Speaking of Pool Heaters

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This is the first year I've been able to use my pool heater in the fall because I got a heater earlier this year (266k BTU Rakpak Nat Gas) capable of heating the pool in a reasonable amount of time. I plan to use it into December if the weather holds out.
The pool is an outdoor, in-ground, 10.5k gal pool. I'm in Central Tx.
I've been kicking the heater on about 5pm to go swimming about 8-9pm. I keep it anywhere between 83 - 87F.
Is it best to leave the heater on all the time or shut it down until I want to go swimming like I have been?
Jim
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Do you have either a solar cover or an automatic cover? If you don't have some way to hold the heat in, you are merely heating the couple feet above the pool surface for 27 hours a day.
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wrote:

I have the solar cover on until I have to clean the pool. So it's on about 80 to 90% of the time. It's a higher quality cover with a thermal coating too. Seems to work pretty well.
Jim
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And, those 27 hour days sure get expensive. My parents used to have a pool, and a pool heater. The pool got filled in, and the heater was given away. They found it raised the pool about one degree an hour. Hardly worth the effort, I think.
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Jim
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It's always best to turn the heater off...... as long as you turn it on soon enough to get it up to desired swimming temp.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

It's always best to turn the heater off...... as long as you turn it on soon enough to get it up to desired swimming temp.
cheers Bob
===
Thanks. That does make sense. What would be nice is if the heater had a self timer to activate the cycle for me.
In the winter months I plan to run the pump at night and keep the heater about 35 (F) in case of a freeze.
Jim
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Why? Close it down, put some antifreeze in the pipes and save both gas and electricity.
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koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
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wrote:

It's a pool spa and we use the spa all the time
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Just drain the pool about 1/3, and top it off with non toxic RV antifreeze.
Or, you could valve off the pool heater, and blow the water out with compressed air.
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There are timers with separately settable switches for the pump and heater. One is made by a Tork (Torx?) and I'm sure there are others.
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wrote:

There are timers with separately settable switches for the pump and heater. One is made by a Tork (Torx?) and I'm sure there are others.
== I have timers but the heater has a control panel that has to be manually shut off prior to the pool shut down or it will fry the control panel. It's a dumb design but I got the heater real cheap.
Anyway, without changing the heater's control panel, it can't be done.
Jim
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I don't see how a pool heater with any reasonable and safe design could have a control panel that gets ruined if the pool heater is not shut down via its own control panel prior to the pool pump being shut off. What happens if the breaker trips or power goes out in while the heater is on? Even if it has that limitation, are you saying you can't get a seperate timer for the pool heater and have it energized after the pump timer goes on and before it shuts off?
Definitely best to only fire it up long enough to heat it up before using it. You have a relatively large heater for a 10,000 galloon pool. The one here is 400K BTU for 48,000 gallons. The heater may be cheap, but I'd keep an eye on the gas meter. Even with that size pool, I think you'll be surprised how much heat in can use. Compare that 265K BTU to a typical home furnace and it's 3X the capacity. Using the cover will cut the heat loss substantially.
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On Tue, 2 Nov 2010 18:31:23 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Pool heaters are interlocked 3 ways. The A/C power to the heater control circuit is on the pool pump circuit (gas valve), there is a flow switch and you have an over temperature cut off. If any of these drop out the heater turns off. There is also a fireman's switch that acts as an emergency power off.
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wrote:

I don't see how a pool heater with any reasonable and safe design could have a control panel that gets ruined if the pool heater is not shut down via its own control panel prior to the pool pump being shut off. What happens if the breaker trips or power goes out in while the heater is on? Even if it has that limitation, are you saying you can't get a seperate timer for the pool heater and have it energized after the pump timer goes on and before it shuts off?
Definitely best to only fire it up long enough to heat it up before using it. You have a relatively large heater for a 10,000 galloon pool. The one here is 400K BTU for 48,000 gallons. The heater may be cheap, but I'd keep an eye on the gas meter. Even with that size pool, I think you'll be surprised how much heat in can use. Compare that 265K BTU to a typical home furnace and it's 3X the capacity. Using the cover will cut the heat loss substantially.
== The heater works pretty effeciently so far. I had a 30k BTU (?) before and it tooks days to heat the pool but it was really only intented for the spa.
The new heater has a story behind it. Like I said it's a Raypak: http://tinyurl.com/23jud2x
I got it, installed, like new, for $1000, with a replaced control panel. It was used, and the previous owner had returned it to the store because she had it on a timer that would just shut the heater off. The people who sold it to me said that was why her control panel fried. So I took my timer "off-switches" off and now I manually turn the pool off and on.
As far as keeping the pool running, we had a cold front move in and I've decided to stop heating the pool. It looks like November 1 is about the cut off date. Plans to keep it going to December are dropped but I'll continue to use the spa.
I think my house furnace BTUs are higher than the pools but I could be wrong. My gas bill goes up dramatically when the furnace kicks in. That reminds me I need to get my fireplace up and running.
Jim
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It's typical to have help in a pool store on par with, or maybe even less informed than what you find at HD. Find the installation manual for the heater and read it. I'll take bets that it doesn't say that if you don;t manually shut off the heater before you shut off the pool pump it's going to fry the heater controller. If it worked that way, they;d be out of business with warranty returns.
I agree competely with gfretw's reply. The pool heaters I've seen have had a flow sensor that turns off the heater when water flow stops and they also have an over temp cut-off. They are usually also wired so that they are on the same circuit as the pool pump and hence turn off when the pump stops.
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wrote:

It's typical to have help in a pool store on par with, or maybe even less informed than what you find at HD. Find the installation manual for the heater and read it. I'll take bets that it doesn't say that if you don;t manually shut off the heater before you shut off the pool pump it's going to fry the heater controller. If it worked that way, they;d be out of business with warranty returns.
I agree competely with gfretw's reply. The pool heaters I've seen have had a flow sensor that turns off the heater when water flow stops and they also have an over temp cut-off. They are usually also wired so that they are on the same circuit as the pool pump and hence turn off when the pump stops.
== Oh yeah and no doubt. The fact is, a pool heater that is heating should not be just "shut down". Those sensors are for problems like power interruptions and pump failures. I don't think the mfg of Raypak want their heaters to fry circuit boards on shut down but you should let your pool heater run for awhile anyway, after it's been heating, to let the pool water cool down the heater. I don't have a problem "going manual."
I just officially claimed pool season is over. I can turn the heater off and put my pump "off timers" back on. I'm thinking I'll cycle the pool for about 4 hours a day.
Jim
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The instructions for your pool heater will say you should be using a 2 stage timer that lets the pump run a few minutes after the heater goes off.
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wrote:

Of course you're right but the installer didn't say anything about it. I'll have to look into getting that done sometime in the future. There is a lot of new wiring that will need to be done. I think my pool was installed in 1983 and needs some updating as far as wiring goes.
As a side note: I tried to replace the pool light fixture but it was impossible to pull the light wiring through the conduit. Old pools can be money holes but I love mine anyway.
Jim
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No such instuctions for the Jandy here. As soon as the pump cuts off, the heater goes off. Nor does it have any capability of doing that even if I wanted to. The water flowing through it keeps the thing cool while it's fired up. The water leaving this 400K BTU heater is only 7 deg F warmer than it comes in. Any residual heat that results when the pump and heater shut off at the same time may warm the water a bit, but not anywhere near hot enough to be concerned about.

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