Hello all! What a crazy season start here in Central IL. 86 degree March had everyone fooled! I'm still waiting a few weeks, but plan to be going by 3rd, 4th week in April. Here is my dilemma.
Last year at season end my H200 heat exchanger developed a pinhole leak in the exchanger where one of the copper tubes makes u-turn out of the exchanger and goes back in. I removed the exchanger, soldered the pin hole, and it lasted me through the season end. It started leaking again just before close, a drip, not stream this time, but from the same area. I suspect a poor job of soldering with me and the old maap torch. However, I also suspect the exchanger may be on its way out because its 10 years old, and I let my alkalinity get out of hand last year a bit. I have also largely fed pucks from the skimmer, and know this can be hard on the exchanger. I will use a feeder this year or go back to bleach.
My questions are:
1) I can remove the exchanger and take it to a local radiator shop, that also does a lot of industrial repair (I use them at my assembly plant to repair the heat exchanger in our air compressors - they look about the same as my Hayward except 3X the size). I know they can pressurize the exchanger, clean it better than me, and do a heck of lot better job in the repair/solder. This will run me $100 or so. I worry that this is a Band-Aid, because I fear there are other pinholes waiting to appear. But at a $100, it might be worth the shot and the hour or so of labor.
2) Replace the heat exchanger. This runs about $600 - $700, and I have seen them as low as $550. I know this will work great, but then I wonder... what next... gas valve (300)? Burners (50 each, manifold for 100)? It seems every year I am doing more and more trouble shooting. Replacing switches, control, and sensors.
3) New heater. Is 10 years the right time? I can pick up a direct replacement for $1400-$1600, drop in and be "trouble free" for some time to come.
Thanks for reading through my ramblings! I appreciate any sage wisdom that cab be provided!