Adding heater to vacation home pool

loves2readNovember 15, 2012

We have bought vacation/second home south of Sarasota has pool in lanaii area but no spa...

it is not large pool--61/2 ft deep in middle and probably 30 x 15 or so--

not there and don't remember exact size...but it is on smaller size...

We won't spend the season here in winter but go back and forth for longer visits when my husband retires...right now we will be there for Thanksgiving week and two weeks at Christmas...

I am considering getting pool heater for Christmas present for my husband...

The guy who cleans our pool recommends a Summit 5 unit--electric...because cost is reasonable and it has a 5 yr warranty on most of the parts...

our neighborhood as no NG underground lines so if we had gas unit would have to be butane and that just seems cumberson...

Doesn't seem cost effective at this stage to have solar and they don't work when sky is overcast--which it can be for days at a time...

This house has a newer tile roof so don't know what type of solar panels would work best --- pool faces EAST and while it gets morning sun, it is in shade most of day--

great for hot days of summer when water is refreshing but lose benefit of any solar gain on its own...

I am not sure what type of pool filter system this has--but it is not salt water pool

Appreciate any suggestions as to mfg/size/points to consider...

My questions would be

1--is it better to buy larger unit that will heat quicker and run less even though it might be initially more expensive

2--do we have to be more concerned with stopping the unit for long periods and having it sit that more likely to cause equipment failure than one that is operated more frequently

3--our pool guy said that a thermal blanket with roll-up feature helps to retain heat from cycle to cycle when we would be using it---

Would the cost of purchase/installation be worth the savings in heating when used for short periods of time?

4--IF we get electric heater now and later after we start spending more time in home for extended periods, we might add solar panels---

would you use your electric heater on days when sky was overcast? So would you get electric heater even IF you installed solar initially?

We have never had pool before in any house--so have no background to draw from...

sorry if some of the questions are pretty elementary...

Appreciate any suggestions/insight

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The ambient outside air is where a heat pump will be drawing the heat for the pool from. They will typically draw, at start up, about 50 amps of current @ 240 volts. If you don't have this service available currently, a service upgrade by an electrician would be called for. This may be as simple as adding a sub panel or a more involved full and larger panel.

These units typically, on a day with 80 degree day with 80% humidity will be rated at about 125,000 BTUs/Hour and able to inject about 80% of the heat into the water. Lower air temps will reduce the efficiency. Higher temps will increase it some.

Water is heated differently from air in that it is harder to heat and releases it's heat more slowly. In order to keep the heat you spent money injecting into the water, a solar cover is strongly encouraged. These covers keep evaporation down. Heat in a pool is typically lost via this mechanism. The term "solar cover" really is a misnomer. Having a roller for the cover will help it last substantially longer than just pulling it off.

Heating the pool water goes by weight and not volume. One BTU will heat one pound of water one degree F. There are 8 pounds of water for each gallon. This is a constant. Using a heat pump is the most efficient method of warming the water when you power costs are taken in consideration. Bear in mind, a gas fired heater can be as much as 400,000 BTUs and that in California, where power can be a lot more expensive, gas may be a less expensive option. In Florida, power pricing makes heat pumps more cost effective.

Gas fired heaters use either natural gas or propane, not butane.

Roof top solar systems need a Southern exposure with low wind. The pool orientation is moot.

Clay tile is not, IMHO, a good surface to mount to. If and when the panels develop a leak, someone has to go up and plug the rib, placing the tiles at further risk. Add to it that wet tiles are significantly more slippery and the risks just aren't worth it.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:59AM
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Thanks for such a thorough reply
The pool guy got back to me and said the pool is about 15-18000 gallons

We will likely need to have some electric work done to create a circuit for the pump
but when I mentioned getting one to my husband he was not too excited...

The pool deck was "redone" by past owners and a bad job of stamped concrete has started to flake off and needs to be removed/replaced with something else...
so that is what we might choose to do first

personally I think the pool heater would have the most impact for the money but it will probably be shelved for now...

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:50AM
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