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Propane Heater On The Way Out? Heat Pump?


Justin00stang
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A year ago we purchased a house with pool, which is now 11 years old. The pool/spa combo has a 266k raypak gas heater on it. Previous owners did not use for past 3yrs due to trying to sell house, I got the system checked for leaks and the 250gal tank filled (whew 500 bucks).

The thermostat on the heater is broken so I have to jumper it, but so far my experience is that its junk...

Back in april/may I ran the heater for 3-4hrs, used 15% of my tank, and saw a 3-5* temp rise in a 10,000gal pool.

Today I was messing with it again and accurately measured the inlet and outlet temps, with 68-70* water going in I'm getting just over 80* water out, about a 12* rise. I have a 1hp pump. Is this normal?

I am having a solar system installed and have been talking about getting rid of the gas heater and putting in a heat pump, but everyone says gas is much better.

I really want the heat pump so I can swim in Dec and Feb, and to heat the spa secondary. I can leave a heat pump on for days, but would run out of gas in a day or two.

My two big questions, my gas heater seems to perform like junk, is that normal or is mine shot? I'm in the orlando/daytona area, should I consider replacing it with a heat pump if it is shot?

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A year ago we purchased a house with pool, which is now 11 years old. The pool/spa combo has a 266k raypak gas heater on it. Previous owners did not use for past 3yrs due to trying to sell house, I got the system checked for leaks and the 250gal tank filled (whew 500 bucks).

The thermostat on the heater is broken so I have to jumper it, but so far my experience is that its junk...

Back in april/may I ran the heater for 3-4hrs, used 15% of my tank, and saw a 3-5* temp rise in a 10,000gal pool.

Today I was messing with it again and accurately measured the inlet and outlet temps, with 68-70* water going in I'm getting just over 80* water out, about a 12* rise. I have a 1hp pump. Is this normal?

I am having a solar system installed and have been talking about getting rid of the gas heater and putting in a heat pump, but everyone says gas is much better.

I really want the heat pump so I can swim in Dec and Feb, and to heat the spa secondary. I can leave a heat pump on for days, but would run out of gas in a day or two.

My two big questions, my gas heater seems to perform like junk, is that normal or is mine shot? I'm in the orlando/daytona area, should I consider replacing it with a heat pump if it is shot?

Heat pumps are designed to be set and forget. If you want 80 degree water all the time a heat pump is the way to go. If the temp is at 80 and you want 90 the heat pump won't do it fast. A heat pump which is electric uses the outside air to heat the water. Any temp under 65 a heat pump loses efficentcy. If you get a few days of cool weather the heat pump will run but won't heat very much. If you decide to get a heat pump make sure its rating is 6 and has a auto defrost.

A gas heater can heat about a degree an hour. Your heater is old and should be replaced. The new heaters are much better and most are rated about 78-84 % efficent. The other nice thing with a gas heater is if your busy and don't use the pool it can recover faster than a heat pump. If there is a spa attacthed to the pool you will want a 300, 000 btu or larger for fast spa heat. I like Raypack the best, simple and quiet running. Hayward has a nice fan assisted one that works well. I personally would stay away from Jandy heaters. Always need repairs and parts are not cheap. Also it you bad a water chemistry or have bad supply water that is hard to balance get a heater with cupro nickel heat exchnger. That is a option for Raypack, but standard on Hyward

Make sure your solar system has a bypass install. Running solar at night can or will cool the water.

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Ground loop heat pumps can operate more efficiently in all weather conditions. For spa heat, you could add a desuperheater or an electric heater.

I think that you would do better having an HVAC company install the heat pump instead of a pool company.

I'm assuming that natural gas is not available?

The biggest problem with heat pumps is that they're slow. Gas is fast, but if you have to fill a propane tank frequently, it can be a pain, especially if your supply is not able to deliver to meet demand.

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  • 1 month later...

Check out Pentairs Eco Select line of equipment if you want to combine solar, heat pumps and automation. I have actually designed and installed these systems and the last thing you want is an assortment of equipment and contractors screwing with it. Pentair offers a 3 year warranty on their stuff and it is designed to work in harmony with one another.

You will have to automate or have a controller like the Sun Touch to manage the type of system you want. Being in Florida, a heat pump is a good idea compared to us in Ohio and Michigan. You will need a gas fired heater for your spa though because heat pumps are not obviously designed for on demand heat. Use a Pentair 400,000 btu heater for the spa and see the difference.

All the east coast guys love Hayward because it rules this side of the country. Pentair rules the West and in my opinion knows a heck of alot more about Eco pool equipment. Hayward and others just copy what Pentair does a year or two down the road with a knock-off version. Check their website to get more info.

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Pentair offers a 3 year warranty on their stuff and it is designed to work in harmony with one another.

Three years providing that you purchase three Pentair products, and two of them is/are a filter and a pump.

Thanks very much for adding to what Dreamscapes had to say.

I will just forget about the whole thing right now. What this guy was talking about sounded like a whole bunch of money that I don't have right now.

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