Swimming pool heaters are the most complex piece of pool equipment on your pool equipment pad. Making repairs to pool heaters should be performed by competent personnel. Gas pool heaters using Natural Gas or LP (Liquid Propane) gas can be risky by combustion or exhaust of the pool heater.
Florida Pool Heating has created the Pool heater FAQ below to help property owners with pool heater repairs.
Heater Pilot Won't Light?
This could be as a result of low gas pressure, inadequate air supply, or improper venting. Ensure that the gas is turned on, and for propane, make sure the tank has fuel. Also, check for water run-off from the roof or sprinklers that may be flooding the pool heater. Check to ensure the heater pilot tubing is intact and not clogged. Confirm that the pilot orifice is not clogged with rust or small insects. For millivolt heaters, if the pilot will not stay ignited, check the thermocouple's output for 600 mv.
Heater Won't Reach the Acceptable Temperature?
The thermostat may be set too low. If the heat loss is greater than the heater input - the heater may be too small, outside air temperature is too low, or your heater may have an insufficient gas supply. You may need to install a solar pool cover to slow heat loss from your pool. All pool heaters have high limit switches to avoid overheating. A faulty upper limit switch could shut off the heater, or the issue could be that the heater is genuinely overheating, perhaps from improper exhaust out of the top of the heater.
The Heater Cycles On and Off Before it Reaches the Desired Temperature?
Your pool heater may have inadequate water flow due to a dirty filter, closed valve, external bypass, reversed water connections, or pressure switch out of adjustment. It is also possible that your thermostat is out of calibration or requires to be replaced. For low speed or variable speed pool heaters, the heater will not work on low flow pump speeds.
I Hear "Clicking" or "Sparking," But My Pool Heater Will Not Ignite
Enabling the pilot to light is half the battle. If it's trying to light, but either won't light the pilot or light the burner tray, there could be numerous reasons. Check your pool heater owner's manual. Ensure that the heater gas valve is in the on position, and if LP (Propane) is being used, check the gauge on the tank.
How Can I Make My Pool Heater Last Longer?
Keep your heater clean and as dry as possible always. Sweep under the burner tray and clean any leaves off of the heat exchanger. Trim back foliage around and above the heater for wind and sun to lower moisture. Don't cover around the heater, which traps moisture.
Keep rodents out through the use of mint sachets or mothballs during winter. Nesting rodents can remove insulation and chew on wires. Investing in a winter pool heater cover is also a decent idea to keep out the elements and rodents.
Pool heaters out in the weather typically last for about 15 years. At some point, an expensive pool heater repair like a new heat exchanger or another pilot/gas valve will have you weighing the advantages of a new pool heater. A skilled person should install replacement pool heaters; and it's especially wise to hire a professional gas contractor to make the gas connection.
For many, natural gas or propane-fueled pool heaters are an absolute requirement. Adding a heater to your pool ensures you'll have a warm, comfortable pool to hop into whenever you're ready to take a swim, but a heater can also drastically extend your swimming season. However, different sized pools hold different amounts of water, and that means they need custom-sized heaters to both raise the water temperature and keep it steady.
Obviously, there are two main ways you as a pool owner may opt to use a pool heater. One of these is to let the pool cool down when not in use, then turn on the heater in advance of any swim to bring the temperature back up to wherever you'd like it. The other choice is to run the heater constantly, using it to hold the water at the desired temperature, so your pool is ready for a swim at any time.
A pool heater is well-suited for any of these uses, but if you are planning on letting the pool cool down between uses, you may want to choose a higher-powered heater, as they will heat the water faster. This way, you will not have to wait too long before you can get into the pool.
Determining the actual size heater, you'll requirements comes down to a variety of different variables, including the size of the pool, starting temperature, air temperature, desired water temperature, and how quickly you want it to heat. By considering these numerous factors, you'll select the right size heater for your pool and needs.
The heater size should be based on how warm you want the pool or spa water and how fast you require the pool to warm up. If you plan to maintain the pool warm all the time, a smaller heater will work. The most cost-effective use is to oversize the heater and quickly warm up the pool water before you are ready to use it.
That said, there are some common guidelines that we can recommend for you. Please note these are for gas-fueled pool heaters, not heat pumps or solar pool heaters.
Bonus Tip: Enhance Heater Efficiency with a Cover
Raising your pool water temperature is just the start of having a consistently warm swimming pool. Keeping that water warm is another - and the best way to do that is to minimize any factors that contribute to the cooling of the water. The major cause for water temperature drops is evaporation and contact with cooler air.
By adding a cover to your swimming pool (ideally an automatic cover that's easy to open and close), you're accumulating an extra layer of insulation, which holds the water's heat. This will reduce the amount of work your pool heater must do to keep the water temperature constant, but it will also hold the temperature much better if you only heat the water when you're ready to go for a swim.
Just as a clean and clear pool is significant in having a pool you and your family can enjoy, so does having water at a comfortable temperature. The addition of a heater to your pool is the best way to ensure this.
By selecting a heater that's the right size for your pool, you ensure that warm water will be available whenever you feel like taking a dip.