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Subject: Fair Pool Policy
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Author Messages
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:137


02/15/2020 1:50 PM  
Our HOA has a community pool that is not heated full-time. The current policy is that the pool will be heated upon request and that weather/temperature will be a factor. For example, if the low temperature is 33 degrees, the pool will not be heated because it would be cost prohibitive. There presently aren't many pool enthusiasts in my HOA, so we rarely get any requests to heat the pool, and the requests generally range from 1-7 days about two to three times per year.

There is a high probability that in the future, some owners will be greedy and want the pool heated every other weak or multiple days throughout the year, even if temperatures are pleasant and then complain if denied.

The most fair policy I can proffer is to allot each owner two heated pool days per year and owners can donate their pool days to other owners.

What are some effective pool policies that have worked in your HOA's for a pool that is not heated full-time?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:875


02/15/2020 6:08 PM  
We have a small pool for 300 homes and we don't heat the pool in the winter, only the hot tub. I don't know what kind of real estate you have on the roof of your pool house equipment room, have you explored solar heaters? Have you gotten a cost estimate form the gas company if you heated the pool to 60 or 70 degrees?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2095


02/15/2020 6:24 PM  
Just because some owners want the pool heated doesn’t mean they are greedy.

No way I would play carbon credits with the pool.

I’m surprised your pool responds so rapidly to heating that you can tailor it daily.

I’d just start a bit earlier with heating and shut heat off a little later, perhaps on during special events.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:137


02/15/2020 8:54 PM  
Posted By LetA on 02/15/2020 6:08 PM
We have a small pool for 300 homes and we don't heat the pool in the winter, only the hot tub. I don't know what kind of real estate you have on the roof of your pool house equipment room, have you explored solar heaters? Have you gotten a cost estimate form the gas company if you heated the pool to 60 or 70 degrees?





The pool is heated to 82 degrees upon request. The pool was last heated on a full time 24/7 basis at 82 degrees and it cost $800 per month in the winter to do so. I'm assuming that utility costs have increased 1.5 to 2x since them.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3572


02/16/2020 2:26 AM  
Posted By NpB on 02/15/2020 1:50 PM
There is a high probability that in the future, some owners will be greedy and want the pool heated every other weak or multiple days throughout the year, even if temperatures are pleasant and then complain if denied.

How can you possibly know that or predict it with any certainty? Wanting the pool heat turned on is hardly "greedy", it's more like "they pay for it and want it". I'm having a real hard time with characterizing that as "greedy".
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:241


02/16/2020 4:50 AM  
Have you looked into using a solar cover on the pool? Our pool is smaller and that is what we did. It was a little inconvenient but helped with the cost.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:875


02/16/2020 5:29 AM  
Split the baby, I don't know if you have a full time person at your pool to monitor the temperature or if the temperature can be changed remotely or by digital thermostat. Split the baby and keep the temp of the water at 82 an hour before the pool opens and kick it back to 60 or off when the pool closes.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2095


02/16/2020 6:13 AM  
Uh ... everyone knows larger pools don’t respond quickly ... our last one could take two days to get from 60F to 82F.

I think some engineering math is going to be needed to determine the sensitivity, based on outside/ground temp, of the heating system to increase the temp. Burn rate of fuel vs increase in temp, based on various temps/various times of year.

Since some owners probably don’t even use the pool, or rarely, asking them to pay more is problematic ... good luck finding common ground.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:547


02/16/2020 7:34 AM  
I think SamE suggestion makes the most sense. If I were on your Board I would investigate a Solar cover that has mechanical cover that a switch can be thrown and it opens or closes.

It seems crazy to think that simply 1 homeowner can decide next Tuesday they want the Pool heated to 82 degrees. I would tell them to go take a bath and they can have the tub at whatever temp they choose. It is also very inefficient to let the water get as cold as 62 and then heat it to 82 on request. It would make more sense to budget for the heating cost and maybe limit it to the months March and November when the Sun helps you.

What else do you do in your HOA if 1 single owner requests something? What would you do if one person requests it to be heated and another requests that it not be heated?
AugustinD


Posts:2657


02/16/2020 7:51 AM  
Posted By NpB on 02/15/2020 8:54 PM
The pool is heated to 82 degrees upon request. The pool was last heated on a full time 24/7 basis at 82 degrees and it cost $800 per month in the winter to do so. I'm assuming that utility costs have increased 1.5 to 2x since them.
Even in the Southwest, it appears many pool owners shut the pool down in the winter months and cover it for at least four months, say November 15 to March 15. The costs to a HOA are otherwise prohibitive, especially given the lack of use, as you point out. Otherwise I agree with others that heating the pool on request is not economical nor appropriate.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2980


02/16/2020 8:12 AM  
Why not base it on the weather? I don't think pools are supposed to be as warm as bathwater anyway. There's a cost to hearing up the pool, so the board should be prudent as to when it should raise it. There's also the matter of algae and bacteria, which develops quickly in warmer water. That means even more costs in pool mantainece - are these folks willing to pay it? Probably not.

I did a little googling and found this - young children and the elderly usually need temperatures between 84-94 degrees. Adults are ok between 85-89 and people who swim for exercise 74-84 degrees. For a commercial pool(e.g. A pool in a park), 82 degrees if used in competition, 84 for recreation.

See how complicated this can get? Apparently your neighbors don't know if care that the temperature can depend on what you're doing in it. They may have also forgotten that the body temperature does dip a bit when you first jump in, but you adjust quickly as you move around in it. That's why my old health club required people to take a quick shower before getting in because you adjust to the pool temperature faster.

So...come with a maximum temperature and set it based on the weather. Run some numbers to see how much more it'll cost to hear the pool when it really isn't necessary, show that to the homeowners and the can decide how often the pool should be heated, understanding there will be an adjustment to the assessment, if necessary.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2095


02/16/2020 8:34 AM  
Start here, perhaps:

Calculating Heat Run Time

Heat pumps and heaters, alike, are sized according to the British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour. One BTU raises one pound of water by 1 degree F. One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds. So, 8.34 BTUs raise one gallon of water by 1 degree F.

FORMULA: Determine the time required to increase water temperature by 1 degree F

# of gallons in pool X 8.34 = ___________ lbs. of water

______ pounds of water / BTU Size = The hours it takes to raise the water temperature by 1 degree F

EXAMPLE

You have a 20,000-gallon pool and use a 125,000 BTU heater. Your water is currently 70 degrees F but you would like it to be a minimum of 80 degrees F. How long will it take before the pool water reaches 80 degrees F?

20,000 x 8.34= 166,800 lbs

166,800/125,000= 1.33 hrs to increase 1 degree

80-70= 10 degree difference

10 x 1.33= 13.34 hours of heating before the pool reaches 80 degrees F.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:137


02/16/2020 9:09 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 02/16/2020 7:51 AM
Posted By NpB on 02/15/2020 8:54 PM
The pool is heated to 82 degrees upon request. The pool was last heated on a full time 24/7 basis at 82 degrees and it cost $800 per month in the winter to do so. I'm assuming that utility costs have increased 1.5 to 2x since them.
Even in the Southwest, it appears many pool owners shut the pool down in the winter months and cover it for at least four months, say November 15 to March 15. The costs to a HOA are otherwise prohibitive, especially given the lack of use, as you point out. Otherwise I agree with others that heating the pool on request is not economical nor appropriate.





Heating the pool is very expensive and so are solar panels and a solar cover. In a recent community survey, zero homeowners were in favor of those options.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:209


02/16/2020 9:22 AM  
Posted By NpB on 02/16/2020 9:09 AM
Posted By AugustinD on 02/16/2020 7:51 AM
Posted By NpB on 02/15/2020 8:54 PM
The pool is heated to 82 degrees upon request. The pool was last heated on a full time 24/7 basis at 82 degrees and it cost $800 per month in the winter to do so. I'm assuming that utility costs have increased 1.5 to 2x since them.
Even in the Southwest, it appears many pool owners shut the pool down in the winter months and cover it for at least four months, say November 15 to March 15. The costs to a HOA are otherwise prohibitive, especially given the lack of use, as you point out. Otherwise I agree with others that heating the pool on request is not economical nor appropriate.





Heating the pool is very expensive and so are solar panels and a solar cover. In a recent community survey, zero homeowners were in favor of those options.




If there is zero homeowners in favor of these options, why not do what's needed to simply change it so the pool is closed during your winter months?
AugustinD


Posts:2657


02/16/2020 9:39 AM  
Phoenix is the city of home swimming pools. I suspect it would be easy to arrange a cost-benefit analysis of adding a pool cover; whether to turn the heat down a bit at night; and so on.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2095


02/16/2020 11:13 AM  
"Heating the pool is very expensive and so are solar panels and a solar cover. In a recent community survey, zero homeowners were in favor of those options."

So, no one wants to do either? Or, did you mean no one wants to buy solar panels or a solar cover?

I don't understand why this is under discussion, then.

AZ is like the ideal place in the world for solar water heating for pools, right? Even in the dead of winter, obviously given your location in AZ, you should be lots of sunlight, right? I would start with this.

There are also new heat pump systems that might lower cost over some x period.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3572


02/16/2020 11:49 AM  
Our pool is open year-round. We considered installing solar thermal panels on the clubhouse to heat the pool in the months when the weather is a bit cooler (few and far between this winter). Every reference we found agreed that a cover on the pool should be used because it will prevent a lot of heat from escaping the water through evaporation. We've read that we shouldn't even begin to consider solar hot water heating for the pool unless we have, and use, a cover first. We've looked into a cover but abandoned the idea when it becamse obvious that no one was willing to oversee its operation on a daily basis (and hiring someone to do it was out of the question).
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2095


02/16/2020 12:25 PM  
Geno,

Yep, that’s why I think I would always go with a solution that is a simple plug in to the current heating system ... almost zero maintenance, as well.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:137


02/16/2020 4:03 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 02/16/2020 11:13 AM
"Heating the pool is very expensive and so are solar panels and a solar cover. In a recent community survey, zero homeowners were in favor of those options."

So, no one wants to do either? Or, did you mean no one wants to buy solar panels or a solar cover?

I don't understand why this is under discussion, then.

AZ is like the ideal place in the world for solar water heating for pools, right? Even in the dead of winter, obviously given your location in AZ, you should be lots of sunlight, right? I would start with this.

There are also new heat pump systems that might lower cost over some x period.





Correct. No one wants to spend thousands on a solar cover or solar panels.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2095


02/16/2020 4:29 PM  
I continue to be confused ... so, if no one wants to heat the pool, why are we talking about it?
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:209


02/16/2020 4:37 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 02/16/2020 4:29 PM
I continue to be confused ... so, if no one wants to heat the pool, why are we talking about it?




Amen. Why heat it at all?
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:137


02/17/2020 3:26 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 02/16/2020 4:29 PM
I continue to be confused ... so, if no one wants to heat the pool, why are we talking about it?





Some owners in the past have wanted it heated for one week, but they end up using it for only two days.

In the future, if someone wants it heated every other week, how do you limit people? Do you have a limit of two days per year per owner?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2095


02/17/2020 4:25 PM  
Sigh ... now even more confused.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9145


02/17/2020 4:27 PM  
NpB

Stop worrying about and trying to control every what if. Have the BOD make pool rules (including heating) and see where they go. Do not be swayed by a vocal minority. Do what is best for all.
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