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running gas line or propane tank

Old 05-13-2013, 11:56 AM
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Default running gas line or propane tank

I want to install a pool heater, for some reason our pool stays very cold all year long even in July and August, I think it may be in contact with ground water under it since I live on the river.

Anyway, it seems electric is not the way to go, I can't do solar because of the rise, pool temps in the 60's to get it to say 75 or 80 is I believe to far for solar.

The pool pump is about 120' from the gas meter for the way you would have to go, and I would have to go under a side walk. Which I would think the whole run would be very costly?

Or should I just do a propane tank and call it a day?

What do you think?
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:03 PM
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You should take a few minutes to determine what the fuel cost and installation cost are for each. Natural gas where available can be considerably cheaper than propane.

If you can use HDPE yellow gas pipe in your area the installation cost might not be as expensive as you think and a small casing under the sidewalk should not be to difficult.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:04 PM
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Thanks bsmit, I need to check with the local gas authority, but does it have to be in a conduit?
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bellsisland View Post
Thanks bsmit, I need to check with the local gas authority, but does it have to be in a conduit?
Not sure if you are asking about then entire length or the portion below the sidewalk. It would depend on local codes but probably not on both accounts. They will probably require rigid/metal pipe above grade and something like HDPE below.

Do you have NG now? You might need to increase the size of the line to accommodate the pool heater and of course you could go larger to be able to add a gas grill, generator, crab boiler, etc if you ever plan to add these.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:10 PM
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I run electric, I have a 60,000 btu unit and maintain the pool at 85 year round, with this type of unit my efficieny is easily stated as 2 for one, for $1.00 of electricity I pay for I get $2.00 of heat.

Pumps/ Heat Pump run 6 hours a day, only adds 124.00 to my electric bill, I looked at Propane and was estimated that it would be 250-300/ month. No natural gas available.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:15 PM
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Mardi so it is $124 a month extra for the electric heater? Just wanted to make sure I understand the numbers.

Electric would be a no brainer, but I was thinking nat gas would be a lot cheaper each month

Also is your a heat pump style heater?
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mardi-Gras View Post

Pumps/ Heat Pump run 6 hours a day, only adds 124.00 to my electric bill, I looked at Propane and was estimated that it would be 250-300/ month. No natural gas available.
my total electric bill is never more than $100/mo
propane is about $3/gallon here, delivered...are you saying your pool heater would go thru 100 gallons of propane every month?

i'd live with a cold pool...
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:42 PM
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solar pool cover may help
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bellsisland View Post
Mardi so it is $124 a month extra for the electric heater? Just wanted to make sure I understand the numbers.

Electric would be a no brainer, but I was thinking nat gas would be a lot cheaper each month

Also is your a heat pump style heater?
Yes 124/month, went last month with the heater off and my bill was 123.00 cheaper, this includes or taxes and fees also, so real kilowatt cost is more like 79.00-89.00/month
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cgrand View Post
my total electric bill is never more than $100/mo
propane is about $3/gallon here, delivered...are you saying your pool heater would go thru 100 gallons of propane every month?

i'd live with a cold pool...

Thats a bargain on gas, my cost would have been $ 3.61/ gallon plus tank maint. fee and taxes. The 100K btu heater would have burned approx. 1.35 gph.

This burn rate was calcualted on running a mx of 2.25 hours/day.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:42 PM
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You can jet under a sidewalk (18" deep) with a water hose 3/4" pipe and a cap with holes drilled in it.

I just ran one for a grill and materials cost me 300.00 the risers are the expensive part.

On a pool heater you might need 1.5" though.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:56 PM
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Agree with previous comment about electric. Do a bit a research on heat pumps. You aren't using the electric to heat the water/pool. You are using electric to run a compress & fan which extracts the heat from the air to heat the water. I bet our electric bill goes up about $100 to $150/month for the summer pool (hard to say since pool when in when house was built, hard to break out A/C vs. pool pump vs. pool heat pump, etc).

The only drawback is that they only can pull heat out when the air is about 50deg or above. Below that and the shut down. If you want to heat your pool when it's below that, a fuel source would be needed.

FYI, a cover really helps. I read somewhere that about 1/3rd of the cost on heating a pool is from the cooling that comes from the water evaporation.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:27 PM
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Here's what I would do I would trench it out 3' deep run 3/4 pex tubing the entire way put 6" of dirt on top of tubing then pour 8" of concrete over it then backfill the rest with dirt it's the safest way for in the future of it not getting cut. If you have high pressure gas the service coming to the house is plenty big you may have to have the meter swapped out though most pool heaters start at150k BTU you would need a 250 class meter if you don't have 1 already
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:10 PM
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I run a bulk propane delivery truck here on the outer banks and we're in full pool heat mode now.

Currently I'm going through 2 trucks a day. My truck holds 3200 gallons. When we size pool heater houses, with the bigger pools set to 82 degrees, for delivery, we deliver once a week to either a 325 gallon or 500 gallon tank, and they usually take a half fill, 200 gallons per week. The best price you would get here is 2.24 a gallon.

Most of these pool heaters are sta-rite or hayward pool heaters, running all day and night long, 200K btu's.

I've given out 1200$ LP bills just to heat the swimming pool. I'd seriously think about solar or a pool cover before I went hog wild getting an lp tank delivered just for pool heat.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:05 AM
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Talk to your local gas utility about what you want to do, you'll probably need to have them upgrade your gas meter depending on the other load in the house. You want to run pe or hdpe pipe, it only needs to be 18" deep on private property (Fed Code), yes it's easy to jet the pipe under a sidewalk as previously described. Ask the utility if you can run elevated pressure to the pool heater, uprating to 2psi will greatly cut down on the size pipe required to run all the way to a pool heater. You can then install step down regulators at the house and the pool heater. Most pool heaters here are around 200,000 btu's, using elevated pressure you can drop the fuel line isze from 1 1/4" to 1/2 or 3/4" pipe. I would not run 1/2" but 3/4" would give you 949,000 btu's per hour capacity with a 1" pressure loss. Yes, I work for a NG utility.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by outerbanxer View Post
I run a bulk propane delivery truck here on the outer banks and we're in full pool heat mode now.

Currently I'm going through 2 trucks a day. My truck holds 3200 gallons. When we size pool heater houses, with the bigger pools set to 82 degrees, for delivery, we deliver once a week to either a 325 gallon or 500 gallon tank, and they usually take a half fill, 200 gallons per week. The best price you would get here is 2.24 a gallon.

Most of these pool heaters are sta-rite or hayward pool heaters, running all day and night long, 200K btu's.

I've given out 1200$ LP bills just to heat the swimming pool. I'd seriously think about solar or a pool cover before I went hog wild getting an lp tank delivered just for pool heat.

Or for $1,200 a week, consider an indoor pool... Hot damn, who actually enjoys swimming that much?!
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:06 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the responses, a lot to consider.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:51 AM
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Bells call up SCE&G and they will help you all they can.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bellsisland View Post
I want to install a pool heater, for some reason our pool stays very cold all year long even in July and August, I think it may be in contact with ground water under it since I live on the river.

Anyway, it seems electric is not the way to go, I can't do solar because of the rise, pool temps in the 60's to get it to say 75 or 80 is I believe to far for solar.

The pool pump is about 120' from the gas meter for the way you would have to go, and I would have to go under a side walk. Which I would think the whole run would be very costly?

Or should I just do a propane tank and call it a day?

What do you think?
I'd rethink this.
Electric heat sucks for a pool.
Propane is stupidly expensive.
Natural gas is a little cheaper, but still costs a lot to heat your pool.

A heat pump and a pool cover would be the most economical way to heat your pool.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:46 AM
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The cost of electric also depends on the size of the pool. My pool runs about $200/mo extra using a heat pump. Also the problem with electric is it takes longer to raise the pool temperature than gas. I also have a 100 gal propane take, in florida propane prices are not regulated and I pay about $6/ gallon. I think your best bet is natural gas, but as others said do the math. A lot of times the gas company will give you a break on the installation due to the consumption you will be using.
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