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Thread: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

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    devon's Avatar
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    Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    I have been following this site since my pool was redone. At that time I purchased a new Raypak C-R407A-EN-C pool Heater (May 2105)
    I have the TP100 test kit and since my CYA level is 50 and I have been keeping my FC level at ~6 (bumping up to 7-8 to account for daily loss)
    I am experiencing a leak at the iron header of the heater when the PVC coupling screws into.
    This has now happened twice since I purchased. It took about 6 weeks for the leak to appear the first time.
    Called my pool builder and he verified with Raypak that standard PVC coupling was correct for the iron headers.
    Raypak came out to inspect and said the heater is functioning fine, however their troubleshooting (or lack of) concerns me.
    First the Raypak tech said the PVC is too close the my block wall (The header is ~ 8" from the wall. The coupling that attaches to it connects directly to a 90 going down)
    Then the tech looks at the sensors via the front status panel. SW1, SW2, SW3 showed triggered, or high heat or something. The tech then said I must have run the heater with no water running through. I told him I did not, and besides the heater is not supposed to function without sufficient water flow - and he agreed and said the unit is running fine. Then Why the switch errors?
    Then the tech said that maybe I need the optional hood vent to direct the heat upwards. He ordered one and it was delivered, but not installed yet.
    The lack of a definitive answer has me troubled because once my pool guy replaced the connections - the heater was fine for anther 6 weeks or so - but now I am developing a leak again at the same location.

    My concern is those 3 switches that indicated high temp. Should they be able to be reset, to see if they trip again? The first tech never 'reset' anything when he visited.
    I asked to have an ASME certified tech inspect my heater - and they said "All our techs are ASME certified" but I'm not sure I believe that based on the lack of troubleshooting.
    I paid extra for the ASME Commercial model - and am unsatisfied with the leaking and lack of resolution to this point.

    I have Raypak scheduled to come out again - in anticipation of him 'not finding anything wrong with my unit' any suggestions?
    Could my chlorine level be causing this?

    Thanks in advance.
    Devon
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    devon's Avatar
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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    I should add that the 2 couplings showed signs of heat/slight melting.
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    devon's Avatar
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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Sorry, didn't include:
    I re-read the Raypak operations manual which states, in bold, Free Chlorine not to exceed 5PPM. With my CYA at 50, I have been keeping it between 5-6 PPM.
    (also the 2 couplings were the originally installed ones that leaked the first time, and I still have them. Don't know the exact condition of the replaced couplings that are currently leaking again)
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Well technician came out. They are going to replace the threaded ends of the header and see if the threading may be the problem, and also replace the coupling and re-attach it all.
    The switch errors (1-5) were due to no water running through while the heater was on due to the pump timer shutting off the pump.
    He said that could possibly contribute to the high heat and recommended putting the heater on a 'fireman's timer' to prevent this problem.
    He checked it thoroughly and said everything looks normal, so I guess we see if that will solve the problem.
    I will keep the chlorine at 5, but I'm not supposed to go below 4ppm (per your site) - and I'm losing 1 1/2 -2 ppm during these summer days.
    This will be challenging.
    Devon
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    The FC level is not relevant. What is relevant for metal corrosion is mostly low pH but for chlorine level it's the active chlorine level, so closer to the FC/CYA ratio, that matters. Their 5 ppm FC also handles pools with no CYA so your active chlorine level is so much lower than that (over 80 times lower if your FC/CYA is at the minimum recommended) so the chlorine has nothing to do with what you are seeing.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Thanks chem geek. Glad to know. So sounds like I'm ok with my 6-8 range I maintain for CYA of 50.
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Devon, how are you chlorinating your pool? Chen Geek is correct. A Cl level around 5.0 will not cause the type of deterioration you are describing.

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    So how long have you had this heater installed?

    I install about 200 Raypak/Rheems a year. I have never seen one leak like you are saying. Do you have any pictures of the header with the side panels off that you could post?
    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: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Hi Paul -
    Newly installed End of May 2015. So far has leaked 2x - about 6 weeks apart. Raypak service is currently replacing the coupling, and the iron union.
    He said his service manager recommended a fireman's switch to turn off the heater 15 min prior to the pool pump turning off.
    This is an electronic ignition type. From what I read, the fireman's switch is geared towards older model heaters.
    I can get a pic after he is finished if you still want it. The leak is where the threaded PVC nipple screws into the iron header union. Seems like its getting too hot in that area.
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    You mention coupling and iron union. So you have the ASME iron header and the unions from Raypak? If so and they keep leaking, I would suggest that you request they swap out the header for the one where you can screw in CPVC threaded nipples. That should solve the mysterious issue. However, they do need to figure why this is happening. A fireman switch, well that's just dodging the issue in my opinion and I'm a huge fan of this company.
    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: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Just liquid chlorine manually added daily based on FC level
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Thanks Paul - Yes the ASME with iron header and unions. The tech finished redoing the PCV. He said that the PVC coupling was not what they use (supposedly my pool guy called specifically to ask).
    So the threads may be slightly different. That is sounding like the most likely root cause so far.
    I agree about the fireman switch - it does bring attention to the fact that water may be heating for a short time after the pump turns off. I don't recall this being a problem with my old (no electric ignition) raypak that worked great for 15 years. I will be more aware of that in any event.
    I attached a pic - but with the sun angle at this time of day - the iron headers are in the shade.

    Attachment 43049
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Here is a better shot. The Grey nipples / couplings are what they said were correct. I got the impression it was a Raypac part? They are different than the originals which was just threaded pvc without the raised outside grooves.
    20150925_172613.jpg
    ~20K Colored Plaster (Sliver) IG Pool Only - Basically New (5/15)
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS Pump / Jandy DEV60 DE Filter
    Raypack LoNox 407A - ASME - Electronic Ignition
    ThePoolCleaner / TF-100

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    Re: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    Ok looks alright. Did whoever replaced them first use some Teflon tape on the threads before using the thread sealant? Also, what type of thread sealant did they use? There is a right and wrong type.

    I see they seem to have loaded the threads up with sealant. I guess they thought the more the better which is not necessarily true.

    If this leaks again, try using CPVC threaded nipples. Wrap the threads with several rounds of telfon tape, and then make sure to use the correct thread sealant. You don't want the stuff that gets hard.

    Just out of curiosity, is that the only way they could fit the heater in there? They couldn't have turned it so the back was to the wall?
    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: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    I don't think a fireman switch is a bad thing. Depending on your plumbing and if water stays up in the pipes, it makes sense to me. In my case, I have a small drip leading into my filter. It's real small and I've tried everything I can think of to stop it. So after a few hours there is very little water up in my filter and heater. When my pump kicks in it takes a few for it to fill the filter back up and if my heater was on during that time I would worry about stuff overheating. As you can see, from my sig, my heater is currently out of commission, but if I decide to start using it, I would want (need) to do the fireman thing.

    What could it hurt?
    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: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    The unit is still going to rely upon the pressure switch for sensing if the unit can light or not. Fireman Switch provides coordinated control for any pool/spa heater and filter pump. It is designed to turn OFF a gas fired pool/spa heater approximately 20 minutes before the filter pump shuts down.
    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: Raypak heater requires FC no higher than 5PPM? Could this cause leaks at header?

    And on after the pump turns on, too.
    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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