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Direct Fire

Pentair’s ETi High Efficiency Heater

One of the challenges of running a pool or spa is the cost of heating the water, which is why more pool dealers are hearing requests from customers for energy-efficient heaters.

Pentair now offers a solution: The ETi 400, a pool heater with a direct fire titanium heat exchanger that provides long-lasting, thermal and energy-efficient heat.

The heater was the brainchild of Azur Dzindo, innovation leader at the company, who saw a need in the market back in 2013 for a gas energy-efficient heater.

“The whole industry was shifting toward high-efficiency products — meaning 90% or above thermal efficiency — and we started looking into different technologies to implement in the pool industry,” he says. “Up until that point, our industry did not have many players that dealt in the high-efficiency market, so this was something relatively new.”

In addition to energy efficiency, Dzindo was also exploring a solution with robust materials — something that would be corrosion-resistant.

Although never used in gas pool heaters before, titanium has long been known for outstanding corrosion resistance because of its high strength and lightweight qualities. Dzindo knew that building the ETi 400 High Efficiency Heater’s TitanTough direct-fire heat exchanger from titanium would provide longer life under extreme conditions.

“Corrosion from pool water chemistry impacts a lot of different metals, so we wanted to design a thermal efficiency product with titanium material,” he says. “Once we did that, ETi came about and became the first product with a titanium direct fire tube with 96% thermal efficiency — the highest ever in the industry.”

From idea to implementation, the heater took approximately three years to develop, and Dzindo says he and the company are very pleased with the finished product and its use of TitanTough.

“This is what I call the Ferrari of pool heaters because of its robustness, fast heat up and how well it works,” he says. “It’s easy to install, easy to maintain and easy to troubleshoot. It offers significant energy savings for the end user. You can also vent with regular plastic PVC pipe both inlet and outlet, so the installation of it becomes less expensive.”

Dan Lenz, vice president of All Seasons Pools in Orland Park, Illinois, has installed three Pentair ETi 400 heaters so far — one for a commercial spa application and two residential.

“There aren’t many people in our market who are looking to invest the type of money that you need to in order to get the high efficiency out of it, though I have talked to my construction sales team to ensure we are talking more often about them and how valuable they can truly be,” he says.

The owners of a residential indoor/outdoor pool that All Seasons Pools constructed about a dozen years ago were looking to change their heating. Both sides of the pool have an automatic cover and are filtered/heated year-round.

“When we originally built it, there was no high-end efficiency heater from Pentair,” Lenz says. “But we have since replaced [the old heaters] with the ETi.”

The owners of the commercial spa requested high-efficiency heater replacement because the spa was used year-round and they felt the benefits of long-term efficiency would be a plus.  “The heaters install easily, are relatively easy to service and the reliability has been better than comparable units by other manufacturers, and that’s a huge key if you are going to invest that much into a unit,” Lenz says. “It’s easy to operate, has easy-to-understand error codes and the self-diagnostics it does are very helpful.”

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