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Hayward Pool Heater Review: Changing the Game in Pool Heating

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Hayward pool heater

Pool and spa ownership is a luxury, offering countless hours of fun, relaxation, and a perfect escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. However, keeping the water at a comfortable temperature throughout different seasons can be a challenge. This is where a reliable, efficient pool heater becomes essential. But how do you navigate the broad market to find the right one?

hayward heater on amazon

Embarking on the search for the perfect pool heater, you will encounter a multitude of considerations. You need to weigh the BTU rating, the efficiency, the environmental impact, the overall performance, and, of course, the price. It might seem like finding a needle in a haystack, but there's a product that efficiently bundles all these factors into a superior package: the Hayward Universal H-Series Natural Gas Pool Heater.

Hayward: A Legacy of Quality and Innovation

When talking about pool and spa equipment, one cannot overlook the legacy of Hayward. With a history spanning over 80 years, Hayward has established itself as a reliable name synonymous with quality and innovation. The company prides itself on manufacturing cutting-edge, technologically advanced pool equipment that simplifies pool ownership, letting you focus solely on the enjoyment aspect.

One of their shining stars is the Universal H-Series of gas heaters, a range specifically designed to efficiently warm your pool or spa, regardless of their size. Today, we take an in-depth look at one of these powerhouses - the Hayward Universal H-Series 250,000 BTU Natural Gas Pool Heater. This model is tailor-made for in-ground pools and spas, offering a robust performance that will make every swim season comfortable and delightful.

Hayward pool heater

Premium Performance and High Durability

Instant, Efficient Heating

The Hayward Universal H-Series 250,000 BTU Natural Gas Heater promises fast, premium heating performance for years of reliable, long-lasting comfort. Ideal for pools and spas with a surface area of up to 750 square feet, this heater significantly reduces waiting time for the water to reach your desired temperature.

Superior Corrosion Resistance

Another noteworthy feature is its exceptional protection against corrosion and premature failure caused by unbalanced water chemistry. Thanks to the state-of-the-art Cupro Nickel Finn Plate Heat Exchanger, the unit's durability and longevity are unparalleled, even in challenging conditions such as high-flow or salt-based water.

Energy Savings

Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of this heater is its energy-saving potential. The unit’s efficient design reduces the circulation pump's run time, helping to cut down on energy costs and making it a cost-effective choice for long-term use.

Intuitive, User-Friendly Design

LED Digital Control Panel

This heater also scores high marks for its user-friendly interface. The front control panel is intuitive and easy to use, ensuring simple operation, service, and maintenance. Moreover, the LED digital control panel provides temperature readouts and diagnostics, with an electronic 'lock-out' feature for temperature set-point, offering digital control accuracy that saves time in achieving the perfect water temperature.

Forced Draft Combustion System

The heater is also equipped with a Forced Draft Combustion System, which ensures consistent air movement through the combustion chamber at a precise rate, thereby eliminating variables that could affect heating performance, such as high wind conditions.

An Eco-Conscious Approach to Heating Your Pool

In an age where environmental responsibility is more important than ever, selecting appliances that align with this principle becomes a significant factor in our decision-making process. The Hayward Universal H-Series doesn't merely tick this box; it takes the concept of eco-friendly pool heating to a new level.

The unit is designed with low NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) emissions, complying with the stringent air quality requirements in all low-NOx areas. NOx gases are a primary cause of smog and acid rain, leading to harmful effects on the environment and people's health. Thus, the low NOx emission feature of this heater represents a step forward in promoting cleaner and healthier air.

Furthermore, Hayward has integrated an efficient, industry-leading design that reduces the circulation pump's run time. This not only saves you on energy costs but also reduces the overall environmental impact of the heater, as less energy usage translates to a lower carbon footprint.

But the environmentally friendly aspect of the Hayward Universal H-Series extends beyond low emissions and energy savings. Its Forced Draft Combustion System is designed to ensure that outside weather variables, including high wind conditions, do not affect the heater's performance. This ensures that regardless of the external environmental conditions, the heater operates optimally, further enhancing its energy efficiency.

Pricing and Support

When it comes to purchasing significant appliances like a pool heater, price is undoubtedly a key consideration. However, it's important to understand that the best investments aren't always about finding the cheapest product. Instead, it's about finding the product that offers the most value for the price, which is precisely what the Hayward W3H250FDN Universal H-Series Pool Heater delivers.

Retailing at $2,899.00 on Amazon, the Hayward H-series heater might not be the cheapest pool heater on the market, but it's undoubtedly one of the most valuable. When you consider its outstanding features - from superior heating performance to eco-friendly operation and extended durability, the price point reflects a sound investment for years of comfortable swimming.

Adding to its appeal, Amazon offers a $60 instant discount upon approval for the Amazon Store Card. This effectively brings down the purchase price, making it an even more enticing option for those ready to upgrade their pool or spa experience.

However, the value of the brand extends beyond its impressive features and competitive pricing. It also comes with solid customer support and a buyer-friendly return policy. Hayward, being a leader in the pool equipment industry, has a reputation for providing excellent customer service. Whether you have questions about installation, operation, or maintenance, their customer support team is ready to assist, ensuring you can enjoy the full benefits of your pool heater without unnecessary headaches.

So, while the initial price may seem steep to some, it's important to view it in the context of the overall value offered by the Hayward W3H250FDN. With its robust performance, eco-friendly operation, and reliable support, it proves to be a worthy long-term investment for any pool or spa owner.

natural gas pool kids playing outdoors

A Closer Look at the Features and Specifications

When purchasing a pool heater, understanding the features and specifications is key. These are what determine the heater's performance, ease of use, and longevity, ultimately affecting your overall pool or spa experience. Let's break down the features and specifications of the Hayward Universal H-Series Pool Heater to see what makes it stand out.

Key Specifications

Before delving into the features, let's consider the basic specifications of this model:

  • BTU Rating: 250,000 BTU

  • Dimensions: 33.3 x 32.8 x 30.6 inches

  • Weight: 170.6 pounds

  • Manufacturer: Hayward

  • ASIN: B07SV9516S

These specs reveal that the heater is a substantial unit with a high BTU rating, indicative of its powerful heating capabilities. But it's the underlying features that really elevate this model from a mere pool heater to a game-changer in your pool or spa experience.

Unparalleled Performance

Hayward delivers premium heating performance, boasting a 250,000 BTU rating. This power allows it to rapidly heat pools and spas with a surface area of up to 750 square feet. The heater's industry-leading design enhances its hydraulic performance, reducing the circulation pump's run time. The result? Faster heating and energy savings.

Corrosion Protection

One of the significant issues with pool heaters is their susceptibility to corrosion and premature failure due to unbalanced water chemistry. However, the Hayward addresses this concern head-on with its Cupro Nickel State-of-the-art Finn Plate Heat Exchanger. This feature offers exceptional protection against corrosion, ensuring that your heater maintains its efficiency and lasts longer, even in aggressive water chemistry conditions.

Easy-to-Use Interface

Hayward's emphasis on user-friendly design is evident in the units intuitive LED control panel. This panel provides easy operation, maintenance, and service, offering digital temperature readouts and diagnostic capabilities. It's a feature that ensures you can quickly and accurately control your pool or spa's temperature, enhancing your comfort level.

Forced Draft Combustion System

This heater incorporates a Forced Draft Combustion System. This feature is designed to move air through the combustion chamber at a precise flow rate, eliminating all outside weather variables that can affect heating performance. No matter how high the wind conditions are, your pool heater's performance remains steady.

Pros and Cons


  • Powerful Performance: With a BTU rating of 250,000, the heater delivers fast, premium performance.

  • Energy-Efficient: The industry-leading design reduces circulation pump run time, providing significant energy savings.

  • Corrosion-Resistant: It boasts excellent protection against corrosion due to unbalanced water chemistry.

  • User-Friendly: The intuitive front control panel ensures easy operation and maintenance.

  • Environmentally Friendly: Low NOx emissions make it an environmentally responsible choice.


  • Price: The heater's price point may be a deterrent for some, but the multitude of features and benefits justify the investment.

User Guide for the Hayward H-Series

Whether you're new to pool heaters or simply upgrading to a more advanced model, it's important to understand how to install, operate, and maintain your unit to ensure optimal performance and longevity.


As with any significant appliance involving gas and electrical connections, the installation process of the pool heater should be carried out by a qualified professional. This ensures proper setup, adherence to safety standards, and prevents any installation errors that could potentially harm the unit's functionality or void the warranty.

When installing, ensure there's adequate ventilation for the heater. The forced draft combustion system depends on a consistent flow of air for efficient operation. Also, confirm the heater is set up in a location with accessible gas supply.


Hayward's intuitive front control panel makes operating the W3H250FDN a breeze. Here's what you need to know about controlling your pool heater:

  • Adjusting Temperature: You can easily adjust the temperature settings for your pool or spa using the LED digital control panel. The digital control accuracy ensures you save time and money getting your pool to the perfect temperature.

  • Monitoring Diagnostics: The control panel also allows you to monitor the diagnostics of your heater. This helps identify any issues early, preventing significant damage and expensive repairs.

  • Temperature Lock-Out: The 'lock-out' feature on the control panel allows you to set a maximum temperature limit. This is especially useful in preventing accidental overheating and maintaining a consistent, comfortable water temperature.


Routine maintenance is key to preserving the efficiency and longevity of your Hayward W3H250FDN heater. Here are a few pointers:

  • Inspections: Regularly inspect your heater for any signs of damage or corrosion. Early detection can prevent minor issues from turning into significant problems.

  • Cleaning: While you may be tempted to do it yourself, it's recommended that cleaning should be done by a professional. This ensures thorough cleaning without causing any accidental damage to the unit and helps maintain the validity of your warranty.

Remember, always refer to the user manual for comprehensive instructions and safety information.

A Stellar Performer: Our Review Score

In assessing the Hayward Universal H-Series Natural Gas Pool Heater, we considered a wide array of factors, including its performance, energy efficiency, user-friendliness, and eco-conscious design. The unit's robust construction and premium features underscore its remarkable value, earning it high scores in our assessment.

The Score Breakdown

We awarded the Hayward heater a solid score of 94.0 out of 100.0. Here's a breakdown of how we arrived at this score:

  • Performance (25/25): The unit scores full points for its performance. With its powerful 250,000 BTU rating, it rapidly heats up pools and spas, offering an unrivaled swim experience.

  • Energy Efficiency (23/25): The heater's industry-leading hydraulic design reduces circulation pump run time, leading to significant energy savings. This efficiency feature, however, could be improved with the inclusion of more advanced energy-saving technology.

  • User-Friendliness (23/25): With its intuitive front control panel and easy-to-read LED display, the Hayward H-series makes operation, servicing, and maintenance incredibly straightforward, earning it high marks in this category.

  • Eco-Friendly Design (23/25): The heater's low NOx emissions demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility. Although it meets all low-NOx emission standards, there's always room for further enhancement in eco-conscious product design.

Despite the Hayward H-series scoring high in all categories, its somewhat hefty price point held it back from achieving a perfect score. Nonetheless, considering its exceptional features and performance, we believe it is a worthwhile investment for those seeking a premium, long-lasting, and efficient heating solution for their pool or spa.

Hayward Pool Heater

Ideal Use Cases for the Hayward Heater

Here are a few scenarios where this pool heater shines:

Large In-Ground Pools and Spas

This heater's hefty 250,000 BTU output makes it the ideal choice for in-ground pools and spas with a surface area of up to 750 square feet. This means, whether you own a sizable family pool or a luxurious spa, the heater can efficiently maintain your desired water temperature, providing the ultimate swimming comfort regardless of the outside weather conditions.

Eco-Friendly Pools

For those pool owners who prioritize environmentally-friendly products, the swimming pool heater stands as an excellent option. Not only does it deliver superior heating performance, but does so while minimizing its environmental impact. Its low NOx emissions meet the strict air quality standards in all low-NOx areas, allowing you to enjoy your pool or spa without compromising your commitment to the environment.

Harsh Water Chemistry Conditions

If your pool is situated in an area with harsh water chemistry conditions, such as high levels of chlorine or salt, Hayward proves to be a durable choice. Its Cupro Nickel heat exchanger offers exceptional resistance against corrosion and premature failure, ensuring a long lifespan for the heater despite challenging water conditions.

High Wind Conditions

If your location is prone to high wind conditions, fear not. The heater's forced draft combustion system ensures a precise flow rate, eliminating variables that can affect heating performance, like high winds.

From large in-ground pools and eco-conscious spas to pools in areas with harsh water conditions or high winds, the device offers a solution that's as reliable as it is efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Hayward H-Series suitable for saltwater pools?

Yes, the Cupro Nickel Finn Plate Heat Exchanger is designed to resist corrosion even in salt-based water conditions.

How energy efficient is this heater?

The efficient design of this heater reduces circulation pump run time, providing significant energy savings.

Is it easy to operate and maintain?

Yes, the intuitive front control panel makes operation easy. Regular maintenance checks should be conducted for optimum performance.

Is the heater environmentally friendly?

Yes, the heater has low NOx emissions, making it an environmentally responsible choice.

A Great Investment for Your Pool or Spa

hayward heater

If you're in the market for a premium, high-performing pool heater, the Hayward Universal H-Series Natural Gas Pool Heater is worth the investment. It offers superior performance, energy savings, and environmental friendliness packed in a user-friendly design.

With its powerful heating capacity and durability, your pool or spa will be a haven of comfort, no matter the season. So why wait? Purchase through this link and experience the difference today.

Lifeguard LI may receive a commission for purchases made through the affiliate links in this article. However, our goal is to provide unbiased advice on the best and most eco-sustainable products on the market. Our recommendations are always based on thorough research and testing, regardless of any potential affiliate relationships.


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