Pool Heater Durability

by Dean Hunt
(Lexington, KY )

We have acidic water. Is there an inground pool heater that is more resistant to acid than others?

Thanks for the question Dean

The hot tub heater we have at the YMCA is a Hayward and they stand up for years. We had to replace the cast iron header due to age and the salt system wore a hole through it, but this was after about 10 years.

It depends on what the question means by "acidic". If it's 7.0, then there shouldn't be a problem. You can always add a little sodium bicarb or another kind of pH increaser to bring it up to 7.6 - 7.8ppm.

If the acid level is constantly at 6.0ppm or under, you may have an issue down the road no matter what kind of heater you get.

In my opinion the best quality heaters are either Pentair or Hayward heaters. You might want to contact them directly and see what they say.

It's probably a matter of corrosion. If you allow the water to stay at a very acidic level it may void any warranties they put on the heater.

If you have well water you'll want to test it for heavy metals such as copper and iron. Use a metal reducer or chelator. A chelator attaches to a metal ion like copper or iron and wraps around it.

Also test it for calcium hardness. That will clog up a heater very quickly.

If you find it difficult to keep the pH level up you can look into a water delivery service and use your water to top the pool off when needed.

Hope this helps and good luck


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Pool Heaters

by Barry Veillette

I've got a 16 x 32 swimming area above ground pool. I just had cervical neck surgery (as a result from Vietnam war injury) and going through water therapy because my muscles are so far gone..it could be months if not years before I'm better.

My question is..

I live in Connecticut and I'd like to heat my pool as early as the first of May to 85-90 so I'll be able to do water therapy at home.

What do you suggest and what would be the price?

Thank you


Semper Fi

Thanks for the question Barry

You could go with a solar heater in Connecticut, but I think that might be stretching it. I'm not sure how much sun or how hot it gets.

For the best value I would recommend a gas heater. Electric seems to be a bit on the high side, especially if you have cooler nights. This means the heater will have to work harder to bring the temperature up and might cause the electric bill to go up as well.

I've had alot of good experience with Ray Pak and Hayward heaters. The seem to hold up pretty well and won't break the bank.

For your size pool most would tell you a 250,000BTU heater would be sufficient. I'm one that would error on the side of caution and go a bit higher. This way the heater wouldn't need to work as often. You'll have a little cushion instead of having to red-line it.

The BTU output will fluctuate with the outside air temperature and humidity levels.

You'll also need to take into consideration the COP. COP is the: coefficient of performance of a heat pump. It's a measured ratio of kilowatt usage compared to the kilowatt output.

The greatest value a heat pump provides a pool owner is to deliver a warm pool or hot spa at the lowest possible cost of operation.

For a quality gas heater you're looking in the ballpark of $1700 - $2100.

You can go to this link for much more information:

Electric Pool Heater..Inground..Above Ground..Heating Systems..

Hope this helps good luck with the pool


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Thanks for the question Rob

I've always found that taking into consideration the need to conserve energy, any unnecessary pool heating should be avoided.

There are ways to conserve heat in a pool. One of the best and most economical is to use a solar blanket.

A pool that isn't covered can lose 4 - 5 degrees overnight. With a solar cover, you can reduce that heat loss by 50% or more.

The temperature of the pool really depends on your personal preference.

78 - 82 degrees is the mark that most people like to swim in.

I would get a solar cover and use that at night. Then turn on the heater a few hours before you want to go swimming.

Keep the cover on to retain the heat generated from the heater to help the pool warm up faster.

Hopefully you got a slightly larger heater for your pool. It's always best to go a bit bigger and dial it down than to have a smaller heater that's always on.

Turn the heater off when not in use.


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Copper Problem Test OVER 3.5ppm

by Cindy Edwards
(Pottsville, PA)

In ground fiber glass pool size 11' x 22' x4 1/2' deep. Last year used a 100,000 btu propane heater until it stopped working. Replaced this year with a 200,000 btu propane. Opened pool 5/25/15. Turned heat on and turned all the way up x 2 days, forgot to turn off, pool was at 90 degrees. When I pulled cartridge out to clean was filled with gel like blue gunk. Tested water n was told have a ridiculous amt of copper. Prior to the heating, had chlorine tabs in the intake basket. PH was low so put in about 6 cups trying to bring it up. Alkalinity did not register. I was never concerned with that in the past.

Pool store gave me Tx plan to get rid of copper, a very long process. When it is back to normal I am now afraid to use my heater, of course I will not turn it all the way up but I am still afraid to use it. I feel I must now test the water for metals all the time and must get a kit. Do you think the heater caused my problem?? Hayward filter with cartridges. In the past 3 years never had a problem with a dirty pool or with metals or this gunk on my cartridges.

Thanks for the question Cindy. The pool heater may have caused the problem due to the copper coils and lower pH. this can precipitate metals in the water. You can test the water for metals or take a sample to your pool store for analysis. If you use well water as your pool water source you should absolutely test for metals. Even some city water can contain metals. This one is easy. Simply call them up and ask for the chemical readings, including metals. They will have this info.

The best thing is to be sure your pH is between 7.2 - 7.8. Without a visual it's hard to determine with a degree of certainty whether the heater is the main issue. Or it could be a combination of metals in the fill water and the heater coils. If your pool water tests positive for metals you'll need a metal sequestrant. Those that are based on HEDP (1-Hydroxyethylidene-1, 1- diphosphonic Acid), phosphonic acid and/or its derivatives are the most effective. Jakc's Magic is good. Start on Amazon and some WalMarts may carry them.


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