What Does It Mean to Be the Only NSF-listed Solar Pool Heater?

Q: What does all this NSF stuff mean?  How exactly does being NSF-listed benefit pool owners and the pool industry in general?

A: When Aquatherm made the decision to subject our products to rigorous safety, durability, and toxicity testing by NSF International, we did so for a few reasons:

First and foremost, peace-of-mind for the hundreds-of-thousands of pool owners and swimmers who benefit from our solar pool heating systems every day.  Our NSF-50 listing assures Aquatherm system owners that the only thing coming out of their solar pool heater is warm, comfortable water.

“NSF International helps protect consumers by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, and consumer goods. As an independent, not-for-profit organization, our ongoing public health commitment is to encourage everyone to live safer” – National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)

After public safety, comes quality.  After running our collectors and components through the gamut of testing by NSF, we are more confident than ever to say we manufacturer “the most trusted brands in solar pool heating.”  With every step of the manufacturing process performed under one roof at our 50,000 sq ft factory in Lakewood, NJ, we have total control over the quality of every last component we ship.  Even our proprietary dual-durometer EPDM couplers (no radiator hose, here) have been tested by NSF to ensure they will not rupture, burst, leak, or sustain any kind of permanent deformation.

Lastly, having the only NSF-listed solar pool heating system in the world gives our Dealers & Distributors a huge selling advantage over their competition – particularly in the commercial pool and aquatics facilities sector.  Did you know that NSF-50 is actually required for recreational water products in most of the U.S.?  With the health and safety of their swimmers being a top priority for commercial pool owners and operators, it’s easy to see why our NSF listing helps close the deal.

Q: What is the difference between NSF-50 and NSF-61?

A: Though NSF Standard 61 is commonly known as the standard for potable water applications, actual testing methodology goes no further than testing for acceptable levels of contaminants per drinking water standards. The chart below shows some of the different testing methods NSF uses to determine if a product is approved for a listing under Standards 50 and 61 (click it to view larger):

Clearly, NSF Standard 50 goes far and beyond to ensure a product is safe and durable enough for recreational and commercial swimming pool water applications.  Each of these tests ensure the collectors and fittings will not rupture, burst, leak, or sustain any kind of permanent deformation.

Aquatherm is proud to manufacture the only solar pool heating system in the world tested to and NSF standard, and we will continue to push the envelope on quality and competitive advantage as we move forward.


How Much Will A Solar Pool Heater Cost?

Q:  How much does solar cost to install and operate compared with other types of pool heaters?

A:  Generally speaking, the initial cost of installing a solar pool heater is slightly higher than a gas-fired or electric pool heater. However, while the annual cost of electricity to run a heat pump may be only two thirds that of natural gas (and far less than propane), the sun’s energy is FREE! Once a solar pool heating system is installed there are zero operating costs. That’s right, no more ridiculously high utility bills just to use your pool comfortably! In fact, over a 15-year span of heating your pool installing a solar pool heater can save you up to $28,000.

Click on the graph to view larger.

Q: But, doesn’t the pump have to run longer? And it must be working harder to push all that pool water up to the roof?

Actually, a high-efficiency solar pool heating system only needs about 6-8 hours of good sunlight each day to effectively heat a swimming pool. Most residential pools already run their pump or filter at least 8 hours a day (8-12 is recommended). So, as long as the pool is being filtered, it is being heated.

There is more than enough power in today’s pumps to operate a solar pool heater without stressing the motor. Did you know a 1-horsepower pump is capable of pushing a column of water 60-70 feet in the air, without breaking a sweat? Once water is diverted up to the roof, physics tells us it has to come back down – creating what is known as a “siphon effect” – effectively helping to reduce pressure drop at the pump. In the end, the pump is simply overcoming a very minor frictional loss.

We’ll be posting a new FAQ every Friday, so feel free to comment with your questions below, send us an email at marketing@warmwater.com, or head over to our Facebook page and ask us there.

If we pick your question to answer on FAQ Fridays, we’ll send you this super cool Aquatherm stress ball!

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