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Thread: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

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    Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    I'm getting ready to replace my leaky old gas heater with a new Raypak digital 406 model. I've been searching the internet to find the best deal. In one website, I notice that there was a difference in the 406 model based on elevation: 0-2000 ft and 2000 - 5000 ft, and there is about a $150 price difference between the two. I'm at about 3700 ft. Other websites don't mention elevation at all in the description. Does this really make a difference?

    Thanks,
    Jill
    El Paso, Texas
    16x32 Rectangular In-Ground Pool - Plaster - Cartridge Filter - 25,000 gallons - TF100 Test Kit

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    Re: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    Someone is pulling your chain on elevation. There are no part differences due to elevation.

    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.

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    Re: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Someone is pulling your chain on elevation. There are no part differences due to elevation.

    Scott
    Absolutely not true. If you try and use a gas heater at elevation that is not rated for altitude, very nasty things can happen.
    High altitude requires smaller orifices on the gas inlet and burner. For a good burn, you need roughly 1:10 gas to air. At higher altitude, the ratio is off. This means the burning gas can make CO instead of CO2, the flame wont burn as hot, and the potential for a asty explosion to occur if soot builds up because of incomplete combustion. The other way to fix the issue is to devalue the BTU of the fuel. In areas like Colorado, Wyoming, utah, etc where the elevation is over 3000 feet or so, the gas company de rates the fuel so you dont need to smaller orfice. Check withe the gas company in your area to see if you need the conversion on the heater, or if they have already de-rated the fuel. If they have de-rated the fuel, you dont need to change the orifice.

    They also require a high altitude pressure switch if you get the high altitude model. Which means the one that comes standard has to be replaced. It's easier to just buy the high altitude model rather than get the conversion kit. But like i said, talk to your gas company first and see what they say.
    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: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    AFAIK, there are no High Altitude models. Turning the pressure down to the manifold is how it's done typically.

    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.

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    Re: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    AFAIK, there are no High Altitude models. Turning the pressure down to the manifold is how it's done typically.

    Scott
    The high altitude models just come with the conversion parts already in the heater.
    And turning down the manifiold pressure is not the way to fix the issue. The combination of lower air density and lower manifold pressure will cause incomplete combustion, possible flashback, and yellow tip flame. Thats as dangerous as doing nothing. The proper fix is a smaller orifice, with a modified pressure switch, or de-rated BTU on the gas, period.
    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: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    Sea Level/high altitude installation: The H-Series heaters may be installed up to 2,000 feet of elevation above sea level.

    http://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/manuals/manual183.pdf

    FDXLHAK1930 Conversion Kit, H150FD-H400FD High-Altitude, 2,000-10,100 ft.
    http://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/Parts%2 ... %20NOx.pdf
    http://www.rheem.com/docs/FetchDocument ... 5b1ce9371e

    As BK406 noted, you need to check with your gas company or gas contractor to see how they handle the high altitude.

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    Re: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    Missed it with the Hayward. I don't sell them though which is why.

    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.

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    Re: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    They all have high altitude parts. Any gas fired appliance has to be fitted for high altitude unless the gas is de-rated. Even then a modified pressure switch is needed.

    Understandable you didn't kbow about it because you're not a gas fitter and you live in relatively flat NJ.
    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: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    They all have high altitude parts. Any gas fired appliance has to be fitted for high altitude unless the gas is de-rated. Even then a modified pressure switch is needed.

    Understandable you didn't kbow about it because you're not a gas fitter and you live in relatively flat NJ.
    IIRC Forced combustion heaters like the Master temp, Hi e2, and the LXI are good at altitudes up to ~9,000 feet.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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    Re: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    Quote Originally Posted by racket
    IIRC Forced combustion heaters like the Master temp, Hi e2, and the LXI are good at altitudes up to ~9,000 feet.
    LOW ALTITUDE 0-4500 FT 0-4500 FT
    HIGH ALTITUDE 4501-10,000 FT
    When an LXi heater is to be installed in a high altitude application, the burner throat pressure will need to be adjusted to achieve 1.0"WC. See Section 10.4.3 for instructions on how to do this.
    http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/Produc ... 86900.ashx
    Installation at High Elevation
    The Hi-E2 has a venturi-type combustion system which does not require modification for operation at high elevation. In this type of system, air and fuel gas density changes are automatically compensated for, assuring proper air/fuel mixture. Heating capacity is reduced about 3 percent per 1000 feet (305 meters) above sea level. In general, efficiency at high elevation is equal to or better than at sea level.
    http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/Produc ... 05000.ashx
    The Pentair Mastertemp is good to 9,000 feet.

    The Raypak Standard Digital is good to 2,000 feet.
    The Raypak Digital low NOx is good to 5,000 feet.

    Atmospheric heaters: Rated inputs are suitable for up to 2,000 feet elevation. For elevations above 2000 feet, reduce input 4% for each 1,000 feet above sea level, as high elevation reduces combustion performance.
    Lo NOx heaters: Rated inputs are suitable for up to 5,000 feet elevation. For elevations above 5000 feet, consult the factory.
    http://www.rheem.com/documents/rheem-di ... i-o-manual
    The Jandy Hi-E2 Heater has a rated 95% heating efficiency. It is expensive, but it might be a good choice for someone who uses a lot of heat.

    The Jandy LXi low NOx is rated at 88 % efficiency and would be a good choice.

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    Re: Gas Pool Heater and Elevation/Altitude

    Thank you all for your responses. We're going with the RayPak Lo NOx heater which is good to 5,000 feet.

    Jill
    El Paso, Texas
    16x32 Rectangular In-Ground Pool - Plaster - Cartridge Filter - 25,000 gallons - TF100 Test Kit

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