Question: Distance of heater to spa

  • Last Post 31 January 2019
cybertoad posted this 30 January 2019


Hello, we are in the process of getting quotes to build a pool with a heated spa, and will include a natural gas heater. Due to the configuration of our yard, we are planning on putting the pump and heater in the corner of our yard, which will be about 60 feet away from the spa. The guy who came out today seemed to have a big issue with the idea of putting it that far away, and wanted to move them about 20 feet closer to the spa in a much less desirable location. Neither of the other contractors raised the issue. Is the loss of efficiency on a 60 foot run that big of a deal? He said our bill would be "twice as much" by having it that far away....

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InyoRob posted this 30 January 2019

A lot would depend upon the climate when and where the spa will be used; but, it would be beneficial to have the heater closer to the spa. In the case of year-round spas, in cold climates, there can be significant heat loss in 60 feet of pipe run. This does mean more energy is needed to heat the spa, but how much would depend upon the climate at the site. 

There can also be a delayed reaction with respect to time and temperature rise, ultimately impacting the water temp in the spa. In other words, the temp in the spa may or may not be the same as the temp displayed on the heater.  Of course, if the spa remains covered, these variables will only be noticeable when the spa is being used.

Wrapping or insulating the plumbing can help mitigate the aforementioned potentials. This is routinely done in cases such as this, again depending upon the climate. Hope this helps.

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cybertoad posted this 31 January 2019

Thank you for your insight! I'm in central California and the winter climate is pretty mild overall and the ground certainly never freezes... perhaps this will be a bit more forgiving with pipe run length? We do intend on installing an automatic pool cover that will also cover the spa. I will ask the builder we ultimately choose about insulating the pipe and/or moving the equipment closer as a last resort. Really hope to avoid doing so unless that is going to be the only reasonable decision.