by Mark Garcia November 09, 2016
As a follow-up to my post last month on 3 Ways to Heat a Pool, today's blog is about 3 Gas Heater brands you'd take a look at when buying one for your pool. There's several brands of pool heater available, so let's throw the top 3 into the ring together. Raypak vs. Hayward vs. Jandy - a Cage Match, fight to the finish!
These gas heaters below all essentially work the same way, they ignite a gas burner tray on the bottom of the heater, and the flames heat up the air inside of the combustion chamber, or fire box. At the top of the combustion chamber, 6-9 copper or titanium finned tubes circulate the pool water, absorbing the heat from the flames beneath.
It's their unique differences that I'm interested in exploring today, what differentiates each brand in their form and function, or features and benefits? Let the Battle Begin!
Raypak pool heaters is the oldest continuous manufacturer of pool and spa heaters in the United States. Beginning in 1947, Raypak has been making water heaters and boilers for nearly 70 years.
Now part of the Rheem family, Raypak has been a leader in pool and spa heating, and is one of the few field specialists that didn't sell out to Hayward, Pentair or Zodiac, instead remaining fiercely independent.
Raypak heaters are known for their quality construction and easy serviceability. When I was coming up in the pool business, the Raypak RP2100 heater was known as the "serviceman's friend".
Raypak Digital pool heaters boast 83% thermal efficiency, among the best in class.
Hayward was started in 1925 by Irving Hayward as a steel manufacturing company. In 1964, the Davis brothers Robert & Oscar bought the company and began marketing an entirely new concept in pool equipment construction - plastics.
Before Hayward came along, nearly all pumps were bronze, filters were stainless steel and pipes were copper. In the new plastics age, polymer plastics were replacing metals.
Hayward became a major player in pool pumps, filters, cleaners, chlorinators, everything for the pool. Everything except for pool heaters, that is. In 1990, Hayward buys Comfortzone pool heaters, and a few years later launches the Totally Hayward campaign to remind pool builders that Hayward makes every piece of equipment they may need.
Hayward Universal H-Series pool heaters are the latest and greatest from Hayward. Standard with a cupro-nickel heat exchanger and an 83% efficiency rating. A new 500K BTU size is now available for larger pools.
Jandy also has a long history in the pool business. The name Jandy is a combination of the names of founder Andrew Pansini and his wife, Jan (Jan and Andy). Jandy is most well-known for ushering in the era of automatic pool cleaning in the early 50's, and of course for the ubiquitous Jandy Valves, used on so many pools.
Jandy never made pool heaters however. The Jandy company was purchased by Teledyne Laars and then later acquired by Zodiac, who decided to rebrand Laars heaters as Jandy heaters, to be able to offer a 'bundle brand' to pool builders, similar to the 'Totally Hayward' concept.
Teledyne Laars heaters are perhaps the most well-known and most installed pool heater brand. With very little competition until the mid-90's, they dominated pool heating for many decades.
Jandy LXi pool heaters are 82% efficient. The Jandy Hi-E2 heater is 95% efficient, but comes with a much higher price tag for the technology that makes it possible.
I know I promised you a cage match, a fight to the finish - but it turns out that all 3 of these heaters are good friends, and they refused to fight!
I'm a self-professed Raypak guy, and quickly recommend the Raypak Digital and Low Nox heaters for their performance and serviceability. If your pool has a salt chlorinator, you may want to look at the Hayward H-Series models with their cupro-nickel heat exchanger. If you have a Jandy Pool Controller, you may want to look at the Jandy LXi or JXi pool heaters. And, if you live in Texas or California, you'll need a Low N0x pool heater to meet air standards.
All 3 brands are solid, well built pool heaters from manufacturers that you know and trust, and they all have a 1 year (limited) warranty, so you can buy with peace of mind.
Thanks for Reading!