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Thread: Clogged heater?

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    Clogged heater?

    Is it possible for a pool heater to be partially clogged? I was just cleaning my filters and decided to put the hose in inlet of the heater. Most of the water comes back out, with some coming out the heater drain that I opened, and some coming out the outlet. If I try to put my hand over the heater inlet with the hose in it, it seems there's back pressure going through the heater. Is that normal, or should the water freely flow through the heater?

    I was just wondering if heaters get clogged and need routine maintenance. I took off the water pipes going in and out, but am looking at the manifold cover wondering if I should take that off. From the manual, it looks like lots of stuff and gaskets underneath so I probably won't touch it for now.

    I have a Starite heater, SR400NA, salt pool, pentair ccp320 cartridge filter, new 2-speed 2hp pump. Everything but the pump is about 6 years old.

    Thanks, Robert
    22K inground, PS8 Aqualogic SWCG, 3/4 hp 2-speed Hayward Tristar pool pump, 2hp Pentair Whisperflo waterfall pump, Pentair 320 Clean and Clear cartridge filter, Sta-Rite heater, Intellibrite lights

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Clogged heater?

    Heaters can get clogged, though that is fairly unusual.

    The thing to keep in mind is that the inside of a heater is fairly complex, with lots of small passages for water to pass through so that the maximum amount of heat gets transferred. That will necessarily create some back pressure when you try to run water through with a garden hose. Most likely everything is just fine.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Clogged heater?

    Not sure about your heater, but some of them have check valves inside. The pressure from a garden hose may not be enough to fully move the water through one.
    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.

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    Re: Clogged heater?

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll go on the advice that everything is fine. After cleaning the filters, I still get the same clean pressure that I've always had with clean filters.
    22K inground, PS8 Aqualogic SWCG, 3/4 hp 2-speed Hayward Tristar pool pump, 2hp Pentair Whisperflo waterfall pump, Pentair 320 Clean and Clear cartridge filter, Sta-Rite heater, Intellibrite lights

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    Join Date
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    Re: Clogged heater?

    You may need to take the inlet/outlet headers off and inspect it. Occasionally, calcium scale can build up within the heater tubes to constrict the inner diameter. Not good if it's calcium but cleanable with a diluted acid solution.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

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