Most Frequently Asked Questions:
Heat pumps extract heat from the surrounding air so they should be installed where there is a plentiful supply of fresh air, if cooled air is not allowed to escape, the build up of cooler air around the heat pump will quickly reduce its ability to heat.
We would not recommend installing an air source heat pump indoors or any location with restricted airflow.
To ensure the most efficient operation, heat pumps should be located away from walls, fences and dense vegetation to allow proper air flow around the unit, if cooled air is not allowed to escape, the build up of cooler air around the heat pump will reduce its ability to heat.
Horizontal units should be placed at least 300mm from a wall or hedge, allowing 700mm to each side, 500mm clearance above the unit and a minimum clearance of 2500mm in front of the unit to allow the fan to expel cooled air.
Vertical units should be placed at least 800-1000mm from a wall or hedge, allowing 800-1000mm to each side and a minimum of 2000mm clearance above the unit to allow the fan to expel cooled air.
Air source heat pumps absorb heat from ambient air, a plentiful supply of fresh air is more important than a sunny spot. The heat pump will work in a shaded location as long as there is good airflow.
It is not a problem to locate a heat pump in an exposed or windy location, in fact a windy location that gets full sun would combine good airflow and warm air and increase the efficiency of heating.
You will find manufacturer suggested pool sizes (measured in m³) in the specification data for all our heat pumps (see individual product pages), these suggested pool sizes are based on certain assumptions.
In-ground pools, it is assumed that your pool is in-ground, well insulated and covered when not in use to prevent additional heat loss.
Period of usage, the output of a heat pump and its ability to heat are reliant on ambient air and water temperatures, most size guides are based on a period of use from May to August (UK).
Air and water flow, your heat pump must be located where there is unrestricted air flow, your pool filtration pump must meet the minimum flow rates required to ensure the efficient transfer of heat to your pool water.
To calculate your pool volume multiply the length x width x average depth (average depth = shallow end + deep end (divided by 2)) – all measurements in metres. For Roman End and shaped pools take the measurements at the longest and widest points.
As a general rule of thumb we normally double the volume of above-ground pools when calculating which heat pump you would require, this is to offset the additional heat loss from these pools.
If you have an above-ground pool, require extended season or all year heating, we will happily advise you on the correct size heat pump for your pool, please call us on 01842 819130.
All electrical wiring should be carried out by a qualified electrician
Manufacturers recommend that you connect the heat pump to a circuit with a separate MCB (Miniature Circuit Breaker, slow type, C or D curve) with the correct motor rated fuse. Full installation guidelines can be found in the user manual for each heat pump including the recommended fuse rating and cable size.
Inverter heat pumps have soft start (the graduated starting of the compressor avoids the initial full load current), however the use of a circuit breaker with the correct motor rated fuse and cabling is still recommended.
Failure to follow the manufacturers guidelines for the correct electrical connection of your heat pump could invalidate your warranty.
Some heat pumps have an additional electrical connection labelled ‘Water Pump’, a common question is can I wire my filtration pump to this connection?
We recommend that you don’t use the water pump connection, this is because heat pumps switch off once the pool is up to temperature, depending on the number of hours of heating required it could mean that your filter pump is switched off before the daily filtration cycle is completed.
Therefore we would recommend that your filtration pump has an independent power supply, instead the flow detection on the heat pump will automatically switch the heat pump on and off with the flow of water from your filtration pump.
A bypass kit allows you to control the flow of water through your heat pump to maximise the transfer of heat to your pool water, the bypass kit also allows you to easily winterise or maintain your heat pump without having to affect the flow of water to your swimming pool.
The bypass kit, along with the heat pump is located in your return pipework after the filter pump, but before any chemical dosing equipment, and normally consists of three ball valves and pipework, two valves are used to adjust the flow to and from the heat pump and the third is used to bypass the heat pump.
Most heat pumps have a minimum flow rate that is required to enable the efficient transfer of heat, depending on the flow rate of your existing pump and filter you may need to upgrade your existing equipment.
If you are unsure please speak to us first, if your existing pump and filter does not provide sufficient flow rate it could result in your heat pump not achieving the desired temperature or not switching on, the flow sensor in the unit will prevent operation to avoid damage to the heat pump in the event of no or limited flow.
Poorly maintained filter sand (backwashes have not been done regularly or at all) is a common cause of low flow rates, as a rough guide filter sand should be replaced every two years (heavy usage) or five years (low usage).
Dependent on your pool type you can heat all year round with the correctly sized heat pump, if you are interested in heating your pool beyond May to September, please call us and we will be more than happy to match a heat pump to your requirements.
The period you wish to heat for also has a bearing on the speed at which your investment is returned, for example if you only intend to use your pool from May to August it would take a lot longer to see a return on your investment on one of the newer Inverter models, whereas if you intend to heat all year round an Inverter will pay for itself much more quickly.
The coefficient of performance or C.O.P. is the ratio of heating to electrical energy consumed, a higher C.O.P. equates to lower running costs.
For example, at an ambient air and water temperature of 26°C and a C.O.P. of 6, then for every 1KW of energy consumed by the heat pump 6kW of heat would be output to your pool.
Inverter heat pumps have variable speed compressors allowing them to achieve higher C.O.P.s than fixed speed heat pumps. For example, at an ambient air and water temperature of 26°C and a C.O.P. of 13, then for every 1KW of energy consumed by the heat pump 13kW of heat would be output to your pool.
When a heat pump turns on, the starting current can be up to five times the rated current, for this reason manufacturers always recommend a separate circuit with MCB and correctly motor rated fuse. By comparison the current of heat pumps fitted with a soft start module starts from 0 A and goes up slowly to the rated current over a couple of minutes, avoiding this initial draw on the electricity supply.
Inverter heat pumps have soft started as standard.
Full installation guidelines can be found in the user manual for each heat pump including the recommended fuse rating and cable size.