Which pool/spa heater?

#1
Hello all,
Been lurking around for a while trying to learn as much as possible from this site. I am redoing my pool (plaster, tile, plumbing, and adding a few things) and am going to add a heater. My water temps stay in the 85-95 degree temps in the summer when I have the solar cover on it, so I doubt I will be using it much for the pool. But I will be using it for the spa as well as in the cooler months. Are heaters sort of like the Ford/Chevy debate (they both get the job done, but its down to preference), or are their particular brands to stay away from? I'm leaning towards the Pentair Mastertemp either 250k or 300k, but I do not have much knowledge on any other brand.

Thanks in advance!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#2
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

The general recommendations from members and service personnel that come to this forum seem to be for Raypak heaters. They seem to be less likely to have problems and if they do are easier to fix.

You also want as large a heater as your gas line and wallet can handle. This will allow you to heat up the spa faster and not have to possibly wait a few hours before it reaches temperature.
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,487
Houston, TX
#3
welcome

when you say "redo" and plumbing together, are you referring to the pad only, from pool to pad, comb of both or other?

how many gallons is your spa?

Is the spa going to be totally separate from the pool? Eitherway, how far is the spa from the pad?

if your spa is small, you might be able to use a mid-size 300K heater, but as Jason said, the 400K is generally the way to go, unless you are a very good planner and can remotely turn on he spa an hr+ before you arrive. Look at the prices for 300K vs 400K BTU's, and average the difference over 5 yrs...say it's $500 dollars. 5 x 355 = 1775 days 500/1775 = .28 cents a day. if it was a delta of $1500 - 2000 dollars, then a diff story...just trying to give you a perspective.

good luck
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
3,956
FL
#4
Get a Raypak. Far better than any of the other units including the Mastertemp you were leaning towards.
 
#5
Thanks everyone! I will look into Raypak. Tstex, the original plumbing was copper, so I am having pvc replace all of the copper lines. Not sure of the gallons yet, but the reason I was leaning towards the 300k wasn't b/c of money (I would much rather get a 400k), it is b/c when I had the gas line tested a year ago when I bought the house, I vaguely remember the guy saying that I may be at the upper limits of the gas line. Of course since I wasn't planning on getting the heater then, I cant remember exactly though. My pool guy looked at the gas line and felt pretty confident the diameter of the pipe would be ok for a 400k, but I wasn't sure. Would the pipe be the limiting factor of the amount of btu's that are being used regardless of the size of the heater (hopefully that makes sense)? Meaning if I get a 400k and the pipe is a little too small, would only ~350k be used? Can damage occur to equipment or gas line?

Sorry for all of the questions, I would hate to get one and wish I would have gotten the other next season.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#6
The heater would not work efficiently if the pipe was limiting the gas flow, not sure if it would cause problems or not.
 

tstex

Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
1,487
Houston, TX
#7
It may not be the only the pipe size, but the regulator.

You can contact your NG provider and ask them what is the max BTU throughput over any given timeframe? They/you will need to add up every n-gas device you have, find out its max BTU usage, then add up the total usage. If your throughput of the pipe is the bottleneck, then you would need to upgrade the line too. I am pretty sure the regulator will need to be upgraded. That costs about $300-350.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
41,197
Tucson, AZ
#8
Gas company here increases the meter size for free of needed, assume they will get paid on the back end due to higher gas use.