Know Your Pool
Know Your Pool
Your Comprehensive Guide to Using and Enjoying your Swimming Pool
(This professional pool care advice and information is provided courtesy of Splash's Pools)
Get into the pool earlier in spring, by having welcoming, warm, water in your pool. The weather can be sunny, and the skies blue. Click the button, and read on ...
More than ever, pool buyers are choosing to add heating to their pools.
95% of all new pool owners make that choice, while there's strong demand to retrofit heating to existing pools. Here we explain four common approaches to heating your swimming pool or spa.
Using a Solar Cover
This is by far is the most inexpensive way to add warmth to your pool water. A 'Daisy' Solar Cover can warm your pool by as much as 8° above the outside temperature of the day. Covers also have the added benefit of preventing evaporation, and they keep debris out of the pool too.
Solar covers look a lot like bubble wrap - but they're very much thicker, more durable, and made of much tougher material that lasts for years. When the sun is shining, its infra-red warmth passes through the blanket, heating the water. The bubbles in the cover hold little pockets of air that work as insulators to keep the heat locked in the pool.
Solar covers are 'made-to-measure', so to order you need to know the measurements of your pool. The key measures are the length and the width, but you must be sure to include the measurement of any 'step out' areas.
A Solar Pool Cover can't heat a pool to a specified temperature, and can't heat a pool in winter, but it is a simple way of taking the chill out of the water on a summer's day.
Installing Roof-top Solar Heating
Roof-top solar heating is achieved by having a heat collector glued or strapped down on a north-facing roof. The collector is like a matting, and it is rolled out onto the roof. This "matting" is made up of hundreds of small tubes formed of TPR-PVC, and comes in sections that are usually 8 or 12 core.
Solar Pool Heating
All of the tubes in the matting are connected to a manifold (a pipe arrangement to connect lots of the smaller tubes), and then connected to your pool with a feed and return pipe, passing through the solar controller. Water is pumped from the pool into the collector where it is heated to the temperature you have preset using your solar controller. When the temperature of the water on your roof reaches the set temperature, the solar controller releases the hotter water into the pool. Solar heating needs consecutive hot days to heat a pool coming out of the winter months.
Solar heating can extend your swimming season by 6 - 8 weeks, but can't be used to heat your pool in winter, and is less effective on overcast days. Solar heating must be installed on a north facing roof, and the sun's rays cannot be shaded by trees or other vegetation. Solar heating matting can be destroyed by cockatoos.
Using an Electric Heat Pump
Inverter Heat Pump Pool Heater
Electric heat pumps provide a very good outcome in the quest for heating your swimming pool. Heat pumps do not generate heat, they transfer atmospheric heat into your pool, so they're environmentally friendly. They heat your pool to the temperature you set, so you're always in control, and they're quiet when running, so you can operate them without disturbing the neighbours.
A heat pump will keep working, even when the weather is quite cold. Heat pumps will continue to work in temperatures as low as 7°, and since they require no sunshine, your swimming season can be extended to almost the whole year.
Heat pumps work in the same way as a refrigerator or air conditioner.The environmentally-friendly refrigerant gas is pumped through a coiled pipe (or evaporator) through which outside air is being forced. The evaporator extracts latent heat from the air, and the (now) heated gas goes on through the titanium heat exchanger (or condenser). It's the heat exchanger that transfers the heat into the pool water
Power used by a heat pump doesn't create heat. It's used to compress and move the refrigerant gas through to the evaporator and condenser so as to collect heat from the air, and transfer it to your pool. On average, 1Kw of electricity will extract 6Kw of heat from the atmosphere, so for every kilowatt of power you pay for, you get six kilowatts of heat into your pool. That's economical. (Some heat pumps will also work in reverse, and can cool your pool too.)
Gas Heating For Your Pool
Gas heaters are designed for rapid heating - 'Heat on Demand', if you like. They can be used with both LPG and natural gas.
Gas Pool Heater Controller
Gas pool heaters use a micro-processor to control the temperature, combustion, and output. This controller keeps the water to within 1° of the set-point, and continually adjusts the combustion rate to match the heat loss of your pool. This maximises the efficiency of your pool heater in transferring the heat to your pool or spa.
In a gas pool heater, the combustion process uses a variable speed fan to premix the air and gas before entering the stainless steel burners. The result is a short sharp even flame distribution inside the combustion chamber, evenly spreading heat across the whole heat exchanger. This process keeps atmospheric emissions as low as possible.
These FAQs may help ...
I have installed solar electric panels on my roof. Can I have solar pool heating too?
Both solar electric panels and solar pool heating need a north-facing roof. There is usually not enough room for both. Since you are generating your own electricity, consider installing an electric heat pump.
I have an old solar installation that has now started to leak. Can it be repaired?
Whether it is repairable depends on the condition of the collector and manifold. In most cases a repair can be carried out.
When I turn on my solar pool heater, I have a lot of black muck squirting into the pool. What can I do to overcome this?
The old style matting used in solar heat collectors was made of rubber. This perishes from the inside, with particles of perished rubber being carried along by the water. This is commonly known as "tea-leafing".
Your old matting needs to be replaced by the TPR-PVC matting used today. It has a ten year warranty from the manufacturer, and because of its chemical composition, it cannot tea-leaf.
What size of heater does my pool need?
It is wise to contact your local pool retailer or pool shop. You need to talk with trained people, because you will need to answer a few questions, like:
What brand of heater is best for me?
To answer this, you need to consider:
Having a heated pool can be a wonderful experience, and one that is easily affordable. Keeping these pointers at the top of your mind when considering your pool heater, will make it an easy experience to have!
For further information regarding Winter Pool Maintenance, seek advice from your pool professional. We hope this information has been useful.