideways … I won’t hold my breath while you check as I might pass out.

Around here you would do much better if you can find a Solar PV outfit willing to install a small array for the pool equipment with enough power to run a heat pump. Then you can generate heat as you need it. Solar heating arrays are ok, but I know too many people that put those up on flat roofs only to regret it when it springs a leak and no one notices the water loss for weeks on end. Or, you need to get the roof recoated (white) and you have to pay the contractor extra to lift out the coils (and pray they don’t break something in the process).
 

jseyfert3

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 20, 2017
1,878
Southern WI
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I was actually wondering last night (while sitting in my hot tub) if it would be beneficial to fill it from my on demand water heater. I'm using the same number of BTU's regardless of if it comes from the tubs electric heater or from the on-demands gas burner. The on-demand is pretty efficient (not quite as efficient as the hot tub). I'm sure my cost per BTU in natural gas is cheaper than my cost per BTU in electricity.
Almost certainly yes. When I compared this a few years ago I seem to recall an 80% efficient natural gas heater was 1/5 or 1/6th the cost of electric resistive heat.

Let's see, on my latest bill I pay 11.4 cents/kWh for electric, and 72.6 cents/therm for gas. A therm is 29.3 kWh, or 2.48 cents/kWh. Divide that by your heater efficiency in decimal form to get cost/kWh_usable, so even an 80% efficient heater would run 3.10 cents/kWh_usable, or a mere 27% the cost of electric resistive heat.

Now, 450 gallons heated from 55 to 104 °F requires 54 kWh, so is it worth the $6.16 - $1.34 = $4.82 savings to bother with hooking up a hose to a hot tap instead of your regular outdoor tap? That's for you to decide.

But why more pools in a climate like AZ don't have exchangers off the AC systems in the summer is beyond me. I had a ground source heat pump in IA and it was cheaper than natural gas in the winter and practically free in the summer there... That 15Kgal pond should make a great heat sink in the summer... or even source in the winter...
I've wondered this too. There was a member here who said the Hotspot or similar was no good, you'd never pay it back. Said he worked in finance and was interested in the total lifecycle cost. I said I was too, and asked him to share his numbers for why it wouldn't work, but he never got back to me...

My gut feeling is that yes, it would be tough to pay back. But I think it's also a complicated equation. Since the heat after the upfront cost is effectively free, your pool will always be hotter than otherwise, so you may swim more than if you had to think ahead and decide if you needed to turn up the heat/debated if turning up the heat was worth the cost.

Around here you would do much better if you can find a Solar PV outfit willing to install a small array for the pool equipment with enough power to run a heat pump. Then you can generate heat as you need it. Solar heating arrays are ok, but I know too many people that put those up on flat roofs only to regret it when it springs a leak and no one notices the water loss for weeks on end. Or, you need to get the roof recoated (white) and you have to pay the contractor extra to lift out the coils (and pray they don’t break something in the process).
Ugh. The engineer in me shudders to think of using PV panels to power a heat pump. Rough numbers you get maybe 20% efficiency in PV, but the heat pump may have a COP of 3-5. I can't immediately locate efficiency numbers for solar pool heaters, but I'd be surprised if they were less than say 80%. So for the same area, roughly the same heat output. But in one case you have expensive PV panels running an expensive heat pump (unless you already had the heat pump), vs just pumping water through some glorified pipes.

I suppose the flat roof could change things. Do a lot of people out there have flat roofs? I don't think I've ever seen a residential house out here with a flat roof. May have a lot to do with snow. In any case on a sloped roof a water leak would be easily and quickly spotted.

I'm idly planning on installing solar heat next spring.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
18,822
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Almost certainly yes. When I compared this a few years ago I seem to recall an 80% efficient natural gas heater was 1/5 or 1/6th the cost of electric resistive heat.

Let's see, on my latest bill I pay 11.4 cents/kWh for electric, and 72.6 cents/therm for gas. A therm is 29.3 kWh, or 2.48 cents/kWh. Divide that by your heater efficiency in decimal form to get cost/kWh_usable, so even an 80% efficient heater would run 3.10 cents/kWh_usable, or a mere 27% the cost of electric resistive heat.

Now, 450 gallons heated from 55 to 104 °F requires 54 kWh, so is it worth the $6.16 - $1.34 = $4.82 savings to bother with hooking up a hose to a hot tap instead of your regular outdoor tap? That's for you to decide.


I've wondered this too. There was a member here who said the Hotspot or similar was no good, you'd never pay it back. Said he worked in finance and was interested in the total lifecycle cost. I said I was too, and asked him to share his numbers for why it wouldn't work, but he never got back to me...

My gut feeling is that yes, it would be tough to pay back. But I think it's also a complicated equation. Since the heat after the upfront cost is effectively free, your pool will always be hotter than otherwise, so you may swim more than if you had to think ahead and decide if you needed to turn up the heat/debated if turning up the heat was worth the cost.


Ugh. The engineer in me shudders to think of using PV panels to power a heat pump. Rough numbers you get maybe 20% efficiency in PV, but the heat pump may have a COP of 3-5. I can't immediately locate efficiency numbers for solar pool heaters, but I'd be surprised if they were less than say 80%. So for the same area, roughly the same heat output. But in one case you have expensive PV panels running an expensive heat pump (unless you already had the heat pump), vs just pumping water through some glorified pipes.

I suppose the flat roof could change things. Do a lot of people out there have flat roofs? I don't think I've ever seen a residential house out here with a flat roof. May have a lot to do with snow. In any case on a sloped roof a water leak would be easily and quickly spotted.

I'm idly planning on installing solar heat next spring.

Flat roofs are extremely common here. There is no snow to speak of so no need for a peaked roof. Many homes are also built with a peaked roof and Spanish tile but you’d never want to step foot up that attic space as it’s basically a pizza oven in the summers and freezing cold in the winters (builders around here couldn’t properly insulate a foam coffee cup let alone a home).

Flat roofs do have a tiny slope to one side so all the water runs out of scuppers (another exquisitely stupid feature of southwest home construction) but it’s so hot and dry here that a small water leak would essentially dry up before ever making it off the roof. Solar coils, like all outdoor components, get trashed by the sun heat and UV. You’ll only get a few years before one of them inevitable springs a leak, or the VRV needs replacement, and so there’s more cost.

I would totally install a PV array to run the equipment pad (but then again I have a gas heater) and would love to get that stuff of the grid. Our rates are always climbing so anything you push on to PV helps. Of course, I don’t happen to have $30k lying around to waste on a solar installation and leasing is not an option in my opinion so I doubt solar PV will ever happen … I let the next poor shmuck that owns this home invest in solar.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,047
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
Almost certainly yes. When I compared this a few years ago I seem to recall an 80% efficient natural gas heater was 1/5 or 1/6th the cost of electric resistive heat.

Let's see, on my latest bill I pay 11.4 cents/kWh for electric, and 72.6 cents/therm for gas. A therm is 29.3 kWh, or 2.48 cents/kWh. Divide that by your heater efficiency in decimal form to get cost/kWh_usable, so even an 80% efficient heater would run 3.10 cents/kWh_usable, or a mere 27% the cost of electric resistive heat.

Now, 450 gallons heated from 55 to 104 °F requires 54 kWh, so is it worth the $6.16 - $1.34 = $4.82 savings to bother with hooking up a hose to a hot tap instead of your regular outdoor tap? That's for you to decide.

It's not just the cost savings, but the potential time savings. I'm pretty sure that my domestic hot water could fill my hot tub to 100 F faster than filling it with the hose and then letting the tub heater bring it up to temp.

I have a laundry sink with a hose connector on it 10' away from the hose bib I use to fill the hot tub (with a window to go through too)
 
  • Like
Reactions: jseyfert3

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
1,047
Montville NJ
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
The Hotspot systems are a more recent “pool gadget” that a lot of pool owners don’t find out about until after the fact. Truth is both my AC condensers are hundreds of feet from the pool equipment pad and, even if I had wanted to use one, it would have been a nightmare figuring out how to run lines to and from the condensers. I’m also not at all convinced it would be useful around here as most people are using their AC units when they don’t need to heat their pool. Maybe in the shoulder months you might be able to recover some heat but I don’t think the installation costs or maintenance headaches would be worth the marginal heat gain. We don’t really use our pool much when school starts up so it really isn’t an attractive option. It may be better suited for more tropical climates like Florida where AC units run almost year-round to keep indoor spaces dehumidified. And finally there’s installation issues - you find an HVAC guy willing to install one of those and give you any kind of assurance that they’ll help you out when something goes sideways … I won’t hold my breath while you check as I might pass out.

Around here you would do much better if you can find a Solar PV outfit willing to install a small array for the pool equipment with enough power to run a heat pump. Then you can generate heat as you need it. Solar heating arrays are ok, but I know too many people that put those up on flat roofs only to regret it when it springs a leak and no one notices the water loss for weeks on end. Or, you need to get the roof recoated (white) and you have to pay the contractor extra to lift out the coils (and pray they don’t break something in the process).

I looked into them as well, as the Hotspot is perfect for me. My AC runs pretty much in line with my pool season. Often, if I could just raise the temp of my pool by 3-5 degrees to take the edge off, it would be a big help. It would also help to extend my season quite a bit. Hot days, and cool nights let the pool temp drop. Running the AC during the day would recover some of that heat loss.

However, like you, my condensers are quite far from my pool (and have a patio, shed, trees, fence, and lawn between them and the pool)
 

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,457
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I like my pool like bath water anyway. So the Hotspot could work. My plumbing to my pool runs past the two AC units I have, so it wouldn't be an issue for me actually tapping something like that in.. I have the traditional style sloped roofs (modified from a stock design for the rest of the country, cookie cutter) with the concrete "Spanish tile" but the roof is really not oriented correctly for solar. I was going to run panels and a separate pump along the north backyard fence to get the southern sun. I started building that early this year but life got in the way in a big way. It does get pretty hot up in the attics here in the summer but really not as bad as you'd think. And cold in the winter? Yeah, no. Not compared to Wisconsin, my friend. Stuff doesn't freeze up there.

The houses here with sloped roofs have the furnaces and AC mounted sideways in the attic, and the vents are on the ceiling here... because there are no basements without blasting here (and it flash floods a lot here, so you typically don't want a basement anyway) -- and you are trying to optimize air conditioning, so you want the cold air to drop down rather than have the heat rise like in temperate climates. Not having a basement means the houses here have zero storage area outside of the garages which are too small, which for me kinda stinks too.

The southwestern style "block" houses are meant to sort of look like old adobe (mud brick) structures and look really cool actually.. but they do have a single sloped roof with maybe a 10 degree rise/run covered up by the side walls to look flat with drains out the back typically. So a lot like an office building roof in the Midwest with maybe 2x the slope. And whereas you don't hear too many complaints about leaks with the Spanish tile sloped roofs, you here people complain quite a lot with those style houses. One of the major problems here is that it's so dry that you don't get small leaks... you get HUGE ones when it monsoon rains here which are major dumpers compared to the midwestern storms (like 3x the in/hr rate of a big storm there). Nothing until those happen and then they TRASH the insides of houses here.

Stucco is used here because it can be-- it's so dry, no mold if done right... but it's also fire resistant when ashes from wildfires land on them... so that's another reason. You see that up until about 5000' elevation... But's stucco is VERY cheap too...homebuilders love cheap...

I would like to extend the pool season out. Without heat, it's still pretty short, even here in Tucson. But solar actually kind of works here with 286 days a year of sun.... (193 not partly either-- full sun the whole day). So yeah in Wisconsin solar panels are at best a toy, but you can actually break even or if you are lucky even beyond with PV panels here. The PE tubing pool heating cells do work here, oddly enough, so the W/m^2 here is really quite doable for any type of solar. UV here is beyond the charts bad. Something in Wisconsin that would make it 10 years before becoming UV rotten, makes it about 15 months here. Not kidding.

Ultimately though I suspect I have at most two to three more years here unless stuff overall suddenly miraculously improves... so I think I will live with the pool as is. I don't plan on moving back up north, even though I do miss it in many ways. But next place will be a hot tub only, and probably in the SE, Florida is the goal now.... What I do with the hot tub is to only bring it up to temperature when I need it, so the resistive heater is not a horrible option for me and the hot tub.

I even gave up looking for rural land here.. it's too dysfunctional when you are told by selling agents that they won't give you complete information until you put an offer in (water availability is kind of a big deal here).. state law doesn't require them to give you anything.. so they don't. So I don't buy-- problem solved. I am going to retire elsewhere in a few years in a place that actually functions and has lower cost of living and isn't mostly lawless.

But Tucson is absolutely stunningly beautiful though... there is that.... I'll know that I will probably miss it....
 

jseyfert3

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 20, 2017
1,878
Southern WI
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Flat roofs are extremely common here. There is no snow to speak of so no need for a peaked roof. Many homes are also built with a peaked roof and Spanish tile but you’d never want to step foot up that attic space as it’s basically a pizza oven in the summers and freezing cold in the winters (builders around here couldn’t properly insulate a foam coffee cup let alone a home).
Most attics here in the Midwest are not designed for occupancy and so they aren’t insulated. So like you you often won’t want to go into the attic here either.

The typical insulation if done right is about two feet of blown insulation on top of the ceiling drywall. So the attic is well insulated (usually) from the living areas of the house, but not insulated from the outside.

Actually the blown insulation is the biggest reason you don’t want to go into attics around here, you have to push it off to see the studs so you know where the studs are to step, then ideally when done fluff it back into place as you leave. I want to install a couple of wired cameras and I’m not looking forward to routing the cable through my attic…
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread