I have been selling swimming pool heat pumps for more than 30 years. That is pretty good for a 39 years old man. 🙂
I started out servicing them. I loved doing that as it was much more fun than crawling through 140-degree attics fixing air handler fan motors during a South Florida August. Soon I was selling pool heaters to people whose swimming pool heat pumps were not repairable. That was before most brands heat exchangers were made out of titanium and the copper or copper-nickel in them were very sensitive to PH issues. When they failed it turned the heat pump into a big boat anchor. I sold mostly EUS at first as they were a fair company that made a great product who stood behind their dealers, customers and service companies. That is the way it should be. They even invited me to teach service seminars to their dealers. I would have worked for food but they also paid me. They have since been bought out by Hayward after one of the owners was in a farm tractor accident. Now it seems I am getting lawyer letters and upset phone calls from some companies representatives that only want you to buy your heat pump from a someone who the manufacturer chooses for you, and you can be sure it isn’t an online company, even if that company has a “bricks and mortar store. They think they can turn back the clock to 1990 and stop you from doing your homework, comparing prices, specifications, size, efficiency, etc, and maybe saving a few thousand dollars. The wrong direction I think.
They forget it was the online companies that spread the word in the USA and the world about pool heat pumps in the late ’90s and early 2000s before their dealer and wholesale network caught up with the demand. The Chinese were paying attention though. They watched the industry grow and in the last 10 years, they have flooded the world with inexpensive heat pumps. Not my style, but consumers that only shop by price and are not educated about heat pumps, and who are blocked from buying the USA or Canadian heat pump that they should buy, but can’t because of a manufacturer who only wants to sell them with lots of hands in the distribution line, marking the price up too much. One argument some manufacturers use is that pool contractors can’t make a good profit if people can buy on the internet. I love pool guys. They are some of the most hardworking people that I have ever seen. You try cleaning pools and replacing a filter pump motor when it is 115 F in Arizona or Las Vegas. The temperature of the motor will burn you just from the sunlight. Or a swimming pool guy in Palm Beach, Broward or Dade County Florida working during a day with 100% relative humidity and 95F, behind schedule with lightning striking all around them. I saw that one personally. Most of my good friends are pool guys and I know that if they buy a pool heat pump wholesale and install it they can make a fair profit and everyone is happy regardless of what is happening on the internet. It is a different customer. Then the pool dealer can keep an eye on the heater and clean the leaves out of it every year, etc. There will always be plenty of business for them with that model. You are paying for someone local who is always around to remind you what valves to turn to use the spa and what buttons to press to program the thermostat. In cold weather states, you have someone who will drain the water, and put the winter cover on it. Not everyone wants to pay for that especially someone handy that can glue some pipes and call a licensed electrician to wire the heat pump. A manufacturer out of Canada got upset with me a couple of months ago when I listed their information on my site. I try to have information on as many heat pumps as possible so that pool owners can do all their homework in one place. Thermeau Industries out of Quebec City Canada told me to take all their information down on their heat pumps. They didn’t have the courtesy to call me directly as they know who I am because I sold 100’s of heat pumps from their former company called “Summit” that they sold a few years ago. When I e-mailed and then also called them to talk about that, I couldn’t even get one of the owners on the phone or to respond. I think that was a first for me not to be able to chat with a head engineer or owner of any pool heat pump manufacturer anywhere in the world. Why were they hiding?
I do believe that it is their right to sell to whoever they want. They can also try to control how and where their information is presented. I also believe they are on the wrong side of history and that this kind of behavior is an open door to the Chinese to start shipping containers of heat pumps here for half the price of North American heat pumps. Who are you going to call when you need service? I have no idea. Need a part. I doubt your local HVAC contractor has a part. Call me if you want some ideas on what pool heat pump companies are doing everything right, with long warranties, high efficiencies, and amazing reliability; some for over 35 years.
I am on your side.