Heating a Pool to Heat a House

An indoor pool was a medical necessity for this Oregon family, so when heating a pool with electricity became prohibitively expensive the author found better way.

| January/February 1983

  • heating a pool - inlet and outlet ducts
    The inlet-outlet ducts in the pool room's wall.
    Rae Donaldson
  • heating a pool - turning vanes
    Here we see the turning vanes (before the grilles are added), which greatly increase efficiency and quietness.
    Rae Donaldson
  • heating a pool - wiring diagram
    Wiring diagram for the heating system.
  • heating a pool - family using their indoor pool
    Heating a pool with a heat pump was so efficient it paid for itself in reduced utility bills.
    Photo by Rae Donaldson
  • heating a pool - aquastats
    Aquastats equipped with sensors, reached by removing a board from the deck, cut in the heater whenever the water drops below a comfortable swimming temperature.
    Rae Donaldson

  • heating a pool - inlet and outlet ducts
  • heating a pool - turning vanes
  • heating a pool - wiring diagram
  • heating a pool - family using their indoor pool
  • heating a pool - aquastats

Five years ago, when my husband and I installed a 16' x 32' vinyl swimming pool in a room enclosed in translucent fiberglass, we weren't being merely self-indulgent. I needed that "luxury" for therapy, you see, since I'd earlier developed a muscular/neurological disease that only a daily routine of swimming and pool exercise would help to control.

Of course, I'll be the first to admit that having a heated pool was a real treat; we live on the cool Oregon coast, where the ocean water is icy enough to turn swimmers blue most of the year. And because the indoor facility was attached to our garage, we could even get to it without braving our winter rains, which occur often enough to dump 60" to 90" of moisture on our part of the state each year.

Heating a pool wasn’t a big expense at first. We were quite able to afford the extra energy consumed by the pool's electric water heater, but little by little the utility rates in our area climbed. By January of 1981 we were paying 43% more for electricity than we had when the pool was built — and then our city announced an upcoming 25% annual increase. Since runaway inflation was already playing havoc with our retirement budget, we simply couldn't handle those increasing costs. Yet I didn't want to sacrifice my health or take on the medical expense of outside therapy, so I decided to look for an alternative way to heat our swimming water.

A Fortunate Meeting

To my dismay, research soon revealed that oil heat was even more expensive than electricity, and natural gas isn't available in our area. Several friends suggested solar heating methods, but further investigation showed we'd have had to spend $4,000 to $12,000 for a system that would still need frequent backup in our commonly cloudy area.

Just when I was about to give up, I was introduced to a young man named Michael Lindsay, co-owner with his father of Lindsay Furnace Service. Mike was intrigued by our problem, enough so that he offered to come to our house to study the situation at no cost to us. Suffice it to say we accepted his offer. Mike came out, and after a lot of measuring and muttering to himself finally announced, "What you need is a heat pump." That was an idea we'd never considered, so our expert set out to explain what he had in mind.

"The heat pump concept dates back to the 1850's," he told us, "but efficient, well-serviced models weren't developed until after the 1973 oil crisis. The principle is basically the same as that used in a refrigerator, where heat is removed from inside the box and discharged into the room. A home air conditioning unit performs in a similar manner, by removing heat from the house and discharging it outside. And if this operation is reversed — if heat is removed from the outdoors, concentrated (in effect), and funneled into the living space — you have what's commonly called a heat pump.

2/13/2014 4:41:41 AM

In a swimming pool there are many type of pumps and machines fixed for the use, at the time of fix the pumps always follow the diagram and safety. From the heating pump you can get the heat and cold water, it give a better refreshment for the swimmers. Here they describe the diagram of the heat pump fixing and how to use the pump. http://beachwoodpools.com/

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