How to choose the best electric pool heater?

best electric pool heater
If you want to extend your swimming into the cold season, you will need a pool heater that will add some warmth to your pool water. Bearing in mind that during the cold winter there is little or even no sunshine at all, a good alternative to solar pool heating is an electric pool heater. As the name suggests, these are pool heating systems that are powered solely by electricity.

Why Choose Electric Pool Heaters?

Even though electric pool heaters may shoot your energy bills, they are very reliable compared to solar pool heaters that may fail to warm your pool water when there is a scarcity of sunshine. These heaters also warm pool water quite faster than other types of pool heaters.

ecosmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless...
Hayward W3HP21104T HeatPro 110,000...
Hayward W3HP21004T HeatPro 95,000...
FibroPool FH120 Above Ground...
ZMM 240V 11KW Electric Pool Water...
Dimensions
17" x 14" x 3.75"
29" x 29.5" x 44.3"
38" x 29" x 41"
25" x 20" x 10"
22.9" x 14.7" x 5"
Weight
14 pounds
284 pounds
270 pounds
73.8 pounds
16.91 pounds
BTU
92 000
110 000
90 000
20 000
N/A
kW
18
5.7
5.7
4.81
11
Digital Temperature Display
ecosmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless...
Dimensions
17" x 14" x 3.75"
Weight
14 pounds
BTU
92 000
kW
18
Digital Temperature Display
Check price
Hayward W3HP21104T HeatPro 110,000...
Dimensions
29" x 29.5" x 44.3"
Weight
284 pounds
BTU
110 000
kW
5.7
Digital Temperature Display
Check price
Hayward W3HP21004T HeatPro 95,000...
Dimensions
38" x 29" x 41"
Weight
270 pounds
BTU
90 000
kW
5.7
Digital Temperature Display
Check price
FibroPool FH120 Above Ground...
Dimensions
25" x 20" x 10"
Weight
73.8 pounds
BTU
20 000
kW
4.81
Digital Temperature Display
Check price
ZMM 240V 11KW Electric Pool Water...
Dimensions
22.9" x 14.7" x 5"
Weight
16.91 pounds
BTU
N/A
kW
11
Digital Temperature Display
Check price

Last update on 2021-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Review of the Best Electric Pool Heaters

In the current market, there are several electric pool heaters from different companies. Each of these pool heaters has different features and prices. This may make shopping quite a hassle, especially for first-time buyers. With this in mind, we have decided to make things simple by compiling a review of the best, reliable and efficient electric pool heaters in the market.

1. EcoSmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self-Modulating Technology

The EcoSmart ECO 18 is a revolutionary electric pool heater that is designed in a fresh tankless design with Self-Modulating Technology. It is very easy to use and has been optimized to be highly energy efficient. Here is a review of the EcoSmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater.

Simple, Compact Design

Contrary to what we’d expect, this pool heater sports a simple, compact and lightweight design. It measures 20 X 20 X 6.5 inches and weighs only 14 pounds. Like earlier mentioned, it is tankless. This makes it easy for it to be installed almost anywhere making it ideal for those working in minimal space. On average, it saves up to 12 cubic feet when compared to similar heaters in its range.

Self-Modulating Technology

The EcoSmart ECO 18 comes with the unique patented Self-Modulating Technology. This enables the heater to adjust the set temperature depending on the current heating needs. If the water is frigid, the set temperature will adapt to higher temperatures and vice-versa

User-Friendly Features

When it comes to operation, this electric pool heater has been engineered to offer an unrivaled user experience. First, it has digital temperature control for easy temperature setting. The 1-degree increments, on the other hand, ensures accuracy when setting the temperature.

Unsurpassed Energy Efficiency

This pool heater from EcoSmart has been optimized for energy efficiency. According to the manufacturer’s website, the tankless heater has been proven to cut energy costs by up to 60% -). The copper and stainless steel components also improve efficiency.

Lifetime Warranty

This pool heater comes with a lifetime warranty, so you don’t need to worry about repairs in case it breaks down. However, the warranty is valid for major parts only.

Features

  • Compact tankless design
  • Copper and stainless steel components
  • Self-Modulating Technology
  • Digital temperature control
  • 1-degree temperature increments
  • .25 GPM Activation Flow
  • 18 kW at 240V, Single Phase
  • Thermal Auto Protection
  • 99.8 % Energy Efficiency Score
  • ETL Listed to UL 499 & CSA
  • 125 amp electrical panel
  • 60 amp double pole breaker
  • Assorted wires and cables
  • Lifetime Warranty
Pros
  • Space saving design
  • Highly energy efficiently
  • Precise temperature controls
  • Lifetime warranty
  • ETL Listed to UL 499 & CSA
Cons
  • Ideal for small homes only
  • Requires professional installation
verdict

Even though this pool heater is not best suited for large households, it is still a great purchase for anyone looking for an energy efficient electric pool heater. Pick up the product if you need an electric heater for Intex pools or any other medium-sized swimming reservoirs. It is also space saving enabling pool owners to install it almost anywhere. With a lifetime warranty and ETL Listed to UL 499 & CSA certification, the EcoSmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self-Modulating Technology is a great bargain!

2. Hayward HP21104T HeatPro Titanium 110,000 BTU AHRI Residential Pool Heat Pump

The Hayward HP21104T HeatPro is another great, energy-efficient and durable electric pool heater for Intex, Bestway, and other pool systems. It has been manufactured by Hayward, a renowned manufacturer of environmentally friendly pool and spa equipment for both residential and commercial inground and above ground pools. The most notable features of this heater include the industry’s only Standard Ultra Gold corrosion resistant evaporator fin that improves durability and efficiency. It also offers low-noise operation making it ideal for domestic use. Here is a detailed review of the Hayward HP21104T HeatPro.

Compact, Round Design

The size of a pool heater matters and that is why Hayward emphasized on a small pool heater that would easily be compatible with most households. It has been crafted from high-grade stainless steel material that is corrosion resistant. This heater features a simple, round design with a compact footprint for easy installation and compatibility with retrofit replacements. The design also features integrated hurricane tie-downs to meet the local codes without necessarily having accessory kits.

Performance You Can Rely On

The Hayward HeatPro sports a Titanium Heat Exchanger that guarantees the best performance even in unbearable conditions. This exchanger is pressure tested, highly energy efficient and impervious to corrosion. This makes the pool heater reliable and most importantly, durable.

Built to Last

The Hayward HeatPro also comes with the Ultra Gold corrosion resistant coated evaporator coil fin that improves durability near coastal and other corrosive areas. The fan guard is also vinyl-coated to shield it from debris that may destroy it.

Easy Control

Unlike most pool heaters out there, the Hayward HP21104T has a digital LED panel that displays the set temperature. The LED also shows the pool water temperature always. The temperature setting, on the other hand, is in 1-degree increments to guarantee accuracy. The heater also supports electronic frost control and temperature lock-out.

Low-Noise Operation

One fantastic feature of this pool heater that sets it apart from the rest is the low-noise operation. It runs on a scroll compressor; the quietest compressor ever made. It has also been equipped with an acoustic compressor cover that ensures minimal sound is emitted to the environment. The profiled fan blade design also improves airflow thus reducing noise.

Features

  • Compact, round design
  • High-grade UV-resistant body panels
  • 110,000 BTU
  • Voltage: 240
  • Hertz: 60
  • Phase: Single
  • Circuit Amps: 50
  • Ultra Gold corrosion resistant evaporator coil fin
  • Scroll compressor
  • Continuous pool temperature display
  • Dual Thermostat for pool and spa
  • Frost control and temperature lock-out
  • Acoustic compressor cover
  • Self-diagnostic codes
  • 2-in x 2 1/2-in CPVC union plumbing connections
  • Eco-friendly R410A refrigerant
  • AHRI Certified Performance
Pros
  • Compact and durable design
  • Highly energy efficiently
  • Easy and accurate controls
  • Self-diagnosis
  • Displays pool water temperature
  • UV-resistant body panels
Cons
  • Installation is a little bit complex
verdict

If you are looking for efficiency and convenience, then the Hayward HP21104T HeatPro is the ultimate pool heater for you. It boasts of the best-in-class performance courtesy of the high-tech features it has been engineered with. The operation is also easy and convenient with the digital display. Even though installation is a little bit tricky, you will surely love its performance!

3. Hayward W3HP21004T Pool Heat Pump

The Hayward W3HP21004T is a compact electric resistance water heater that has been specially designed for spas and small inground pools. It also works with above-ground models. This heater belongs to the same HeatPro series seen in the previous model, so they share lots in common. The product has a compact design to allow installation even when you are in limited space. It features a stainless steel body with UV panels, which bolster its efficiency and durability. Here is the review of the Hayward W3HP21004T Electric Pool Heater.

Compact Design

Just like most Hayward pool heaters, the W3HP21004T sports a unique, compact design that makes it easy to install almost anywhere. You can fix it under the spa or even on the steps. The design also makes servicing easier and gives full access to internal controls.

Durable Stainless Steel Components

This Hayward Heater cannot do without an Ultra Gold corrosion-resistant evaporator fin we’ve already known. Also, there is titanium counter-flow heat exchangers, stainless steel inner parts, and UV-resistant body panels. All these improve its working mechanism and contribute to the lifespan.

Excellent Performance

When it comes to performance, the Hayward W3HP21004T has a defrost sensor to prevent freezing at low temperatures. The stated minimum and maximum water flow rates form 30 and 75 GPM. Together with the input rated at 5.7Kw, the unit can raise up to 17000 gallons by one degree in one hour.

Easy Control

This heater is very user-friendly. It has been equipped with a simple dial on the front for temperature setting. Well, I think there is no need to explain the convenience of electronic temperature control.

Features

Compact design
High-grade UV-resistant body panels
90,000 BTU
Voltage: 240
Hertz: 60
Phase: Single
Circuit Amps: 40
Rated at 5.7kW
Ultra Gold corrosion resistant evaporator coil fin
Continuous pool temperature display
Frost control and temperature lock-out
Acoustic compressor cover
Self-diagnostic codes
2-in x 2 1/2-in CPVC union plumbing connections
Eco-friendly R410A refrigerant

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Durable materials
  • Highly energy efficiently
  • Nice heating data
  • User-friendly control
  • Self-diagnosis
  • Displays pool water temperature
  • UV-resistant body panels
Cons
  • Complicated installation
  • Better suits small and medium-sized pools
verdict

Even though it is specially meant to work with small pools, the Hayward W3HP21004T offers excellent performance. It has been built to last, thus offering you years of exemplary service. It is easy to install and, above all, easy to operate. If you love your spa or bathtub water warm, then this is your heater!

4. FibroPool FH120 Above Ground Swimming Pool Heat Pump

FibroPool model justly takes one of the leading positions in our top thanks to universal application and super-affordable price compared to other pool heaters. Let’s consider these all in detail.

Universal Design

FibroPool FH120 is developed for above ground pools up to 18′ and 24’, thus being a nice Intex electric pool heater. At the same time, it also works with inground pools up to 7,500 gallons.

Reliable Materials

You can safely install the product outside as it boasts an all-weather, metal, rust-resistant case. Inside, we get just as durable metal (stainless steel and titanium) parts.

Performance

As we can see, the heater deals with small pools mainly, which is a pity for owners of large swimming reservoirs. Otherwise, the performance is decent.
The heater features an output of 20000 BTU, and the COP rate forms 4.81. Heating speed depends on many conditions such as weather and your pool size, but on average, the unit will increase water temperature at 4-5 degrees in 24 hours.
Other technologies that contribute to the performance are a well-known titanium heat exchanger, a high-pressure scroll compressor, and GFCI support.

Control

Traditionally, we get a simple digital display with an intuitive interface.

Installation

Having 1 1/2” compression fittings, the model suits many common pool systems. All these make installation pretty quick and easy. According to the manufacturer, the process takes about 30 minutes. However, a bulky body means you’ll need an assistant.

Features

All-weather, metal, rust-resistant case
20,000 BTU
Voltage: 120
Hertz: 60
Phase: Single
COP rated is 4.81
Titanium heat exchanger
High-pressure scroll compressor
GFCI support
Pool temperature display
1 1/2” compression fittings
Built-in 8ft long power cable with standard USA plug

Pros
  • Affordable product
  • Suits all pool types
  • Durable materials
  • Even heating
  • Convenient temperature control
Cons
  • Not powerful at all
  • For small pools only
  • No protection against overloading
  • Bulky
verdict

FibroPool FH120 heater justly costs its money. However, the purchase will be useful only if you have a small pool. It’s also ok if you need something cheap and reliable without super-powerful or super-smart abilities.

5. ZMM 240V 11KW Electric Pool Water Heater

Here is one of the most intelligent but the smallest electric pool heaters. The unit is designed for small above ground pools, spas, and hot tubs for 2000 – 5000 gallons. If you’ve got some, you’ll be pleased with the heater’s performance.

Materials

ZMM product boasts a solid body made of 316 stainless steel with improved corrosion resistance. Thus, as usual, you can safely install it outside.

Intelligence and Energy Efficiency

As we see from the name, ZMM 240V 11kW heater requires 240V and provides us with an 11kW rate. Users can accurately adjust water temperature thanks to numerous flow and temperature sensors.
The system automatically monitors the temperature. Moreover, the heater regularly conducts the so-called Intelligent Self-Checking. Once the poor water flow, dry fuel, and other problems are noticed, this device will solve them and notify you.
There are also several levels of protection against over-current, ultra-high temperature, short circuit to the power supply line, and water flow issues.

Digital Control

Apart from the temperature sensors for automatic control, ZMM pool heater comes with a digital display. Thus, the unit can adapt to the situation itself, or you can set the necessary temp rate manually.

Features

Compact design
Stainless steel, corrosion-resistant components
Intelligent Self-Checking Technology
Multiple Protection levels
Digital temperature control
Adaptive temperature sensors
11 kW at 240V
Assorted wires and cables
Warranty

Pros
  • Space-saving design
  • Smart automatic control and protection
  • Easy and precise temp control
  • Highly energy efficiently
  • Precise temperature controls
  • Suitable for pools, spas, and hot tubs
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Weak
  • Cannot work with large above ground and inground pools
  • The manufacturer provides a minimum of technical specs.
verdict

ZMM heater has an almost irreproachable reputation as a compact water heater for small pools. We also love its upgraded spa and hot tub functions, as well as smart self-protection, temp control, and adaptability of the water environment. But we cannot deny obvious drawbacks that don’t allow us to call it the best option for most pool systems.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best electric pool heater?

It`s a quite complicated task to choose the best model, as different people and pools need different functions. However, if you are looking for a heater for a small or medium pool, we recommend EcoSmart ECO 18 and Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt ComfortZone heaters. They feature compact designs, digital temperature control, thermal auto protection, energy efficiency, and a lot of other pros. Hayward HP21104T HeatPro Titanium will suit big residential and commercial inground and above ground pools. It`s one of the best thanks to durable design, energy efficiency combined to high productivity, easy and accurate controls with displays.

faq

3. Do electric pool heaters require professional installation?

Though some manufacturers claim their heaters have easy installation, we highly recommend asking for professional installation of your electric pool heater. The majority of items require deep knowledge for installation, without which you may damage such an expensive equipment or even hurt yourself.
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Wrap Up

Electric pool heaters are very efficient in heating pool water. Even though they may push your electricity bills to the limit, they are very reliable. Regardless of the season, you will get the best pool experience as they heat water to temperatures that you will love. So, if you are the type that wouldn’t do without swimming all year round, then you might just need an electric pool heater. Get any of the heaters above and brace up for the best pool experience even in the winter!

Hi! I'm Markus Robertson, and water is my passion. Five years ago, I graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles and was going to become a professional marine biologist. However, my fate had other plans for me, and due to family problems, I had to find a more stable and well-paid job. I had only one wish for my job to be connected with water. During this period of my life, I worked as a sales manager at Olympic Pool & Spa Supplies. The job helped me learn everything about swimming pools and related pool equipment, as well as how to choose the best option and what to pay attention to. Having worked there for three years, I decided to start my own blog about pools, where I can tell people about the best new pool equipment models and share my knowledge and experience. A marine biologist by education, I became a pool blogger by trade. Now I'm glad I can help the guests of my store and the visitors of my blog know a lot of exciting things about pools, their types, best pumps and filters, necessary equipment maintenance, and so on. I welcome all people who want to choose a proper basin and the stuff to my blog! Hope you'll find this information interesting and useful!

2 Comments
  1. Hi! I live in Minnesota and wonder if any of these heaters can really help me keep my pool warm (it’s closed and measures 15ft x 30ft). Did anyone try them in the same situation?

    • Hello, Marta! Thank you very much for your question! Pool heaters do help keep water warm, especially in internal pools and small to medium pools (like your size). However, please mind that, concerning your climate, the operation may cost you a lot.

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