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Thread: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

  1. #1
    Guest

    StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Does anyone know what the r3 code is on a Max-E-Therm 400K heater? I can't find any r code info in the manual or online.

    The heater fires the blower, I have gas, but it does not fire. It worked fine through a couple cycles last week, and actually did for one of 5 tries this morning, but I can't seem to get it consistent. Any input is appreciated

  2. #2
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Hey Bruce, is the 'service heater' LED on?

    Open the unit and lift off the top to see if any of the LEDs are lit (I know it's not the stack flue switch/ sensor cause that's R5) Also open the inner metal casing to see if the Fenwall flashes one of it's codes.

    How much gas is there in the propane tank? (under 20 and the unit will intermittently fail to fire) - If it's NG, not LP, this shouldn't matter

    As a last resort, call Pentair and ask them to switch you over to the Sta-Rite pros

    I used to have the owner's manual for these heaters, but can't find it after the move (Not that it really matters, the R codes aren't in there )

    Anything else you can tell me about this heater? (like, is the temp display 'funky' or any strange noise when it tries to fire or does fire)

    The owner's manual is available from Pentair's site, it tells you how to troubleshoot the heater, but NOT what the R codes mean

    Good luck with this, buddy - if i can help you, I will.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  3. #3
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Thanks Ted!!! I had it all apart this morning, and then had to go to a meeting. I left it all apart, as I had removed all the electrical connections, sanded them down good and hit 'em with contact cleaner and wanted it to dry out. Pulled all the pin connectors and did the same; even cleaned the board. Still got the r code and nothing

    Got home from the meeting (Sal and I had to go to the meeting. The last time it had fired Sal was asking some questions-this is my heater-and wanted me to fire it. That was the last time it worked so I blamed him for breaking it!), and Sal and I decided to go out back and look at it (I think he felt responsible-yeah right!). I turn on the pump and hit the heater switch and she fires right up. How weird is that??! Still don't know what the r code is though and why I can't find it!

    Mama got in a car wreck yesterday so I was trying to get the spa heated up for her last night, which obviously didn't happen. Looks like I might be able to get it fired up and get her in there tonight for a little R&R, which will be good for her (she's banged up, but fine).

    Thanks for the response again, Ted The service heater light was coming on, after the r code was thrown. I am natural gas, so supply is good. Never a problem before (we use the spa very little. The pool will be 9 years old in March and we've probably used it 12 times total.). Always great to hear input from those smarter than you, so your advice is much appreciated

  4. #4
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Tried to use the spa again last night, and heater wouldn't fire It tried a couple of times but wouldn't hold.

    I'm thinking it might be the HSI (Hot Start Igniter), since it does at least try to go. Anyone agree or disagree before I go buy a new HSI?

  5. #5
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Bruce, as I said before, look at the Fenwall and see if it flashes 3 times (ignition lockout)

    Before buying any new parts, try 'jumping' (I hope you know what I mean by that) the safety switches. [I used to 'cheat' egregiously by having 2 spares of every part on my service van and just 'threw' new parts at the suspected failed one]
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  6. #6
    Guest

    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    I'm sorry, Ted, I just get frustrated when these things "fix" themselves and then fail when you want to use 'em! I have tons of patience on a customers issue, but little on my own.

    I will check the Fenwal and see what I can learn. I'll also jump the switches (yup, I'm good with that ) and see if that rats something out. I hate to throw parts at it but sometimes I cloud my own thinking (especially when Mama would really like to use the spa and I think it is fixed and usable!). Just follow what I was told (thank you again!) and I'll probably be in great shape.

    Thanks again, Ted! Sometimes you gotta hit me a couple of times before I get it

  7. #7
    Guest

    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Bruce,

    Just thought of something, when we fired it the other day, we were in the pool mode. Have you tried it that way again?

  8. #8
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    BTW, it Hot Surface Igniter.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  9. #9
    Guest

    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Yeah, I tried it both ways, Sal. Couldn't get it to go in either mode. It didn't make sense to me that one way would go over the other, but I thought I would try and if I could "cheat" it in pool mode I could manually switch over to spa mode. No luck.

    Thanks, Scott. I guess I knew that, but I obviously didn't write it (I have a hot start lever on my motorcycle, and that is probably what I defaulted to)! I don't like to put out erroneous information, so I appreciate the correction

  10. #10
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    I was thinking flow, do you have a "HI" switch on the Hybrid???

  11. #11
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Sal,

    I told Bruce how to fix this yesterday in a PM and he didnt listen, apparently.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  12. #12
    Guest

    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    BK, what's new....

  13. #13
    Guest

    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Sal,

    I told Bruce how to fix this yesterday in a PM and he didnt listen, apparently.
    Buying a #@*& Hayward heater is not a fix

  14. #14
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz

    Buying a #@*& Hayward heater is not a fix


    So, whats new, did it just fix itself or did you de-bug the thing?
    BTW, I think i'm going to get the Rheem, 406k. Probably order it in late March.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

  15. #15
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    I know where he can get a "free" Pentair Minimax. Hardly used, but he never returns his phone calls...

  16. #16
    Senior Member In the Industry
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    R3 is displayed when the heater is turned on. This is normal. It is the revision of the firmware on the board. Hope you didn't buy too many parts...
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

  17. #17
    Guest

    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Thanks, Clown I did learn that the r code is the firmware code, so I'm good there! Haven't bought any parts yet, as I have been too busy to get back to it!

  18. #18
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    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    Is the HSI glowing bright, almost yellow or more orange? or not at all?

    How old is it?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  19. #19
    Guest

    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    I still haven't looked, Scott The heater is almost 9 years old now, but has probably been used a dozen times (I just don't use the spa much). I need to go take it apart again and look at this now that you and Ted have pointed me towards narrowing this down, but I haven't. Hopefully tomorrow (which ain't making Mama happy!).

  20. #20
    Guest

    Re: StaRite Max-E-Therm NG heater code

    OK, had a couple quick minutes to tear this apart again. Fenwal is good; no codes. I removed, cleaned and replaced all of the connections just for good measure. Heater fired once and did not hold. 3 more tries and it held once. Tried it a fifth time and no fire. No codes on the Fenwal on any occasion.

    It got too dark to see anything more, so I buttoned it back up and called it a night. I'll have to check the HSI (tomorrow?) and see what that looks like.

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