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Thread: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

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    Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    Hello All,

    I think I've tracked my issue down, but I thought I'd post to see if anybody has any pointers or other thoughts before I go to the trouble of tearing this unit apart.

    My pool heater is one year old, and it worked fine last year. I tried to start it up after uncovering my pool recently, and it does everything normally and I can hear the flame roar to life. Then, I hear a click and the flame goes out, and it does this 2 more times before giving me the IF code. I haven't verified the gas pressure as I don't have the equipment to do so, but I don't think that's the issue as no other household appliances have given me any issue, and as stated, I get a short-lived flame. I thought I might have a blockage as others get due to a spider web or something, but I pulled the manifold and there were no signs of a web at all actually, even though the back part of my heater is a spider breeding ground apparently. I have pulled the flame sensor, examined it, cleaned it, and replaced it. Wiring all appears to be ok, and just for a little test, I unplugged the flame sensor and noticed no difference. I'm not really sure what to make of that. It could be that the flame sensor is fine, and that it's kicking off for a different reason. Or it could be that the flame sensor is bad, and whether or not it's in the system, it's not detecting a flame and shuts itself off. One reason I think the flame sensor is ok is that when I pulled the manifold to check for webs the one time, it didn't have any, and I couldn't find anything else wrong so I reassembled the unit, and tried to turn it on. It didn't work a few times, but then once it just magically worked. I just let it run for an hour or so and turned it off. It rained that night and for the next day or two, and when I came back to it--it's not working again.

    So, I THINK I have water inside the unit, and that maybe there's a moisture problem in my burn tubes or whatever the technical name for them is. My gutters are clogged, and I need to get someone out to clean them (I have a tall roof and a short ladder). I'm wondering if the section over my heater isn't draining down on it pretty hard and causing water (and lots of it) to get inside of it. The problem with this scenario is that I had this thing taken apart to get to the manifold, and that wasn't terrible, but going any further seemed to be like considerably more effort because I was seriously considering it the day I took the manifold out and didn't find a spider web.

    Any tips or suggestion from anybody that may have had water get inside the wrong part of their heater before?
    Thanks!
    Dr. Wellness G-14 Spa
    SIZE: 92" wide x 92" long x 36" deep SEATS: 5 JETS: 98 Total Jets LIGHTS: Surround LED Lighting COMPONENTS: Balboa Spa Systems PUMP: 3 6HP EnergySaver
    WEIGHT: 1025 lbs. GALLONS: 450 Gallon Capacity ELECTRICAL: 220V

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    Re: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    With my heater I have experienced the heater turning on, running for a few minutes and then turning off. I have different brand than yours and it is much older. However the issue wasn't with the manifold but with the burners themselves. The burners have a metal shield over them that have many tiny holes. When the burners get dirty the holes get clogged and the flow of gas is reduced to the point where the unit shuts off. After removing and cleaning the burners (believe you refer to them as burn tubes) the unit worked for me. Looking at your picture it appears that your burners are behind a metal box that is bolted to the unit.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    These units have a 2year warranty, usually. Why not call a service tech that does Hayward warranty and have them look at it? The flame sensor also needs to be checked and then if that is OK, then you would wanrt to check gas pressure.

    But again, if it's under warranty get a tech out 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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    I bought it off some guy on craigslist that couldn't use it at his house because he didn't have a gas line and to get one was going to cost him like $5k. At least that's what he told me. I got the heater for like $800 off brand new, and it was still in the plastic wrap and box and crate. Worked great out of the box and all year last year. This year, I'm having trouble keeping it lit. I don't know that I could get any type of help from them on a warranty given these circumstances.
    Dr. Wellness G-14 Spa
    SIZE: 92" wide x 92" long x 36" deep SEATS: 5 JETS: 98 Total Jets LIGHTS: Surround LED Lighting COMPONENTS: Balboa Spa Systems PUMP: 3 6HP EnergySaver
    WEIGHT: 1025 lbs. GALLONS: 450 Gallon Capacity ELECTRICAL: 220V

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    Re: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    So this is a natural gas unit and that is what you have at your house?
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    Yes, it's a natural gas unit. Hayward H250FDN
    Dr. Wellness G-14 Spa
    SIZE: 92" wide x 92" long x 36" deep SEATS: 5 JETS: 98 Total Jets LIGHTS: Surround LED Lighting COMPONENTS: Balboa Spa Systems PUMP: 3 6HP EnergySaver
    WEIGHT: 1025 lbs. GALLONS: 450 Gallon Capacity ELECTRICAL: 220V

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    Re: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    So there shouldn't be any issue with gas supply then. I suspect the flame sensor is bad. It detects if the unit lit and if no signal is sent back from the sensor to the system, it will turn the system off and try to light again. After a third failed, or so it thinks failed, attempt it will post a IF error code.
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    I will agree with Paul on this one. The flame sensor circuit, depending on the board programming, "looks" for a flame in the burner for a pre-determined amount of time. to clean one, it needs to be removed and scrubbed to remove any oxidation/tarnish. I always recommend a steel wool pad as they do not contain any silicones or other binding agents that can contaminate the surface of the sensor. A lot of sandpaper contain silicones that will do this. In a pinch I have used a dollar bill folded up and wrapped around the probe to scrub it. I would also consider pulling the burner tubes out and cleaning them
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    I used sandpaper, wiped it off with cloth, it still looked bad, then I used steel wool. It has oxidation, but I got most of it off. It really doesn't make sense to me how the thing could possibly be bad after one year. It's a piece of metal that's getting heated up by a rather large flame... Even if it had a little oxidation, it's still getting hot as... well, it's getting hot. If my next step of taking it apart and looking for water inside doesn't work, I'm going to change the flame sensor.
    Dr. Wellness G-14 Spa
    SIZE: 92" wide x 92" long x 36" deep SEATS: 5 JETS: 98 Total Jets LIGHTS: Surround LED Lighting COMPONENTS: Balboa Spa Systems PUMP: 3 6HP EnergySaver
    WEIGHT: 1025 lbs. GALLONS: 450 Gallon Capacity ELECTRICAL: 220V

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    Re: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    I would never use sandpaper to clean. Emery cloth or the steel wool.

    I doubt water inside as the units are designed to allow rain to drain out.
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    I tried to start it up after uncovering my pool recently, and it does everything normally and I can hear the flame roar to life.
    When a heater sits for a while, spiders will sometimes make webs in the gas jet nozzles so they don't ignite. Happened to me once and I think it was the IF code that showed but same symptoms. Clean them out and it should start right up (assuming that is the issue).
    Mark
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    Re: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    to get a better understanding of how a flame sensor works, Look up flame rectification. Heat on the probe has nothing to do with a flame sensor working. There is a small electrical signal on the circuit that is completed to ground via the carbon in the flame. Fire is very electrically conductive. When the flame is lit, it completes the circuit.
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    to get a better understanding of how a flame sensor works, Look up flame rectification. Heat on the probe has nothing to do with a flame sensor working. There is a small electrical signal on the circuit that is completed to ground via the carbon in the flame. Fire is very electrically conductive. When the flame is lit, it completes the circuit.
    x2 on what danpik said.

    So just because you cleaned it doesn't mean it still isn't defective and not working. In fact after a cleaning if you still have the issue then most likely it is bad and should be replaced.
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    When a heater sits for a while, spiders will sometimes make webs in the gas jet nozzles so they don't ignite. Happened to me once and I think it was the IF code that showed but same symptoms. Clean them out and it should start right up (assuming that is the issue).
    I tried this as stated in the original post.


    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    to get a better understanding of how a flame sensor works, Look up flame rectification. Heat on the probe has nothing to do with a flame sensor working. There is a small electrical signal on the circuit that is completed to ground via the carbon in the flame. Fire is very electrically conductive. When the flame is lit, it completes the circuit.
    See, that's what I have been wondering about. I wasn't sure how the sensor worked, but I assumed it was looking for some change in resistance based on a rise in temperature so a bad flame sensor didn't make sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
    x2 on what danpik said.

    So just because you cleaned it doesn't mean it still isn't defective and not working. In fact after a cleaning if you still have the issue then most likely it is bad and should be replaced.
    So I tore apart the unit and pulled out the burner tubes. I was half expecting to find some water in the bottom of some of the tubes, but I only found small amounts of condensation on the outside of some of the tubes and a little bit of corrosion, but the tubes' openings for the flame were clear. So I reassembled after wiping them down some, and I actually switched the tube order. I switched the one directly under the flame sensor with one of the others. I buttoned it back up, and tried to start it. It does the exact same thing so I'd already decided before taking the unit apart that if that happened, I'd buy a new flame sensor.

    Flame sensor arrived 2 days ago and I went to install it yesterday. Walked up to the heater with screwdriver in hand, turned it on just to check, and boom. Fired up. Ran for several hours. I didn't replace the sensor, and I'm as confused as ever and $30 poorer. I'm going to hang onto the sensor in case it does this same thing again soon.

    Dr. Wellness G-14 Spa
    SIZE: 92" wide x 92" long x 36" deep SEATS: 5 JETS: 98 Total Jets LIGHTS: Surround LED Lighting COMPONENTS: Balboa Spa Systems PUMP: 3 6HP EnergySaver
    WEIGHT: 1025 lbs. GALLONS: 450 Gallon Capacity ELECTRICAL: 220V

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    Re: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    Welcome to the world of Hayward FD heaters.
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    You know the sad thing in all of this is...there was a Hayward Rep on here a while back. I have not seen any posts from him in a while.
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    You know the sad thing in all of this is...there was a Hayward Rep on here a while back. I have not seen any posts from him in a while.
    Yeah they have not been on here in a long time. LOL
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    So I'm coming back to this after several weeks to give a bit of an update and ask for help if anybody has any suggestions. I called Hayward a little over a week ago to describe my problem, and after telling them everything I've done so far (checked orifices, removed burn tubes and checked for blockages/moisture, cleaned and then replaced flame sensor, checked igniter resistance, checked gas valve voltage), and telling them that it decides to work intermittently, she said the last thing I really need to check is gas pressure, and if that's not the issue, replace the ICB. That's the standard failure for most heaters I've seen--something goes bad on one of the boards. So I made myself a water tube manometer and bought a fitting at home depot and checked my gas pressures (static, load). All were within the stated ranges. Just for fun I adjusted the manifold pressure screw and could see the change directly on my manometer. I still wasn't convinced that it's a board issue since it occasionally works, and then sometimes doesn't, so I took it back apart to the point where the burn tubes could be removed, and I got my leaf blower out and blew through the tubes, underneath the whole unit, and just in general around a few places that I thought might be moist. I did this for a while, still thinking that it must be a moisture issue. I put everything back together, and still it won't start.

    So I ordered an ICB. I went out the other day to install it, tried to fire up the heater before changing anything, and it came right on and ran with no problems for several hours. I still haven't replaced the ICB, but the heater still works/doesn't work occasionally. Here is one final piece of information: I've noticed that I tend to have success getting the heater to start when the pump has been running for a while. Note: the two aren't linked by any sort of control system, but they do share the same 240 voltage source. That is, if I go out there and the pool isn't on, I walk over and turn the variable speed pump onto high speed to make the LO light go off, and once everything is clear I try to turn it on. It does its normal cycle three times, and then throws the IF code. However, the times where I can remember it working were a morning when the pump had been on for a few hours on low, I walked over and switched it to high, tried to turn on the heater, and the heater came on no problem. Same situation happened above when I was going to replace the ICB. Every other time I can remember for sure (twice I think) I try to turn it on when the pump has been off for a while, it doesn't work, and then I let it sit there and after 1 hour, it will automatically try to start again. And it works. I've heard it fire up twice that way for sure and both were on the first try. I know this is a long shot, but does anybody have a theory as to why this would be happening? I'm trying to avoid replacing the $180 board (I can return it until I unpackage it).

    Thanks!
    Dr. Wellness G-14 Spa
    SIZE: 92" wide x 92" long x 36" deep SEATS: 5 JETS: 98 Total Jets LIGHTS: Surround LED Lighting COMPONENTS: Balboa Spa Systems PUMP: 3 6HP EnergySaver
    WEIGHT: 1025 lbs. GALLONS: 450 Gallon Capacity ELECTRICAL: 220V

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    Re: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    I am thinking maybe a temperamental pressure switch. Not sure if the board would throw a IF code with that though. It should throw a code for the switch.
    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: Hayward Heater Issue - IF Code

    An intermittent lighting is most likely the ICB if you can't find anything else to point the finger at. These are very tough problems to resolve other than replacing a part and seeing what happens. Even tougher when the unit just decides to work. I would say put the new board in and see what happens. Worst case is that you have a board you can sell on eBay for those poor folks that need one.

    Sharing the same breaker as the pump is normal.

    A pressure switch would produce a LO error.
    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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