If The Swimming Pool Heat Pump Stops Working In Winter, Is It Broken?

Posted on: 20 January 2016

Although swimming pool heat pumps are very efficient under certain circumstances, they do have limitations. If your swimming pool heat pump stops working in winter, knowing how the heat pump works and under what conditions your heat pump can function can help you decide whether or not your heat pump is broken and in need of repair.

If the swimming pool heat pump stops working in winter, is it broken?

Heat pumps work by drawing heat from the air outside and using that heat to warm the water in the pool. Heat pumps contain refrigerant trapped in a coil. That refrigerant starts off at a very low temperature. When exposed to the warmer air outside, the refrigerant absorbs the heat in the air. The heated refrigerant is moved to another part of the coil, where it's compressed until it's very hot. Then water from the pool is passed over the coil. The heated refrigerant warms the water, and it's sent back to the pool.

Below a certain outdoor temperature, heat pumps don't function very well. Condensate that builds up on the coil can freeze if the temperature outside falls below freezing. This frozen condensate can disrupt the function of the heat pump. Many standard heat pumps will turn off before the condensate has a chance to freeze. This doesn't mean that the heat pump is broken. In fact, this is the way the heat pump is designed to operate.

Is there any way to get a heat pump that will work in below-freezing temperatures?

Some heat pumps are designed to function in lower temperatures. These units have a reverse function that sends hot refrigerant into the coil that touches the outdoor air. This heated refrigerant melts any ice on the coil that may have formed as a result of condensation.

How can you find out the minimum temperature at which your heat pump is designed to function?

You can try looking this information up in the owner's manual that came with the heat pump. If you can't find the manual, try contacting your swimming pool repair company. They can tell you the minimum temperature at which your heat pump should be able to work. If you discover that your heat pump isn't functioning properly, have your swimming pool repair company schedule a time when they can come take a look at your particular heat pump unit. They can help you by getting your heat pump back in working order.

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