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Thread: New Pool heater woes

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    New Pool heater woes

    So our 10 yr heater ( jandy lite 2 ) seemed to have died recently. Since it was old we went new. Got a Jandy Legacy 399K BTU Digital Natural Gas Swimming Pool Heater LRZ400EN. After a brutal haul and installation it was up and running fine. 5 days of running fine. Then the system started to fail to light. It threw a fault code FAULTCHECK IGN CONTROL, but would after repeated attempts eventually light and run for hours. Looking in the manual it states that code is related to low gas pressure, or oscilating water pressure. Makes no sense. If the gas pressure was low , why would it run for hours. And the water pressure is consistent at around 14. The sales people want to rma , but it was a nightmare to install and move to the location , so I was hoping to troubleshoot before diving into a replacement which might encounter the same problem . The other thing that bothers me is the old heater worked fine, in a similar manner. If it lit , it worked great , but had problems lighting. Hope someone has some ideas as we're really lost as to the cause of the problem. Attached a pict of the installed unit

    Thanks

    Evan

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    I am not a hvac pro by any means, but I do know that your gas line looks way too small to support 400K unless the run is very short. Also your meter may not be able to supply enough gas. I looked at a 400K for our pool, but only have a 270K meter. So I would have to paid to have a larger one installed.
    29,100 Gallon Vinyl IG Pentair TA60D Sand Filter 1hp Hayward Superpump Hayward H200 TF-Testkit

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    So many thanks for the reply. OMG, I looked at the pict and realized I missed the fat pipe that connects to that. It's a dedicated , maybe 1 1/2-2 inches. If the flow wasn't good, the old 400k heater wouldn't have lasted 10 years IMHO. I do suspect the gas, but once it lights it stays lite. And when installed we had no problems, just 5 days later. If the gas was insufficient , the initial hook up I would guess would be air diluted and never have lit , but it did reliably.

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Is it still under warranty? If so, then call and get it looked at. BTW, some newer models are very picky about gas pressure. Is this natural or propane?
    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: New Pool heater woes

    It's natural gas.
    I did call , they instantly said gas pressure. So we contacted the utility co and they were out last night. They tested the gas pressure and it's well within the spec of the unit. They even turned it up a bit ( to within legal limit ) , just in case the product wasn't quite to spec. It is under warranty which is great, but it's none trivial uninstalling and re installing a new heater 500+ feet from the street where a truck can access over hills , woods etc.. I'm told they'll come look at it but if the people deem it to be an install issue we'll be charged , which I'm concerned is very subjective. Just a pain and was hoping to draw from experience to avoid paying out the nose for what may be something we've overlooked, or to be without the unit for weeks and be stuck spending 2 weekends more on this item.

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Hi,

    You need to test the gas pressure at the heater, both unfired and fired, and at the output of the gas valve when the heater is fired.. The Jandy manual gives these specs and the heaters are very particular about them.

    You also need to be sure that the water flow is consistent (not fluctuating).

    As to why the old one worked for ten years, if it was a standing pilot heater, it's entirely possible that it was working, but at reduced output from it's rating (which would also have contributed to it's early demise).

    And, lastly, Jandy will pay for on site warranty service (if they have someone in the area).
    In the industry, CSP (Certified Service Professional) by the NSPI and it's successor the APSP. My company services over 600 pools every year. I think the practices regularly espoused on this forum (especially the BBB method) are outstanding; however my comments will be often oriented towards the goal of getting it done, and getting it done right now!

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    My Teledyne/Laars NG heater seems to be a bit picky when it comes to water pressure & flow. It's not unusual for me to have to backwash before the heater will kick on.

    Just another data point....
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Thanks for the reply. The gas company tested 8WC un-fired well within the 5.5 - 10 documented as a requirement, it was 4.5 fired, but I do not see specs on the pressure fired.
    Spec->
    Inlet Gas Supply Pressure:
    Minimum Maximum
    Natural Gas: 5.5 "WC 10.0 "WC
    LP Gas: 10.0 "WC 14.0 "WC
    Actually I thought it was very nice of them to test at the pool, since that's beyond their responsibility ( typically ending at the meter) The water pressure on the filter is rock solid at 12, I couldn't find a spec on this. It's outside with no structures surrounding it , so it's well vented. The old unit was not standing pilot, but electrically ignited and rock solid until this spring ( it was just a rust bucket at that point and not worth servicing ) . Also what strikes me as odd, it was perfect for 5 days. Only the very first ignition took more than 1 attempt and I'd attribute that to air in the line. Then started giving this fault, which if I shut it off and tried again eventually the unit would work fine and heated remarkably well. Agreed Jandy has stated it will send someone out to take a look and pay for it if deemed a defect and not installation issue. The install was done by a friend of mine and I who used to work summers at a pool co. It was connect 2 pvc, connect the gas( all were at the exact same locations which is why I purchased another jandy ) , and wire nut 3 electrical connections ( we did run multi-meter testing of the elect supply to ensure it was proper first) . Not rocket science. I guess my concern with a local contractor coming and servicing the unit, is I've been repeatedly burned by several of them so I'm not interested in putting all our "eggs" in that basket. Nothing personal I'm sure there are many in the industry with great integrity and professionalism, I've just not met one in my area yet.

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    My Teledyne/Laars NG heater seems to be a bit picky when it comes to water pressure & flow. It's not unusual for me to have to backwash before the heater will kick on.

    Just another data point....
    Thanks , thats interesting , I have a cartridge filter, not sure how I could adapt to you method. I cleaned them 2 weeks ago, could do it again , but wouldn't be an acceptable norm everytime I want to fire the heater.

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    What regulator is installed? Was that replaced as part of the new installation? It would need to be a larger unit like a Maxiflo 325-7 (they would need to have 1.25" or 1.5" inlet and outlet.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    I don't believe there is a regulator installed. It's a 1 1/2 inch pipe for the main run that downsizes to 3/4. to a fitting that has a shut off , to a union and Tees to the unit connection and a sediment trap. It matches the figure in the install manual. Would the regulator be in the house ? We were replacing the heater with an almost identical unit, no new parts except new gas pipe to the unit.

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Nothing in the install manual mentions a regulator.

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Maybe you don't need one. In my install, I have 2 psi natural gas that has to be reduced to 7-11". Most installations that I have familiar with need something like this:
    http://www.zorotools.com/g/00055984/k-G ... g_Feed&kw={keyword}&gclid=CKKbvLyz8rACFQed7QodYCAT-Q
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Interesting. I've scene these on some videos of installs. Not sure if we'd need one. Right now things seem to be working (3 fires successful) with the util having turned up the house pressure. The pressure at the outlet meets the product spec, and kept the old unit running for 10 years w/o incident. I'd guess I don't need one , but I'm no expert. If needed wouldn't the spec say so , or the tech reps at zodiac. Do you know what it's purpose is ? Normally air supply regulators step down pressure to a fixed pressure, ie the regulator on a diving setup or the regulator on my compressor which allows me to adjust down to the tool I'm usings operational range. Does that make sense ? Appreciate the response, we'll see how things play. The pro installers want nothing to do with the gas setup and the plumbers want nothing to do with pool equipment , so where does that leave us poor owners. At the end of the day this thing is very similar to the hot water heater I just installed in the house, that was a cake walk in comparison

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    I was thinking you replaced your old unit with one a bit larger and maybe the regulator was undersized. If you don't have a regulator at all, most likely you would have an over pressure situation and not an under pressure issue. Hopefully, your unit continues to work well.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Thanks , We replaced with the exact same size and same make and same config to minimize issues. Literally all the hook ups were spot on which made for a nice install. Personally just feel we're getting the run around from zodiac. They have 30 days to placate us then we're stuck with it. I do hope the matter is resolved. The util people were very cool. They went way above and beyond testing everything to ensure we had sufficient gas pressure. Makes me wonder if the old unit might have had some more life in her But 10 years is the life expectancy, so I can't complain.

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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Inches of WC just measures pressure. Did they do a flow test to ensure that enough gas is getting to that big heater? Our line to our 400K BTU unit is 1 1/2" from the meter to the heater itself. Also, what kind of flow do you have through the filter, etc? I noticed a couple of weeks ago that before backwashing, running our variable speed at anything but near max would fail to activate the heater. Right after backwashing, I could run it at about 1/3 of maximum and the heater would run just fine. It might be worth cleaning out the filter to see if that helps.
    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: New Pool heater woes

    Quote Originally Posted by evanwellens
    Nothing in the install manual mentions a regulator.
    The manufacturer isn't going to tell you you have to have a regulator. The expect the person installing is knowledgeable about gas and the heater. I'm not slamming you for doing it yourself. In many trades there is what they call "trade knowledge" which are things not known unless you work in the trade. I know it seems easy to install certain things and people think it's a slam dunk but there are times that things get you that you don't know about. Even the gas provider may not know about it as they are only trained to deal with certain things. Let the tech come out and check it out. If it's an installation issue then you learned something. If it's something else, you still learned something.

    Good luck.
    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: New Pool heater woes

    The installer we contacted wouldn't touch the gas. The plumber isn't really interested in getting involved in pool plumbing. He'd connect the pipe for 200$. Really is there some special skill that warrants that ? 5 minutes at most. I'm not a licensed plumber , but have taken all the educational steps and just didn't do the internship as I didn't want to be a plumber, just understand enough to get by. As for learning from the techs, having them out before I learned they wanted to replace my pool pump , even though it was perfectly fine, because they couldn't find the leak. They don't like my polaris pump and I should get another one they'll sell me for 300$. They don't like cartridge filters, I should replace mine with DE. 350$ to open a pool, and all they did was pull some plugs, throw in some chemicals and remove a cover, in and out in 1/2 hour. We've gone threw several sets of pool companies and haven't found anyone with integrity. I'm sure they are out there , but economical pressures do not always keep trades honest. Agreed there is trade knowledge a home owner will never know, but the spec is very specific on the gas hook up, and let's not forget I'm practically installing the same heater that was there for 10 years. Excuse my rant, it's been years of seeking someone who we could trust and just getting burned everytime.

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool heater woes

    Quote Originally Posted by evanwellens
    Excuse my rant, it's been years of seeking someone who we could trust and just getting burned everytime.
    I hear ya! The last guy I trusted got out of the pool biz.

    Maybe we should have a TFP list, sort of list Angi*** List, where we shared the names of reputable pool guys and quality products. I'd enter the TF-100 test kit as my first quality product.
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
    1 hp Hayward Super Pump (new in 2012);
    Hayward S244T sand filter w/ Zeosand (both new in 2009);
    175K BTU LAARS Lite2 LG natural gas heater; Polaris 380;
    TF-100 test kit.

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