Swimming Pool Blog


Aboveground Gas Pool Heaters

above ground pool heaters
by Rob Cox, May 19, 2017

Hayward AG pool heater for aboveground pool

Gas pool heaters have been around since the 70's, but only recently have major heater manufacturers begun to focus greater attention on above ground gas pool heaters.

Technological improvements in heater design and efficiency has produced smaller gas pool heaters, sized and priced for the above ground pool market.

If your aboveground pool is cold, or doesn't warm up until mid-July, an LPG or Natural Gas pool heater could be the answer. Here's 3 above ground pool heaters that fit the bill perfectly.

HAYWARD H-SERIES HEATER H-100

Hayward H-100 aboveground pool heater

The Hayward H-Series A/G features an electronic, direct spark ignition system and an energy-efficient FireTile® lined combustion chamber. Hayward H-100 above ground heaters provide 100,000 BTU input, with 81% thermal efficiency. An integral induced draft system makes this heater completely impervious to high winds and rain. A one-piece copper header/heat exchanger provides for leak-free performance. And a simple plug-in 120-volt electric cord is provided for simple installation, or can be wired 220V. Suitable for pools up to 14,000 gallons, and available in LPG or Natural Gas for $899.

 

 

 

PENTAIR MASTERTEMP 125

Pentair Mastertemp 125 aboveground pool heater

The Pentair MasterTemp 125 draws on the long lineage of the Purex Minimax heaters and features the first ever rotating, digital display offered in its class. The MasterTemp 125 heater provides valuable information conveniently and at the touch of a button. A lightweight, compact design makes the MasterTemp 125 natural gas heater easier to install, or relocate. Weighs only 80 lbs, and measures 32"x21"x23". Plug in the heater to any grounded outlet, or wire it with 230V. Suitable for pools up to 17,500 gallons and available in Natural gas or Propane gas models for $1099.

  

 

  

RAYPAK 156A

Raypak 156A aboveground pool heater Raypak 156A heaters feature a user-friendly microprocessor-controlled thermostat for temperature setting, self-diagnostic troubleshooting, a spark ignition system, easily accessible self-adjusting stainless steel burner tray, corrosion-resistant copper heat exchanger with polymer headers, and a built-in bypass valve that automatically adjusts the flow rate. Raypak PR156A 150K BTU Propane Gas Heater comes with a standard 3-prong power cord that operates on a 120V outlet but can be easily converted to 220V. Suitable for pools up to 21,000 gallons and available in LPG or Natural Gas for $1299.

 

  

 

INSTALLING AN ABOVE GROUND POOL GAS HEATER

  1. HEATER PLACEMENT: Gas pool heaters need to be mounted on a raised durable surface that is non-combustible. You can pour a concrete slab, or build up the ground with tamped gravel and place a large paver stone, level for mounting the heater. Gas heaters can not be installed indoors, or in any type of equipment shed, unless they are properly and professionally vented for safety.
  2. WIRING THE HEATER: Gas pool heaters need to have a power supply, to operate the digital display and electronic ignition and safety circuits. These heaters come with a 3-prong grounded plug so wiring is easy. If you don't have a plug, you can wire it directly into the pump switch or timer, or into a breaker panel.
  3. PLUMBING THE HEATER: Gas pool heaters are connected into the return line, after the filter, to cycle the pool water through the heat exchanger. You'll need a few PVC fittings and some PVC pipe, glue and primer, to make the connection. Cut the return pipe after the filter, and use 90 fittings to run water in and out of the heater.
  4. GASSING THE HEATER: This step is for the professionals, to make a gas connection from the natural gas meter, to the pool heater. Cost is proportional to how far of a distance it is from the meter to the heater. For propane heaters, your local propane company will come and set up a 120 gal. LPG tank, and make the connection to the heater, and test fire the unit, for which they usually have a small fee. The LPG truck comes around regularly to refill the tank, and they bill you monthly.

 


 

COST TO BUY A GAS HEATER FOR ABOVEGROUND POOLS - Aboveground pool heaters as shown above, a range of $900 to $1300 will cover all common sizes of aboveground pools. There are larger pool heaters, but the price quickly jumps to $2000 for the larger sized gas heaters.

COST TO INSTALL A GAS HEATER FOR ABOVEGROUND POOLS - Assuming that you do most of the work, and place, plumb and power the heater, the cost for the gas connection can vary from a few hundred dollars, to over $1000, if the heater is a good distance from the gas meter. Propane companies may not charge for tank set-up, or they charge a few hundred to deliver, install and connect to your heater.

COST TO OPERATE A GAS HEATER FOR ABOVEGROUND POOLS -  That depends, on how warm you keep the water, and how cold the air is - and whether or not you use a cover or solar blanket to reduce heat loss. For most aboveground pools, the average gas expense is around $100 per month, if you use a solar cover regularly. No solar cover, or during colder months in spring and fall, and the cost could be $200 per month, especially for larger aboveground pools.

 

- Rob