Pentair Pool Heaters
Review and Buying Tips

Here, we will talk about Pentair pool heaters, what you need to know about the brand, top models, and a little more about why to choose heat pumps over gas pool heaters, or gas over heat pumps more. So don't hesitate and keep reading to learn!

Pentair pool heater

Everyone wants a water heating device at home that delivers what it's supposed to: warmer water to keep the pool cozy even in colder seasons. However, not every brand of swimming pool heaters can produce such quality as easily.

However, we know about a brand that does that and lasts long. Pentair – one of the popular names in the heat pumps industry, offers some of the best heaters to enjoy at home. By getting one of these, you get quality in every way.

Why choose heat pumps over gas pool heaters?

An environment-friendly product is beneficial but even more useful when it does it efficiently and without destroying your pocket. The best way to heat your pool, we think, is using heat pumps, and here are a few reasons why:

More efficient

The COP rate measures the efficiency of each water heating device. The more efficient it is, the more COP rate it has. Typically, gas pool heaters have an efficiency between 80 and 94%. Heat pumps, on the other hand, have COP rates over 3 and sometimes over 5. This means that heat pumps use less energy to produce more heat, functioning more efficiently.

More affordable

Despite being slightly costly at first, heat pumps are much more affordable in maintenance, operating costs, and even at installation. By using only electricity and heat from surrounding warm air or water, while needing fewer maintenance checks a year, and being easier to install – heat pumps are a more cost-effective solution than gas pool heaters.

More versatile

One of the things that make heat pumps better is that some of these models offer both heating and cooling. Yes, you will be able to use your device to heat your pool in cold seasons or turn it down in the summer.

More environmentally friendly

We all know how bad the carbon footprint is when we burn fossil fuels. Gas pool heaters work this way, and even though the environmental impact is not as bad as one of a car – it is still harmful. Heat pumps, however, don't use any fossil fuels, and at the same time, they reuse energy, warm air, or water to produce energy. Of course, they produce almost no harmful gases that harm the environment.

Why choose gas pool heaters over heat pumps?


The upfront cost of the gas pool heaters is lower than the heat pumps.

Fast heating

A gas pool heater heats water faster, no matter if it is using natural gas or propane. According to some experts, the gas pool heater can raise the temperature of a pool 1-3 degrees per hour, while heat pumps 1-3 degrees per day (depending on the heater size).

Heats in cold climates

While the heat pumps depend on the electricity and the temperature of the surrounding air or water, gas heaters can operate efficiently at any time and under any weather condition. Whether the outside temperature is changing or not, the heat output doesn't fluctuate – it is constant.


As said before, whether you live in a warmer or colder climate, by using gas heaters, you will experience greater comfort and, with the advanced controllers – convenience and easy troubleshooting (thanks to the diagnostic system). They are the best if used from time to time or for the occasional swimming.

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What does Pentair offer? Models review

MasterTemp – gas heater

Pentair offers pretty good heat pumps, but its gas heaters are very effective as well. They are reliable overall and very easy to use. The MasterTemp is one of those that will heat your pool in a matter of minutes while providing a quiet yet very efficient performance.

You can find it in models from 125,000 BTU up to 400,000 BTU in the biggest ones. It may use either liquid propane or natural gas.

Highlighted features:

  • Very efficient despite being a gas heater
  • It comes with a low-NOx emission feature for a more eco-friendly approach
  • Easy to use
  • Shuts off the gas automatically when needed
  • It offers a high-quality exterior, rust, dust, and moisture protected

MasterTemp 125 – gas heater

The 125 MasterTemp model offers almost the same features as the previous one, but its capacity tops at 125,000 BTU. Still, it gives proficient energy efficiency and promotes a faster heating method for your pool than most.

This heater may work either with liquid propane or natural gas and four different models with or without cord accordingly.

Highlighted features:

  • Perfect for small pools due to its 125,000 BTU capacity
  • Extremely effective pre-mixed combustion for faster heating
  • Excellent efficiency reduces energy consumption and costs
  • Easy to use and control with the digital display
  • It can be installed outdoors or indoors

Ultratemp – heat pump

For everyone who wants an affordable and very efficient way to heat his pool, the Ultratemp is a perfect choice. Using an ozone-friendly refrigerant and coming with a high-quality titanium heat exchanger, this one offers the green approach every environmentally friendly user needs.

It is one of the most long-lasting in the market as well. It offers a COP between 5.3 and 6, depending on the model you choose. And can go from 85,000 up to 140,000 BTU in the most effective models.

Highlighted features:

  • Superb efficiency with a titanium heat exchanger
  • More environmentally-friendly refrigerant and operation
  • Easy to use and convenient LCD control board
  • Automatic operation with AutoSet feature
  • High-quality defrost feature for superior efficiency
  • Long-lasting and resistant plastic cabinet
  • More effective TXV valve for optimum performance

ETi 400 – gas heater

If there's something everyone appreciates, it is versatility. When you talk about the ETi 400, you are talking about a heater that delivers the ability to switch between natural gas and liquid propane without problems. While doing this, you can enjoy the best heat exchanger in the market, TitanTough, which delivers durability, efficiency, and performance.

Highlighted features:

  • Excellent TitanTough exchanger increases performance
  • Heats pools faster with 96% heating efficiency
  • It saves more energy and produces lower monthly bills
  • Capable of working both with propane and natural gas (conversion kit needed)
  • Provides outstanding ventilation for both indoors and outdoors
  • Exceptionally quiet performance

Ultratemp ETi – hybrid heater

A product that offers both the opportunity to use a fast-heating method with fossil fuels or get more efficiency with the pumping process is a product that deserves a chance. The UltraTemp ETi is one of the few hybrid heaters with both a gas heater and a heat pump inside, delivering the performance and efficiency everyone needs.

It comes in only two models: almond and black – both with the same characteristics and 220,000 BTU.

Highlighted features:

  • Superb dual titanium exchangers for durability & efficiency
  • Outstanding gas heater & heat pump features in the same product
  • Very convenient Easy-Touch Automation system
  • Superior low-NOx heating process with ozone-protecting refrigerant
  • Excellent efficiency reduces costs and energy needs
  • Compatible with IntelliFlo pumps

Max-E-Therm – gas heater

Perfect for difficult installations due to its light build and exceptionally convenient design, working with the Max-E-Therm is very easy. It offers a LED temperature readout, dual thermostats, a six-position control panel, and a temperature safety lock. It offers between 200,000 and 400,000 BTU.

Highlighted features:

  • Excellent design for convenience and ease of use
  • Easier to install and transport due to light design
  • Exceptional Low-NOx gas emission
  • Reliable and resistant housing made of Dura-Glass
  • Outstanding efficiency at 84% for lower costs and energy consumption
  • Works in both outdoors and indoors installations

Top-selling Pentair pool heaters review

Pentair MasterTemp 460732

Among natural gas heaters, there are not many options out there that can leave a good print. However, the MasterTemp from Pentair is one of the few that offers superbly efficient & very fast performance.

It offers the necessary reliability and resistance needed while also delivering a wide range of convenient features such as:

  • Exceptional cupro-nickel exchanger for harsh & efficient performances
  • 250,000 BTU heats up to 40,000-gallon pools in two hours
  • Easy-to-use control system with lights and indicators
  • Safe automatic water pressure switch
  • Extremely convenient manual gas shut off
  • Entirely certified low-NOx emissions

Benefits of buying the Pentair MasterTemp

  • It will heat your pool faster than you think: between 30 minutes to 2 hours in medium-sized pools
  • Outstanding energy efficiency for natural gas and electricity
  • Delivers low NOx emissions, which keeps your house air cleaner
  • Thanks to its high-quality construction and design, you can install it anywhere without a problem
  • Low initial price, installation, and maintenance

User’s comments:

“Easy to install and works great. It takes about 45 minutes to heat my in-ground Jacuzzi to 105F from 65F. It’s also very quiet.”

- Randy Avery

“It’s very easy to hook up. It’s also small but powerful. Durable hard plastic eliminates the rust out from my old Pentair Metal Heater. Quickly adapts to right or left plumbing hook-up.”

- Terry Bell

Pentair Max-E-Therm SR400HD Sta-Rite

A 400,000 BTU is usually a large, heavy, and very uncomfortable device to install. Well, the Max-E-Therm is none of that.

With a high-quality Sta-Rite design and superb Dura-Glas plastic build with PVC connections, this one is one of the most reliable yet convenient heaters in the market. With a cupro-nickel exchanger and LED temperature readout with dual thermostats – this is an option not to overlook.

Apart from all that, it comes with several interesting features:

  • Extremely light and compact design for easier and more convenient installation
  • Easy to use control panel with LED indicators and dual thermostats
  • Outstanding efficiency with cupro-nickel exchanger up to 84%
  • Dura-Glass & Sta-Rita construction provides the lightest yet most reliable shell

Benefits of buying Pentair Max-E-Therm:

  • You will get an unbeatable 250,000 BTU performance for faster & more effective heating
  • Offers the most convenient installation method with its compact design: it fits practically anywhere
  • Housing comes with the light yet durable materials: Dura-Glass, Sta-Rite and PVC
  • It will heat up faster but reduce your monthly costs exponentially with the cupro-nickel heat exchanger
  • Outstanding initial price despite its quality and superior convenience

User’s comments:

“This heater has worked very well. I have no complaints. I installed it myself which was easy to do, and I'm no expert. All the parts fit well, so no adjustment was needed. The seller was excellent and followed up to make sure everything was going ok. When you install it, you want to make sure the electrical is correct, or it won't work. All the connections to switch between 220/110 are in the unit. Just need to follow the instructions. When this one wears out, I will get another one. Good unit.”

- Tom

“My pool heater had been operating a few months now in the cold northeast on an indoor pool. It had worked without a problem heating the pool to the desired temp.”

- Brian Newman