I have been thinking about writing something about the Bahamas for a couple of weeks. First I want to say that I and my family are sending positive thoughts to the people who have been affected by the storm in the Bahamas and the Carolinas too here in the USA. Most of what I know about the Bahamas is concerning my customers and friends swimming pool heaters; although I spent some time in Nassau. Over the last 20 years, we have shipped 100’s of swimming pool heat pumps to the Bahamas. Some to famous entertainers. In Florida, the local codes say that you have to strap the heat pumps to the cement slab in case of hurricanes. We always support that you install your equipment to satisfy the rules where you live. There is always a reason. Strapping the heat pump is also good to keep the heat pump from moving in case something bumps into it and it moves and then cracks the PVC pipes causing a pool water leak. I have seen that backfire though if a customer has a lawn service with fast-moving tractors that hit a strapped heat pump and it doesn’t move but the impact then punctures the coil and you lose all your freon and probably the whole heat pump. Maybe if you have that sort of lawn service you can put a barrier to protect the swimming pool heat pump and your home air-conditioner? I also have thought that if you are strapping your heat pump down to stop it from flying away, then Volkswagen Beetles would also be flying and you would have much more to worry about than your pool heater disappearing. I went to Homestead Florida after Hurricane Andrew to do animal rescue work and saw cars that had flown in the wind. I remember also that all the homes were green. It seems that the vegetation hitting the concrete block houses exploded on contact and the chlorophyll in the leaves stained everything green that it touched. It was a bizarre sight that I hope not to experience again. I have lots of pool buddies in the Florida Keys that have gone through hurricanes. I have photos of pool heaters that were 1/2 underwater that still ran after the skys cleared. I would suggest to everyone anywhere near an ocean to wash the salt off their outside mechanical equipment regularly. Turn the power off first though and if you have any doubts what can get wet please ask your mechanical, HVAC or swimming pool contractor. When I lived a mile from the beach I would spray the outside coil of my home heat pump with a garden hose every month to try to prevent the coil from rotting. That can prolong a heat pumps life from 5 years to 15 years or more in very corrosive salt air or pollution type of environments. Most of my pool heat pumps are plastic with stainless steel fittings and the freon coils have been coated to protect from salt, but it still can’t hurt. Every storm that puts people in harm’s way reminds me of how fragile and tenuous life is and how selling pool heaters is not that important in the bigger scheme of things.
Be safe out there. Be nice to each other. The most important thing is you and your families safety. We are rooting for you.