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Thread: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

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    Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    I am in the process of selecting a new pool heater. While I know asme and cupro-nickel are overkill for a residential install, for the extra $300 +/- is it worth the expense since I am somewhat concerned about pool chemistry and heater deterioration? My thinking is that if the overkill model lasts a few years longer, I have a better chance that the kids will be grown up and I won't need to replace the heater. But I also know that a very short period of really bad chemistry will destroy any heater quickly.


    The two models I am considering are listed below. But, despite the obvious title, I cannot find any Raypak documentation that supports which one actually has the cupro-nickel fins and asme header.

    C-R266A-EN-X #50 ASME, DIGITAL W/CAST IRON HEADERS, CUPRO-NICKEL, ELECTRONIC IGNITION, NATURAL GAS, ASME

    Raypak 010203 Digital With Cast Iron Headers - Cupro-Nickel

    Is it possible the 010203 is just an older model? Does the EN-X of the first mean it is cupro-nickel? C-R266A is listed as being copper fins on the Raypak website. No mention of the EN-X marking.

    Both are described as asme and cupro-nickel. I just want to be sure I am interpreting it correctly.

    The heater will be located outdoors, but under an appropriate overhang of a shed... meeting all codes, etc. It will be stored indoors in an unheated space in the winter.


    Or, am I being completely paranoid about chemistry, and I should just go with a typical residential model? I try to keep my chemicals in line, but they varies more than I would care. Never unsafe, but occasionally higher FC (6-7) than is typical. I test with strips about every other day and weekly with a full kit. About three times a summer I bring a sample to the store. And, while I use trichlor pucks in a feeder at lower feed levels, I mostly try to control the chemicals using the TFP method. I am a novice with only one (Short upstate New York) season of unheated water under my belt. So I am still learning.

    Sparing me the laughs, I sincerely appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
    In-Ground,14000 gallon, 15x33 fiberglass pool, starclear plus 1200 cartridge filter, tablet chlorine feeder, Hayward 1.5 hp pump, unheated

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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    I don't see anything wrong with it. It shouldn't give you any feeling of flexibility on Chemistry because you shouldn't slack on it for any reason. One of the heater guys can honestly answer the value question, but it seems it's certainly better metallurgy.
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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    If you wish to spend the extra money for something that is really overkill on a residential pool, that's up to you. I personally would never suggest to a homeowner that I deal with to get an ASME or cupro-nickel unit. Cupro-nickel can fail just as quickly as a non unit. As for the cast iron headers, manufacturers got rid of this from residential units do to the rusting issues over time plus it keeps the costs down for homeowners. You should never slack on maintaining your pools chemicals. It takes very little time to manage a pool on a weekly basis. BTW, get rid of the strips for testing and check the correct test kit. Strips are notorious for being off and just aren't very good, in my opinion.

    If you are really up to getting a really good heater, then pay for and get the Professional series unit that comes with a 3 year warranty and have it installed professionally. Raypak Residential Pool /Spa Heaters - Professional Digital Heaters, R268A and R408A


    Residential units: Raypak Residential Pool /Spa Heaters - Pool/Spa Heaters, 206A-406A
    Paul
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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
    If you wish to spend the extra money for something that is really overkill on a residential pool, that's up to you. I personally would never suggest to a homeowner that I deal with to get an ASME or cupro-nickel unit. Cupro-nickel can fail just as quickly as a non unit. As for the cast iron headers, manufacturers got rid of this from residential units do to the rusting issues over time plus it keeps the costs down for homeowners. You should never slack on maintaining your pools chemicals. It takes very little time to manage a pool on a weekly basis. BTW, get rid of the strips for testing and check the correct test kit. Strips are notorious for being off and just aren't very good, in my opinion.

    If you are really up to getting a really good heater, then pay for and get the Professional series unit that comes with a 3 year warranty and have it installed professionally. Raypak Residential Pool /Spa Heaters - Professional Digital Heaters, R268A and R408A


    Residential units: Raypak Residential Pool /Spa Heaters - Pool/Spa Heaters, 206A-406A

    Thank you. This is the type of expertise I was seeking. I guess I am just a bit over cautious after having read so many horror stories about heaters failing in 1 to 2 years, that it made sense to buy a higher grade model.

    And perhaps I have overstated my concerns with pool chemistry. To be certain, I stay on top of it, but lacking experience, I don't always recognize the signs of a pool that's tending toward being out of balance as early as an experienced person might. Indeed, I do use the full titration kit each week and use the strips and/or quick drip kit on a near daily basis. You know, the ones that are recommended on other parts of the tfp site. And I love the calculator page.

    So here is the next level of question. Has anyone had difficulty with Raypak warranty when doing an online purchase and having a professional install? From what I can tell from the website, there are no local dealers in my region. Seems like Hayward reigns I this area, but I don't read good things about that brand right now.
    In-Ground,14000 gallon, 15x33 fiberglass pool, starclear plus 1200 cartridge filter, tablet chlorine feeder, Hayward 1.5 hp pump, unheated

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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    A little higher FC is always better than a little lower, as long as you are maintaining at least 30ppm of CYA, Chlorine CYA Chart. PH is most important and must be kept between 7.2 and 7.8. Once it goes above 7.8 it needs to be lowered.

    There are no test strips that I am aware of that are recommended here at TFP. Here are the recommended test kits, Pool School - Test Kits Compared. I use the TF100 from TFTestkits.net

    Have a look here to get started on water chemistry TFPC style, Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    Quote Originally Posted by mrpoolman View Post
    I am in the process of selecting a new pool heater. While I know asme and cupro-nickel are overkill for a residential install, for the extra $300 +/- is it worth the expense since I am somewhat concerned about pool chemistry and heater deterioration? My thinking is that if the overkill model lasts a few years longer, I have a better chance that the kids will be grown up and I won't need to replace the heater. But I also know that a very short period of really bad chemistry will destroy any heater quickly.


    The two models I am considering are listed below. But, despite the obvious title, I cannot find any Raypak documentation that supports which one actually has the cupro-nickel fins and asme header.

    C-R266A-EN-X #50 ASME, DIGITAL W/CAST IRON HEADERS, CUPRO-NICKEL, ELECTRONIC IGNITION, NATURAL GAS, ASME

    Raypak 010203 Digital With Cast Iron Headers - Cupro-Nickel

    Is it possible the 010203 is just an older model? Does the EN-X of the first mean it is cupro-nickel? C-R266A is listed as being copper fins on the Raypak website. No mention of the EN-X marking.

    Both are described as asme and cupro-nickel. I just want to be sure I am interpreting it correctly.

    The heater will be located outdoors, but under an appropriate overhang of a shed... meeting all codes, etc. It will be stored indoors in an unheated space in the winter.


    Or, am I being completely paranoid about chemistry, and I should just go with a typical residential model? I try to keep my chemicals in line, but they varies more than I would care. Never unsafe, but occasionally higher FC (6-7) than is typical. I test with strips about every other day and weekly with a full kit. About three times a summer I bring a sample to the store. And, while I use trichlor pucks in a feeder at lower feed levels, I mostly try to control the chemicals using the TFP method. I am a novice with only one (Short upstate New York) season of unheated water under my belt. So I am still learning.

    Sparing me the laughs, I sincerely appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
    OK. I have received a lot of good feedback from everyone and I greatly appreciate the advice. After doing a bit more research on the residential models of the P-R266a, I have found a vendor which is selling both the copper and the cupro-nickel for less than $50 difference. So, with cost not being a factor, which is the preferred metallurgy of the experts? I know one poster said he would never recommend cupro-nickel, but is that because of the extra expense, or is the material just not as good?

    Thanks for the final indulgence. Then I will end my line of questions. Thanks.
    In-Ground,14000 gallon, 15x33 fiberglass pool, starclear plus 1200 cartridge filter, tablet chlorine feeder, Hayward 1.5 hp pump, unheated

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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    What do you feel the cupro nickel is going to buy you if you went with it? I said I never suggest it to homeowners as it's extra $$ and really no advantage. Both copper and cupro nickel will fail if you do not keep your water chemistry right. It will take longer for the cupro nickel but it will still fail.

    My preference is regular copper.
    Paul
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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    Raypak came out with the CN (Cupro Nickel) as an option for customers who were interested in a more "durable" exchanger. While both exchangers can be damaged by improper water chemistry, The CN was also introduced in an attempt to battle the other exchanger "killer". That is erosion due to excessive water flow, also known as "stripping".

    Here is another fact to ponder. Copper is an excellent conduit for transferring heat, CN, not as good. Not to say it isn't good at transferring heat, just compare the yellow energy guide stickers. You'll see that the CN numbers are a few points lower than copper. Will you notice the difference in heat up time? That's really hard to say, since there are already so many other variables with regard to heat loss while heating. Maybe you will, maybe you won't.


    If you can get it for less than 50 dollars(difference), there really isn't any reason not to get it other than your heat up time will not be the same as copper.
    Note: If you are going to get it, i would get it with the brass/bronze headers instead of the CI. You dont want your exchanger out-living your headers. That option may send it over budget. But i think you will be better off (That is if your going to go that route).

    Bottom line? It is a give and take. You sacrifice temp rise for durability. While you shouldn't (as stated above) relax your chemical monitoring, you could think of your CN as an extra layer (not too thick though) of protection.
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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    I just went through the same thing! I purchased a Rheem cupronickel heater just the other day- I did a ton of research and even contacted Rheem for more questions. I also was considering ASME but everyone on here as well as the dealer recommended against it. I wanted cupronickel because I'm converting to a salt pool, and I want the heater to be more durable. I plan on staying on top of the pool chemistry but sometimes "life happens".

    Some things to keep in mind- I ordered the 406A cupronickel model which actually has an input of 360k btu. The standard version as well as the ASME cupronickel variant are 399k btu. This goes for all sizes of this heater. I don't know why they do that!
    Additionally, the difference in efficiency isn't too bad. Models with the copper exchanger are rated at 83% and those with the cupronickel exchanger are rated at 81%.

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    Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    Model Number Copper
    Input BTUH
    Cupro-Nickel
    Input BTUH
    Indoor Stack Dia.
    P-R206A 199,500 180,000 6"
    P-R266A 266,000 240,000 7"
    P-R336A 332,500 300,000 8"
    P-R406A 399,000 360,000 9"


    inyopools only charges about $50 more for the cupronickel vs copper, but as you can see from the Raypak BTU chart above copper has about 10% better heat exchanging capacity over the cupronickel. So add the 10% to your heating bill over time to help determine if over say 10 years, the difference is worth it?

    The thicker wall of the cupronickel may or may not help. I have a salt system, and have had a copper heat exchanger for 10 years and I do get busy over time and the pool is not the highest priority of life. Another tidbit, I use copper for the water fountain part of the pool that shoots water out of these lionheads, and I chose copper as the material, so I can monitor their state over time. The copper pipe has built up a heavy green coating of copper oxide and this coating seems to protect the rest of the copper from oxidizing further. Another benefit of copper is that it is a biocide. Copper ions, either alone or in copper complexes, have been used to disinfect liquids, solids and human tissue for centuries. Today copper is used as a water purifier, algaecide, fungicide, nematocide, molluscicide as well as an anti-bacterial, anti-fouling agent, and anti-viral activity, so a little copper in the water is not bad, except it forms copper chloride solids which will simply be similar to DE and stick on the filter.


    Pool chemistry and which acid you use to lower pH has much to do with corrosion on your heater, scum buildup on the pool and salt cell. There are some differences between muriatic acid (HCl), and dry acid (sodium bisulfate). Read this post and others that say the dry acid is much more corrosive than the HCL to the pool and parts vs the liquid to your hand (wear gloves). My analysis says that since copper sulfates are much more soluble in water than the copper chlorides, dry acid causes more problems than using HCL so I use HCl. see below and attachments

    Pool ACIDS - Pool Genius Network
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...24272578,d.cWw

    What died on my Raypak was the burner enclosure completely rusted out since the heater was left exposed for 3 years outside. After the 3 years, I got around to building an enclosure over the whole thing, pump, heater, filter, Goldline control boxes, etc. and have seen much less rust issues since then, but once rust starts it self propagates unless you get you butt under there and sand and repaint(NOT). For longevity, I recommend greatly to enclose the heater and pool equipment and I don't think the manufacturers recommend this enough. Of course you have to get a 10inch exhaust pipe with roof boot and these are not available at lowes, so plan on footing a hvac bill for that (got mine for $400 installed) . Don't use an undersized 6 or 8 inch pipe unless you want to burn the house down. My heater before replacing it looked brand new on the outside but was disintegrated with rust in the burner compartment (the bottom of the unit). The copper heat exchanger never failed on the salt system after 10 years, and I am a good chemist, but have a busy life and generating chlorine with salt raises the pH constantly so you have to be vigilant (and of course, I can't get the wife or kids to do anything to help except complain).

    I also noticed that sunlight and heat was deteriorating everything including the control boards which was also causing the undersized pc board traces to overheat and burn the power relay traces. I had to manually bypass the trace with copper wire to avoid buying a $1000 board, and this could have been prevented if I helped control the heat buildup against the control panels with shelter. Almost every residential pool equipment install does not have any shelter, and if it is done at install, you will have longer life on all the equipment.
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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    I went with the cupro-nickel exchanger that was an extra 100 bucks. I also bought the heater online and installed it myself but wasn't aware of the warranty limitations. It hasn't had a problem in three years so that doesn't matter to me now. I have seen people with the copper exchangers that don't take care of their chemical levels that had brown liners that they needed to replace.
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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    It isn't the salt that erodes the copper in a heat exchanger it is low PH. Any pool that spends any sustained amount of time with PH below 7.0 will begin to erode/dissolve the copper out of the heat exchanger, salt or not. The cupro-nickel will help to avoid that.
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    Re: Raypak/Rheem Heater asme/cupro-nickel??

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    It isn't the salt that erodes the copper in a heat exchanger it is low PH. Any pool that spends any sustained amount of time with PH below 7.0 will begin to erode/dissolve the copper out of the heat exchanger, salt or not. The cupro-nickel will help to avoid that.
    It might help "avoid" SOME but even a cupro nickel heat exchanger will be destroyed by bad chemicals. Takes a little longer but it will happen.
    Paul
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