Propane Pool Heaters – Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on October 17, 2021

No matter where you live, the days of summer are numbered. Luckily for those who want to keep swimming after the pool season, there’s a solution: propane pool heaters!

Pool heaters are a great way to get the most out of your outdoor pool. If you’re looking for something that will extend swim season, this is it.

A typical propane heater can keep water at comfortable temperatures up until two months later than usual and give you more time in those refreshing waters we all love so much.

How Do Propane Pool Heaters Work?

A typical gas-powered pool heater has a combustion chamber that burns either natural gas or propane. These pool heaters usually have copper coils where the pool water passes through and gets heated. The heated pool water is then pumped back to the swimming pool.

This makes propane pool heaters an ideal choice for in-ground and aboveground pool owners.

How Much Do A Propane Pool Heater Cost?

Propane heaters can burn about 1 gallon per hour depending on your location and the model of your chosen pool heater. A typical size 200,000 BTU heater can use up to 2 gallons an hour of propane. This means using your propane gas pool heater will cost anywhere between $8 to $12 per hour to operate.

To heat a 10,000-gallon swimming pool, without using a solar cover, will usually take about 8 to 16 hours. Using our 200,000 BTU pool heater, you can expect to spend about $64 to $128 to heat your pool.

To lessen the pool heating costs, we highly recommend using a solar pool cover or solar blanket to expedite the heating and make sure evaporative heat loss is kept at a minimum.

Sizing A Propane Pool Heater

Propane heaters come in a wide range of BTUs and sizes. Propane heaters for above ground pools are usually around 100-200K BTUs, while in-ground ones can be as large as 400K BTU depending on the size of your pool. A larger-sized heater will naturally offer better heating capabilities but may not always work for everyone or every situation due to its high price tag and power consumption rates; it is best to research what type you need before making any purchase decision.

The size of your pool determines how many BTUs your pool heater needs. As a general rule of thumb, get at least a 100K BTU heater for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.

Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover | 1200 Series | Heat Retaining Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Rectangular Swimming Pools | Use Sun to Heat Pool | Bubble-Side Down
  • ATTRACTIVE BLUE DESIGN - Sun2Solar solar blankets are made from a film of thousands of tiny bubbles, which work together to collect and retain heat both at night and on those chilly days. The blue...
  • MINIMIZE WATER EVAPORATION - The use of a solar cover helps in preventing up to 95% of pool water evaporation. When not enjoying a refreshing swim, keeping your pool covered lessens the vast amount of...
  • JUMP INTO WARMTH - Show friends and family your bravery by jumping in without the standard toe dip. Enter the swimming pool confidently knowing the Sun2Solar solar cover has kept the water warm just...
  • HEAT RETENTION - After everyone has called it a day with wrinkled fingers from too much fun in the sun, make sure to place this solar cover back atop the water. Don’t lose all of that warmth...

A solar cover can help reduce heat loss by 95%, which means the size of the propane pool heater and cost for heating is reduced as well.

Best Propane Heaters For Pools

We all know how much fun it is to spend time in a pool. But there are times when the water may be too cold and you want to warm things up a bit, or you’re looking for ways to save money on heating your pool. That’s where propane heaters come in!

We’ve rounded up some of the best models out there so that you can find one that will work perfectly for your needs.

Best Propane Heater For Inground Pools: Hayward W3H400FDP Universal H-Series 400,000 BTU Pool and Spa Heater

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Hayward W3H400FDP Universal H-Series 400,000 BTU Propane Pool and Spa Heater for In-Ground Pools and Spas
  • BEST FOR: In-ground pools and spas with a surface area up to 1,200 ft. where natural gas is available. Its low environmental impact makes it ideal for pools and spas located where low-NOx emissions...
  • PREMIUM PERFORMANCE: The Hayward Universal H-Series 400,000 BTU Propane Heater delivers premium heating performance for years of reliable, long-lasting comfort.
  • CORROSION PROTECTION: The Universal H-Series boasts exceptional protection against corrosion and premature failure caused by unbalanced water chemistry.
  • ENERGY SAVINGS: The efficient, industry-leading design reduces circulation pump run time to provide energy savings.

Hayward’s Universal H-Series heaters offer a luxurious option for heating your pool or spa. These efficient and environmentally responsible heaters, like the Hayward W3H400FDP Pool Heater, also work year-round, so you can enjoy the comfort of heated water all season long.

This low NOx pool heater is a perfect choice for environmentally conscious pool owners. It has 84% industry-leading thermal efficiency and complies with all current California air quality emission standards.

The W3H400FDP Pool Heater is also equipped with a cupro-nickel heat exchanger that makes it saltwater capable if you intend to convert your pool to saltwater.

Best Propane Heater Above Ground Pools: Raypak 106A Propane Pool Heater

Raypak 105,000 BTU Swimming Pool and Spa Heater - Propane
  • Designed for easy installation on above ground pools, smaller in-ground pools, and spas
  • Standard 120v 3-prong power cord or can be easily converted to 220v
  • Simple analog thermostat dial for accurate pool and spa temperature setting
  • Gas connection is 1/2" NPT and measures 4 5/8" off the ground level

The Raypak 106A Propane Pool Heater is the perfect choice for above-ground pool owners. They offer all the features and reliability that you would want in a larger pool heating system but at an easier-to-install, more affordable pool heater.

The Raypak gas heater is built with a polyester-coated, non-corrosive cabinet that prevents corrosion. The fins of the heat exchanger are made from a single piece of extruded copper tubing which maximizes heat transfer. The stainless steel tubes also resist rusting to keep your system running smoothly for years with minimal maintenance.

How To Install A Propane Pool Heater

Installation of a propane gas pool heater is as easy and inexpensive for any homeowner who knows the basics about plumbing.

Find a sturdy surface that’s adjacent to the filter system of the swimming pool- preferably with plenty of room around it so the propane heater can get enough air. Once you have the return pipe cut from your pool filter, now it’s time to put that PVC into your propane heater so there’s a way for the pool water to come in and come out.

Propane gas is a popular heating fuel for pools, but it’s always best to leave the installation of propane gas tanks up to professionals. Your first step should be calling one of your local suppliers and telling them what size appliance you want (BTU), they can give more specific instructions from there about how much tank capacity will work depending on your needs as well the connection options available.

Why Choose Propane Heaters Over Natural Gas or Electric?

Propane is a popular choice for pool owners because it contains more energy than natural gas, and you’ll consume less to heat your swimming area. Propane also doesn’t produce any greenhouse gases during its unused state as other fuel sources do.

Propane heaters are 42% cheaper to operate than electric pool heaters and can save you more or less $2,000 in heating costs. Propane heater also does a better job in heating water and takes less time in doing so.

Propane offers many benefits over other fuel sources. It is readily available, economical and efficient, plentiful, convenient to use and store while being environmentally friendly and safe.

It’s an excellent choice for people living on properties without access to natural gas lines, and it heats water faster than any other type of pool heater in cold climates.

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