The Hayward Universal H Series is a series of pool and spa heaters ranging from 150K to 500K BTU/hr with versions for either natural gas or propane. The key benefit of these heaters is their energy efficiency and low NOx emission levels which comply with all current California and Texas air quality emission standards.
To purchase from the Hayward Universal H Series range at Pool Supply World – Click Here.
The Hayward Universal H-Series heaters feature an industry leading 83%-84% thermal efficiency and this plus the low NOx emissions make these heaters about as environmentally friendly as a gas heater can be (unless you pay considerably more). This energy efficiency is achieved through the use of an insulated fire tile combustion chamber which minimizes heat loss and maximizes the heat output for every BTU used.
These heaters also save energy through their industry leading hydraulic performance which reduces the time the pump needs to be running.
In addition to their environmental credentials the Hayward H Series heaters also have a number of other significant benefits (see Hayward H Series Brochure):
Heat Exchanger – “Finn Plate” heat exchanger specially designed for fast heating and longer life. In addition the use of cupro nickel provides exceptional corrosion resistance even with salt based chlorination systems.
Exclusive Silicon Nitride ignition system – provides dependable lighting and reliable operation.
Digital LED Control Panel – which makes it easy to see the water temperature and monitor heater performance.
Dual Voltage – Can be installed with a 110 or 220 volt electricity supply.
The Hayward Universal H Series heaters are easy to install thanks to their low profile, light weight and CPVC plumbing capability. In fact the electric, gas and water connections can be on either side and only front panel access is needed for servicing.
The Universal H-Series heater combines advanced technology with universal-fit, for easy installation. This together with the range of models available means that it is a good choice for just about any pool.
These heaters are widely available and get good user reviews. Our favorite supplier is Pool Supply World. They offer competitive prices, which include shipping, and feedback from their customers is very good.
Having decided that you want a heater for your swimming pool you then need to decide which type. The main types are gas, solar and electric (mainly heat pumps) but even within these there are a number of choices to be made.
Gas Powered Heaters
These are the most common type and they have the advantage of being able to provide heat faster than other options as they are more powerful. Units designed for above ground pools (such as the Pentair MasterTemp 125) typically supply around 100k BTU, on the other hand a heater designed for an in ground pool (such as the Jandy LXi) can provide up to about 400k BTU. This is particularly useful if you heat the pool intermittently and therefore need to raise the temperature quickly.
Gas pool heaters are available to use natural gas or propane. Clearly natural gas would be the best choice if it is supplied on site or LPG might be a good option if you already store it for home heating. If there is no existing supply of gas it may be best to look at some other form of pool heater.
Gas pool heaters also come in Electronic or Millivolt versions. Electronic versions are like a modern gas boiler and feature electronic spark ignition and micro processor control. Millivolt models use an older technology which uses a permanent pilot light and therefore is slightly less efficient. As well as being used as an ignition source the heat from the pilot light is used to produce a small voltage (where the name comes from) to power the controls. The former is the preferable option but it requires an electricity supply, if this is not possible a Millivolt heater is appropriate.
The major negative with gas heaters, especially those using LPG, is that they can be costly to operate.
You can buy direct electric heaters but these are expensive to run and so are usually only appropriate when heating small above-ground pools.
These days the electric heat pump is becoming an increasing popular choice (such as the Jandy JE Heat Pump). Heat Pumps work by transferring heat from the surrounding air into the pool water, rather than generating heat themselves. This means that in terms of energy used to heat output they can be several hundred per cent efficient. As a result they are cheaper to run than gas heaters and are more environmentally friendly. They are also expected to have a longer lifetime than gas heaters.
Heat pumps do have some disadvantages. They are not as powerful as gas heaters and are best run continuously, to maintain the pool temperature. In addition the air temperature should be at least forty-five degrees if they are to work efficiently.
Solar Pool Heaters
In these systems the pool water is pumped through solar collectors which are designed to trap solar energy. Although each location is different, a good rule of thumb is that the area of solar collectors should be the same as the pool area. Solar heating will probably be more expensive to purchase and install than other types but should have a longer lifetime and be less costly to operate. It is certainly the best option if you want to be environmentally friendly.
There are more things that you need to address with a solar system if it is to work satisfactorily. These include the local climate, finding the best location, heeding local building codes and making sure the system is safe. Solar systems are dependent on the local climate so the most important thing is to ensure that the system will heat the pool for the period you wish to use it.
Spa pools are mainly used for relaxation purposes and therefore it is common to have a heating system installed in them. Spa pool heaters not only provide a comfortable soothing experience that is perfect for unwinding after a long day, they also extend the season of the spa pool so that they can still be used during a cold weather.
The normal range to which a spa pool is heated is 97 to 102 degrees. This is considerably higher than the normal temperature of a swimming pool but spa pools are much smaller, typically not more than eight square feet and less than four feet deep. As a result the requirements for a heating system are less than those of a swimming pool.
There are four main types of spa pool heaters that are available today. These are:
Small gas heaters like the Hayward H100 or Pentair MasterTemp 125 which are designed for an above ground pool and/or spa. These are relatively cheap to buy and will be able to heat up a spa quickly. If you can use natural gas they are reasonably cost effective. Disadvantages are that they are not small and because of the need for ventilation and safety cannot be out of sight.
Direct Electric Heaters such as these made by Coates are small and effective. They can be installed out of sight and should offer trouble free operation for many years. However they cost more than a gas heater to buy and much more to run.
Lower capacity heat pumps like the Hayward HP50TA are another option. This model is designed specially for above ground pools and spas and has low running costs. You probably can’t hid it but there are less issues with installation than with a gas heater and it is the most environmentally friendly of these three options. The disadvantage is the purchase cost which is more than an electric heater and considerably more than a gas heater. Also a heat pump becomes less effective as the temperature goes down.
A solar heating system can also be considered. In the right location solar power is quite practical during the summer but is not much use on cold evenings at other times of year.
In the end it depends on how often you want to heat your spa. If it is only occasionally a gas heater is likely to be the best option but if it is used regularly it might be worth investing in a heat pump.
Installing above ground pools is clearly cheaper and less work when compared to in ground pools however it requires considerable commitment (usually your site turns out not to be as level as you thought). The good news is that there is a large range of pools available for sale in varying sizes shapes and depths. To see what you can buy CLICK HERE. Tips on installing your pool can be found HERE.
When it comes to heating your pool you have a number of models to choose from which are made specially for the purpose. These differ from in ground pool heaters as they are lower powered, and hence cheaper, as the volume of water to be heated is smaller.
When looking at above ground pool heaters there are a number of options. As the volume of water is relatively small it is possible to use an direct electric pool heater. These are cheaper than gas heaters and easier to install. However, they are not cheap to run as they use a significant amount of electricity which is more expensive than gas.
Gas heaters made for above ground pools (such as the Hayward H100) are lower powered than those for in-ground pools (such as the Raypak 2100). Since an above ground pool is usually relatively small you don’t use up that much energy as the heater only needs to maintain the temperature of a relatively small volume of water.
Another option when looking at above ground pool heaters is a solar pool heater. You can buy small cheap solar panels but it is generally agreed that the solar panels need to cover the same area as the surface of the pool to be heated. They also need to be sited at the right angle, facing south and in an unshaded position. Since most above ground swimming pools are not that big, you don’t need to have a very large space for the solar panels. However, proper solar pool heater systems can be expensive to buy and setup, do have running costs and of course depend on the weather – that’s why most people opt for gas or electric heaters.
Today a good energy efficient way to heat a pool is to use an electric heat pump (like the Hayward Heat Pump). Heat Pumps are very efficient because they don’t produce heat they just “pump” heat from the air into the water.
When using a pool heater you can greatly increase its efficiency, and reduce your costs, by using a pool cover when the pool is not being used. Pool covers insulate the pool and minimize evaporation so limiting heat loss. As a result the pool heater will not use as much energy to keep the pool temperature steady.
If you are looking at above ground pool heaters keep the above points in mind so that you can maximize your enjoyment of the pool whilst minimizing the cost. Click this link to see the above ground pool heaters reviewed on this site
Note: February 2016 – This range of heat pumps was discontinued over a year ago. However they are still available for sale from some retailers.
A Jandy EE-Ti Heat Pump gives you the flexibility of warming your pool in the many months before and after your normal swimming season. These Heat Pumps are amongst the most reliable and sturdy units out on the market today.
To purchase a Jandy Heat Pump from Pool Supply World Click Here.
We have to accept that nothing beats a gas heater for bringing your pool up to your preferred temperature quickly. However, you have to remember that it can be expensive. Gas heaters run on expensive gas lines, or are installed with an unpleasant propane storage tank. Heat Pumps run on electricity and emit zero pollutants. They do not actually generate heat, they work by extracting heat from the air and transferring it to the water. As a result, in terms of energy consumed to energy output, they can be well over 100% efficient, making them the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way of heating a pool.
Installing a Jandy EE-Ti (Air Energy) Heat Pump will save you money compared to a gas heater installation and will be cheaper, quieter and more efficient to run.
These heat pumps are designed to meet the exact needs of the pool owner, aficionado or professional alike. They provide a rich feature entry level heat pump, and the units provides sound and reliable performance at a very affordable cost.
Every model comes with a standard titanium heat exchanger (with lifetime warranty) which maximizes heat transfer, Air Defrost which allows the heat pump to operate at lower air temperatures and a Maintain Temperature feature which keeps water at a set point temperature automatically, 24 hours per day.
The control panel is detachable so can be moved to wherever is most convenient and addition units can be purchased so the heat pump can be controlled from multiple locations.
The Jandy EE-Ti heat pumps are available in four capacities ranging from the 80k BTU EE1500T thru to the 140k BTU EE3000T. There are 11 variations based on these 4 basic models offering use of a 3 phase electricity supply and/or a reverse function with Chiller/Hot Gas Defrost. The latter allows the unit to work in cold conditions (as low as 38 degrees) and also to work in reverse and chill the pool in summer.
Please also see our separate post on Pool Heat Pumps which looks at how they work and how their efficiency is measured.
All Jandy Heat Pumps feature a commercial grade compressor that will stand up to harsh outdoor locations for years. This is helped by the rugged polymer cabinet that will not rust or corrode wherever it is located.
Jandy has been in the swimming pool heating business for a long time. You can buy with confidence knowing that you are getting a quality and reliable heat pump. You can be rest assured that the Jandy heat pump you purchase today will stand the test of time and allows you to continuously enjoy your pool, all year round.
As noted above these heat pumps have been discontinued and are not as widely available as they previously were. At the time of writing Pool Supply World are still carrying a limited stock and they offer free delivery and a 5 star service.
The Jandy LXi range of gas powered pool heaters are a step up from the Legacy range in that they are more technologically advanced and hence more efficient and environmentally friendly. They all feature electronic ignition and low NOx, fan-assisted combustion.
To purchase a Jandy LXi from Pool Supply World Click Here.
The LXi series has models which use either natural gas or Propane with power levels of 250k and 400k BTU (power levels between these have been discontinued). These heaters make sure that you take full advantage of the reasons why you built a pool in the first place. You will be able to to continue using the pool even when the normal swimming season is over, so you and your family will be able enjoy your pool or spa even more. These heaters are highly efficient at 88% and exceed environmental standards for NOx emissions.
They are designed with a lustrous external look for its cabinet which includes an exclusive digital control that is highly commended because of the unit’s user friendly graphical interface. The simple control gives you the ability to run complete diagnostics, in fact the unit will tell you if there is a problem, you can set the specific temperature that you want, or switch from pool mode to spa mode at a simple touch of a button.
It integrates a fan supported controlled combustion that practically eliminates any occurrence of downdrafts. Putting together the most advanced features in every aspect of pool heaters, from the superb hydraulic design, lightweight yet strong composite material, to a technologically advanced control system, the Jandy LXi pool heater brings the future of pool heaters right into your own pool or spa. The header is created from a corrosion-resistant polymer that was engineered for greater flow capability.
Since the LXi does not have any tiles, this makes the pool heater very light. It is is among the easiest heaters to install as it is 33% lighter, with a 15% smaller footprint compared to its predecessors. Such an ergonomic design will remove any worry of eating up too much space and having to carry around and install a large pool heater. The polymer header helps in improving the entire circulation system efficiency of the pool heater. It features a high efficiency heat exchanger making it one of the most efficient heaters on the market thereby keeping operating costs down. As a consumer looking for optimum performance in pool heaters, you can always count on this Jandy pool heater. To see the product brochure (not up to date) Click Here.
Coming from a recognized name worldwide in pool heater systems and technology, the Jandy LXi is a quality product that was built for high performance. The features assure you of a longer and extended usage of the product and this pool heater is testament as to why Jandy Laars is still the number one choice among today’s pool owners. I have seen few independent reviews of this heater but those I have seen have been good.
Although Jandy have reduced the number of models in this range you can still find models with Bronze headers instead of Polymer and Cupro Nickel heat exchangers instead of Copper. But the basic options are:
LXI250N or LXI400N (N= Natural Gas)
LXI250P or LXI400P (P=Propane)
These heaters are widely available. We recommend Pool Supply World who combine good prices with free delivery and first class service.
Note: This heater was discontinued after the 2014 season and is no-longer available (although you can still get parts). The replacement is the Mastertemp 125 – click here for more information.
The Pentair MiniMax 100 is a high performance 100k BTU gas heater designed specifically for above ground pools and spas. There are four versions:
Natural gas with electronic ignition,
Natural gas with millivolt ignition,
Propane with electronic ignition,
Propane with millivolt ignition,
although prices are very similar for all models.
If you just want to heat a smaller above ground pool or a spa the heating capacity of the MiniMax is ideal, there is no point in paying more than you need. As a guide if you have a 500 gallon pool this heater can raise the temperature up to twenty degrees in an hour. So even if you only heat the pool intermittently, maybe just at weekends, it will soon be ready for use.
The Pentair MiniMax heater is a compact self contained unit which is easy to install and maintain. Its key features are:
High thermal efficiency means less heat lost into the air thereby keeping costs as low as possible.
Patented thermostatic bypass valve minimizes calcium scaling and corrosion thereby maintaining the efficiency and prolonging the life of the heater.
Uses a proven burner system for trouble free operation.
Flow valve senses water flow and controls this to maximize heating efficiency.
Durable weather proof housing protects the heater from the elements.
It is also service friendly, quiet in operation and has user friendly controls.
The MiniMax 100 is the ideal way to keep your spa or above ground pool at the optimum comfortable temperature so that the whole family can enjoy the pool throughout the day and outside the normal swimming season.
An unheated swimming pool can only be used when it is warm enough, so your use of your pool can be increased by installing a pool heater. Pool heaters are available from several different manufacturers and in a range of power levels, which means that choosing the right one for you is not easy. You also have to decide if you need a gas pool heater, a pool heat pump or whether you location is suitable for a solar pool heater.
Pool heaters come in a range of types and capacities and you need to carefully select the right one for your pool. This is not as easy as it seems as although it is easy to calculate the amount of water to be heated there are other factors to take into account which are harder to quantify.
Heater capacity is quoted in BTUs per hour. For example the Raypak 2100 models range from 206 – 406k BTU and the Hayward H Series ranges from 150-400k but the Hayward H250 seems to be most popular. (One BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.) A larger heater will be slightly more efficient but, at the same time, it would be pointless to spend more than is needed.
The factors to take into account are:
Size of pool – The volume of water in the pool and the surface area.
How you will use the pool? – Will you be heating the pool constantly or, for instance, just at weekends? If you are heating the pool intermittently then you will need a larger heater than if you are heating the pool constantly.
Temperature increase needed – What temperature do you want the water to be heated to and what is the air temperature in the coldest month you will be heating the pool?
How the pool is located – How exposed is the pool to the wind? Wind is a big enemy of heated pools because it increases evaporation and hence heat loss. The pool should be sheltered from the wind if at all possible.
Will you use a pool cover? – Pools that are not covered can lose 4° F to 5° F overnight in most locations. Use of a pool cover will reduce that by about 50%.
For an average location an indication of the requirement for a pool heater can be calculated as below:
Area of pool (sq. ft.) X Temperature increase needed in coldest month X 12
Of course this cannot consider the specific factors of location and use of an individual pool. In general you are better off buying a slightly bigger heater than you think you need. It will warm up the water more quickly and with less strain on its mechanics, which should help it last longer.
Installing a swimming pool is a large investment and the cost of maintaining it is not insignificant. However, the reward that can be obtained from having your own swimming pool is not financial (unless you are renting it), it is enjoyment. However in many cases the pool is only usable in the warmer months, as it is too cold the rest of the time, and this limits the return on that big investment. The solution is a pool heater which will extend the times the pool is usable. This table shows the likely costs of using a gas heater by city.
Pool heaters simply make sure that the water is kept at a specified temperature so that it is comfortable for swimmers at all times. The recommended temperature for a pool is usually set at 78 degrees but some people, who prefer to swim in warmer water, set their pool heaters to up to 80 degrees.
The types of pool heaters normally seen in residential applications are gas powered, heat pumps (electric) and solar powered. Choosing which type of pool heating system to install in your own pool is an important decision as there are certain factors to consider like the design of your pool and the house, the pool’s location, and of course your budget.
The most common type is the gas-fired heater which uses natural gas or LPG and is the least expensive to purchase although can be costly to operate, particularly with LPG.
The following are examples of gas pool heaters:
Pentair MasterTemp 125 – Pentair’s lastest heater designed for above ground pools/spas. Aims to deliver the sort of energy efficiency and advanced features previously only seen on more expensive models.
Raypak 2100 – The design enables it to withstand all sorts of weather. Just set the required temperature and forget it.
Hayward H Series – A top quality range of low NOx products using materials that will enable them to offer reliable and efficient heating for many years.
Another type of pool heater is the electric heat pump heater. This is usually more expensive to purchase but running costs are low. This is due to them not generating heat but simply moving it from the air to the water. In fact some “heaters” can be reversed in summer to cool the water.
There is also the solar pool heater that uses energy from the sun. While it uses renewable energy sources, it is costly to setup. Additionally, it requires a solar collection area that is equivalent to the surface area of the pool that will be heated. Also there is still an energy cost as electricity is required to pump the water through the solar panels.
While a heater is a significant additional investment, it will greatly enhance the usability of your pool by extending your swimming season.
The HP50TA heat pump 50k BTU, for above ground pools.
The Heatpro range for in-ground pools ranging from 95k BTU – 140k BTU.
“Summit” – Hayward acquired Summit Heat Pumps in 2008 and have continued to market them under the name “Summit by Hayward”. There is a range of in-ground heat pumps with models from 65k BTU – 140k BTU. These are not featured in the 2016 range from Hayward but are still available to buy.
HP50TA For Above Ground Pools
This Hayward heat pump is a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to heat your pool. It is a 50K BTU model suitable for pools up to 13k gallons.
To purchase a Hayward Heat Pump HP50TA (for above ground pools) from “In The Swim” Click Here.
If you just look at the output Hayward heat pumps are considerably more expensive than gas models but they are used in a different way. (See our post on Pool Heat Pumps)
These heat pumps need a 220 volt 30 amp electricity supply and because the output is lower than that of a gas heater they need to operate for a longer time to accomplish the desired results. Occasionally, it may be necessary to run the heat pump for up to 24 hours per day. But don’t worry about this because the heater is designed to operate continuously. What’s more, despite continuous operation, it will still heat your pool far more economically than other types of heater.
The HP50TA uses an electronic temperature control keeping your pool water within 0.5 degrees F of the desired temperature for maximum efficiency.
It features a titanium heat exchanger which provides a high resistance to chemicals and the elements. In addition the cabinet and protective grill are resistant to vibrations, harsh winter conditions and UV rays. All this serves to make the unit as durable as possible.
The unit utilizes a special type of compressor which is three times quieter than the standard type. It also has a special design of fan which increases the airflow whilst reducing noise and electricity usage. This means that the Hayward heat pump will run quietly and economically and, even if in use for long periods, will not be intrusive. Click Here to see the product brochure.
Hayward builds high performance, quality and reliability into every heat pump with a titanium heat exchanger, quiet operation and easy installation for years of swimming comfort. User reviews for the model are good.
These heat pumps are not as widely available as the in-ground models but we found them at “In The Swim”.
The range comprises eight models ranging from 95k to 140k BTU with a COP of 5.7 (measured at 80 degrees air/water and 80% relative humidity). They all feature electronic temperature control and dual thermostat, so you can heat both a pool and spa. The smaller model requires a 38 amp supply and the others a 42 amp supply. Two of the models can also cool a pool in hot weather. The range was revised for 2016 and includes round and square models. To see the product brochure – Click Here.
To purchase a HeatPro Heat Pump from Pool Supply World – Click Here.
The key features of these heat pumps are:
Quiet Operation – Special fan design improves airflow whilst operating quietly. The acoustic compressor cover further reduces noise.
Corrosion Resistant – The Ultra Gold corrosion resistant coated evaporator coil fin gives increased durability near the coast or other corrosive environment. Plus the injection molded shell is resistant to UV, rust and deterioration in general.
Trouble Free Operation – The titanium heat exchanger is designed to ensure trouble free operation even in harsh conditions.
Digital Control Panel – Easy to use digital display with continuous pool temperature display, temperature set point lock and self diagnostic facility.
Easy Installation and Servicing – The unit has a compact footprint, simple plumbing connections and is designed for easy access for servicing.
If a heat pump is suitable for your needs the Hayward HeatPro range is a good choice both in a new installation or to replace an existing heater. It should you help to enjoy your pool for many years to come. As with the HP50TA above, user reviews for this range of heat pumps are good.
Our favorite supplier – Pool Supply World – carries the full range. Their service is good and their prices (taking shipping into account – which they include) are always close to the best.
Summit Heat Pumps
Summit was acquired by Hayward in 2008 but they continued to sell these heat pumps under the Summit brand. There are 4 models ranging from 65 – 140k BTU with a COP of 6.0 – 6.2 (at 80-80-80). In terms of specification they are very similar to the Hayward HeatPro but cost a bit more.
The Summit brand suggests higher quality and this is backed up with claims such as “ All the Summit heater parts and accessories are superior in quality….”. Click Here to see the product brochure.
The key features are much the same as these of the HeatPro:
Titanium heat exchanger
Plus: a thermostatic expansion valve which delivers the correct amount of refrigerant for optimal performance. This maximizes performance in low temperatures.
Below is a video which explains the features of this heater.
Reviews of the Summit heat pumps are difficult to find but generally seem to be good. There has been little change to the range in recent years so at least it is a tried and tested product. It did seem that Hayward were competing with themselves here and Summit does not feature in the current range but these heat pumps are still available.
If you want to buy a Summit heat pump you will find a limited number of suppliers and we would again recommend Pool Supply World.