Which type of heater do you prefer?

doodle01June 30, 2011

We are contemplating adding a heater to our inground pool, and are debating between a heat pump (Aqua Heat LS) and propane (Raypak). We do not have gas/propane on our property, so that would have to be specifically set up for this purpose. From my research, it seems there is a significant difference in the operating costs between these 2 types of heaters (the propane being more costly). Which would you install and why?

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Aqualcal heat pumps

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 8:14PM
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I have the Pentair Propane heater and I LOVE it. I keep my pool at 87 and it was able to get it warmed up in no time after after the initial fill. I have a spa attached to my pool so I had to do propane heat for that so I had it run for the pool too. My neighbor has a heat pump and his exact words were "I usually only turn it on to the take the edge off if we are having guests". I want my guests to be able to jump right in and have no shock. I put this pool in to be used and by having comfy water I know it will get used more. I hope to be able to keep my pool open from April-Oct (I live in MD) and a propane heater is the only way I will be able to keep it warm enough to do so. Just my 2 cents. I am no pool expert BTW. I just know I won't use my 'investment' if it isn't warm enough.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:49PM
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When temps are above 70, running them vs. a gas fired heater is a no brainer. You will get more BTUs per energy dollar spent. This is the biggest attraction they have.

They do have thier share of cons though. They are slow. Most max out at about 125K BTUs in ideal conditions. Consider the size of your pool. If it's a 25,000 gallon pool, thats about 200,000 pounds of water. One BTU heats one pound of water one degree. That means on an 85 degree day, to get the pool to 85 from 80 will take almost 2 hours per degree increase, not including any heat lost due to evaporation. To keep that down, a solar cover is needed.

A 400K gas heater will do it in about 2-1/2 hours. A solar cover helps too but the size of the heater will overcome most evaporative losses.

If the evening temps drop into the 60s, you may have difficulty maintaining, let alone increasing the temp as the efficiency drops not just with the cooler air, but the greater difference in temperature with the water.

Heat pumps typically cost something over twice what a 400K gas fired heater costs. If your electrical panel can't accommodate the 60 amp, 240VAC load the heat pump needs, you would need to upgrade your electrical service and panel, not exactly an inexpensive proposition.

How much propane can buy for that difference in costs? Expect just under a gallon per 100K per hour of heating time. Are you willing to wait? Only you can determine that.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 7:58AM
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One word of advise as it relates to which brand heater to STAY AWAY FROM. DO NOT purchase a heater from Aquaheat, or what they call the Aquaheat LS model. We made the mistake of spending 4K on this heater and the first one stopped working after only one season. The service people came out approx 6 times to try and repair the first heater, with no luck. They finally replaced it with a reconditioned unit and that heater lasted one season when the fan motor failed. They have refused to repair or replace the second unit due to the fact that it was installed 14 months ago and the warranty on replacement units only runs 1 year. Needless to say I am not happy after spending four thousand dollars to get approx. 6 months of actual cumulative use out of two heaters. Once again, speaking from experience, stay away from Aquaheat LS. They are trash, and their customer service is a disgrace.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 6:42PM
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