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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Swimming Pool Heat Pumps:-

What size heat pump do I need for my pool?

There are many factors that should be considered when sizing a heat pump for your swimming pool.

These include:-

  • Pool location - country and town
  • Indoor or outdoor pool
  • Surrounding water table level
  • Windy exposed site or sheltered
  • Desired pool operating temperature
  • Required season to use the pool
  • Pool surface area or volume
  • Whether the pool is covered when not in use and at night
  • If the pool has a solar or thermal cover

Also bear in mind that your heat pump needs enough power to heat your pool from cold at the start of the season.

In addition, the heat outputs quoted by each manufacturer are the maximum obtainable under optimum temperature and humidity conditions. In reality, the output that you achieve may be less than that stated.

For the reasons given above, it is therefore always advisable to oversize a heat pump whenever possible. A pool heat pump can never be too large, it will just heat up your pool more quickly ! If you undersize your pool heat pump, it will just run for many hours and may never raise your pool to the desired temperature.

This is where we can provide our expertise to consider all of these factors and help you choose the best size unit for your pool.

We therefore strongly recommend that you contact us to discuss the size of heat pump that you require before making a purchase.

Each of our product listings has a sizing chart that shows the maximum number of cubic metres (m3) of water that each heat pump model supports.

Compare the volume of your pool in m3 to the sizing chart. If your pool volume is near the maximum size supported, then choose the next model up.

Always allow some "headroom" with the power of your heat pump. This will ensure that the heat pump can still produce enough heat to maintain your required pool temperature on colder days.

Is a heat pump difficult to install?

Not at all, the heat pump needs a solid concrete base or can be laid on paving slabs. The unit then needs an electrical supply and it is best to get a qualified electrician to install this.

The plumbing is straightforward and the pipes are glued together. The heat pump only needs a flow and a return pipe.

You should install 3-valves to create a "bypass".

The heat pump should be installed after the filter and as the last item before the water returns to the pool.

If you want to install the heat pump alongside your existing heater, then the water should flow through the heat pump and then through the existing heater before returning to the pool

See our Installation section for lots more tips on installing your heat pump

What warranty is offered on the units?

Each product listing states the warranty offered.

Most of our new heat pumps include an on-site parts and labour warranty.

All heat pumps shipped outside the UK are supplied with a parts-only warranty. Outside the UK you will need to employ a local contractor if required and we will courier any necessary spare parts to you

What size pipe outlets are on the units?

Most units have 50mm pipe outlets. They are normally also supplied with 50mm to 1.5" adaptors as 1.5" is the most common size of pipe in the UK.

In Europe, 50mm is the most common size of pipe.

Each heat pump listing states the pipe outlet size

We can supply adaptors to go to different pipe sizes if required.

What is the difference between the digital and analogue models?

Analogue units use a simple knob to set the required temperature whereas digital models have a digital panel where you set the required temperature.

Once the required temperature is set on either types, the heat pump will then automatically maintain the pool at the required temperature.

How do heat pumps work?

See our How they work page

How much can I save using a heat pump to heat my pool?

See our Savings page.

There is also a calculation on the savings page showing how a large 32kw heat pump costs only £3.33 per day to run !

Smaller heat pumps will cost less than this to run.

What physical size are the heat pumps?

Each product listing states the physical sizes of each model.

Do you supply to mainland Europe?

Yes, we can ship to anywhere in UK, mainland Europe† and beyond.†

We regularly send heat pumps to France, Spain, Portugal, Czech, Netherlands etc

We have sent units as far as† Egypt and Zimbabwe

Please email us with your required heat pump model and address and we will get a competitive shipping quote for you.

How are the units delivered?

The units are delivered on a lorry with a tail lift. The units are on a pallet and will only be delivered to your driveway. You must arrange to carry the unit to where you require your pump to be located. Note that the units are heavy and will require two or three people to move them safely.

What is a COP?

The COP is the Coefficient of Performance. It is the ratio of energy input to output. Eg a unit with a COP of 5 would provide 5 units of heat for every one consumed.

For example a heat pump with a COP of 5 would use about 4kw of electricity and output 20kw of heat (ie 5 x 4kw =20kw).

Bear in mind though that there is no international standard for stating COPs and therefore each manufacturer will state the maximum COP obtainable for their units under optimum temperature and humidity conditions. In reality you may not therefore always acheive the COP rating stated.

This is another reason why you should always oversize your heat pump

Can I install a heat pump in my pool pump house?

Most heat pumps should be installed outdoors as they require a good flow of fresh air to operate properly. The DPL,, Solar Bear Calorex and Waterco ranges of products can however be installed in a pump-house or shed using the through the wall ducting kit.

See the listings for these units for more information

Is it a good idea to install a heat pump in a greenhouse?

Generally not. We would not advise installing a heat pump in a greenhouse.

Whilst this may seem like a good idea, the benefits are minimal.

This is because heat pumps have quite powerful fan motors and transfer a lot of air.

Within a few minutes of operating, the heat pump will have extracted all of the air in the greenhouse.

You also need a vent to allow fresh air to enter the green house to replace the expelled air.

Within a couple of minutes the temperature of the air in the greenhouse will be the same as the external air.

The air is not in the greenhouse for long enough to warm sufficiently to provide much benefit.

If the air flow to the heat pump is restricted, it may in fact cause lower performance.

Heat pumps normally work best outdoors with a good supply of fresh air.

Should I cover the heat pump in winter?

We recommend that you cover your heat pump during the winter. However, you must use a suitable cover. The cover must allow the heat pump to breathe so that mositure and condensation can escape, otherwise corrosion can occur to the components in your heat pump causing permanent damage.

We sell a special range of heat pump winter covers that are custom made for each heat pump model and incorporate ventilation mesh panels to allow air circulation.

Heat Pump Winter Covers

Smaller heat pumps can be disconnected and carried into a garage or shed for the winter.

I have an existing gas boiler, should I replace it with a heat pump or keep the gas boiler as well?

If you have an existing heater (eg gas, oil, electric etc), then we recommend that you install the heat pump alongside your existing heater.

This will allow you to run both the heat pump and the existing heater if required for a rapid pool heat up, or to provide a backup heater in case the heat pump develops a fault (unlikely). You can also switch to your existing heater when the air temperature becomes too cold for the heat pump to operate efficiently eg right at the end of the season.

If you want to install the heat pump alongside your existing heater, then the water should flow through the heat pump and then the existing heater before returning to the pool for maximum efficiency

How do I turn the heat pump on and off at the required times?

All of our heat pumps (apart from the Duratech Eco range) include a water flow switch. This means that they will only operate when your pool pump is turned on and water is flowing through the heat pump.

You can therefore control when your heat pump operates by using a time clock on your water pump.

Some models (eg Duratech, Heatseeker and eco7) also have a timer built into the digital control panel. This allows you to turn the heat pump on and off at set times independantly from the pool pump. Note that the pool pump always needs to be operating for the heat pump to work.

I have seen the same heat pump cheaper on another web site. Will you match the price?

Our prices are some of the cheapest on the internet and we always aim to provide highly competitive prices.

However if you see the same product cheaper elsewhere, then please let us know and we will always try to match or beat any pricing you have seen

What does "3-Phase" and "Single Phase" mean?

This refers to the type of electrical supply that the heat pump needs.

Most properties have a single phase supply (eg a live and neutral wire) .

Some larger properties or commercial properties have 3-phase supplies.

The smaller heat pumps are single phase and larger ones, (generally over 30kw) require a 3-phase supply.

If you are not sure what electrical supply you have, ask your electrician to check this before ordering your heat pump.

Generally, 3-phase units are 380/440v but in some parts of France, 3-phase units can be 220v, so please check before ordering

How long will the heat pump run for each day?

Just like the boiler in your house, the heat pump will run for different amounts of time each day depending on the weather.

On warm summer days when the pool is up to temperature, the heat pump may not need to run at all. Whereas on cooler days, the heat pump may run for a few hours.

In extremely cold weather (eg below +5c) the heat pump may need to run for 12 hours a day or more.

When you keep a solar cover on your pool, this will give the pool some heat gain on warm days and will supplement the heat pump.

As the weather gets colder the heat pump will need to run for longer.

You can control how long the heat pump runs for each day by using a time-clock on your pool pump.

Other factors that affect how long the heat pump will run for each day include:-

  • The power of the heat pump - a more powerful heat pump will heat the pool more quickly and so will switch off sooner than a smaller heat pump
  • How well insulated your pool is
  • If you have a high water table around your pool, then this will drain away the pool heat and cause your heat pump to run for longer to replace the lost heat
  • The pool water temperature that you require - a higher pool water temperature will need the heat pump to run for longer to maintain the temperature
  • Pool cover - an uncovered pool will lose 2-3 times as much heat as a covered pool

As a guide, on warm summer days the heat pump would typically run for between 0-3 hours

On cooler days between 3-8 hours should be sufficient but this depends on the factors mentioned above

Should I keep a solar cover on my pool when using a heat pump?

Absolutely ! It is almost compulsory to use a solar cover when using a heat pump to heat your pool.

A solar cover provides several benefits:-

  • It can heat the pool on its own by up to 8 degrees C
  • It reduces water evaporation by 98%
  • It acts as an insulation layer and greatly reduces heat loss
  • It reduces pool chemical consumption by up to 30%
  • It prevents leaves etc from entering the pool
  • It saves you money by reducing your heating costs
  • Reducing your heating costs will also reduce your carbon footprint

Not using a solar cover is like not insulating the loft in your house. As your heat pump puts heat into the pool, it will be lost into the air when a solar cover is not used.

An uncovered pool will lose about 2-3 times more heat than a covered pool.

Covering the pool is particularly important at night as the air temperature will drop causing a temperature difference between the pool water and the air.

The temperature difference will cause your pool to lose heat at a greater rate than during the day.

We recommend that you keep a solar cover on the pool at all times when the pool is not in use.

The solar cover will work in conjunction with your heat pump to make an efficient combination for heating your pool and minimising energy requirements.

We sell good quality solar covers and rollers

see Solar-Covers

Can I put my heat pump under a tree?

You can put a heat pump under a tree as long as the tree is more than 2-3 meters above the heat pump.

This is so that the air coming out of the heat pump (on vertical fan models) does not hit the leaves of the tree and then recirculate back into the heat pump. This would cause reduced efficiency.

While the heat pump is operating, the fan will prevent leaves from entering the heat pump.

In the winter, we recommend that you cover the heat pump using one of our specially designed winter covers.

This will prevent leaves from entering the heat pump in Autumn.

I have an indoor pool, should I put the heat pump inside the pool enclosure to act as a dehumidifier as well as heating the pool water?

For indoor pools, it is possible to put a heat pump inside the pool enclosure or in a plant room.

In order to do this, the air expelled from the heat pump is blown out of the building by using a through the wall vent kit. (this is only available for some models of heat pump)

A grille, preferably at the other end of the building would allow fresh air to enter the building to replace the air being blown out.

This method will blow the moist pool air out of the building helping to dehumidify the air. The heat pump will gain some benefit from using the warmer pool room air.

The disadvantage of this method is that the air in the pool room will soon be the same temperature as the outside air.

This is not normally desirable for an indoor pool, particularly in winter !

For this reason, it is normally best to put the heat pump outdoors and use seperate dehumidifiers to dry and warm the pool room air.

We sell "all-in-one" type units (eg the Heatstar Gemini) that can provide pool water heating, dehumidification and air heating.

Please contact us for more information.

Will it damage my heat pump to put it outdoors?

No, all of our heat pumps are designed to go outdoors and are weatherproof.

They will operate perfectly well in all weather conditions including heavy rain and wind etc.

We recommend that you cover your heat pump with one of our specially designed winter covers during winter when the heat pump is not in use. This will give your heat pump some additional protection against the weather.

Can I plug the heat pump into a standard 13A mains socket?

No.

We recommend that armoured cable is used to run the electrical supply to the heat pump.

Armoured cable provides protection from the cable being accidentally damaged and is therefore safer than standard electrical flex cable.

The heat pump should be connected to an RCD device for safety reasons.

Larger heat pumps will draw more than 13A and so a dedicated electrical supply may be required.

It is best to get a qualified electrician to connect your heat pump to the electirical supply. The electrician will also ensure that the heat pump has a proper earth.

Do your prices include VAT?

Yes our prices include VAT and are the total amount payable including free UK delivery.

Our VAT registration number is 114 3502 61

I use salt in my pool rather than chlorine, will this damage the heat pump?

No, all of our pool heat pumps have titanium heat exchangers which are resistant to damage from salt, chlorine or bromine used in pools.

Can I use a heat pump to heat my koi pond?

Yes, however if you are planning to heat your pond through the winter months, then we recommend the Duratech Dura+ range of heat pumps as they work down to -15c.

See our Koi Page for more information on using heat pumps on koi ponds.