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Difference Between Type L vs Type ACR Copper Coil Answered

Hello everyone,

   I was hoping someone can share advice, tips etc. I plan on getting 55gal steel drum & turning into wood burning pool heater. My question is about which type copper coil would work best, and still be safe to use. My son has Down syndrome and is very sensitive to cold water. We just spent around $1500 to get pool ready with a installed ramp for his wheelchair. We called few different pool people about a reg heater they want from $2500 to $3700. Mostly cause it would not be easy install lot of things in way, etc etc. oh and then add monthly bill. I don't mind the pool temp but my son does and he truly doesn't ask for anything. And if I could safely get pool warm enough for him then I want to at least try.

so we really don't have the extra cash to go "normal" pool heater way but I've watched allot of vids on YouTube where they took a steel 55 gal drum, turned on its side and put the copper coil mounted inside at the top. These people would be able to increase temp by allot. Its labor involved but I'm home anyhow taking care of my son.

I'm looking at using about 100ft. I can get 1/2 100ft of Type L $163.00 and Type ACR for $119.00. Anyhow Type ACR is much much cheaper then Type L.  Is there a real big difference? Big enough to spend the extra cash and use Type L, instead. Or Is ACR still safe to use with the pool? I'm not sure which Type L or ACR but I've read it say it's cleaned inside the pipe. Does this matter cleaned vs not cleaned inside pipe for what I would be using for?

here link of place I'm getting


Please any info would be greatly appreciated. Truly thanks so much for your time.



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3 years ago

bump... please could really use help on this. If it was just me I would roll the dice but it's for my family & most important my son .



Reply 3 years ago

I have done quite a bit with copper coils, from induction heating over water connections down to compressor stuff - the only thing that really matters is the quality in terms of wall thickness.
You are not using any high pressure, dangerous chemicals, just water and a pump...
If you want to save even more money you can check the local scrap yard for suitabe tubing as well.
I often get lengths of over 5m for just the price of copper.
Some old fridges also use copper tubing in the evaporator on the back - they are great for your purpose too if you use 4 or 5 in parallel to kkep the waterflow up.

Your type L coil is standard residential stuff for general plumbing work and normal pressures.
The ARC type is for refrigeration uses, so if you want to avoid the price and possible hassles finding suitable connectors then stick to the L type.
More info on the topic as always at Wikipedia:



Reply 3 years ago

thank you for taking out the time. You mentioned I'm not using any chemicals so no reason to be concerned on which type but does it matter that I will be running pool water through either Type L or ACR? I ask only cause I'm wondering if the pool chlorine would have any effect over one type vs the other.

Lastly you mention if I want to avoid the price & possible hassle finding connectors... unless I'm reading this wrong which is very possible...lol... when you say avoid the price..you mean avoid spending too much money...if that's correct then shouldn't I be getting the ACR instead? I'm not sure how much it costs by you but here in NYC Type L... it's ALLOT more money then ACR.

When I start looking for the connection pieces you mention... with ACR... would I be looking for same type connection or its the actual dimensions that I would need to look for? Meaning does the connection have to be made of ACR or just be able to fit on tubing? Sorry I'm little confused on this part.

Can't thank you enough for taking out the time.