The Hayward Universal H-Series is a line of gas pool heaters that is widely regarded as the best in the industry. This includes the H200 and several other models with similar features that can suit many pool sizes. We chose which model to review based on the size needed to heat a 15,000-gallon pool with about 500 square feet of surface area.
In general, gas heaters like the H200 are best suited to pools you don’t swim in every day, as constant use gets expensive. It is a good option if you want to swim in a warm pool at any time of year or if you want your pool to heat up quickly.
The Hayward Universal pool heater is available in both natural gas and propane options. Each has its perks, so we recommend researching the price of each fuel type in your area to figure out which is the most cost-effective. The H200 puts out 200,000 Btu (British thermal units) and has an efficiency rating of 83 percent. That means about 84 percent of the fuel it uses is converted into useable heat, which is high for a gas heater. This is still, of course, less efficient than electric or solar heaters like the Hayward HeatPro or SunHeater, but the payoff is that gas heaters work much faster and operate independent of the outside temperature. It also has low NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions, so it is compliant with all air quality standards and regulations throughout the U.S.
The Hayward H200 features a digital display and controls that allow you to set and lock your temperature settings, as well as troubleshoot via diagnostic codes. We like this better than models that have LED indicators for diagnostics inside the machine, as is the case with the Pentair MasterTemp. Mechanical troubles are frustrating enough, so troubleshooting should be as easy as possible.
The H200 has a cupro nickel heat exchanger, a feature for which many manufacturers charge extra. This makes the H-Series more resistant to corrosion from salt water and pool chemicals. That said, corrosion is still one of the most common reasons for heater failure, so be sure to properly maintain your pool’s levels. Warranties do not cover damage caused by corrosion. The H200 also features a totally managed heat exchange water flow system and a consistent water flow through all parts of the heater for fast heating.
One issue some users have with the H-Series is that the heater is not particularly weather-resistant. We recommend placing it somewhere where it’s at least partially sheltered from the elements while in use – and properly drained and ventilated, of course. The most common issue we found is that water can short the control panel.
The Hayward Universal H-Series pool heater comes with a one-year warranty that covers parts or replacements and labor. We recommend hiring a professional to install your pool heater because improper installation can result in voiding your warranty, premature heater failure or even your heater catching fire. You can reach Hayward by phone, email or post.
More on Pool & Hot Tub
The Hayward Universal H-Series H200 is the best gas pool heater because of its ease of use and flexibility. Its premium features, like its cupro nickel heat exchanger, come standard and lengthen the life of your device.