Pool Heater Type - Long Island, NY

briang2408

Member
Jun 4, 2012
14
Hi -

Would appreciate thoughts on which pool heater type may make sense to purchase, either natural gas or a heat pump. My situation:

18x42 28,000 gallon pool in direct sunlight all day
Will not use any type of solar cover
July 1 to mid-August pool is typically 84 degrees without any heater
Heater use would be mid-May to mid-September excluding the 6 week period above unless the pool dips below 84
Since we are in the pool all the time a heat pump may be the way to go but I'm just nervous about the electric bill especially running it in May-early June. My thought would be in those timeframes we would just use the pool 1-2x per week and just fire up the gas heater to get the pool warm. From what I see it costs about 6-7 bucks an hour to run a 400K btu gas heater which is a lot. The electric I'm a little fuzzy on but seems it may costs about 1 dollar an hour to run 140k unit.

Just wondering if anyone else had this similar situation and what they ended up purchasing.

Thanks,
Brian
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,683
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
If you have NG at your house then get a 400K NG pool heater.
 

scdaren

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
455
Clovis, CA
Will not use any type of solar cover

You might want to reconsider this. A solar cover will cut your overnight heat loss in half, which will cut your electric or gas heating costs in half. I really didn't want one, but it didn't take long for me to see the light.

My Pentair 140 consumes about 7.5kw per hour, so you can plug in your cost per kwh into that. It heats my 15,000 gal pool about 1 degree per hour.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,250
NY
I really didn't want one, but it didn't take long for me to see the light.
Preach !!! I ignorantly thought the steam in the yard every morning that engulfed the acre like a horror movie was funny. Until the Electric bill came.
 
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briang2408

Member
Jun 4, 2012
14
Thank you for the replies. I'll look into a cover perhaps... I assume everyone that has a cover uses a reel? Any recommendation on a reel?

Not sure this matters but it's about the same price for me to purchase/install the units:

AquaCal SQ225 5,800 (incl. install)
Electric 1,800
Total 7,600
minus 650 rebate from electric company
Total 6,950

Hayward 400K Heater 3,500 (incl. install)
Electric already there for it
Plumber Cost 3,500
Permit: 150
Total 7,150

I am probably leaning toward natural gas and just running it on weekends during May/June/September as opposed to keeping a heat pump on all the time. If I went the heat pump route I'm also debating if the AquaCal SQ225 unit is worth 1K more than the Hayward HeatPro unit.

Thanks,
Brian
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,250
NY
Heater use would be mid-May to mid-September excluding the 6 week period above unless the pool dips below 84
The heat pump can work on LI. It all depends on the weather year over year. We found with ours when conditions were good for the pump, we were too busy to swim that week. The following week when we had the time, the weather wasn’t cooperating and the wind or cold was taking away too much for the heat pump to overcome. But the heat pump had to run 24/7 to have a chance at doing what we needed. So it was frustrating to pay for the pump to run when we knew we wouldn’t be swimming for the next week. With gas we could have just fired it up as needed and at least got what we paid for. 10 hours of runtime Friday night would have made it plenty warm for Saturday and maybe a few more hours to get Sunday too.

NG is cheaper than Propane so if you have that option it will help a lot.

The solar cover did such a good job of retaining the heat that we let it do so for free. It kept the water about 7 degrees warmer than it would have been which was usually enough to take the edge off. The reel helped the chore of the cover greatly, but the reel was its own so we eventually gave up and just left it up to the universe uncovered with no heater on.
 

scdaren

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
May 20, 2018
455
Clovis, CA
This is the reel I have, a lot of people recommend spending more, but this one has been good for 3 seasons so far and shows no signs of having problems. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CL2HN14/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The heat pump really needs to be set up to maintain temp, otherwise you could be faced with like a 12 hour run to bring your pool up to temp, and having to fit that into the times of day when the ambient temp is high enough for it to run efficiently. A gas heater can heat a lot faster, but cost more to run in most energy markets.

It is nice to have the on-demand heat -- I had my heat pump set to run through September and into October here which is our shoulder season, and we ended up with so much smoke from wildfires I think we only used it one day. I kept heating the pool hoping for a break in the smoke that almost never happened. So a lot of money wasted. Spring was great this year though, especially with the start of the shutdowns and school closures, having that pool warm in April was a lifesaver.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,620
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I’m a fan of nat gas heaters. One advantage is that there are a lot of options when repairs are needed - you DIY a lot of repairs if you’re a handy person or pay a plumber/pool company to do repairs. Heatpumps are difficult to find repairman for as most residential HVAC guys won’t touch pool equipment which leaves you with finding a pool company that has someone that knows how to troubleshoot heat pumps.

Also, if you’re paying for a plumber to run gas lines for you, consider of you need an additional line run somewhere else either for a gas grill or maybe a gas fire pit. It’s cheaper to have the plumber stub something out when he’s already there doing the pool equipment line.
 
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