It is time to service or give maintenance to your swimming pool heat pump.

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.

Some swimming pool heat pump manufacturers want you to pay an extra $1,000.00 or more for your pool heater. I name names!

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.
Marcus Miller