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Thread: Cracked Heat Exchanger in Heat Pump

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    West Newbury, MA

    Cracked Heat Exchanger in Heat Pump

    Today I opened our inground pool. As soon as I powered up the circulator pump copious amounts of water flowed out from the Aquacal Model 155 heat pump. I removed a number of panels from the unit and discovered there was a vertical crack (maybe 1/20th of an inch wide and 2 inches long) in the base of the heat exchanger. Sigh. I called Aquacal and they said they do not sell parts for the heat exchanger. You need to replace the entire heat exchanger. If I buy it from them the cost is $2831. Thatís American dollars. If I buy it from someone that has an account with them the cost would be less. But thatís still going to be a big chunk of money.

    I asked what the base was made from and was told it was probably PVC. I was thinking maybe it was solid gold. PVC is relatively easy to bond to. The problem is getting access to the base to make a repair. I donít want to open the refrigerant lines since I donít have air conditioner tools, refrigerant, etc.

    Iím wondering if someone has successfully repaired a crack in the base of one of these units and how you did it. The tech person I spoke to at Aquacal said the base was bonded to main body of the heat exchanger and could not be separated from it. But the base on my unit has a number of hex head bolts which leads me to believe the base could be separated from the body.

    Any help or guidance would be much appreciated.
    40 year old, 16,000g, plaster, in ground pool with 150gpm cartridge filter and 1.5hp pump.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Quaker Hill, CT

    Re: Cracked Heat Exchanger in Heat Pump

    It is possible to "patch" PVC pipe by using pvc primer and glue and a piece of pvc cut to fit over your crack. If you can get to where the crack is at least. The more you can get the patch to wrap around the original pipe the better chance you have of it holding. It will take the glue up to a day to dry when used like that. I'm not saying I recommend that approach but for 3 grand you could buy a whole new heat pump. Heat Pumps are basically large air conditioners so any good central air rep should be able to work on the heat pump for you.
    15x30 AG Ovation Fantasy pool all Aluminum frame, 13,000 gal Vinyl Liner
    Pentair Super flo VS, Crystal Flo II 19" sand filter
    Aqua Comfort ACT750 heat pump
    TF-100 test kit

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Casa Grande

    Re: Cracked Heat Exchanger in Heat Pump

    I posted in last November-December about my Jandy heat pump that was leaking at the bottom of the canister that enclosed the heat exchanger. I attempted to get to the location but it involved too much disassembly. At that point I checked my options. A new replacement unit is about $6,000 installed. My local Jandy dealer quoted about $3,000 to $4,000 to repair the unit. This heat pump is 9 years old. If a pool heat pump, used only for 20 to 30 days per year, has a catastrophic failure, something is wrong!! I elected to hold off any replacement due to the cost. I had a Jandy dealer come out and install a bypass to take the heat pump out of the pumping circuit. Here in Arizona, the pool temp is already 87.8 degrees with just direct sunlight.

    Regarding having an HVAC company work on, or sell pool heat pumps, I found that they don’t.

    As I posted before, from my research, the cost of the pool heat pump failure is usually a leak that can be very expensive to repair.

    What I learned that my pool installation company, or any other pool company that I spoke to, neglected to tell me, and I didn’t know to ask…. To protect the $4,700 investment in the heat pump, I should have had a bypass to the heat pump installed. That would prevent pool water being pumped through the heat pump when not being used to heat the pool. That will help to reduce corrosion that can cause failure. The other best practice is to cover the heat pump when not in use. That would help reduce exposure to acid rain and other weather conditions that can cause premature failure.

    There was a post by someone who said they repaired a leak in their heat pump.

    Here’s a link to my post last December:
    2007 Pool - 10K Gals, Pebbletec, Roll Beamed & Cool Decked, Water Feature, Caretaker 99 5 port 1.5Ē w/Polaris Bayonet Cleaning Heads Style 3-9-500, Jandy SHPF 1.5HP 230V Pump, Jandy AE2500T-R 115K BTU/HR Heat Pump/Chiller, Jandy 4-filter CL460 Canister, UltraPure UPP/SPP15 Ozone Generator.

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