how much to heat a pool

A friend of mine is considering adding a gas heater to his outdoor pool. Without getting into too many parameters (size, location, usage etc) I just want a few price points to get an idea of the magnitude of the cost others are paying for energy (not the equipment).
To those who own heated pools: If you would, please estimate how much more your energy bill is per month to heat your pool and tell me what region you live in and if you heat it full time or periodically so I can get a feel for the cost.
I assume he will also add an insulated pool cover at the same time if it even gets done.
He is not a candidate for passive solar as he would like the option of heating it in the winter if he wants (mild SF bay area winter)
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Pesonally, I hate making electricty with natural gas. I think gas should be saved for gas stoves. (it's a lot easier to send gas through those pipes than it is to send coal or plutonium.)

Cool. Close to 20 (and maybe for a period when oil-fuled generation was down because of Katrina.)

If we use too much geothermal, won't the inside of the earth cool off and the shell crack? Or something bad? How much is too much?

No.
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NREL says 680 Btu/ft^2 of sun falls on the ground and 1050 falls on a south wall on a 48.7 F SF January day, so a pool with an R1 cover with 80% solar transmission would collect 544 Btu/ft^2 and lose 24h(T-48.7)/R1, which makes T = 71.4 F. A reflective north wall might raise this to 90. And there's this: http://www.pacificgunite.com/solar%20pool%20heating.htm
Nick
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wrote:

That answer appeals to the engineer in me. Clearly under optimal conditions Passive soalr is possible. Unfortunately weather is qute unreliable. A couple days of rain followed by some cloudy days would cool the pool significantly. I'll definately pass on the info
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December is the worst-case month. That was an average December day.

An 80 F pool 6' deep might cool to (48.7x2+80x70)/72 = 79.1 after 2" of rain. With a 6x62/R1 = 372 hour time constant, it would cool from 80 to 48.7 + (80-48.7)e^(-72/372) = 74.5 after 3 cloudy days.
Nick
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Put them wherever you want them. Most people use a standard height for resale value, but if you want to "personalize" your home, do whatever you want. I dont think it would be allowed to put a switch on the floor, and in wet locations (basements), there are limits according to the code. But in a room, you can pretty much place them any height on the wall.
The NEC is there to protect you from hazzards, but not from stupidity. If you are happy with a wall switch being 6 inches from the floor, do it. Your pets will be much happier when they can turn on the lights too...... Mark
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PipeDown writes:

Not affordible for a middle-class household. You'll pay $100s per swim.
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Hoo-Booooy! Another patented "Dick De La Mancha Doozy!"
Terry & Skipper, Clearlake Texas
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Are in-ground swimming pools insulated on the sides or bottom? I'll bet its expensive to warm a pool.
--
:)
JR

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Put a "greenhouse" over the pool. Make sure there is a way to vent it when temps get too high!
Terry & Skipper, Clearlake Texas
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How can you even try to estimate the cost when all types of gas prices raise buy the Hour. I think the right answer is if you have to ask it's to much
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The answer is a definite YES!, NO!, AND MAYBE!
Pool heat characteristics can be affected by a lot of things.
Surface area in relationship to depth. When you run the filter. Night time temperature. Wind. Air temperature. Amount of sunshine into the pool. Whether or not a blanket is put over the pool during night time or in windy conditions.
A pool can vary ten degrees a day considering a combination of these factors.
So, to answer your question re: cost ............. A LOT! Gas prices (whether propane or natural gas) is high. The heater would have to run a lot during the winter to maintain a constant temperature. It would have to be turned on hours in advance, depending on the heat gain rate of the pool.
As an example, my spa heats at 5 degrees an hour, and it is only 350 gallons. My pool holds 100 times that much water, so I can only guess how many degrees per hour it would heat up, or how many hours per degree, whichever is better.
Heating a pool is a losing deal. The heat will be lost to anything that is cooler than the water.
How much does your friend want to pay? The only way to really find out is to hook up the heater and go for it.
I use a solar heater, and that works great. It gives us a few extra months of warm water, and during the summer, we have to turn it down, or the water is not enjoyable to swim in. Don't discount solar, as it is free once it is installed. The cost offset will be substantial, as a solar heater will cost about $3k, and then after that there is no cost. If you burn $3k worth of gas, you got nothing to show for it.
I live in Las Vegas.
HTH
Steve
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You wrote: "If you would, please estimate how much more your energy bill is per month to heat your pool and tell me what region you live in and if you heat it full time or periodically so I can get a feel for the cost." _____________________________________ Re; Google yielded this DOE link that may help answer your question...
EERE Consumer's Guide: Estimating Swimming Pool Gas Heating Costs and Savings: www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic180
Dan Akers
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