Why is it so hard to buy an electric heat pump

AGP noob

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2021
60
dublin,ca
Im going to have a 14ft round AGP with DIY solar but I am thinking of getting an electric heat pump but finding one to buy and which one to buy seems unnecessarily difficult. I will use the pump during the months outside temperatures are 75-90F
I know everything is short supply with covid but electric heat pumps are not even sold at big box stores that pools are sold. It seems you can only buy them on questionable websites with few reviews, and they are still mostly sold out.

My questions.
Which electric heat pump is the best bang for the buck for a smaller (14x48) AGP and how much should I expect to pay? Seeing the one below is ~$1600, I am wondering why it would be worth looking at the models that are over $2500+

Would this be a good example of one? Its also not sold anywhere

Is this one too small or not a good brand name? (I see people on this forum talking about 100k BTU pumps and this one is only 20k and reviews are mixed)


Thanks for your help!!
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
7,619
Southern OK
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool SJ-40
aquacall is the best, your going to have to call them to find out costs..

the T55 is the smallest they have TropiCal® T55 - AquaCal Website

60HzT55T75T90T115T135
BTUs
(water temp/ambient air/relative humidity)
80/80/8052,00074,00096,000112,000132,000
80/80/6350,00070,00090,000106,000125,000
80/50/6333,00049,00065,00074,00084,000
Coefficient of Performance
(water temp/ambient air/relative humidity)
80/80/806.05.66.05.65.7
80/80/635.85.45.85.45.6
80/50/634.04.04.24.04.0
RefrigerantR410AR410AR410AR410AR410A
Heat ExchangerTube in TubeTube in TubeThermoLink®ThermoLink®ThermoLink®
Electrical
kW Input2.73.94.75.96.8
Voltage/Hz/Phase208-230/60/1208-230/60/1208-230/60/1208-230/60/1208-230/60/1
Minimum Circuit Ampacity22.631.440.238.243.3
Maximum Fuse Size3050606060
*Over Temperature Alarm Kit available: part number STK0221 for single phase, STK0222 for three phase. Strongly recommended for all spa applications.
Water Flow
Minimum/Maximum (gpm)20/4520/4530/7030/7030/70
 

PoolBrews

Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
333
The Villages, Florida
Is the pool 14' x 48', or 14' round with a depth of 48"? 14' x 48' is a decent sized pool. Assuming it's oval, you're looking at ~16K gallons - rectangle, it's around 20K gallons. If it's 14' round with 4' depth, then it's still around 5K gallons.

I don't see a 20K heater being able to do what you want here. My pool is 7K gallons, and I have a 144K heater. It works great, but still needs to run an hour a day to keep the pool at 88 in spring and fall. I wouldn't go less than 100K for a pool that size if you really want to heat it.

In most cases heat pump get more efficient as they get larger. In addition, they have to run far less than a smaller one resulting in longer life (and a happier wife:))
 

coolviper777

Member
Jul 2, 2020
18
Pittsburgh, PA
Pool Size
33000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Is the pool 14' x 48', or 14' round with a depth of 48"? 14' x 48' is a decent sized pool. Assuming it's oval, you're looking at ~16K gallons - rectangle, it's around 20K gallons. If it's 14' round with 4' depth, then it's still around 5K gallons.

I don't see a 20K heater being able to do what you want here. My pool is 7K gallons, and I have a 144K heater. It works great, but still needs to run an hour a day to keep the pool at 88 in spring and fall. I wouldn't go less than 100K for a pool that size if you really want to heat it.

In most cases heat pump get more efficient as they get larger. In addition, they have to run far less than a smaller one resulting in longer life (and a happier wife:))
Wow, 144K BTU for a 7K gallon pool? That's does seem oversized, but as you say it does the job quickly. And when I priced the heatpumps (Raypak), going down from 144K to say 100K only saved $300 to $400. So, may as well get the biggest. I have a 144K BTU for my 33K gallon pool, and here I thought a 10F rise in temp in 24 hours was pretty good! ;)
 

Ed Powers

Member
Mar 14, 2021
10
St Paul, MN
I purchased and installed a Fibropool FH120 heat pump in May. Too early to give a full review, but early results have exceeded my expectations. FibroPool FH120 Above Ground Heat Pump

I have a 18' round Intex XTR ~8000 gallons that is in the sun maybe 40% of the day (60% shaded) in St Paul, MN

Looks like it is out of stock right now, but they also have larger heaters running at 220 volts. The FH120 is expensive for only a 20k BTU heater, but it is the only one I have encountered that runs on a standard 120 volt extension cord. Fibropool (and everybody else) recommends the larger 50k BTU 220v model for my size pool but I really didn't want to bother running a 220 volt line out to the pool. I only had a couple of weeks to evaluate in May because June has been consistently hot weather and no need for the heater.

I didn't get around to connecting my energy monitor to the heater until too late, but here is the early data that I compiled ...

DateMorning Pool tempAverage Daily Tempavg dewSolar cover%rain?
17-May​
65​
67​
48​
0​
18-May​
71​
64​
55​
100​
19-May​
75​
67​
64​
90​
1/2 inch
20-May​
78​
68​
65​
90​
1 inch
21-May​
80​
70​
65​
90​
1/2
22-May​
84​
75​
65​
Night
23-May​
86​
71​
64​
Night

It required 5 days to get to 80 degrees, but as the chart shows ... that was with cold avg. temps and 2 inches of really cold rain.
 
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coolviper777

Member
Jul 2, 2020
18
Pittsburgh, PA
Pool Size
33000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I purchased and installed a Fibropool FH120 heat pump in May. Too early to give a full review, but early results have exceeded my expectations. FibroPool FH120 Above Ground Heat Pump

I have a 18' round Intex XTR ~8000 gallons that is in the sun maybe 40% of the day (60% shaded) in St Paul, MN

Looks like it is out of stock right now, but they also have larger heaters running at 220 volts. The FH120 is expensive for only a 20k BTU heater, but it is the only one I have encountered that runs on a standard 120 volt extension cord. Fibropool (and everybody else) recommends the larger 50k BTU 220v model for my size pool but I really didn't want to bother running a 220 volt line out to the pool. I only had a couple of weeks to evaluate in May because June has been consistently hot weather and no need for the heater.

I didn't get around to connecting my energy monitor to the heater until too late, but here is the early data that I compiled ...

DateMorning Pool tempAverage Daily Tempavg dewSolar cover%rain?
17-May​
65​
67​
48​
0​
18-May​
71​
64​
55​
100​
19-May​
75​
67​
64​
90​
1/2 inch
20-May​
78​
68​
65​
90​
1 inch
21-May​
80​
70​
65​
90​
1/2
22-May​
84​
75​
65​
Night
23-May​
86​
71​
64​
Night

It required 5 days to get to 80 degrees, but as the chart shows ... that was with cold avg. temps and 2 inches of really cold rain.
As they say, if it works, don't knock it. And I get it, running a 240V line isn't the most fun. I had to do it for my HeatPump, four #6 AWG TTHN wires, not to mention trenching and flex tite conduit and a sub panel, but for my size pool, I had no choice.

For the summer months, you should be fine with that HP. It may take a bit longer to heat it up at the beginning of the season, as you discovered, but it works. And after the intial heat up, as long as you have it maintain a given temp, then you should have no worries. Plus the heat gain on a 8K gallon pool from the sun is significantly more than for a larger one.

You will probably want to run your HP during the day to get the most heat from the warmer air during the beginning and ending season. And if it starts dipping below 50F at night, it may make sense to not run it at all during the evening. As you can figure about a 1/3 drop in BTU's once you reach 50F, so your 20K BTU will be at most 13K btu. Plus it may start freezing up the coils, which would make it run defrost cycles also.
 
Last edited:

Rand K

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2014
47
Perkiomenville, PA
Pool Size
8000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I have an Aquacomfort 750 heat pump for my 18', 8000 gal AG pool in SE PA. I keep the pool at 90 degrees as far into Sept and Oct as possible, use a bubble cover when not in use and this is the 8th season for the heater with no problems at all... knock on wood. The only maintenance I do to the heater is, after the worst of the pollen, I spray Simple Green on the coils and rinse them with a hose.
 
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Elron

Member
Apr 3, 2021
9
Ohio
Pool Size
7500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
I purchased and installed a Fibropool FH120 heat pump in May. Too early to give a full review, but early results have exceeded my expectations. FibroPool FH120 Above Ground Heat Pump

I have a 18' round Intex XTR ~8000 gallons that is in the sun maybe 40% of the day (60% shaded) in St Paul, MN

Looks like it is out of stock right now, but they also have larger heaters running at 220 volts. The FH120 is expensive for only a 20k BTU heater, but it is the only one I have encountered that runs on a standard 120 volt extension cord. Fibropool (and everybody else) recommends the larger 50k BTU 220v model for my size pool but I really didn't want to bother running a 220 volt line out to the pool. I only had a couple of weeks to evaluate in May because June has been consistently hot weather and no need for the heater.

I didn't get around to connecting my energy monitor to the heater until too late, but here is the early data that I compiled ...

DateMorning Pool tempAverage Daily Tempavg dewSolar cover%rain?
17-May​
65​
67​
48​
0​
18-May​
71​
64​
55​
100​
19-May​
75​
67​
64​
90​
1/2 inch
20-May​
78​
68​
65​
90​
1 inch
21-May​
80​
70​
65​
90​
1/2
22-May​
84​
75​
65​
Night
23-May​
86​
71​
64​
Night

It required 5 days to get to 80 degrees, but as the chart shows ... that was with cold avg. temps and 2 inches of really cold rain.
Sound like yours is running much better than mine. It's a Coleman 18' round at about 7000 gal. In daily temps like that I'm lucky to get to 80. I've noticed the output temp is never more than 1 degree above the input temp, starting to wonder if it's running properly. Haven't used any cover though so that's not helping my situation. It came with a cover and we put it on once. What a PITA.