Pool Heat Pump Troubleshooting Tips

pool heat pump troubleshooting

If you are the proud owner of a pool heat pump, you probably enjoy early spring and late fall swimming with your family and friends. If so, you may have encountered one of these common pool heat pump problems. Let’s take a look at Pool Heat Pump Troubleshooting tips to keep your pool water nice and warm when the weather begins to cool.

Heat Pumps transfer heat from the surrounding air to the water as it circulates back in to the pool. Heat pumps are more efficient than pool heaters, but can only create noticeably warmer water when the weather is 50 degrees or above. If you are just looking to open your pool early, swim at night or extend your season later into the fall, pool heat pumps are a great investment.

Knowing that your heat pump may take some strain when warming your pool water season after season, small problems can arise from time to time. 

Common Heat Pump Issues:

1. Heat pump is running but not heating pool

  • First thing to remember is that a pool heat pump can only effectively work in temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature below 50, the freon (refrigerant) will begin to freeze and prevent the heat pump from working properly. If your pump is in defrost mode, you will need to wait until the evaporator is free of ice.
  • Is your heat pump located under a low roof or close to a wall or fence? Obstructions may be blocking enough air flow to allow the heat pump to work at peak performance.
  • Is your heat pump circulating warm water into the pool, but your overall pool water temperature is not rising? We recommend increasing the pool pump cycle time. The heat may need more time to properly cycle through all of the water.

2. Heat Pump is taking too long to heat the pool

  • Air temperature, the size of your swimming pool and the heat pump’s condition can all impact how long the unit will take to heat your water. If your heat pump is in good condition, it may take between 24-72 hours to heat an average-size pool about 20 degrees.

3. Heat Pump will not turn on or run

  • First, ensure that the unit is plugged in and the circuit breaker is not tripped. Flip the switch off and back on before attempting to power up your heat pump again.
  • Is your thermostat set to low? If your pool water is actually higher than the setting on your thermostat, it will not need to warm the water. Adjust the temperature setting to above the current pool water temp.
  • If your heat pump is on, but not running, make sure all valves are in the correct position to allow proper water flow. Also, ensure that the filter and pump basket are clear of debris. Also, remember that the filter pump needs to be running before the heat pump can operate.

4. Heat Pump is leaking water

  • Since heat pumps use refrigerant and hot gas to warm your pool water, condensation may form on or around the unit. One way to test for a leak is by turning off your heat pump, while leaving the filtration system running. If the puddle of water evaporates, you should be good to go. Keep in mind – heat pumps will naturally create up to 9 gallons of condensation per hour!
  • If the puddle remains, or continues to grow while the pool pump is running and heat pump is off, then there may be a leak. Test the water with a test strip or reagent, looking for any sign of a sanitizer (chlorine or salt). Normal condensation will not test for any chlorine. If chlorine is present, you will need to find and fix the leaking area of your heat pump.

5. Heat Pump has poor water flow

  • One of the most important ways to keep your heat pump running strong is to ensure that steady water flow is being pushed through the unit. Once the pump loses steady water flow, it will have issues and take a lot longer to complete a heating cycle. NOTE: Only run your heat pump when it has water flowing from the filtration system. No water in a running heat pump may cause irreplaceable damage.
  • So, how can you increase the water flow? Make sure the working valves are open and all debris is cleared from the filter and filter basket in the pool pump. Once your filtration equipment is unclogged, the heat pump’s performance should drastically increase.

If you have any questions, comments or recommendations, be sure to leave a comment below! Pool Supply World also carries one of the largest selections of Heat Pumps and Heat Pump replacement parts in the pool industry! If you need help finding a product or pool part, be sure to contact our friendly staff at 800-772-0467.

Looking for more cost efficient ways to heat your swimming pool? Be sure to check out the Four Cost Efficient Ways to Heat Your Pool blog article!

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Brian Champ
When Brian isn't writing pool-related articles, he enjoys anything that will take him outdoors: hiking, biking and trail running ...to name a few. Brian is excited to share his pool knowledge with helpful how-to guides, product reviews, comparisons, and more!