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Thread: "Free" heater

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    "Free" heater

    I'm a pool newbie, but I'm learning a lot from this site. I have an 18x33 above ground pool that was installed about a month and a half ago, and all is well. We love the pool, the kids are having a blast and so are the parents.

    My daughter has a labor day birthday, and the wifey has decided we need to have a pool party that weekend. September in NW OH usually brings high temps in the 70's, so I'm not sure how many people will actually be in the pool, but I'd like to have the water toasty warm anyway. The long range forecast is promising, with a heat wave the week before, but I've been lied to by a weather man before.

    With that in mind, I've acquired a heater from my boss that he is not using. It's been sitting in his barn for who knows how many years now. As far as I can tell it has a build date of 1989. It is a Comfortzone PSG II 255N. At some point, it may or may not have been converted to propane. I've taken pictures of the valve and the nozzles, and I'm pretty sure they're both converted, but go back to my first sentence about being a newbie.

    I'm planning on taking it apart as much as I can and cleaning it up. Other than completely installing it, is there any way to tell if it will still work? It appears to be a millivolt unit, so I can't plug it in. I'm going to try to attach some pictures. Any and all advice is welcomed!

    DSC00015.jpgDSC00014.jpgDSC00013.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    I also have the tube for the far right side in the last picture. For whatever reason, it was taken out. It looks fine to me.

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    Re: "Free" heater

    Here is hoping for that early September heat wave for you, we are hoping for it too to get one more swim in.

    I guess my biggest concern is: how much experience in this sort of thing do you have? Remember, you are messing with something designed to make a nice controlled fire, but one wrong valve turn or small leak can turn that in to a large uncontrolled fire. Judging by your question I am going to assume you aren't entirely familiar with it, so my suggestion is to find someone local who is much more experienced to help you look it over before hooking it up. Someone might come along here who is more experienced (your "FREE" topic certainly is eye catching) but generally something like this is outside the expertise of most of us regulars.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: "Free" heater

    My experience with an 'old' heater was not very pleasant. The heat exchanger was rotten and when I turned the valves from bypass to heat, I filled my pool with iron!! Yummy! Was a surprise that it was iron since most heat exchangers are copper, or so I thought.

    So that's the one piece of advice I can pass along. Make sure you flush it real good with a hose before connection to plumbing.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: "Free" heater

    Whoopsie. Didn't realize what the "free" might have accidentally implied. I used the term more to get the "fixer upper" point across. My mistake. Anyway, thanks for the advice so far.

    I don't have a lot of propane specific experience. I'm not sure who I would call in. My local pool company is very snotty about only servicing things that they sell/install. Any suggestions?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm definitely planning on flushing it out first. Don't want to dump a surprise into my pool on accident, especially a cold pool, right before closing for the season. Thanks.

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    Re: "Free" heater

    Good luck. I personally would advise you NOT to venture into trying to get this to work.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: "Free" heater

    I will echo what Paul said. Without gas experience I would advise against working on it. Without having the spec sheet for the orfice and spring for the propane conversion it would be hard to tell if it was done or not. maybe you have an experienced home heating guy you could call and have him look at it.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: "Free" heater

    I confer with the ones above about the potential safety risks involved.

    I was in my pool yesterday and the water was fine, but it's the wind when you come up out of the water that was so cool here. So you might want to have plenty of towels and blankets on hand for after just in case.

    Here's another suggestion since Labor day is still 12 days away, (Labor day weekend 10-11 days away), perhaps if you don't already have one, buying a Nice solar cover for your pool will help it warm up, and stay warm for the swim party? My motto: Better safe than sorry, Always.

    I hope this helps. Have a nice day.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
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    Re: "Free" heater

    I'm going to call my HVAC guy and the pool store tomorrow and see if anyone will take a look at it for me. I have no desire to go up in a propane fueled fireball. The propane line is being ran next Wednesday, so I have a few days before I could realistically use it anyway. I already have a nice thick solar cover, but it's been cool here, and the pool is getting downright chilly. The pool was 74 degrees tonight. I don't think the air temperature made it even to 70 today, and it was cloudy all day. Great day for working outside, but not a great day for warming a pool. It's supposed to warm back up, and the long range forecast looks like swimming weather, so I think we'll be ok, with or without a heater.

    I decided to get the garden hose out tonight, and I stuck it in the "inlet" port of the heater. Some of the water passed through, and I got a mix of some rusty stuff and other strange debris, but nothing alarming, and it was flushing clean within 30 seconds. However, I was getting more water coming back out of the inlet than I was getting from the outlet. Is that normal behavior when you stick a garden hose on full blast into the inlet hole? Does water flow through the heat exchanger significantly better when it's under pressure? Is it worth hooking up the inlet of the heater to the outlet of my pump and spraying water out on the ground before I call someone to look at it?

    Just don't want to sink too much money and time into something that's probably destined for the scrap heap.

    Paul - Can you clarify something for me? Are you saying that "I" shouldn't try to make this work because I don't know what I'm doing (which is true) or are you saying that I shouldn't try to get this working because this heater is an old POS and I'd be better off starting with a nice, new heater? Thanks.

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    Re: "Free" heater

    Quote Originally Posted by mithesaint View Post

    Paul - Can you clarify something for me? Are you saying that "I" shouldn't try to make this work because I don't know what I'm doing (which is true) or are you saying that I shouldn't try to get this working because this heater is an old POS and I'd be better off starting with a nice, new heater? Thanks.
    Yes. This unit is very old and even though you got it for nothing, you be sinking hundreds of dollars into it and it's not worth that. But that's just my opinion.

    As for flushing it out with the hose, not nearly enough pressure to know if you have any leaks or not.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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