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Thread: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

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    Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Hi all, first post. Check out the video and let me know what you think. Basically I've got this pool heater that wont light. I seem to have spark, but i smell no gas. If I knew what as wrong i bet i could fix it.

    https://youtu.be/epizOkEA_Cs

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Are you handy with a volt/ohm meter? You will need to be able to verify if you have voltage at the gas valve. The wiring schematic on the door will be a big help in this endeavor.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Thanks for the reply.
    I have used one before danpik, but not often. I'm always afraid im going to fry them.
    I have a Craftsman 82328 Autoranging Multimeter. I'll be wondering exactly how to set it so I don't cook it, and where to test.

    The property manager had a pool guy look at the unit, he said it needed a new board, they have no intention of fixing it and could care less what I do to it to get it running. Seems pretty straight forward if it had to be jerry-rigged to heat.

    Keep it coming and lets have some fun with this thing!

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    If the board is bad then it will have to be replaced...no options there. I would like to know how they determined that it was bad. A lot of times these "pool techs" just start replacing parts till they find the bad part then charge you for all of them. Could be a bad gas valve since it is sparking the igniter. You will need to check for ~24 volts at the gas valve at the call for heat (igniter sparking). Pretty hard to fry a multimeter as they have internal protections. Just set if for Volts AC. If it is auto ranging then it will select the proper scale automatically. I am hesitant to get too deep into instructing you how to do this as it sounds like you do not own the property.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    No i don't own the property, but you can't break what doesn't work
    I'm sure the owner won't care. In fact I've done a lot of repair on the properties pool system. He'd actually be ecstatic if I emailed him and let him know I fixed it for cheap. The pool guy that use to do work here before I took over keeping it clean and running didn't try to replace anything just to charge us, just don't think he was having an easy time finding the needed "board", whatever that is. The heater has never worked. Anything functional would be better. I'll see if i can get a proper volt reading from the gas valve..

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    First thing is you would verify that you actually have gas coming to the system. Obviously if you don't smell any gas when it's sparking you have to wonder if there is any gas being supplied to the system. So first confirm you have gas coming to the system.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Okay I finally got around to checking for gas, which is a big Go. Took the gas line off turned the valve and its coming out quite well. So what's up valve, why you not letting the good stuff get to the spark?

    20150918_080844.jpg

    So how would I go about testing this?

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    First of all, and I hope you see my post, you have got to get rid of that flex gas line! Its too small for that heater and actually dangerous. I can't believe your PM hasn't seen it. Low gas flow to a heater can cause serious safety issues. Hire a plumber, get that fixed asap!

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Well while the flex line might be of an issue, if this unit has been running like this for years, I'm sure it's still good. If this were a new setup, I'd definitely say get rid of it.

    Now back tot he issue at hand. You need to check and see of the gas valve is getting the 24V to open it. If not, then you have a issue with the ignition module. One thing you can also try is when you turn it on, keep a hand on the gas valve and see if you can feel it click. If so then it might be OK.

    One thing I have found on this unit from time to time, is I can light the pilot with a BBQ lighter and then the heater takes off from there.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Well, ps303, maybe the gas line is not an issue, maybe it is, but the original poster says that this heater has NEVER worked, ever. So, it should be changed. That Pentair heater looks like a 325 or 400 btu unit and probably wont work with that flex line. That heater has worked for years is not a true statement according to this gentleman.

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Yes you're right, I didn't go back and re read the posts from the OP to see that he says it has never worked. As for the flex, well I won't say much about it other than the unit COULD work with it in place. In fact if you look at the video where he shows where the connection it is T'd off of, that line as well looks suspect and might not be of the right size. So we really would need more pictures and info. We would need to know how far away is the supply source as well. Heck, this could be too high of a pressure and thus locking up the valve. In that case, you need a regulator at the heater to reduce the pressure accordingly. I do not see where it was noted if this is natural or propane gas fed. I have dealt with units that were propane and then the customer was converted to natural and they still fed the heater(heater had been converted to natural) with the smaller copper line that the propane was fed thru. Unit worked just fine.

    I would suggest that you get a licensed/certified gas company out to look at your supply and see what if anything is going on with it. They would have a manometer to check things.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Quote Originally Posted by kevingkind View Post
    Hi all, first post. Check out the video and let me know what you think. Basically I've got this pool heater that wont light. I seem to have spark, but i smell no gas. If I knew what as wrong i bet i could fix it.

    https://youtu.be/epizOkEA_Cs
    you have to make sure ALL of the safety devices are satisfied before the ignition cycle will commence. Check to see if you are getting power to the IND terminal of the ignition module. If you are then all safeties have been satisfied. you have to have the schematic to properly diagnose your problem.
    8500 gal bean shaped pool with spa attached.

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Hope I didn't offend with my strong comment. But here in SoCal, that flex line would get the heater red tagged by any inspector. And as a pool and spa technician. I would not work on that heater if I came across it in the field. Both Pentair and Raypak say that gas flex lines are not proper for their heaters in their tech manuals. I'm always like white on rice with any possible safety issue.

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    OldPoolMan, I totally agree and I would red tag this myself as well. I just doubt the poster would go for replacing it since it's not even his equipment.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by rc477 View Post
    you have to make sure ALL of the safety devices are satisfied before the ignition cycle will commence. Check to see if you are getting power to the IND terminal of the ignition module. If you are then all safeties have been satisfied. you have to have the schematic to properly diagnose your problem.
    If it's sparking like it is in the video, everything should have been satisfied or else no spark would be happening.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Even though I'm really late saying it, the replies are appreciated everyone. Until tonight I had been too busy to try fixing the heater, for over a month! Not that it didn't still cross my mind. I'm having a party in 10 days and would love to surprise everyone with it in working order, so i got to fiddling with it this evening and I've made some major progress I believe!

    I got to reading over your BBQ lighter trick idea ps0303, thought about buying one tomorrow, then just decided to try a flaming stick. hehe.. I got the spark to shut off and a blue flame to burn in its place. Obviously some gas is flowing, even if i couldn't really smell it. I quickly grabbed my phone and started rambling. Check out the video and let me know what you think I might should do from here to get it going the rest of the way. Thanks for the tip btw.

    October 20, 2015 - YouTube

    Sorry for the video being sideways and dark, but holy heck it kind of worked, for a few seconds at a time.. In case you can't hear me over the pool pump.. whats happening now is its lighting, but going out in a few seconds. Thoughts?

    I agree the flex hose isn't ideal, and i'll get that replaced soon as I get one hot spa okay?
    I just don't want to toss money at it till I'm sure it wont take a lot more to get it running, which at this point seems unlikely.

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    It may be the orifices need to be cleaned out. That being a 400,000 BTU heater it will need a lot larger line than that service seems to be providing. I would do a tear down and do a good thorough cleaning of the burners and orifices as well as the pilot assembly.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    OK so it lights up and then goes out. As danpik says, try cleaning the burners and the pilot. As mentioned before, you might want to get a gas person in to get a reading on the gas pressure in coming and out going. That will cost you a few $$ though.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    She's alive!!

    Its alive! ! - YouTube

    I took all the barrels sanded them up and blew them out, power washed everything from top to bottom, let it dry out and bam! She stays lit not.

    Thought? Think its good? Maintenance? Can i cook a pig on top this sucker?? Holy heck its hot!!
    Heating up the spa for the first time right now, the little ladies gonna be so happy!

    Thanks all!

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    Re: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    Looks good. Nice blue flames. Enjoy. Tell the little ladies to make you some cookies.
    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: Mini Max 400 pool heater doesn't heat

    I am betting the sound you are hearing is from that restrictive flex line on the gas supply. Took me a while to figure that one out several years ago. Mine also will make a bit of a whine...more of a moan actually if the pump is on low speed. Bump it up to high and it goes away
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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