Choosing a Heater for Your Baptistry

Choosing a heating option for your church’s baptistery can be confusing and time consuming. Here, we will look at several popular options to fulfill your church’s needs and help explain which type is more suitable for your baptistery.

One of the first things you will notice while shopping for a baptistery heater is that different voltages are available within certain models. Please note that 120 volt heaters are only made for small baptisteries that hold 100-200 gallons. Please make sure that you are familiar with the number of gallons you are attempting to heat.

Another very important factor to note is that GFCI is necessary whenever electricity is used with baptistery heaters. If the heater you purchase does not include a built-in GFCI, make sure that it is plugged into a GFCI outlet. A ground fault circuit interrupter is vital in ensuring your church members’ safety.

A classic and standard in the baptistery heater market is a basic circulation heater that is permanently affixed to the side of the baptistery. An 11.5kw model will raise the temperature 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a 750-gallon pool at a rate of about 115 gallons per hour. Water is imported through the lower inlet assembly, heated, and then exported through the upper outlet assembly. This type of heater is likely available with an adjustable thermostat and circulation kit and should always be professionally installed. A 6kw model of this type of heater will usually heat 100 gallons per hour to a 20 degree Fahrenheit rise in a 500-gallon baptistery, meaning it will take approximately 5 hours to heat a 500-gallon pool from 70 degrees to 90 degrees. Similar models are also available that can be installed and controlled away from the baptistery.

Immersion heaters are becoming more and more popular because a professional installation is not required and because they are portable and easy to handle. You might be familiar with the basic immersion heater that sets in the bottom of the pool. This model is usually a 120-volt model that is only meant to heat very small amounts of water – typically up to 150 gallons. But the portability of the model and the convenient set up makes this one a favorite for those looking to heat a small baptistery. This model is also used on many farms during winter months to prevent watering troughs from freezing.

Immersion heaters that are held to the side of the pool with a bracket can also be instrumental for the church that does not want a permanent heating fixture. This type of heater might be available in both 120 volt and 240 volt, with or without GFCI. A 120-volt model will typically heat up to 200 gallons in 5-8 hours at a rate of 25 gallons per hour for a 30 degree Fahrenheit temperature rise. A 240-volt model will typically heat a 750-gallon baptistery in 9-11 hours at a rate of 90 gallons per hour for a 30 degree Fahrenheit rise.

With so many options available, there is a baptistery heater that will work well for heating your baptistery. Remember that ambient room temperature will affect rates of heating. You might also want to consider a baptistery spa-style cover to help keep heat in your pool.


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