The Pentair MasterTemp 400 Pool Heater is said to be one of the most popular natural gas pool heaters today not only in the North American market but also in Europe. Known for its high heating output among residential pools, it features 400,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) heating capacity.
Because of its fast and superb heating power, the Pentair is now becoming a more recognized and efficient pool heater brand. There are a lot of pool heaters out there that also carry popular brands. But in terms of reliability and efficiency, the Pentair seems to pull it all.
This natural gas-powered pool heating machine has a dual purpose, mainly for heating small to large-size swimming pools and as an instant water heater for spas. The idea for its dual purpose design is for those who own swimming pools to use it also for their spas for relaxation and self therapy.
The Pentair 460736 is said to be very energy efficient as it uses natural gas for combustion. It can also be used in many types of weather even during the cold months. However, this unit requires proper maintenance in order to reach its maximum output and prolongs its life.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
Here is our Pentair 460736 MasterTemp 400 Pool Heater Review to know what it’s like to own one.
How Does Pentair MasterTemp 400 Work?
This unit is primarily designed to use natural gas but it can also be converted to use propane. Natural gas is the safest form of gas that is readily available. It can also provide better heat than electricity and solar energy.
For the heating procedure, a submersible pump is used to suck water from the pool. The water then passes via the pool filter to screen out debris before going through the heating elements.
Inside the unit, gas fires up the heat exchanger. This heats up the elements that carry the water and the heated water is pushed back into the pool. This cycle goes on and on until the desired temperature is met before the machine automatically shuts down.
However, because the air can be colder on the surface of the heated pool, the water may tend to cool down. But as soon as the temperature in the water drops down and the machine’s sensor senses this, it automatically kicks back to life and the water goes through the heating process again.
With all the heating going on, this what makes the Pentair 460736 very efficient in maintaining your desired temperature for your spas and pools.
To show you more about the Pentair’s specific features, we identify them below.
Pentair 460736 MasterTemp 400 Features
- 400,000 BTU heating capacity. One BTU can heat up 1 to 2 pounds of water by 1 degree every 25 to 30 minutes.
- Can be used on all climate types.
- Equipped with a heat exchanger that automatically kicks in once water temperature drops.
- Uses natural gas which is very safe and can heat up heat exchanger fast. Gas is also not costly to buy.
- Very quiet machine at only 60db.
- Can heat up tubs and small pools that are less than 20,000 gallons fast.
- Compact, easy to install and can match any outdoor landscape.
- Equipped with a pre-mixed system for very efficient air and gas mixture.
- All system runs at push-button control.
- With bright large, digital LED lights for the controls.
- Eco-friendly and certified for low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
- Heat exchanger is made of cupro nickel which is intended to withstand any type of water including hard water and salt water.
- Two-inch fittings that can easily fit reducers of various sizes.
Who Needs the Pentair 460736 MasterTemp 400
If you live in an area where it’s always cold or just love hot water to revitalize your body while swimming, you may really want to have this Pentair product. Although other brands can also provide you heating power as much, the Pentair 460736 can provide you hot water for hours even if it’s freezing cold outside. You can also program the unit on the amount of hours you would want to use your pool.
Especially when kids are around and water in the pool gets so cold which can bring risk to their health, this is the best time to utilize this pool heater at its best. Set it for just few hours for hot water dip or if you want to maintain a warm pool during the weekends for family and friends get-together and leave it. The unit automatically shuts down once the temperature of your choice is reached.
The best thing about this unit is that you can use it in different types of climate even on cold days. Proven to heat up water quickly especially for medium size pools, any unplanned pool swims won’t be a problem.
In a 12-hour heating, this unit can warm your pool water that has as much as 24,000 gallons of water from 10 to 15 degrees higher. However, you need to cover your pool in order that heat won’t escape while heating the pool. Also, we are reminded that if the water is already in its freezing point, this unit may not work pretty well.
Now every machine has its advantages and disadvantages and we would like to stress some of these from the users’ perspective. So here are the things we found out about the Pentair 460736.
- Can outmatch all other high-end pool heater in today’s market because of its high heating capacity, high efficiency rating and durability.
- Easy to operate and maintain.
- Can heat up spas in few minutes and small-size swimming pools in just few hours.
- Can last 10 to 15 years if properly checked and maintained.
- Best choice as an eco-friendly pool heater.
- Uses natural gas which is very efficient and safe.
- Exhaust or emissions easily passes safety standards.
- Has automatic sensor to maintain water temperature at desired level.
- Always reliable all year round.
- Installing it may need a licensed technician to do the job. Even with the troubleshooting task if you are a new owner.
- Regular water chemistry monitoring is required.
- Once pH level does not meet the unit’s acidity requirement, this may not perform at its best.
Overall, we like the performance of the Pentair 460736 and can do what it promises. But shop wise, we can also agree that its cost which some people think, is rather costly. But then this can be justified by its performance and reliability.
More so, we also would like to show you similar products that we think could equal or can almost surpass the performance of the Pentair 460736. Though Pentair was our personal choice, presenting to you other popular brands can help you judge if these would be better choices than the Pentair 460736. You can also estimate if these can be way out of its league.
Note that all of these have passed government quality standards including safety and environment standards.
Units That Are Comparable to Pentair 460736 MasterTemp 400
1. Hayward H400FDN 400,000 BTU Natural Gas Residential Pool and Spa Heater
This spa and pool heater also uses natural gas and features 400,000 BTU. It has standard but durable Cupro-nickel heat exchanger that heats up water instantly. Its parts can withstand even salt water or aggressive water conditions chemistry without experiencing corrosion.
Considered also as a reliable and tested pool and spa heater among the best brands, this unit is made with a universal design. This means that homeowners can fit this even with the old systems that are already installed on homes.
Its patented polymer header design and bypass valve is designed for super efficient hydraulic system. These enable you to save on energy consumption while protecting itself against erosion due to high water flow conditions.
Also, its force draft combustion system can maintain the movement of air through the combustion chamber while being protected by external weather effect.
Cold draft, for example, could alter the unit’s heating performance. But this unit is reliably efficient in maintaining its heat inside its chamber. In terms of NOx emissions, its emission output passed freely the government safety guidelines.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)
- LED control panel for easy control.
- Environment-friendly with low NOx emissions.
- Heaters are equipped with Silicon Nitride Hot Surface Igniters.
- Burners are made of stainless steel for durability.
- Equipped with cupro nickel heat exchanger inside insulated combustion chambers for fast water heating.
- Highly compatible to new and old existing pool heater systems and equipment
- Hydraulic design to reduce running time of circulation pump that can save you 18% on energy consumption.
- Easy to install with straightforward step-by-step instructions.
- Heats fast at any desired temperature.
- Digital LED display provides accurate data.
- Very easy to program.
- Easy to winterize.
- Pretty loud to be installed near homes.
- Costly when run extensively.
- Heat exchangers can go bad in more than a year’s use.
- Require high maintenance especially for its filters and heat exchangers.
2. Sta-Rite SR400LP Max-E-Therm Pool And Spa Heater, Propane, 400,000 BTU
Among the pool heaters that present 400,000 BTU, this heavy-duty propane pool and spa heating unit is the lightest. It has a very compact design which adds to its user-friendly concept. Looking more like a small robot but with very simple programming systems, it also prides itself of its 84% energy efficiency rating. This enables you to save lots of money with your home’s energy conservation scheme.
With black matte enclosure that is made of rustproof duraglass housing, this housing is also Sta-Rite patent that can withstand gamma rays from the sun. It can also endure extreme weather conditions without the internal heating process of the machine getting affected.
What is also amazing is its customizable and retrofit fitting design system. This means that you could easily fit its system to any type of pool heating systems even with the old systems.
For its controls, these are located right at the top of the unit for easy viewing and programming. This unit can heat up spas from 40 degrees to 100 degrees in less than 5 hours.
Our Rating: (3.8 / 5)
- 400,000 BTU heating capacity.
- Very environment-friendly with an all-weather proof frame.
- Effortless control system.
- Nice design to blend easily in many pool designs and concepts.
- Ideal for indoor or outdoor pools, large tubs and spas.
- Top-mounted LED temperature control with large format digital display.
- Dual thermostat controls and easy-read temperature display.
- 6-position control panel.
- Ensures high efficiency ratings for more savings on energy consumption.
- Built for faster heat-ups.
- Indicator LED lights to warn the need for troubleshooting.
- Heater enclosure is of Dura-glass material that is weather-proof.
- Low NOx emission certified.
- Need to have a roof over it. In few cases, water penetrates inside the housing and cause rusting.
- You may need a technician’s help to install it and have the warranty validated.
3. TRANE TR400NA 400,000 BTU Natural Gas
This residential pool and spa heater also uses natural gas for its fuel and also proud of its 400,000 BTY capacity. It is also equipped with cupro-nickel heat exchanger that can heat up water quickly as water passes through it. With an economical hydraulic system, this makes this unit also energy efficient.
Also, the low NOx emissions pass all air quality emission standards thus making this unit one of the safest gas-fuelled pool heaters today. With an 83% efficiency rating, this can be your ideal pool heating unit that would economically save you a lot of money in terms of your energy usage.
For easy installation, it also has a retrofit system that enables you to hook it to any existing pool system. This unit according to Trane is guaranteed to perform efficiently with minimal maintenance needs while performing quality hydraulic and thermal operations all throughout. It can even raise 1 degree per 25 minutes for an in-ground indoor pool with a 13,000 gallon capacity.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
- Excellent hydraulic performance that ensures reliability.Patented polymer header is designed to prevent erosion of parts during high flow conditions.
- Equipped with LED control panel that is easy to read and accurate in providing digital temperature readout.
- Installed with diagnostic and electronic ‘lock-out’ system that automatically shots down when desired temperature is reached.
- Very easy to program and with accurate performance to reach the set temperature.
- Lightweight design.
- Enhanced compatibility with all existing equipment configurations.
- Very durable with low NOx emissions that passes air quality standards.
- Convertible for propane gas.
- 83 percent energy efficient rated.
- Compatible with Hayward pool filter.
- Regular maintenance for phosphates and calcium level is needed when used on a salt pool.
- Bit expensive than other popular brands.
What Makes the Pentair 460736 Different Than Other Brands
This part is probably the most important part because the other brands that we have presented all seemed to be perfect. But since we have known that Pentair 460736 has really a lot to offer, we have to check these things out further. Here they are.
- With 400,000 BTU, it can heat up water fast for bath tubs and small pools that are under 20,000 gallons.
- Heat exchanger is made from cupro nickel which is more efficient and more durable than copper. This can withstand chemicals and corrosion from hard water.
- Equipped with self-diagnostic capabilities that lets you know what it needs to make it run smoothly.
- Push-button control for easy ignition.
- User-friendly digital LED control board with large indicator lights.
- Equipped with safety switches: high limit switch, stack flue sensor and water pressure switch.
- Outer shell and exterior handles are rustproof.
- Featured with a rotating top dial pad to suit your preferred directions.
- Auto shut-off to prevent the machine from overheating.
- Compatible with other existing control systems.
- Certified for low NOx emissions that makes it literally eco-friendly and safe for residential use.
- A very quiet machine at only 60 db.
- Natural gas comes pre-mixed already.
- Comes with a comprehensive manual for complete installation and maintenance.
- 3-year warranty (must be registered first).
- It can last 10-15 years if installed properly and with regular maintenance.
- Very compact design compared to other high-performance water pool heaters.
- Very easy to install but this better be installed by a professional if you are a new owner of a pool heater.
- An ideal pool heater for pools that use bromine, salt or chlorine in their water.
- Can raise water temperature at approximately 2 degrees per hour on medium size pool. During cold season, it can take up about two days to heat up a medium-size cold pool.
- A pool with 30,000 gallon water capacity with a starting temperature of 80 degrees can approximately result in 90 degrees hotter in about 8 hours. Smaller pools will have warmer water more quickly.
- Seven times faster than a heat pump in terms of heating water for pools and spas.
- 3-year warranty (must be registered first).
- Suitable for any types of pools even for salt water pools.
- Won an EPA Energy Star award that ensures economical use.
- Considered by many homeowners to be the most powerful residential pool heater for spas and pools regardless of size.
- A 40,000 gallon of water pool is properly suited up by this 400,000 BTU pool heater. This is how to calculate the capacity of your pool.
We greatly value all products that are made to do their jobs accordingly and can help us make our lives easier. And we have seen a lot of pool heaters that a lot of people have already put their trusts into. But based from the reviews we have encountered and also in terms of overall features and performance, we greatly assume that this Pentair really has a lot to offer.
Primarily, its power, high efficiency rating and versatility are its utmost contributions for anyone who wants to own a highly dependable pool heater for his or her home.
Not to mention that Pentair company has already been around for decades, this Pentair 460736 comes out to be one of the company’s best products for the pool industry in this modern times. Not only in the US and Europe but also in other countries as well.
Should You Buy This Product?
With its very dependable uses and overall features, anyone buying this product won’t get disappointed. However, we have also read a lot of negative reviews about this product and basically these are malfunctioning issues. The thing is, every owner should read the manual prior to installing this unit because there are certain things that need to be known.
For example, the water chemistry or water pH alone if not properly maintained can create problems with the filters like corrosion or erosion which ultimately create problems with the performance of the unit. This is why familiarizing the maintenance part of this product is very important to avoid letdowns that some users throw against this product.
In our own opinion, hiring a professional installer or an engineer could greatly do the owner a big favor because he can teach the owner how to install parts when things need to be replaced. He can also teach him how to do the maintenance part especially maintaining the right balance of the water to make things easier for the Pentair 460736 to operate smoothly.
If installation goes perfectly well followed by excellent maintenance procedures, we bet the number of people complaining about the failures of this unit will be greatly reduced. From what we have known, this unit is perfect for its functions and hardly fails unless of course there will be lack of care from the owner.
But as far as we are concerned, this can be your most reliable and powerful pool and spa heater for your homes. Also, it is backed up by warranty by no other than the Pentair which has already earned a good reputation in the pool industry as a manufacturer of the best pool heaters in the world.