I supply my customers with heat pumps for swimming pools, aquaculture farms, homes & industry. We send out what I know are the highest quality heatpumps and supplies. My picks can change over time, and especially when I feel that a manufacturer loses a step or I get that funny feeling that something isn’t right. It isn’t an exact science but my picks have been pretty good. Just replaced a Pergrine (Smartemp) pool heater from 2000 that was still running but on its last legs. I have some Heat Siphon, Hayward, Pentair and Jandy heat pumps that have performed well from 15 years ago. Some better than others. I think mice finished the Smartemp off. Maybe invest in a good pool heat pump cover to stop that. This is a strange time in the industry. So many big players have no stock and are having supply chain issues that are causing them to not even have the proper spare parts. I had a swim school in a cold-weather state that was out of business for 3 weeks because their pool was cold and they couldn’t get a $30.00 part on a 1-year-old heater. They reached out to me for help and I called in a few favors from my friends of 30 years in the trade and got them the part. I shouldn’t have to do that. This year I have reached out to new to me USA suppliers of basic HVAC and geothermal supplies; some of them my LinkedIn buddies and some from my everyday encounters and have been ghosted more often than I can remember. Hey suppliers, I can be a big account that might even make you laugh occasionally. Special shout out to a temperature sensor supplier from Utah who was amazing following up with me. Wow, that is a professional sales guy. I like people who know their business and are excited about what they sell. I feel in the back of their mind they think they are making the world a better place. I know that I think that way. I get contacted by Chinese companies every day by e-mail and messaging to supply me with whatever I need. Very tempting, but that isn’t my business model though. I only sell USA-made products. I would sell Canadian heat pumps in Canada but for some reason, the new Canadian manufacturers don’t want my help like they did 10 to 15 years ago. I just had a Canadian poolheatpump Volcano made by Focustemp stop working after 18 years. I liked those guys. We would go out for French food when they were in town. Note to manufacturers. I have a soft spot for going out to eat and talking about pool heaters. Too bad the Focustemp guys have moved on to other things now. What confuses me is why don’t any European or other Asian companies try to reach out to me for more business? I have been to European Trade shows and I know that they can make stuff over there. 🙂 It is Strange. A couple of the big pool USA heat pump manufacturers are distributing small Chinese heat pumps. I have not heard anything negative. They will have to support them for years so I hope they tested them well. That should be a wake-up call for USA manufacturers to keep up on technology. Hard for a serviceman to get an engineer on the phone at 3 pm when you are in the field troubleshooting a system if is 2 am in China though. Not enough to have a good heat pump. There have to be people around supporting it and ready to help out if any issues arise. This probably isn’t news, but mechanical things break every once in a while. This is a strange year and I know that all of you are stressed. Maybe soaking in a warm pool will make you feel better. Or maybe watching your warm Koi fish growing big and strong. I know I can help you there and won’t ghost you. Well, I might if you keep calling wanting to optimize my website, remove ground moles, or keep leaves out of my gutter.
Stay safe out there. We really care about you and your comfort.
I am regularly asked what maintenance needs to be done to swimming pool heat pumps. Most people never do anything until they need a service call. Really pool heaters are just big air conditioners, so many of the same types of service needs to be done to them. It is always a good idea to wash out the insides to get any dirt and leaves that might have slipped past the fan motor and fan blade. Make sure the circuit breaker is off and that you don’t get the water near the electrical components. AquaCal used to have a plastic lid that closed over the fan when the unit turned off to stop debris from getting inside. Seemed like a good idea. Nobody else picked up on it though. Not sure why. The outside coils should be rinsed off of dirt and even salt if you are anywhere near the ocean. An HVAC or electrician should tighten the electrical connections every few years. Maybe oil the fan motor if it isn’t sealed from the factory. Not that much to do. I come from a service background so I like to see it done but I have also seen 15 years old models running without ever being touched. If an HVAC person is checking the unit, maybe check the freon pressure and the temperature difference between the outside air and the air blown out by the fan. Also the water pressure switch should be tested to make sure the heat pump shuts off when the filter pump shuts down. I have people in Florida near some of the best heat pump manufacturers in the world looking to buy heat pumps from other countries. I don’t understand if you have a great manufacturer in your back yard why you would look someplace else. When you have an emergency you want a part or a service person fast. I have seen some quality heat pumps come out of Canada like Thermeau, Nirvana, Waterco, Nautyl. Some that went out of business or were sold that I used to repair like, Turcotte, Focustemp, and Summit. Summit was a reliable heat pump that was bought by Hayward. I had a hand in Hayward buying that company. Titan was another Canadian brand but I didn’t see one in person. Lots of Chinese heat pumps out there now. There is Comfortemp on the web. I saw that they were in the Northeast especially New York State. Fairland, Fibro Pool and Phnix are also Chinese but I don’t have any personal experience with them. Some I don’t know where they are made like XtremepowerUS, Trevinium, Trydent and Distinction. If you are a rep for them please call me and let me know. If you want to know what manufacturers are doing everything right please let me know. Swimming pools should be fun. They should not cause your stress with a repair. I like reliable heaters that I have seen to have the least chance of having any issues years down the road. I try to visit factories to check up on them to confirm that they are busy, organized and the quality of workmanship is impressive. Not traveling much lately though. This Covid has really changed my travel plans. I call lots of manufacturers to see if they seem to care and can answer questions. Stay safe and keep fit in your warm pool. If I can help with a heatpump heater or a chiller if the water gets too hot, please let me know.
I have cabin fever. We are living through a weird time. I know that I have it good compared to the rest of the world. I don’t have food stress, I have shelter a job. Still, I miss the old days of just 6 months ago. It is strange going to the doctor with a mask on. I got the feeling today that when I went with my wife for her medical appointment that the doctor didn’t want me in the room as if he was afraid I would give him Covid 19. Impossible to read people with most of their face blocked off. I have to figure out how to express 10 emotions with my eyes I guess. Bizarre going to the bank and them not minding I had a mask and sun glasses on. I have friends that I know had Covid in February that are afraid to socialize with me unless I am 6 feet away and masked up. Lots of geothermal installations still going on. I am happy that I am still sending swimming pool heat pumps to people stuck at home. It makes me feel like I am doing something to make some people more comfortable & happy. I am sending more heat pump chillers out this year to people that usually just put up with pools that were too hot for a month or two. Best year ever for that. My fish people do need chillers to keep the little fingerlings from over heating. Sent 2 heat pump chillers to Hawaii to help a man with trout that needed cool water to be healthy and grow big. I hope my other Aquaculture, hydroponic and Aquaponic people check in with me to tell me how they are doing. I want someone to step up and challenge me to a grow off and see if science can beat me. I will even send you documented 2000 pound possible pumpkin seeds so we can judge whos growing technique works the best.
Stay safe out there,
My customers are thinking out of the box. I received this photo last week from a customer’s whose 25 years old #geothermal heat pump failed right before he had to travel overseas last summer. He didn’t have time to order and install a new heat pump to keep his family cool, so instead he hooked up his open loop well water to his evaporation coil inside the Geo unit and used the 48 degree F ground well water to cool his home making his air coil a hydronic coil. Not the ideal way to cool or to dehumidify but an amazing hack to solve a problem. Now with our social isolating and a stay at home spring, he has time to swap his #heat pump with a new one before this summer’s cooing season starts. I have some people in Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada and Texas who cool their pools using a fountain instead of a heat / cool swimming pool heater when the water gets over 90 F. You waste more chemicals and water doing it, but if you don’t have the cooling option, then it will do in an emergency. I know lots of you are doing forced stay-cations now and are staring at cold pools. If I can help make you home more comfortable or your pool more tropical please let me know. A warm pool helps keep a positive mental attitude for the family and helps keep moral high. Keeping fit is a great bonus in these days of binge TV and delivery pizza. Sometimes a pool heater is a necessity and not a luxury.
We will get through this.
Please be safe out there.
Social safe isolation is the rule of the land today. The National Guard is coming to my town on Monday to help out. I took this photo on Friday to show that even the clouds are in quarantine where I live. I don’t ever remember only seeing one cloud anywhere that I look in the sky. Maybe it is a sign? Maybe just something to distract me? I have still been sending out pool heat pumps. In the middle of a pandemic you might think that pool heaters are not the most important thing in peoples lives. I have even heard guilt in my customers voices when buying one. I thought about that, and the way I see it if people are going to be spending time at home and not traveling doing their stay-cations & social isolation & their pool is too cold to swim in, then they really and a need a swimming pool heat pump. These are stressful times & anything that will help people relieve stress and get their exercise is a good thing. Most of the home based activities are sedentary or eating related. I don’t stream movies or deliver pizza. Both are important services but there needs to be more to do to stay healthy. I make pools usable. If your pool is warm, and you use it regularly, then life should be a bit more bearable. I am not writing this to sell pool heat pumps. I can sell HVAC supplies to survive. Nobody reading this is going to have an a-ha moment because of me blogging about heaters and just now they just realized they need a warm pool. I am writing it so that you don’t feel guilty making your home livable in this emergency. To be your best and ready for anything you need to be healthy.
As always we are here for you.
Stay safe and call your Mom.
I know that I am being irrational about this #Coronavirus. Although the first case in the USA was in my county about 10 miles from my house. I did get my flu shot last week as I learned really how dangerous the yearly influenza is. I cancelled a domestic flight because I didn’t want to be stuck on line going through security with lots of world travelers. I over reacted when I found out my daughter was taken to a local Chinese meat market on a play date with her friend. I am not a big fan of huge food markets anymore with a mix of everything from everywhere. I thought it might be safe to go to Costco, but then to my dismay I saw the greeters wearing masks. One of my potential customers told me $3,000.00 was too much to spend on a #heatpump to keep their #swimming #pool warm all season. My new homebody self thought it would be great to have a warm pool and just do a stay-cation this year. I am sure they would spend that much on summer travel. I am taking my wife to a local #Hotel next week for her birthday. It has a heated pool and we won’t have the stress of travel now. I hope the pool and spa / Jacuzzi is heated with a heat pump though and not a gas or electric heater. I have Chinese pool #heat #pump manufacturers e-mailing me everyday trying to get me to buy one. I feel bad that they are going through this & hope it is over soon. I wouldn’t wish quarantine on anyone. Many of my customers are in the #aquaCulture, #aquaponic and #hydroponic industries. I hope this doesn’t disrupt them too much. Also my #theme park, #campground and #resort customers, I am sure will be affected. It is so unnecessary. Really though, it is now time to clean up those markets. You can’t keep stressing out our shrinking world. We all have to live together.
I want you to have the best swimming pool heat pump with the longest warranty, the highest efficiency, made in the USA, with the least chance of needing service. I feel like this year pool owners are consulting Voltar to pick a heater or chiller. How do I know this? The hint I have is that they are calling me after they buy for help with an issue with the machine. I have seen and probably serviced every swimming pool heat pump and most gas heaters that were made in the USA since the early 1980s. People ask me if they should buy a metal cabinet heat pump and they live on the beach. I say that it isn’t a good idea and they go someplace else and buy one. I say that my customer should only buy a USA made heat pump with engineers in the country and service contractors ready to help and then they buy a Chinese heat pump for $200.00 less and have to call China if something goes bad. I was given a Chinese heat pump for free after a trade show to test on my pool from %#@& so I know what it is like to e-mail and call China when it is dead on arrival than watch the Chinese rep disappear when it isn’t a simple fix. I tell a customer to buy a big heat pump and then they order a 50,000 Btu heat pump from e-bay for their 25,000-gallon pool and then bad mouths heat pumps instead of the bad research. If you are going to live in your home for more than a year then please get a reliable, heat pump that is made in the USA with high efficiency for a low power bill, doesn’t shut off at 55F when you need heat the most, has a long warranty, big enough for your pool with a titanium heat exchanger that is quiet, covered with a polymer cabinet and stainless steel fittings so it doesn’t look like a sunken ship salvage after a few years. I had a customer spend $100.00 more for a Canadian heat pump with a factory 2000 miles from them when a great manufacturer was one hour from their home with factory service guys patrolling their neighborhood like police officers in a crime zone. (It also had a 5-year labor warranty.) That is an amazingly long time for labor in your backyard. Now everyone is asking me to buy the Hayward Heatpro HP2104T with 140,000 Btu’s. I have sold lots of them with no issues. Maybe I have sold more than most pool guys. Also, some of my favorite people are Hayward engineers and customer service guys that I have known for more than 20 years. (You know who you are) The problem is the warranty isn’t very long is most states. It might be good for some people and for others they can do better. I want you to do better. Since you should not buy a heat pump more than once or twice in your life, you need to get it right the first time. Pool heat pump buying is not just about buying the biggest Btu unit. There are lots of variables to consider. Just ask me and I will tell you the pros and cons of most of the brands as I have seen and service most of them. Some USA manufacturers are buying Chinese heat pumps and then just putting their label on it and selling like their own. Some are putting the heat pump together in the USA and using foreign and Chinese parts. The warm tropical water in your pool should be a fun thing and not a burden if it fails. Let me know what kind of project you have going on and I will pick a model that checks all the boxes so that you get the best possible heat pump and have the longest swimming season.
I hope that all my aquaculture & aquaponic friends are doing well this season. Even though most consider this industry a science, the results are not always scientific. You can see the photo of my rotten jack-o-lantern that appeared without any help from me. I had it all arranged for someone to water my giant pumpkins in August while I was away from the patch. August is the most critical time in their growth cycle where I live. My watering friend showed up one day and saw that someone else had used the hose near the pumpkin patch for washing something and figured that I didn’t need them to take care of the giants and then they never came back. So all the plants were damaged, and I didn’t get a very impressive crop this year. My failure didn’t affect my ability to earn a living, it just made me upset. That is nothing like my buddies who depend on successful productions for their agroecology, mariculture, fish farming, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, algaculture, and aquiculture operations to pay the bills. They have to consider heat and cold, bacteria, UV, humidity, and probably 100 other things. When they use my reliable agricultural heat pumps to heat and cool air in greenhouses, heat and cool water for plants and fish, then that will be one less thing they have to worry about. Please keep your fish and plants happy by keeping the air and water surrounding them at just the right temperature with heatpumps to make them grow fast and live a healthy life.