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ln today’s podcast, we discuss how it’s starting to get warmer, and as it gets warmer, people are starting to want to use their swimming pools. Most pool owners believe their pools are expensive to operate, but with a variable speed pool pump, electric heat pump and PV solar, swimming pools can be a net-zero system. Stay Safe and Stay Home!

About Jamie Duran &
Solar Harmonics
Brought to you by Solar Harmonics in Northern California,  who invite their customers to “Own Their Energy” by purchasing a solar panel system or their home, business, or farm.  You can check out the website for the best solar energy equipment installer, Solar Harmonics, here.   Each episode we discuss questions facing people making the decision to go solar. The solutions to your questions are given to you –  straight  – by one of the leading experts in the solar industry, Jamie  Duran,  president of Solar Harmonics.   Feel free to search our library for answers to questions that you’re facing when considering solar.

Produced by
Magnified Media
Solar Cast is produced by Adam Duran, director of Magnified Media. Based in Walnut Creek, California, Magnified Media is an internet marketing firm focused on getting Google local Maps placement, digital marketing, website design, local search ranking and reputation management for businesses of all sizes. Check out their podcast, Local SEO in 10 here!
Magnified Media helping business owners master their marketing by:
– getting them more online reviews,
– getting their website seen and
– creating engaging social media content.
In his spare time, Adam enjoys working as the volunteer director of the Delta Education Foundation and practicing Jiu-Jitsu.

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Swimming Pools + Solar [Transcript]

Listen to the Episode Here

Adam ([00:00]):
Hello Jamie. Hello Adam. Woo. Wow. Are we ready for today? Straight talk. Solar Cast. I am more than ready. Super excited. Are you going crazy? Are your kids bouncing off the walls like mine? Oh my God. They were born for quarantine. They absolutely love it. They love no one bothering them about school. No one bothering them about anything. They’re supposed to be in their room and they’re supposed to anyway. They, well anyway, yeah, they, I in this house a people, people live the TV around here. So Mike, my kids are talking about jumping the fence just to play tennis. Like they close tennis carts around here. Come on. Oh, you have a ping pong table? Not physically challenging enough for them. Well then you’re going to love today’s topic to then lay it on me. So we in California, a crazy time as, as everyone knows what the covert 19 originally solar was classified as an essential service and that meant we could continue doing solar installations.

Jamie ([01:07]):
Well, just two days ago, we were classified as not an essential. So, yeah, all of our projects immediately called no new permits, no new final inspections. So our customers that are in the middle of that, we’re very happy that they got their project done. And then we have a pretty big backlog already have customers that want to go solar. But you know, they understand that’s a, it’s out of our control. So we will address this in a next top, you know, future podcast about the kind of the backlash on the permit sign that it’s going to be once we get everything going again. But for now we’re kind of on hold. And so yeah, we are looking at what’s, what’s coming up and solar and you know, we’ll probably talk about what the next stimulus is going to mean for solar.

Jamie ([02:00]):
But it does look like the 26% tax credit that was supposed to go to 21% in 2021 is going to stay at 26%. And it may come as an actual rebate. So somebody goes solar, they don’t have to have a tax credit. It’ll actually be a tax refund. So, so we’ll see. I think that’s kind of what they’re pushing for. I have a lot more ideas on that, but that’s okay. They turned off your direct link to Donald Trump. You know, he’s asking me what kind of ratings it would get and it probably wouldn’t get the ratings he’s looking for. So you know, it get the biggest ratings of whatever plan ever that I already know. Now he, he knows that my, my solar [inaudible], he’s straight talks over cat supports he tunes into religiously of course, but he won’t come on as a guest, but he knows that we would get, we would set the records for the base download so that, yeah, until that happens, I actually want to talk about something like I said that your kids might love and that is a swimming pool.

Adam ([03:05]):
Oh wow. Yeah. Love to jump in the pool and swim and play and make a lot of noise and cool off. Then play in the backyard essentially and get all that energy out. They would, but I don’t think I would want the bills. Ah, well there are plenty of people out there that disagree with you and the fun of having a swimming pool they love and yeah, I have a pool and my kids don’t use it as much as I would like. But I love getting a super hot day. But you are correct. They are expensive to run. They’re expensive to maintain. But you know with solar power they don’t have to be. And so we’re, we just started April and we are already getting a lot of people that are looking for ways they want to use their pools but it’s too cold and they know if they run their gas heater you know it’s going to cost about $50 in gas for that one day to get the pool from 60 degrees to 84 degrees.

Jamie ([04:11]):
And then at nighttime they lose all of that energy. And so, you know, it was kind of, if they want to use it again, that’s another 50 bucks and so forth. So you better use it for all many days in a row. Whoa. The heat has gone at night because it drops down forties. And so, you know, obviously the first thing we recommend with every single swimming pool is a cover. You can get a, you know, a $300 cover will pay for itself and the first two months. So it’s a, it’s an absolute no brainer to put a cover on a pool when possible. A lot of people feel to really big hassle. I do not because I hate wasting the electricity that, that glass and then the next thing we recommend is they look at their pool pump and the pool pump is really the big energy gas guzzler the swimming pool.

Adam ([05:06]):
So you know, pool pumps that are about 10 years old, they should all be immediately replaced and wait. So what does a pool pump do? It circulates the water. And so without that circulation, you get a green pool. And you know, with a green pool, you get no one swimming in it and you need a lot of chlorine and you’ll spend 75 to a hundred dollars just in chlorine to a shop and get it back to a swimmable color. But if, if that water is not moving, it gets stagnant. And in addition to green water, you also get a lot of bugs and you get a lot of mosquitoes. And I can get a lot of really unhappy neighbors that they cannot use their backyard because they are being swarmed. And so anyway you have to, every pool has to have a pool pump, so, okay, good.

Jamie ([05:56]):
But there’s a lot of older pools out there where they’re, you have a really inefficient pool pump and they use a ton of electricity. So those pool pumps can go anywhere from 50 to $200 a month in electricity year-round, all day, every day. So yep. My neighbors have them and we can hear them going all the time. So like, it’s a noise that never stops. It is. And it doesn’t need to be the new new pool pumps are variable speed. They run a lower speed. They use about 90% less. I was like Tricity though. Wow. Single speed pumps, it’ll save them a ton of money and they are quiet. And so your way quieter than the single speed pool pumps. So can I buy one for my neighbor? You can and I’m sure you’ll be able to install it. Nothing can go wrong. Now.

Adam ([06:46]):
You definitely need a qualified technician to in scholar, throw it over the fence at them. It’ll sink right to the bottom of the pool and possibly damn. Anyway, so yeah, the I you have a whole nother issue on with your neighbor. I think the best way is to put in your own pool with a variable speed pool pump and then he’ll see how quiet it is and they’ll say, Adam, what the heck is going on there? And you’ll say, Oh yeah, we got pool and not from solar harmonics, but from, we are not a pool company, but we do replace a ton of the cool pumps. Oh wow. Yeah. That’s, you guys do that. We do and we recommend it. It was kind of really shrink your bill first and then eliminate the rest of it with solar. That makes sense. If you have a pool and you’re listening to this or you know someone with a pool, just go out and, and take a picture of the pool pump.

Jamie ([07:38]):
You know the model number, brand, Google it, see if it’s a single speed. If it is a single speed Google, Pentair, Intelliflow variable speed. And you know, they can range anywhere from eight or $900 up to $1,500. We recommend Pentair because we’ve just never had a problem with it. And, and so you want some, cause it’s gonna run every day. So, and as I mentioned, if it goes out, you know, one week, two weeks, you will have that green pool and it goes really quick. So rising reliability is the biggest thing with pool pumps. And then we talked a little bit about the heating. And so there’s three ways. There’s gas, which is super expensive, but you still, you would need that for like a hot tub if you have one of those. The second way is these pool thermal panels. You may have seen other like black tubes and essentially what it is, is the pool pump pumps water from the swimming pool up to the roof up through these series of tubes and they’re black.

Adam ([08:43]):
And so then when they’re black, they attract the sun and it heats up the water and then it’s pumped back into the pool. So in my you know, I’m not a physicist, but I do understand that it takes a of energy to pump water all the way to the roof and then pump it. Does it just magically just climb up those pipes? Oh my gosh, you’re running that at the peak time during the day because the water, you know, the sun is going to be heating the pool. So you’re using the most expensive electricity to pump this water up there. These pipes, you know, the, the actual thermal tubes, they’re pretty sturdy and they’re made for being up on the roof, but they just use tip. Normally they just use PVC pipe to transport the water up to the roof. And if you know anything about PVC, it’s meant to be underground.

Jamie ([09:31]):
It’s sprinkler too, so it’s not meant to be in the sun. And after, you know, if you see anyone with a thermal panel system like that, they last about five years before they start leaking and when they start leaking, it takes a lot more energy to push that water up to the roof. There were Karine water if it’s chlorine or even salt water will leak onto the roof tiles or the composite shingles or whatever kind of roofing materials to hold Corrine. So it immediately voids the roof warranty when it starts leaking onto the roof by Karaba. It goes on. How do people sell these things then? Or why do, why do people like, they’re just like, that sounds like a great idea. So it must work. Well, I’ll get to that. I appreciate that question. But yeah, just going to recommend, one other huge thing about the pool thermals that I don’t care for is that it takes up our prime solar space for electric.

Jamie ([10:26]):
When you’re running the pool, you’re really only heating it, you know, April, may, and then June, July, August the sun and the pool cover heats it up well enough. And then September, October, so you know, really four months out of the year you’re using the thermals, but 100% of the [inaudible] you could be producing electricity with real estate. So anyway, the pool contractors really only know those two types. And they only recommend that. So when somebody is putting in a new pool, they don’t know anything and they’re trusting what the pool contractor says. I’ve had this discussion many times because what we recommend is an electric heat pump. And the way that works, it’s an appliance. It’s similar to like an air conditioner where it pulls in warm air and it pumps it into the pool. So if it’s, if it’s 60 70 80 degrees outside the pool, a heat pump will pull that warm air and pump it into the pool.

Jamie ([11:23]):
It’s not as fast as the gas heater. So it can take two weeks to heat up the pool when you first turn it on, but then you just leave it on and again, if you have it covered, that’s the best. And then it just runs and runs whenever it’ll get, it’ll get the pool to at 82 to 84 degrees, which is definitely swimmable. And then you just let it run all swim season and keep the pool covered. And then the best part is you can add the photovoltaic electric producing solar panels to not only eliminate the electricity from the heat pump, but also for the rest of the house. And so it’s kind of a self contained awesome pool system that makes the most sense.

Adam ([12:05]):
Yeah, it sounds like you’ve really thought about, you know, the taking away the waste, then maximizing the electricity produced by the solar panels to support that lifestyle so that, that system that you’ve, you’ve thought out, it seems like to me, you’ve thought out every, every one of those steps. That’s good. Thank you. That’s good. I mean, yeah, I mean, I, it would, it would make sense that most people would think like that, but I don’t know. I see those thermal heating units on all the time and I just go, wow.

Jamie ([12:40]):
I, me too. You know, one of our biggest objections we get is that people don’t like the look of solar panels, but when people have a pool and they’re, it, it’s, you know, I’ve seen those thermal panels on the front of the house and I think they look hideous. I love the the, you know, the photo, we’ll take electric solar panel look much, much better. But anyway it’s a huge, huge topic and maybe I should have split it up into two podcasts. But bottom line is really electric heat pump, variable speed pool pump. Enjoy swimming, enjoy the pool without the guilt of, Oh my God, how am I gonna pay for this during you know, when we’re in lockdown. So like I said, your kids could be swimming in a, in a swimming pool and about 18 months. If you start right now,

Adam ([13:29]):
Just one question. Can they play tennis in that?

Jamie ([13:32]):
That’s, I, I’ve seen volleyball. I’m sure that’s all great. Great training. It is place in strength training and in a pool. So I think I’m just going to visit. Yeah, you can. Well you can shelter in place. Sorry.

Adam ([13:47]):
Can’t we just sneak into your backyard?

Jamie ([13:50]):
Would you guys are feeling I need to, I’ve seen some treadmills and swimming pools too and that would be awesome. Oh yeah.

Adam ([13:56]):
I’ve seen people with the weights like with you know, taking the weights down there. So you run across the whole bottom of your pool!

Jamie ([14:03]):
Well, and we know a guy who does the cold plunge during the pool right now is about 60 degrees. So it’s not super freezing bad at that fat, freezing enough, get it that you get in there. But that’s what I want to talk about. Start thinking about making a more efficient pool. But it all started, you know, solar harmonically with solar power.

Adam ([14:25]):
Awesome. Great. All right, any last thoughts before we wrap it up?

Jamie ([14:30]):
It’s going to get hot and if you have a pool make it more efficient.

Adam ([14:35]):
Yeah, it seems like, yeah, we’re, we’re going to be entering the, especially in Northern California. That’s super hot seasons coming up. Yeah. Great. Good one. Good one Jamie. All right, so we’re going to wrap it up today here at this point. So if you have any questions for a future episode of straight talk seller cast, make sure to go to our Facebook page, like that page and then you’re welcome to send us a message. It’s straight talk, solar cast. And if you’re happen to find yourself on Apple iTunes, leave us a five star review. That’d be wonderful to hit that subscribe button. Share it with some of your friends. You know, someone out there is considering or actually thinking about their PG and E bill right now and just going, Oh, what am I going to do? That’s the person that will be thanking you for the rest of their life for sharing this podcast with them. So do that. Come back next time. Talk to you later. Everybody.

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