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.
How Many Btu Do I Need To Heat My Inground Pool
|Up To 25,000 Gallons 18 x 36||110,000 BTU|
Step 2: Divide your Surface Area by 3 Therefore, the minimum size heater that is recommended for a 15 x 30 pool is 150,000 BTUs. Keep in mind, this is simply the recommended minimum size.
Subsequently, question is, what is the best pool heater for inground pools? Top 10 Best Pool Heaters:
People also ask, how many BTUs do I need for my inground pool?
In-ground pools and spa general run from 100K to 400K BTU. For an average 15 x 30pool , a 300K BTU heater would raise your pool temperature 2 degrees per hour a 400K BTU heater, 2.7 degrees per hour.
How many BTUs do I need?
Size and Ceiling Height
What Size Of Pool Heater Do I Need
If youve decided to apply a heating system to your pool, the first thing you need to do is conduct a thermal audit to effectively size up your pool. A thermal audit will determine:
Power required to heat your pool
Appropriate equipment for your pool
Temperature increase times
Both the shape and size of your pool or spa affect the time it takes to heat up and the amount of energy required to heat it. However, there are a number of other factors that need to be considered.
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Other Important Electrical Requirements That You Should Know
Though your pump is definitely the biggest part of most pool-related electrical bills, its not the only issue to take into account. These issues below can also eat up your electrical breaker usage:
- A pool heater can require as much as 50 amps and 240 Volts of power. This is also normal for hot tubs.
- A saltwater chlorinator can take as much as 240 Volts and 6 amperes of power. Its a downside of a chlorinated pool, amirite?
- Pool lights generally are between 12 to 24 Volts to install. The more lights you have, the higher the wattage will be.
Can I Get A Bigger Pump For My Pool
It isn’t recommended that you use a bigger pool pump unless the pool already has an undersized pump installed, as the filter will not operate properly. Most residential pools will require a 1/2 to 1 horsepower pump. Though, the pool pump size must match the pool’s plumbing size and the pool filter’s flow rate.
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Is It Ok To Leave My Pool Pump Running 24
This is one of the oldest debates among swimming pool professionals such as myself. I am a big fan of running a swimming pool pump 24-hours a day during the swim season.
You then get continuous filtering and chemical distribution of the pool water. It also does not hurt a pool pump because they are designed to be run for long periods and they are very energy efficient when operating.
Detractors always point out that pool pumps dont need to be run 24-hours a day to keep pool water clear, the heat buildup in the motor takes away from a pool pumps useful life, and a pool owner will waste electricity and pay more for their energy bill.
Perhaps a better question is if its necessary to run your pump continuously? The answer to this is no. You just have to run your pump long enough to circulate all of the water in your swimming pool 2X a day.
For example if your pump is rated at 30 gallons per minute and you have a 10,000-gallon swimming pool, it takes 5 ½ hours to circulate all of the water in your pool once. So, you will need to run your pump for at least 11 hours a day.
How To Measure The Minimum Flow Rate
You might already know a thing or two about turnover time, which is essential information to determine how long to run your pool pump every day.
In case youre new here, just know that the sweet spot should typically be around eight to ten hours. If you have a heavily-used pool, youll want to reduce that turnover ratebut thats a rare exception.
To determine your minimum flow rate, all you need to understand is your pool sizethat is, the number of gallons in your pooland your desired turnover rate in hours.
Not sure how many gallons of water your pool contains? Its simple geometry anyone can do. You just have to multiply the length, width, and depth of your pool in feet, and then multiply that figure by 7.5 to convert the number to gallons. Prefer formulas? Follow the one below:
x x x 7.5 =
Now that you have your pool size and the turnover rate, find your values in the chart below to determine your minimum flow rate. Relaxno algebra needed for this step.
If you think better in graphs, you can also follow the one below.
Our above-ground recommendation? This Copper Force Above Ground Pool Pump runs at the coolest operation on the market, meaning its built to lastand has a lifetime warranty available, so you dont have to take our word for it.
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How Do Swimming Pool Water Pumps Workhow Do Swimming Pool Water Pumps Work
Swimming pool water pumps are a vital part of the way in which a commercial swimming or spa pool works. Often referred to as a swimming pool circulation pump, it is responsible for circulating the water around the system to efficiently filter the water, ensure that the chlorine is evenly dispersed and that the water is not left stagnant.
Other Factors That You Need To Consider
In this article, we have highlighted the most fundamental factors that you have to consider. However, below are additional factors that will be instrumental when finding the right size sand filter and above ground pool pump.
The GPM of your pool pump will be lower depending on the location distance from your pool. Note that the GPM might also be a bit restricted depending on the pipe construction.
You will need a bigger pump if you have extra water features such as spas, fountains, and waterfalls. Understand that your pump will have to serve the additional water features as well as your above ground pool.
Always ensure that the pool pump size matches the filter size. However, you can always use a larger filter but never a smaller filter. Notice that large filters will reduce the workload for your pool pump. You will, therefore, enjoy long-lasting services from the pool pump.
Never go for the highest HO or GRM that you come across in the market. Notice that you will end up with inefficiency when you get a pump that is bigger than what you need. Notice that the pressure and movement of water in your pool need to match for efficient performance.
Always go for larger pipes when designing your above ground pool. Note that large pipes will increase the flow rate. What this means is that you will get more gallons per hour without having to increase the pump horsepower. Notice that you will also save a lot of energy and enjoy reduced bills. There is never any harm with going green.
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Which Pool Pump Brand Is Best
Choosing the best pool pump remains a big problem for new pool owners. One of the most important things is the brand. Start by looking at the top brands from trusted manufacturers who have been in the industry for several years and have different models and sizes of pumps to choose from.
I recommend Intex Pool Pump Company, which has been around for a number of years and designs pool pumps that are efficient, durable, and serve for years without any major default. They manufacture a variety of pumps for all pool sizes and types, whether saltwater, chlorine-based, in-ground, or above-ground.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Sizing The Pump For Your Swimming Pool
You might think bigger is better in terms of pump size, but a pump that is too big can cause serious problems.
The first step in sizing your pool is to know the volume of water in your pool, which is the average depth:
Calculation – Example
Measure the shallow end depth. – 4 feet
Measure the deep end depth. – 12 feet
Add them together. – 16 feet
Divide by two. – 16 ÷ 2 = 8 feet
In the example above, the pool’s average depth is 8 feet.
Now use the formulas below to determine the volume of water in your pool.
- Circular Pools: Diameter x Diameter x Average Depth x 5.9 = Total pool capacity in gallons
- Oval Pools: Length x Width x Average Depth x 6.7 = Total pool capacity in gallons
- Rectangular Pools: Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Total pool capacity in gallons
Once you know the volume of water in your pool, youre ready to calculate the flow rate and turnover required to circulate the water in the number of hours you want.
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How Long Should You Run Your Pool Pump Each Day
You might think that the hours per day your pump runs is a number everyone should know and is the same, unfortunately for Intex pool owners, it is not. Standards for Above Ground pools are very new and each location is different. The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals have developed standards American National Standard for Above ground/On ground Residential Swimming Pools which states the following
11.1.2 Turnover. The equipment shall be sized to provide turnover of the pool water at least once every 12 hours. The system shall be designed to give the proper turnover rate based on the manufacturers specified maximum flow rate of the filter, in clean media condition of the filter.
Simply stated, your goal should be to have all of your pool water go through the pump and filter twice a day or once every 12 hours. 12 is a standard, a good starting point to calculate how many hours you need to run the pump.
Installing A Pool Heat Pump
Theres not much difference in installation methods among our pool heat pumps. There are some size considerations, so if you have a smaller space, look to the product dimensions in the brochure or the owners manual .
All heat pumps will need to be installed on a level platform or slab. You cut the pipe after the filter and any chlorinator, then connect the pool plumbing in and out of the heat pump. Heat pumps require a 30-60 amp breaker, depending on their BTU output size.
Your heat pump installation may require bringing more power to the equipment pad, or if youre lucky, you have enough room left to add the required breaker size to the panel. To be safe, use a qualified electrician to perform the electrical hook-up on your new heat pump.
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Calculate Flow Rate And Turnover
Flow rate is the number of gallons the pump moves per minute, and turnover is the minimum about of time to circulate all water through the filter.
Use this formula to determine your turnover rate:
Pool Volume in Gallons ÷ Turnover Rate in Minutes = Flow Rate
Example: If you have a 25,000-gallon pool, and you want the water to turn over once every eight hours:
25,000 ÷ 480 = 52 GPM
Your 25,000-gallon pool needs an output of 52 gallons per minute to circulate the water once every eight hours.
Choose An Ideal Flow Rating For Your New Pump
After you have calculated the MINIMUM FLOW RATING required to meet the turnover requirements of the pool, and after you have calculated the MAXIMUM FLOW RATING based on the limitations of the filter and piping, you are ready to select the proper size pump.
Draw a simple chart like the one below. Mark the MINIMUM FLOW RATING and the MAXIMUM FLOW RATING. The space between the minimum and maximum flow rate is the ideal range.
If you have a pool with no attached spa, you can choose a pump on the lower side of the ideal range. It will be sufficient to properly filter the pool without wasting energy in the process. In that case, we would look for a pump in the 50 – 60 GPM range.
If you have a pool/spa combination, you need to consider the flow requirements of the spa jets. This will often push you towards a pump on the higher end of the acceptable scale. In that case, we would look for a pump in the 75 GPM range.
If you have a pool/spa combination, you might want to consider a 2 speed pump. It can run on low speed while it filters the pool, and then switch to high speed when using the spa.
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What Are The Key Components Of A Swimming Pool Pump
In terms of a basic swimming pool pump, there are five key components that you should be aware of. These are:
- Water Inlet
Water InletThis is the area in which the pool water enters the pump. The diameter of the water inlet will be one factor that dictates the maximum flow rate of your pump.
Water OutletThis is the area in which the pool water exits the pump. Again, the diameter of the water outlet will be one factor that dictates the maximum flow rate of your pump.
FilterThe filter is a major component of a high quality pool pump that collects debris before it exits the pool pump and re-enters the pool water. Built from a high quality, erosion resistant plastic, pool pump filters can also be known as sand filters or strainer baskets.
ImpellerProbably the most important component of a pool pump, the impeller is a spinning component that propels the water out of the pump .
It works by pulling the water into the impeller face and then expelling the water back out to the pool through its slotted side.
MotorPriming the pump for motion, the motor is the force behind the pump which turns the impeller, sucks the water into the pump and then back out of the pump.
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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Considering Speed When Choosing A Pump
Pool pumps come with different options of pumping speed- low, medium, and high- which are all necessary when you need to regulate the pumping speed depending on the status of the swimming pool to save on power consumption. Remember:
- The faster a pool pump, the less power will be used.
- The slower a pool pump runs, the more the power will be used.
- They come in single, dual, or variable speeds.
Tips For Your Intex Pool Pump Upgrade
Most of the products we mentioned can be used right away with your Intex pool pumps hoses. So you just have to remove your old pool pump and put the brand new one in its place.
- Your pool pump must be installed on a solid level and vibration-free base. It should be protected from the weather, rain, and freezing temperatures.
- You should find a good location for your pump where there is adequate access, space, and lighting for routine maintenance.
- Your pump motor requires a free circulation of air for cooling.
- Never put pool chemicals directly into the filter pump. This may damage the pump and void the warranty.
- Replace your filter cartridges when theres already too much debris on it.
- For pumps with sand filters, you should get the No.20 silica sand for a better and more efficient filtration system.
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