Regardless of where you live, a pool heater can make the difference between swimming at night and cold day and not swimming. Usually, there are dozens of heaters out there, and some use electricity, natural gas, or propane.
Today, we look at the propane heaters. So, what are the best propane pool heaters?
Top 6 Propane Pool Heater Reviews
Here are the best propane pool heaters that you can use to heat your swimming pool.
1. Hayward W3H150FDP Universal H-Series Pool and Spa Heater
The Hayward W3H150FDP is a universal heater that offers quality heating performance. It provides up to 150,000 BTU of heat and is reliable to give you the comfort you desire.
Another great thing is the long-lasting cupro-nickel heat exchanger that allows for maximum heat transfer. The heat exchanger is also corrosion-free and does not fail prematurely.
It is the perfect propane heater for inground pool with unbalance water. Another notable feature is the industry-leading hydraulic design that helps to reduce the circulation time.
What that means is you save on power and energy bill since it is highly effective. The product also allows for front-panel access that makes it easy to operate and maintain.
It is also a Low NOx emission heater that helps to maintain the environment. The product was meant to last for years without getting damaged.
- Easy to operate and service
- Low environmental impact
- Quality product
- Not the most powerful
2. Raypak 336K BTU Digital Electronic Ignition Propane Pool Heater
It is a straightforward model when it comes to ignition as it uses electricity to start. The heater is powerful enough to give you up to 336,000 BTU, meaning that it can make your pool warm within minutes.
Another feature is the microprocessor-controlled thermostat that allows you to set the temperature to your liking. What more, you only need to fix it once, and you can forget about it.
The heater’s internals and cabinet are rust-resistant and corrosion-free. It is, therefore, a product that can last for years without getting damaged.
Another notable feature is the PolyTuf powder coating that adds to its durability by ensuring it withstand water. Its heat exchanger is made of copper-fin-tube and provides effective transfer.
The product connects to 2-inch CPVC water connections. It is one of the simplest to use products on the market today.
- Stainless steel tube
- Durable polymer headers
- Easy to use
- No installation manual
3. Sta-Rite SR200LP Max-E-Therm Black Propane Gas Pool and Spa Heater
Sta-Rite SR200LP is one of the lightest heaters on the market today and can work for above ground pool. You can install it without seeking help and uninstall it for storage.
The other notable feature is the compact design that allows you to install in limited spaces. That means it is the perfect model for retrofit installation.
It helps to reduce the operating cost by up to 84% to save you on bills. That is possible due to the high efficiency it provides.
The unit comes with a rust-proof housing that protects it against harsh conditions. It is made of dura-glass and patented material that allows it to handle the heat.
The product easily fits most connection systems and offers retrofit or custom installation. It is a product that can give you services for years to provide you value for bucks.
- Retrofit or custom
- Rust-proof design
- Saves power
- A bit expensive
4. Raypak 406K BTU Digital Electronic Ignition Propane Pool Heater
Another electronic ignition model you can choose is the Raypak digital with up to 406,000 BTU. It is a digital model that you can install for your spa or pool, making it a versatile unit.
The other great feature is the microprocessor-controlled thermostat that lets you set precise temperatures. You can do that and leave it to operate without your intervention.
Its internals and cabinet are rust-resistant and non-corrosive, making it the ideal heater to use in pools with chemicals. The model also features PolyTuf powder cover that protects it against most elements.
Its polymer headers ensure that it transfers maximum heat to the water. The heat exchanger is made of coper-fin-tube that also helps to conserve energy by transferring maximum heat.
It is a heater that can last for decades since it is made of quality material.
- Offers maximum heat transfer
- Easy to install
- Made of durable material
- A bit heavy
5. Pentair 460737 MasterTemp 400K BTU Propane Gas High-Performance Eco-Friendly Heater
It is a high-performance propane gas model that produces up to 400K BTU of heating energy. The unit is also eco-friendly to ensure that it keeps the environment safe.
One unique thing about the unit is the fast heating that allows you to swim within minutes of turning it on. And it is the ideal unit for both the spa and pool, thanks to its versatility.
Consumer reports rate this system as one of the best units in its class when it comes to efficiency. What that means is you can rest easy knowing most of the heat gets transferred to the water.
The model also has a manual shut-off that you can use to close it when you do not want to heat. Besides, the product is certified as a low NOX emission unit that can keep the environment safe.
It also meets all industry standards.
- Certified product
- Low NOx emission
- Highly efficient
- Needs maintenance
6. Pentair Digital Heater 250,000 BTU Heater
The Pentair Digital Heater is the ideal unit for inground pool and is made of the latest technology. It provides up to 250,000 BTU, which is enough to heat most pools and spa with ease.
The product is low NOx emission certified, meaning that you can rest easy knowing it will not affect the environment. It is a heater that heats fast to ensure you start swimming soon.
It is an efficient product that helps to conserve energy to guarantee maximum heating. There is a manual gas shut off that you can use to shut it when the water is hot enough.
It is also easy to install this heater – you do not need to seek professional help to put it in place. The unit is made of quality material that gives it the durability you desire.
- Easy to install
- Offers maximum heat transfer
- Easy to move around
- Not the most powerful
Propane Pool Heater Buying/Buyer’s Guide
The following is a summarized guide that can help you choose the perfect propane heater for your pool.
1. Consider the Size
A propane heater is rated according to its BTU output. The lower the output, the smaller the size of a pool it can heat.
These heaters are usually rated from around 75,000 BTU to 450,000 BTU. You need to determine your pool’s heating load before you settle for a specific heater.
That involves considering several factors like the coldest annual temperature of where you stay, your pool surface area, your ideal water temperature, and other things. It can get complicated, but there are hundreds of online sites that offer pool load, computation calculators.
You should also consult the manufacturer to ensure that you choose the perfect unit.
2. Consider the Installation
The best propane heater should be easy to install and meet your installation need. It should come with clear instructions that can help you to set it the right way.
If you set your propane heater wrongly, it can easily cause damage to your entire heating system and pool. Thus, you should consider getting a trusted contractor to do this for you.
Effective installation can improve the heater’s performance and its lifespan.
3. Consider Efficiency
Efficiency is another critical thing you should keep in mind, mainly because it can increase the operation cost. The good thing is modern propane pool heaters are highly effective, helping to conserve energy and decrease the operation cost.
You should choose a heater that provides up to 90% efficiency. A more efficient model might be expensive compared to less effective heaters.
However, it can provide value for money in the long-run since it can save you hundreds of dollars.
4. Consider Maintenance Costs
You might already know that operating propane pool heaters can be expensive due to the rising cost of gas. That might force you to choose a heater that is less costly to maintain, but a unit that can break down quickly.
Thus, you need to find the balance between maintenance and durability of the heater you choose. We would recommend you go for a reputable brand product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about propane pool heaters.
Q: How Much Propane Does a Pool Heater Use?
A: A 100,000 BTU propane pool heater requires about one gallon of gas to operate for 60 minutes. That means a 400K BTU model can use about four gallons of propane to run for one hour.
Propane goes for about $2.50 per gallon.
Q: What Size Propane Tank for Pool Heater?
A: A medium propane pool heater requires a 250 gallons tank to heat your swimming pool effectively. More substantial models might require larger tanks of about 500 gallons.
You should seek advice from your propane supplier about the correct size for your pool heater.
Q: How to Connect a Propane Pool Heater?
A: You need to connect your propane pool heater to a water line – follow the brand’s instruction. Use a hacksaw to cut via the pipe to ensure that the elbow joints fit perfectly.
The pipe heading to the pump should join the heater’s input, and the output should join the return pipe. You can use cement to cover the pipes when they are connected.
Q: How to Install Propane Pool Heater?
A: It is advisable to call a professional to install your propane pool heater. They often follow these steps:
- Place the heater on a concrete slab
- Take it out of the box and position it on the slab
- Connect the heater
- Connect electricity for ignition
- Test your propane pool heater
Making Your Decision
The best-rated propane pool heaters can keep your swimming pool heated and extend your swimming season. However, choosing the perfect model for your pool depends on your pool size, budget, and other factors.