Pool Heater Installation: How to Install a Pool Heater?


Installing a pool heater is undoubtedly one of the best ways to make your swimming pool much more inviting. They may not admit it, but most people prefer the comfort of heater water in swimming pools even during the summer season. If you can afford it, you can always hire a pro to do your pool heater installation. However, if you prefer to do it yourself, then the following guide on how to install a pool heater can help you out.

Note that the procedure below pertains to the installation of gas-fired pool heaters. A different set of instructions are necessary for electric pool heaters and solar pool heaters. There may be slight variations and differences concerning how to install a gas pool heater and how to install a propane pool heater, but the steps generally involve the following.

6 Steps on How to Install a Pool Heater

Gas-fired pool heaters remain some of the most popular types of swimming pool heaters around and use either natural gas or propane for fuel. Keep in mind that specific instructions regarding how to install a pool heater may vary depending on the fuel type, size, and model of your heating unit.

1. Choose Your Heating Unit

Choosing the appropriate unit is a crucial step in how to install a gas pool heater. As mentioned earlier, gas-fired pool heaters are available in two variants: namely, natural gas and propane. Each fuel type has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, natural gas is much cheaper than propane, but propane is more energy-rich than natural gas, which means that you will use less of it to heat your swimming pool. You’ll have to compare both types and decide which of the two you would prefer to have.

Another important consideration when choosing a swimming pool heater is the size. A heating unit that is too small won’t effectively heat your pool water, whereas one that is too big will cause you to spend more than is necessary.

Determining the correct heater size involves taking into consideration several factors. These include the surface area of the pool, average air temperatures, humidity levels, and others. So be sure to do your research on how to install a propane pool heater or natural gas pool heater well before putting any money down for a unit. Consider hiring a professional to do the sizing and analysis for more accurate results.

2. Find a Suitable Installation Location

Determine the most suitable spot for installing your gas-fired pool heater. Although the ideal installation spot will depend on the type and model of your heater, choose to have it as close as possible to the pump. This way, you won’t have to use as many pipes.

Having your heater installed near the gas supply line is a good idea. Also, make sure that the unit is easily accessible for repairs and maintenance.

3. Install the Equipment Pad

Gas-fired swimming pool heaters require a solid pad for them to sit on. Positioning them on dirt or soil is not recommended. You can build a cement slab and use it to hold the unit, or you can purchase an equipment pad that is designed specifically for your heater’s type and model.

When installing the equipment pad, make sure that you check the necessary clearances set by the manufacturer. There should be ample space between the heating unit and other structures. But at the same time, you don’t want to install it too far off because it will cause you to use more pipes than is necessary.

4. Connect the Swimming Pool Heater

Connect the swimming pool heater to the appropriate lines. Be sure to read your owner’s manual for specific instructions regarding this procedure on how to install a pool heater. The manual will also tell you which pipe size you should use.

Generally, this step on how to install a gas pool heater or propane pool heater requires you to connect the heater’s input to the pump and the output to the returns pipe. Inspect the connections and make sure that they’re all secured.

5. Connect the Heater to the Gas Supply Line

Of the many steps involved in how to install a gas pool heater or how to install a propane pool heater, this one is perhaps the most crucial. Manufacturers and experts do not recommend that you do this part of the installation yourself unless you have prior experience working with gas supply lines. If you don’t feel comfortable or confident tinkering with gas supply lines, then you should certainly contact a technician to help you out.

Additionally, you’ll want to get in touch with the appropriate authorities in your area before touching your gas supply line. In many places, you are not allowed to repair, modify, or add any accessories to your gas supply lines unless you are an accredited professional.

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6. Test the Pool Heater

After setting up the pool heater, you can now proceed to test it. If you followed all the steps on how to install a propane pool heater or natural gas pool heater correctly, then you should feel the pool water temperature start to rise.

If it doesn’t, then that means that there must be something wrong with the connections, unit, or installation procedure. In such cases, you’ll want to inspect the unit and pipes. Inspect the gas supply line as well and check for any signs of gas leaks. If you see any bubbles on the gas pipes or smell any hint of gas in the air, immediately turn the gas valve off and contact your utility service provider.

Regardless of the cause, refrain from using your heater and pool in the meantime until the issue is solved.



Q: How much does it cost to put in a pool heater?


Pool heater installation can cost anywhere between $500 and $5000. The huge price gap is influenced by a variety of factors like the type of pool heater to be installed, additional accessories, and others. Labor costs which includes electrical and plumbing works will further add to the costs.

Q: Can I install my own pool heater?


Yes, it is possible learn how to install a pool heater on your own, although extreme care must be taken to ensure that the installation is executed properly. Otherwise, the heater may not work as intended and even lead to damages to you and your property. That said, it is strongly recommended to hire professionals for your pool heater installation.

Q: How do I install a plumbing heater in my pool?


Installing the plumbing on your heater will require several steps to accomplish.

  1. Determine the size of the pipes required to connect the swimming pool heater and water lines. Although most swimming pool heaters require the same size and type of pipes, there are some which have their own specific requirements especially when they’re manufactured abroad.
  2. Determine how much pipes you’re going to need. This will largely be influenced by the distance between the heater and the pool, as well as how far it is from the gas supply lines.
  3. Install the plumbing according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to do so in order to maximize efficiency. There will be times when restrictions like installation location, surrounding structures and others will make it impossible to install the plumbing according to the manufacturer’s specifications. In such cases, contact a pool heater installer or plumber to do the task for you.

Q: How long does it take to install a pool heater?


Pool heater installation can be completed in as short as a few hours or one day. Sometimes, it can take several days to be installed. It all depends on the type and the size of the pool heater. How fast and efficient you or your technician works also affect the amount of time needed to install the pool heater.

Q: How do you wire a pool heater?


Wiring instructions for swimming pool heaters will vary depending on the type of heater you have. For instance, gas swimming pool heaters don’t typically need a dedicated breaker whereas a heat pump or electrical pool heaters do. You can check your owner’s manual to determine the exact requirements or have a professional do the wiring instead.

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Installing a swimming pool heater allows you, your family, and friends to enjoy using your swimming pool even when the temperature starts falling. Swimming and playing swimming pool games are simply much more fun when the water temperature isn’t cold. Again, it is strongly advised that you leave your pool heater installation in the hands of an experienced professional. But if you’d rather do it on your own, then yes it is possible to learn how to install a pool heater. Learning how to install a gas pool heater or how to install a propane pool heater is quite challenging, but if you’re confident about your plumbing and electrical skills then you can probably do it in no time. Nonetheless, if you decide to go down this route be sure that you exercise caution and follow the installation instructions correctly to avoid any unfortunate accidents.

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