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Gas Heaters - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How to I know what pool heater is right for my pool?
  2. What is a BTU? Why does it matter?
  3. What is BTUH?
  4. Calculating Pool BTU Requirement Example
  5. I have a salt water pool, does that matter?
  6. What is the difference between Milivolt of Electronic Ignition?
  7. How expensive is it to run a gas pool heater?
  8. Pool Heater Fuel Source: Natural Gas vs. Propane?
  9. Does Efficiency matter for swimming pool gas heaters?
  10. BTUH doesn’t really matter, it will still heat your pool, just slower!
  11. How long should a pool heater last me?
  12. Can I install a pool heater myself?
  13. I want my pool heater to heat the pool quicker - what should I do?
  14. I bought a pool heater, but it takes forever to heat - what is the problem?
  15. My gas technician told me that I can’t increase my pool heater size because of my gas line, is this true?
  1. How to I know what pool heater is right for my pool?

    There is no simple answer here; however rule of thumb that we have come up with is to calculate your pool volume, then multiply that number by 62.63. This will provide you with how many pounds of water your pool has, this will also be the BTUH rating that you are looking for in a heater. This rule of thumb is based on a desire (most commonly) to increase pool temperature at 1 degree Fahrenheit over a 24 hour time period. Back to Top
  2. What is a BTU? Why does it matter?

    BTU stands for British thermal unit. It measures the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of one pound of water (at maximum density) by one degree Fahrenheit over a 24 hour time period. Considering that we all have different pools, each pool will have a different heating requirement. BTUs are used to estimate the total heat requirement under your requested circumstances; mass of water you are heating, what will be the natural temperature of water vs. desired set temperature, etc. Back to Top
  3. What is BTUH?

    BTUH stands for British thermal unit per hour. This calculation is a function of your pools’ heating requirement. This is the ultimate figure based on which you should be selecting a heater. Back to Top
  4. Calculating Pool BTU Requirement Example

    Length = 36' Width =18', Average Depth = 6', Request that pool heater heat pool at 1 degree Fahrenheit per hour. Benchmark temperature in season 65 degrees, Desired Temperature = 85 degrees.
    a. Pool Volume = L * W * Average Depth
    36x18x6 = 3888 cubic ft
    b. Pool Water Weight in Pounds (Also BTU/H Requirement) = Volume * 62.63
    3888 x 62.63 = 243,505.44 Pounds of water
    243,505.44 BTUs per hour are required ton increase your pools temperature per our by 1 degree

    c. BTU per Hour Calculation
    243,505.44 / 24 Hours = 10,146.06 BTUH are required to heat 1 degree per hour
    d. Total BTUH Requirement = Degree Rise Per Hour * BTUH * Temperature rise
    Temperature Rise = Desired Temperature – Benchmark Temperature
    85 - 65 = 20 degrees
    Degree Rise Per hour = 1
    Therefore, 1 x 10,146.06 x 20 = 202,921.2 BTUH is required to heat your pool by 20 degrees over a 24 hour time period. Back to Top
  5. I have a salt water pool, does that matter?

    Yes it does. A pool that has salt content will be more corrosive. We recommend that when purchasing a pool heater for a salt water pool you get one with a Cuppro-Nickel Heat exchanger. It is more durable and should withstand the effects of salt corrosion over a longer period of time. Back to Top
  6. What is the difference between Milivolt of Electronic Ignition?

    Milivolt is a "manual" unit and Electric Spark (Also known as electronic ignition) as an "automatic" unit. A Millivolt unit will have two key differeneces: (1) The pilot light will need to be lit at the beginning of the season and (2) Heating is knob dependant, meaning that if you would like to call for more heat you will need to adjust a knob.
    Electronic Spark units still do not need a pilot to be lit, but rather are connected to an electric source and as such are able to light burners without the use of a stationary flame. In addition, on electronic ignition units, you have the ability to set temperature. The heater will then maintain this temperature by turning on the heater when a temperature increase is required. Back to Top
  7. How expensive is it to run a gas pool heater?

    This will depend on your local energy rates. We have found that a gas heater is cheaper to operate all factors considered (cost of energy, delivery, and additional equipment cost). It may be worthwhile mentioning that if you have a propane connection being used for utilities using a propane pool heater may be more cost effective. Keeping the following energy production efficiency in mind may help you decide on which heater to buy:
    Natural Gas: 1 Cu = 1,050 BTU
    Propane: 1Cu = 2,500 BTU
    1KW: 3,412 BTUH Back to Top
  8. Pool Heater Fuel Source: Natural Gas vs. Propane?

    After considering the costs, keep in mind that Natural gas is lighter than air meaning that if burner tray is flooded with gas but not ignited the gas will escape. This is not the case with propane. If there is a leak with a propane heater, it will remain at the bottom of the heater. Should the heater then be turned on with gas in the chamber, this may result in an explosion. Back to Top
  9. Does Efficiency matter for swimming pool gas heaters?

    Currently most Natural gas and Propane heaters have almost an identical efficiency ranging between approximately 80% and 86% efficiency. There are a few units which are 95% and 96% efficient; however they are almost triple the cost of a similar standard efficiency unit and are generally not used for residential applications. Back to Top
  10. BTUH doesn’t really matter, it will still heat your pool, just slower!

    Although there is truth to this statement, you need to consider heat maintenance and heat loss. Pool water temperature is affected by outdoor temperature and wind. Meaning that if you undersize your heater, your heater may be losing temperature as fast as it is gaining it. Consider that to maintain desired pool temperature you need 10BTUH per one square foot of pool surface.
    If you have an indoor pool, once you bring the pool to desired temperature you will require significantly less BTUs to maintain pool temperature as the household temperature typically tends to be higher than outdoors as well as the pool not being exposed to windy conditions. Selecting a pool heater for an indoor pool can theoretically be based on heat maintenance margin calculation of 10BTUH x Pool Volume x (Desired Temperature of Water – Indoor Air Temperature) Back to Top
  11. How long should a pool heater last me?

    This is a very common question. The answer really depends on how well you maintain your pool and how aggressively you use it. There should be no reason why a pool heater can’t last at least 15 years. To prolong your pool life, you should be doing the following: (1) Annually conducting a pool maintenance which includes a thorough cleaning; (2) Balancing your water chemistry weekly. If you don't have serious water issues and tend to problems as they arise, you should expect your heater to last at least 15 years. Back to Top
  12. Can I install a pool heater myself?

    NO! All gas heaters must be installed by certified gas technicians. Working with gas is dangerous and the heater must be connected and secured properly to ensure there's no leakage or other malfunctions. Failure to do so can result in a fire or explosion. Gas heaters that are not installed by certified professionals in accordance with the law are considered a serious hazard and can lead to a significant fine. Back to Top
  13. I want my pool heater to heat the pool quicker - what should I do?

    Firstly make sure that your pool heater has been serviced, this will eliminate issues which may be affecting the units efficiency. Secondly you may want to consider purchasing a solar pool cover. It will reduce evaporation and trap heat in the pool, this will thereby decrease the heat loss and decrease temperature rise required meaning that you pool heater will heat water more effectively. Back to Top
  14. I bought a pool heater, but it takes forever to heat - what is the problem?

    You may have undersized your pool heater or the heater could was installed incorrectly. Back to Top
  15. My gas technician told me that I can’t increase my pool heater size because of my gas line, is this true?

    This can be true. When your initial pool heater was installed its BTU was used to determine the gas line required to supply the unit. We have found that not many pool companies or gas companied oversize a gas supply line. Keep the following in mind: the more BTU is required the wider the gas line is required. Longer runs (distance from meter to the heater) also require a wider gas line. If your original gas line was sized exactly to your old heater's BTU rating, upgrading the heater may not be an option without directly upgrading the gas line, which may be quite costly. Back to Top

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