How to install and operate a swimming pool heat pump


A heat pump is undoubtedly the most cost efficient method available for heating swimming pools. As such, ensure you enlist the services of a licensed electrician or natural gas professional. This is to ensure the pump is installed properly and safely.

Furthermore, pool heater models have varying guidelines in regard to proper clearance and ventilation and all manufacturer specifications should be strictly adhered to.

Proper installation and maintenance could see your pool pump serve you for well over five years.

Installing a heat pump

Heat pumps need plenty of air circulation and work best outside with plenty of clearance. The pump should thus be placed on level ground near a pool pump or filter. You should also ensure that air flow is restricted. Alternatively, consult the owner’s manual which has details specifying proper clearance, placement as well as the ideal location of the unit.

Install the heater as close to the filter as possible and approximately 25 feet away from the swimming pool. Installing the unit any further may result in heat loss since tubing is underground.  Technically, an “ideal” installation will have about 24″ of clearance around the unit with no obstructions above.

Also Read: How a heat pump works

Operating a heat pump

Every pool heat pump has different controls.  Ensure that all valves are open to allow water flow into the pump. It is also important to note that the heat pump only runs if your water pump is running.

The air being exhausted from the top should always be cooler than the ambient air as an indication that the pump is in good working condition. On the other hand, sometimes the pump will still run even after the water pump has been shut off.  This happens if the heater is set well below the water level of the pool or the flow switch needs to be adjusted.

Most heat pumps shut down below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and start up again once the temperature becomes favorable.  A solar blanket can be used on the water to improve the performance of the heat pump during cool days.