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Thread: Pool guy telling the truth?

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    Pool guy telling the truth?

    Hey all...my pool guy just visited me this morning to check out my heater issues and I have a few questions regarding my Pentair minimax CH400 natural gas heater (10 years old)...
    1) He said I need a new PC board and ignitor module which will run around $600 plus installation. Now this MIGHT fix the problem, but might not. I'm feeling like if this didn't work, there goes $600...and further workup and replacement of parts would run over $1K and its a MAYBE fix that would probably lead to other parts failing anyway, buying a new heater might make sense since his install charge is $650 (at least I'd get a new heater and hopefully not have to worry about issues).
    **2) He said I can buy one on my own and have him install it, or he can buy it for me. He told me that if he buys it, it comes directly from the manufacturer and therefore is of better build quality as opposed to buying it from somewhere else like the internet and where we don't know its build quality. Is this true?
    3) I'm looking at the Jandy LX-i, it has a pretty high efficiency rating (93%)...does anyone have any input about the reliability/performance of this model or can you recommend a good heater?

    Thanks in advance and I hope everyone has a great pool season!
    IG freeform gunite w/attached spa. Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 filter with matching multiport backwash valve. Century 1.5HP motor. Purex Minimax Plus 400 gas heater.

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by volkg35

    **2) He said I can buy one on my own and have him install it, or he can buy it for me. He told me that if he buys it, it comes directly from the manufacturer and therefore is of better build quality as opposed to buying it from somewhere else like the internet and where we don't know its build quality. Is this true?
    Uh, no. He just wants to make money on the heater
    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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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Bk's right!

    Where does he think the companies get there's from? Little Johnny ain't making em in his garage!

    In fact they come straight from the mfg's too. Most all those things are drop shipped straight from the warehouse to your house.
    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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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    To give the pool guy the benefit of the doubt, if he means you buy a knock off from online, then you wouldn't know the quality. If you buy a name brand like the Jandy you're going to get the same quality. You might offer to let him match or come close to the online price so he gets the business and you get good future support. Sometimes its better to spend a little bit more locally because he's more likely to give you better service. Just depends on your particular situation with him is or will be.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    The manufacturer doesn't care where it's going - they have one assembly line. So the quality thing is nonsense.

    However, I sympathize with the guy, since I'm a mechanic. You have no idea how much grief there can be when someone brings their own parts. If it isn't the right part, guess who ends up on the phone trying to explain what is needed? And does the mechanic get paid extra for that? No...But then, what if there's a problem later? Is it the part, or was it the installation? The guy who sold the part says it was installed wrong, the mechanic says it was a piece of junk, fingers get pointed, tempers flare...it just gets ugly all around.

    Buy it through him - don't be afraid to haggle a little - and if there are any problems at all, they're his problems. He sold it, he installed it. If it needs to come apart, he gets to do it. It's one of the risks of being in business. That's what his markup is for.
    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.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Richard is absolutely correct. As a pool guy myself I have run into this many times. The price for the board for your heater sounds about right. They're all expensive. And yes there ARE Chinese knock off boards floating around on Ebay or even worse are the "breakers" who disassemble equipment such as heaters etc. and then sell the components as new, even though they are used. I would absolutely refuse to install an expensive board for my customer if they bought it, for exactly the reason that Richard stated. You need to take a look at the overall health of your heater while standing there with your pool guy and then make an informed decision to either repair or replace based upon that.

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    I used to advocate letting the pool company do it. For reasons stated above. However I've really changed my mind on that advice. You can get a new heater online for basically contractors price. Then, install it yourself. It's not that difficult and you'll save a ton of money. If you can't do it, you can find someone who can. As far as a warranty goes, the manufacturer has to warrent it. I've pretty much stopped buying stuff from brick and mortar when I can ship amazon, get it cheaper and with no tax.
    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: Pool guy telling the truth?

    We have the same heater, and it is still working great. Unless there was something serious, I'd probably just try to fix it myself. The parts are very modular and can be purchased from online sources. If the parts don't fix the problem, put them for sale on eBay and get a new heater. Here's a source for parts:

    http://www.a1poolparts.com/-strse-1203/ ... Detail.bok

    BTW, what are the symptoms? Have you tested for gas pressure?
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    $650 seems like a lot for a heater install, assuming the gas and electrical are already run.

    My pool guy said he'd replace a heater for $100 if I buy the heater from him. Comparing his heater prices to the best prices I can find online, he has about a $200 mark-up. So, I'd be paying $300 total for the heater install.
    20'x40' Oval 27,000 gallon Vinyl IG, Coverstar Auto Cover
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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Warranty is at the manufacturers discretion, they don't neccessarily have to warranty it. Some manufacturers wont warranty items on the internet since there is no guarantee they weren't used prior to purchase and refurbished or just sold as new.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp
    Warranty is at the manufacturers discretion, they don't neccessarily have to warranty it. Some manufacturers wont warranty items on the internet since there is no guarantee they weren't used prior to purchase and refurbished or just sold as new.
    I've never run across the issue. I've had warranty service done on multiple items I've bought off the net and never had an issue. I guess there may always be a first.
    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: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Does all this mean I have to stop my counterfeit pool heater assembly line I have going in my barn? That would be a total bummer. It's getting hard to find free child labor!

    Rob B
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    Totally got our monies worth!
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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp
    Warranty is at the manufacturers discretion, they don't neccessarily have to warranty it. Some manufacturers wont warranty items on the internet since there is no guarantee they weren't used prior to purchase and refurbished or just sold as new.
    AMEN! I tried saying similar about a warranty.
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    To get back to the Op's question and try to cut throught the ITI noise.

    I would get what ever you can get a good deal on. They all work generally the same. Jandy's ok, lots of people have good luck with hayward. Rheem is good.
    Just a qick look see, you can get a hayward 400K for between $1800 and $2000 from Amazon, poolsupply world, etc for no tax amnd free shipping. Aquasuper center even has it for $1768. They all come in with a serial number, and a warrenty card. Fill it out send it in, and everything will be just fine.
    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: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Thanks all for chiming in on this. To clarify a little bit, I triple asked him "the same manufacturer, the same model?" He told me "Yes, believe me, its the same as when you buy a faucet at Home Depot and I buy one through the manufacturer directly, if you take them apart, the internals are cheaper on the Home Depot models because its made for residential purposes as opposed to direct buy which is commercial like what I install." This doesn't really make sense, but I get the feeling he was trying to rip me off. $650 seemed a bit steep being that the gas and electrical are already there, he just has to connect it up, PLUS he said I had to get an electrician separately to complete the install, so that would be an extra $150. So basically I asked him to install a heater and he can't do it on his own, I have to hire an electrician as well.
    As for my old Minimax...symptom is as follows - I get a power light on, but no other lights turn on. The pool guy took the PCB out and showed me where the burn in is. Problem I have is that I already replaced the Hi pressure limit switch, so I get a feeling that one by one each little thing is going to fail and end up costing me a decent amount of cash that could likely be better used buying a new setup.
    IG freeform gunite w/attached spa. Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 filter with matching multiport backwash valve. Century 1.5HP motor. Purex Minimax Plus 400 gas heater.

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by volkg35
    He told me "Yes, believe me, its the same as when you buy a faucet at Home Depot and I buy one through the manufacturer directly, if you take them apart, the internals are cheaper on the Home Depot models because its made for residential purposes as opposed to direct buy which is commercial like what I install." .
    It's not the same actually. Sure, some HD faucets with a name brand have some different parts, but you just have to know what to look for. The HD faucet actually will have a different model number. They cant use the same model number with different guts.

    But that pool heater you buy off amazon is the same one he gets. And $600 for install is petty theft. $600 for install that doesnt include the electician is downright felony armed robbery.
    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: Pool guy telling the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by volkg35
    1) He said I need a new PC board and ignitor module which will run around $600 plus installation. Now this MIGHT fix the problem, but might not. I'm feeling like if this didn't work, there goes $600...and further workup and replacement of parts would run over $1K and its a MAYBE fix that would probably lead to other parts failing anyway, buying a new heater might make sense since his install charge is $650 (at least I'd get a new heater and hopefully not have to worry about issues).
    I would look for a new pool guy. If he is going to replace parts he should at least be sure that what he is replacing will fix the problem. Good technicians know how to diagnose problems and identify what needs replacing instead of guessing at it and saying maybe it will fix it. I Would be out of business in a heart beat if I was fixing customers boilers and furnaces this way.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    I had a similar problem with an Hayward heater and a similar price quote from a local pro.
    The problem was a spider web in one of the orifices. The electronics work fine.
    This and several other experiences with the pros leads me to not trust them. I'm sure there are pleanty of honest hardworking pool guys but I just haven't found them.

    hayward-h400-if-codes-help-t32205.html

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    You gotta love "Part Changers", the only true skill they have it the ability to make an "Estimated" guess, (meaning they just swap out parts one by one until they find out which one was bad), and they get to make a fortune in the process.

    If he wants to charge you $650.00 to disconnect a gas line, move out the old heater and set the new one and reconnect the gas line, and then have you pay for an electrician come to disconnect the power and then reconnect it, I would laugh at him and say "See Ya".

    If he is in the pool repair business and has experience selling and "installing" the equipment he sells, then he should be qualified to do the electrical part as well.

    What does he do when he changes out a light niche, pump, or other electrical part, charge the customer hundreds of dollar to order and deliver the parts, remove them from the boxes so the electrician can do the install?

    He sounds like a Union worker, lol, sorry I am a mechanic, and that has wires going to it, get an electrician to come and disconnect the wires and then I will take out the bolts and change the part, then you will have to get the electrician to come back out and rewire it.

    Fnd someone else or learn to DIY, or make friends with someone that can do the work and likes beer!
    Samantha

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    Re: Pool guy telling the truth?

    thanks again all for chiming in, the best line this guy threw at me was "I've been around pools for 20 years, I'm friends with people that have pool companies, so I know what I'm doing." So I guess that makes him an expert by association. Excellent sales pitch, this guy has no clue apparently. I am a total DIY'er...I've built and raced cars as a passion, but now that I have real responsibilities i.e. kids and crazy work hours, its hard to find the time to rip apart and diagnose the heater. I would install it myself but I'm pretty sure there are laws/codes that prevent a homeowner from messing with gas lines and/or electrical lines.

    Looks like yet another pool company scratched off my list!
    IG freeform gunite w/attached spa. Purex Triton FNS Plus 60 filter with matching multiport backwash valve. Century 1.5HP motor. Purex Minimax Plus 400 gas heater.

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