Pool Heat Pump Sizing: How To Size Your Heat Pump
- |February 24, 2021
Heating the water in a pool makes swimming more enjoyable for everyone.
But if youve decided to go electric, youll need to figure out how to get the correct pool heater pump sizing for your pool.
Important: This article is about sizing electric pool heat pumps, not gas pool heaters. If youre looking for the latter, please read our article on sizing a pool heater.
What Size Pump Should I Get For My Pool
If you’re looking to build a new pool or simply looking to replace a pool pump you may find yourself asking, “Is a larger horsepower pool pump always better?”
PRO TIP: No matter which type of pump you choose, youll want to make sure you properly select the correct pump and filter combination. The pump needs to be sized appropriately compared to the filters flow rate. Choosing a pump with a higher flow rate than the filter will put strain on both the pump and filter, reducing life and efficiency of each. This means that you would not want to choose a pump designed to be used with 2″ plumbing piece, and then use a filter designed to be used with 1 1/2″ plumbing piece. Proper pairing of these two units is essential for a pleasant pool experience.
If choosing a pump with a 1-1/2 inlet/outlet, you should choose a filter with a 1-1/2 inlet/outlet as well. However, a pump with a 1-1/2 inlet/outlet can work with a filter with a 2 inlet/outlet if needed to.
X You would not want to attempt to use a pump with 2 inlet/outlet with a filter that has a 1-1/2 inlet/outlet as they would not be sized correctly or efficient when used together.
You can also learn more about Single Speed and Variable Speed Pumps Here!
Why Is Pool Heat Pump Sizing Important
A heat pump works by drawing in warm air from the outside environment and injecting it into the pool water.
Measuring output in BTUs, it runs on electricity and therefore takes a longer time to heat your pool when compared to a gas heater.
Note: The British Thermal Unit is a unit of measurement that measures thermal energy. Electric heat pumps have BTU ratings in the range of 50,000 to 150,000. Calculating the amount of BTUs required will help you determine the size of the heater for your pool.Smaller inground pools and above ground pools can get away with using a 50,000 BTU heat pump, but if you have a large pool youll need something bigger. A small pump on a large pool means it will be very slow to heat and might not even reach the desired temperature youre aiming for.
Generally speaking, you should oversize the heat pump as much as possible. Youll never regret going too big, as doing so means warming the pool at a faster rate without running the heater as much.
With that being said, there are still some things you should consider when sourcing a heater for your pool, so lets talk about those.
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Sizes Of Residential Pool Filters
Filters are commonly sized by the square footage of surface area. It makes sense: The more square feet of filter media you have, the better the filter performance will be. But it gets tricky when you try to compare the three different types of pool filters to each other.
Thats because they all trap dirt and debris in different ways theyre like apples and oranges!
Dont let this confuse you, though. Within each filter type, there are typically four or five sizes.
Of these sizes, the smallest are suitable for aboveground pools, the mid-range ones can be used for small pools around 15,000 gallons, and the big filters work best for pools above 25,000 gallons.
To add to the confusion are the manufacturers listed turnover rates for their pool filters. These are usually listed on product information pages, and they show the maximum flow rates for the filters.
This snippet below, from our Hayward Star-Clear filter page, seems to suggest that a 25-square-foot filter can take care of a 12,000-gallon pool, and I can tell you that is not the case. Not even close.
For sand filters on in-ground pools, I like to use a 30-inch tank diameter, which has a 4.9 sq. ft. filter surface area and holds 600 pounds of sand. For small pools , I might advise the next size down if the budget is tight. But never go smaller than this for an in-ground pool.
Pool Calculator And Other Related Tools
If you’re thinking about constructing your own pool or pondpond in the backyard, you may want to calculate the amount of paint or tiles needed, and also the amount of pool salt and chlorine to be added.
The pool may also bring holidays to your mind – when laying on the beach or by the pool, don’t forget about putting sunscreen on! Make sure you know how long you can safely stay in the sun and which SPF factor to use – have a look at our amazing sunbathing calculator to find the answers.
If you associate the word pool with sports and fitness, you may want to check how many calories you’ll burn during a swim – give this calories burned calculator a go! Also, you may find the tools for assessing your speed or pace quite useful.
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What Other Items Would You Like To Fit On The Patio Or In The Yard
These items mean that youll want extra patio space to accommodate them and still have room to move. Dont think of your yard as Tetris by trying to fit the greatest number of items without any extra wiggle room.
This needs to be more like the old-school game Perfection. Fit everything properly with plenty of board space around it.
Size Really Does Matter
As with all pool heaters, if you go big, youre golden.
A smaller pool heater pump size wont necessarily be detrimental, but youll have to run it longer and may have problems keeping the pool warm.
Using the chart or calculation method above, you can figure out the minimum heat pump size your pool requires, and if you want, you can go bigger for faster heat times.
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How To Compute Volume Of A Round Or Circular Pool
To get the volume, you need to get the radius squared, multiply it by 3.14 then multiply the result by the average depth, then multiply it by 28.31 to get the volume in litres.
Radius squared is basically half of the diameter of your pool, multiplied by itself. So if you have a circular pool thats 10 feet wide. The diameter will be 10 feet, the radius is half of that, which is 5. Radius squared is 5×5, so this value will be 25.
The formula for this is Radius Squared x 3.14 x average depth x 28.31 = Volume in litres
You can do that, or you can take the diameter and the average depth, and plug it into our handy calculator.
For Calculator use:
Identify My Above Ground Pool
Identifying the make and model of an above ground pool can be frustrating when looking for replacement parts. That frustration will lead to the question How do I identify my above ground pool? Previously, pool owners would email us pictures and wed contact different manufacturers to help us ID the pool. In order to cut down on response time, we started to compile pictures of different models. Below is a list of some of the most common above ground pools weve identified over the years.
When scrolling through the pictures, dont just look at the design of the pool wall. The pool walls are interchangeable with several models. Look closely at the top caps, top rails, and uprights. This is the key to figuring out the make and model of an above ground pool.
If your above ground pool is not pictured below, email us at or post to our public forum and well identify your pool. Pictures of the outside pool wall, top cap, top rail, upright, and plates will be needed.
Without further ado, here is our evergrowing list of above ground pools.
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How To Measure The Size Of Your Pool And Why Its Good To Know
Whether youre dreaming about having a brand-new, pristine pool installed in your backyard or you already have your oasis in place, being able to measure the size of your pool is basic knowledge every pool owner needs to know. The size of your pool dictates the size and type of many different support systems vital to maintaining a sparkling, well-functioning pool, and how much it will cost to get a pool cleaning service.
In this post, well cover several aspects of pool measurements so youll always have the perfect set of dimensions to make sure your pools equipment and accessories are the right size for the job.
Determine The Maximum Flow Rate
The flow rate of any given pool system is limited by the equipment and the size of the piping. This determines the maximum rate of flow through the system.
Youll want to start by checking the pool system plumbing. Even if your pump can move 80 gallons per minute, that wont make much of a difference if the piping only allows 50 GPM through it. An oversized pump will actually damage the piping as it will strain against the piping.
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Calculating Your Swimming Pool Surface Area
Understanding the surface area of your swimming pool can be very helpful if youre hoping to learn more about evaporation rates, or thinking about purchasing a new swimming pool heater. You can easily calculate the surface area of you have measured the length and width of your pool:
Swimming Pool Length X Swimming Pool Width = Swimming Pool Surface Area
If you have a very unusually shaped swimming pool, this simple calculation may not give you an exact measurement of your pool surface area. You may need to divide your pool into separate sections to make the correct calculation
What Size Of Above Ground Pool Should I Get For My Family
By Leon Smith
So youve decided to buy you, family, an above ground pool. The next perplexing question you have to crack is what size above ground pool should I get?
A friend of mine asked me recently to help him select an above ground pool for his family, but like many people, we had some difficulty deciding on the size. I did a quick research on how to determine the size of an above ground pool and here is what I found.
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Determine The Minimum Flow Rate
Also referred to as the turnover time, this refers to the flow rate that must be maintained to circulate all the water in the pool through the filter within a certain number of hours. A home pool should have a turnover time of about eight to ten hours. If your pool is used heavily aim for a shorter turnover rate. Once youve determined a turnover rate, you can then calculate the precise needs of your pool using the following steps:
Determine the number of gallons your pool holds. There are plenty of pool gallon calculators you can use. For example, lets assume that you have 24000 gallons of water in your pool.
Determine the number of gallons that need to be pumped per hour to clean all your pools water in 8 hours. Divide the amount of water in your pool by eight. So, if your pool has 24000 gallons of water, the equation would look as follows:
24000 ÷ 8 = 3,000
Since pumps are categorized by the gallons, they move every minute, youll need to divide the number above by 60. Determining the gallons per minute:
24,000 gallons ÷ 8 = 3,000 ÷ 60 = 50 GPM
How Many Gallons Of Water Are In My Pool
In order to figure out the proper doses of chemicals for your pool, you need to determine how many gallons of water it holds. To do that, you need to use a ruler to measure your pool to find out these four different numbers Length, Width, Average depth and a multiplier that determines gallons.
So here are the formulas to figure out how much water is in your swimming pool:These formulas hold true for both Inground pools as well as above ground pools.
Rectangular, Square or Free Form Pools:
Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Total gallons
For example: 16 x 32 x 4.5 x 7.5 = 17,280 Gallons
Diameter x Diameter x Average Depth x 5.9 = Total gallons
For example: 18 x 18 x 4 x 5.9 = 7,646 Gallons
Length x Width x Average Depth x 5.9 = Total gallons
For example: 15 x 30 x 4 x 5.9 = 10,620 Gallons
How to determine the Average Depth of a Swimming Pool where the bottom slopes:
Below is a side-shot of the typical inground pool that has a shallow end , then a slope that leads into the deep end .
First measure the depth of D, the shallow end , and then measure the depth of C, the deep end . Then, add them together and divide by 2. This is the average depth of your pool.
For example, if your shallow end D is 3, and your deep end C is 8, this would be your formula for the Average Depth:
3 + 8 = 11
11 divided by 2 = 5.5.
Therefore, in this example, your average depth would be 5 1/2 feet.
Most Common Sizes Of Inground Rectangular Pools
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How To Size Pool Heaters Like A Pro
Solar heaters, electric pool heaters, gasoh my? As with most things when it comes to pools, youll have a choice of a variety of pool heaters and the size of the heater depends on the type you choose. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages but all rely on how quickly they can heat your pool as indicated by their British Thermal Unit rating.
A general rule is to have at least 50,000 BTUs per 10,000 gallons of water. So with a 30,000-gallon pool, youd want 150,000 BTUs.
What Shape Is Best For A Small Swimming Pool
Because every backyard is different, theres no black and white answer to what pool shape is best for a small yard. While some may dislike the fact that curvier kidney-shaped pools lose some water space, others love that this allows for more decking space for lounge chairs and patio furniture. Working with a design specialist to assess your property and demands will enable you to come to the right solution for your home. However, there are some fiberglass pool shapes and designs that easily lend to being used in a small backyard.
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Get Your Florida Pool Professionally Maintained
At JOMO Pool Service, our sole mission is to make sure your pool is operating at peak performance. We take the time to fully evaluate your existing system, take accurate measurements, and develop a plan of action to maintain a healthy and balanced system. Contact our team or call us at now to schedule an appointment.
Green & Energy Efficient:
There are ways to get the most gallons per minute from your pool pump with the least horse power motor. Increasing the PVC pipe size from 1-1/2″ to 2″ will increase any pumps GPM. Other options to make your pool pump more efficient are:
For more on Pumps, like the difference between single, two or variable speeds, try this article!
Additional resources for your pool buying journey:
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How To Measure Pool Size In Gallons
Calculating how much water your pool holds is vital for knowing what size maintenance systems are needed. There are several basic formulas our pool pros use to calculate how much water a pool can hold, depending on the shape of the pool.
For a rectangular-shaped pool, use the formula length x width x average depth x 7.48. Length times width provides surface area, and multiplying that by an average depth provides volume in cubic feet. With 7.48 gallons equaling 1 cubic foot, you use that as your multiplier to find out how many gallons of water your pool holds. For example, if you have a 15 x 30 pool, with an average depth of 5, your calculation would be 15 x 30 x 5 x 7.48 = 16,830 gallons of water.
If you have a circular-shaped pool, the equation starts with r 2. Consider a 4-deep pool with 10 diameter and a radius of 5. Your figure would look like 3.14 x 52 = 78.5 of surface area x 4 = 314 sq ft. x 7.48 = 2,349 gallons of water.
Oval pools follow the formula of length x width x average depth x 5.9. For a 15 x 30 pool with an average depth of 5, your equation would be – 15 x 30 x 5 x 5.9 = 13,275 gallons of water.
How To Choose The Right Size Of Filter For Your Pool
Choosing the right size pool filter for your pool is not always a simple task, but it is crucial to ensuring that your pool stays safe, clean, and open. The first step when picking the right sized pool filter is picking the right size pool pump.
Choose the Right Size Pump
Many people err on the side of caution and purchase a pump that is far bigger than what they need. This can be a costly mistake. Larger pumps are more expensive, and may increase your energy bill compared to an appropriately sized pump. Worse, a pump that is too large can overpower your filter system. A pump that is too small may lack the power needed to effectively pump and filter your pool. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria and algae.
Choose the Right Size of filter
Even if you have the right sized pump, if you choose a filter that is too small, the pump will generate too much pressure, causing the filtering material to break down and rendering the filter ineffective. The pressure build-up caused by small filters causes pressure to build up in your pump, and in some cases this has resulted in explosions, or serious damage to your pump.
The correct sized filter and pump should be able to fully cycle all of your pool water in about eight hours. This simple guide will show you how to find the right sized pump and filter for your pool.
Step 1: How Much Water Does Your Pool Hold?
Step 2: Turn Cubic Feet into Gallons
Step 3: Gallons Per Minute
Step 4: Feet of Head
Step 5: Choose Your Pump