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Thread: Iron pipe in pool heater

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    Iron pipe in pool heater

    First time poster.

    I just started as a CPO on a 137,000 gallon YMCA pool less than 6 months old. We heat the pool with a shell and tube heat exchanger run off the boiler. I noticed that the heat exhanger is plumbed in using plain old black iron pipe. Is this going to last or will it be rusting out in a year or two? How long will the brass valves and copper propress last?
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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    Welcome to the forum

    It's probably been there a very long time already. Controlling the pH is the key to success.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    Just opened the pool in June, brand new. Ph has stayed around 7.4.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    Quote Originally Posted by DSLPelican
    First time poster.

    I just started as a CPO on a 137,000 gallon YMCA pool less than 6 months old. We heat the pool with a shell and tube heat exchanger run off the boiler. I noticed that the heat exhanger is plumbed in using plain old black iron pipe. Is this going to last or will it be rusting out in a year or two? How long will the brass valves and copper propress last?
    I just hope the iron pipe is not on the pool side of the system!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    If its steam side there are no issues, if its pool water side the pipe may be lined...any markings on the pipe?
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    Its water to water, no steam. Yes it is pool side with no markings. I have boiler operator's license and have installed and maintained water and steam boilers and piping so I do know the piping and boiler side of things. Of course most of the pool piping is Sch 80 pvc but for the 6 feet or so from the heat excahangers to the circ pumps, pool and spa, it is a combination of propress copper and black iron. Low ph chlorinated and oxygenated circulating hot water seems like a bad idea for iron pipe and pretty harsh for copper too. Should I raise a stink about it with the contractor now while the pool is still new or wait and see. The pump is a brass B&G, how long will the impeller last in spa water?
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    Since you're required to maintain such a low level of FC in that pool I don't think the chlorinated water will be any worse than just water. I'd at least find out why they used the iron pipe in the first place.

    Is it at least painted?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    Just went and checked my NG heater water outlet and it has a 12" section of black iron pipe also, guess its not a big issue because I have no iron problems. I imagine its for heat isolation from the header block, wouldn't want to thread plastic into that I guess.

    Still would be cool to have a piece of stainless in there, shouldn't cost more than $50 to have made.
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
    Avatar is my pool!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    The problem with stainless and chlorine is chloride corrosion stress cracking. In our levels of chlorine it's not much of a problem but when you add heat it speeds up the process.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    The problem with stainless and chlorine is chloride corrosion stress cracking. In our levels of chlorine it's not much of a problem but when you add heat it speeds up the process.

    Like the 20 year old sparkling 304 stainless steel ladder in my pool? :P

    Seriously this is not an issue with submerged SS products and certainly not an issue with non load bearing members that aren't exposed to chloramine gas accumulations.

    http://www.imoa.info/_files/stainles...ool_Design.pdf

    At any rate, type 316L is what I would spec for such a pipe...I've used it for far more aggresive solutions and higher concentrations of chlorine than a pool will ever see with zero issues.
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
    Avatar is my pool!

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    Re: Iron pipe in pool heater

    Thanks for the input everyone, I think I will let it slide.
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