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Thread: Heater Repair or Replace advice needed.

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    Join Date
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    Heater Repair or Replace advice needed.

    I have a sta-rite heater that's probably original so around 12 - 13 years. It makes a pretty loud knocking noise a minute or two after firing up. It almost sounds like something is loose and banging around inside the lower part of the heater. The heater eventually cycles off.

    I replaced both the thermal regulator and bypass valve, but it still knocks. I think after doing some research that lime-scale buildup is probably causing some internal issues. I've had some really hard water for too long and just recently replaced it.

    I think I could follow this youtube video https://youtu.be/w5fEnagoRbU and probably get it fixed. That is my heater and the video is pretty detailed.

    However, I'm not 100% sure if this is the best route and I would like some advice on whether I should just replace the heater instead.

    Thanks.
    Phil (Las Vegas)
    Built 2003 - 12,000 Gallon In-Ground + 620 Gallon Spa ~ Pebble-Tec ~ Sta-Rite System 3 Cartridge Filter ~ Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater ~ Solar Heating ~ Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (2015 Install) ~ Pentair Intellichlor SWG (Not used since 2013) ~ Sun Touch Control System.

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Heater Repair or Replace advice needed.

    I have heard these are problematic at best, especially at that age of years.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd consider a Raypak heater replacement.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
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    Re: Heater Repair or Replace advice needed.

    With the age of your unit, it's better to replace it. Once you start taking things apart you might end up with more of a mess. Personally, I would never perform what is showed in the video.
    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: Heater Repair or Replace advice needed.

    Thanks to you both for the advice. It is much appreciated. It looks like Raypak is coming my way.

    I'm kinda glad this was the advice despite the cost.
    Phil (Las Vegas)
    Built 2003 - 12,000 Gallon In-Ground + 620 Gallon Spa ~ Pebble-Tec ~ Sta-Rite System 3 Cartridge Filter ~ Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater ~ Solar Heating ~ Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (2015 Install) ~ Pentair Intellichlor SWG (Not used since 2013) ~ Sun Touch Control System.

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    Re: Heater Repair or Replace advice needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by philp3 View Post
    I've had some really hard water for too long and just recently replaced it
    The symptom and conditions that you describe suggest calcium build up INSIDE the exchanger, not soot or lime build up on the exterior of the exchanger. Which means the process outlined in the utube video may not help your problem at all. If you indeed have an internal build up, there are only really two or three ways to go. Chemically TRY to reduce the build up, which i suggest would only be last resort and no way to tell if it worked unless you had an endoscope to look at it after the acid "treatment". Not really an option, too problematic. Option 2 would be to get an exchanger kit. I would only do this if you met two criteria, a) limited budget, and most important b) the rest of the heater was still in good to excellent condition.

    Third option, and probably what you are going to do anyway, get a new heater.
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    Re: Heater Repair or Replace advice needed.

    Thank you. That helped even more with the decision.
    Phil (Las Vegas)
    Built 2003 - 12,000 Gallon In-Ground + 620 Gallon Spa ~ Pebble-Tec ~ Sta-Rite System 3 Cartridge Filter ~ Sta-Rite Natural Gas Heater ~ Solar Heating ~ Pentair Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (2015 Install) ~ Pentair Intellichlor SWG (Not used since 2013) ~ Sun Touch Control System.

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    Re: Heater Repair or Replace advice needed.

    Even though the video was a step by step process, when he asks you to "bend these 'things' a little to get it out and you can bend them back", that's very arbitrary. If that part fits up to or near a seal or an o-ring, case closed.

    The best option of all is to ensure your chemicals are balanced and nothing is out of whack on the scale & calcium side. I've only had my heater for 1 yr or so, but I'm sure there is periodical maintenance you can do to keep the h-exchangers clean.

    By far the best option is a new one, and if you tried that and things started breaking, no fun.
    InGround 15K gal, 18'x30' 3.5' to 5.5' depth w/ 9'x9' spillover Spa, Pebblesheen w/ Travertine, Hayward 3 HP VSP, Hayward C4030 Cartridge, Hayward 1.5 HP for 2 Scupper columns, ProLogic, PL-PS-8 Panel, Hayward 400K BTU Heater, 3 ColorLogic LED, Spa Blower, TF-100 w S-Stick, QC Tiger Shark, Autofill

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