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Thread: testing a used natural gas pool heater

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    testing a used natural gas pool heater

    Hopefully I hit the jackpot on craigslist today
    I got a raypak 185k pool heater for free.
    It looks to be in very good condition
    Problem is the current owner never used it he got it with house purchase last year he descided to fill in pool so doesn't need it was stored inside when he got house (winter) and has been inside since
    Before I run the gas line permitly and have that expense I would like to test it
    My pool is about 80 feet from nearest gas line so not sure of an easy temporary method to get gas and water lines hook up to see if it works
    If I thought I could get Lucky twice I would just run the lines but don't think I would otherwise be budgeting to purchase a heater in other words if it doesn't work no gas heater
    Any ideas?
    24' 52" Above Ground
    TF Test kits, Pool School, Pool Calculator

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: testing a used natural gas pool heater

    There isn't any simple way to do that. A pool heater requires a substantial gas line and significant water flow to operate. There isn't any obvious way to do that temporarily. I suppose you could plumb in a temporary above ground gas line just for the test, but that is a fair bit of work and probably a code violation as well.

    You could do a test for leaks fairly easily, and if it has a digital control panel you can apply power and make sure the panel comes on, but that is about it.
    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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    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    western NY

    Re: testing a used natural gas pool heater

    If you have a gas line outside already you could test fire is briefly. I would run the burners for no more than 5-10 seconds. To do this you will also have to bypass all of the water pressure and flow switches.. You may also have to bypass the themostat as well. I have done this in the past but don't recomend it if you are unfamiliar with working on these things. You can also plumb it inline to the return on your pump to test the integrity of the heat exchanger and plumbing.
    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: testing a used natural gas pool heater

    We have similar model and LOVE it!! We bought a blow up (Elec, pressure blower) tent and cover the pool all winter and use the gas for the pool 18,000 gal and combined hot tub all winter. (Live in southern NC) Also put plants in there and use as greenhouse. Get a bubble cover and roller for the pool and it helps hold in the heat. We can turn it on and have 86 degrees in about 2 hours or less depending on outside temp. Have a plumber do installation and get it inspected by city code official so venting is correct. Our initial installer had incorrectly vented it!! Otherwise, no smell or safety issues, just year round exercise for us and 3 Labs. Hope this helped your decision.

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    In the Industry

    ps0303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Re: testing a used natural gas pool heater

    If you are sure you are going to have a gas heater, just hook it up the correct way and see if it works. If it doesn't work, then you have everything in place for when you get a working unit. Cap the gas line, loop the plumbing, and you are done.

    BTW, how big is your pool? 185K isn't a very big heater.
    Paul 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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    Vette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Re: testing a used natural gas pool heater

    Just plumb it in right. If it doesn't work, you have the hookups for a future gas heater. You never know, maybe one day you'll buy one if it doesn't work.
    11,700 gallon 21' round 54" deep all-resin AGP - June 2012
    Waterway 1HP 2-speed pump / 100 sq ft cartridge filter
    Hayward 150,000btu Natural Gas heater
    I use and recommend the TF-100 for testing

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: testing a used natural gas pool heater

    Over 60 feet to nearest gas line so no easy way to test burner
    Tested to water lines today no leaks
    Took top off vacuumed out the junk
    Vacuumed off the burner it looks to be in very good shape
    Checked all wiring glad I did a a wire nut was off
    Pluged in service light was on for a second then green power light was on so hoping all is good
    Going to run my gas lines over the next couple of weeks. I have a lot of experience with plumbing so shouldn't be any issues will run a pressure test before final conection.
    No more then 15k gallon pool so should do ok heating

    Just a tip for anyone that reads this to install their own used heater flush out the water lines prior to connecting to pool. Stupid me now has a cloudy dusty dirty pool. Looks like will be cleaned up after morning vac, had no FC drop after 2 hours Just hope no metals were disolved into the pool

    Might run to pool store to have metals test run
    24' 52" Above Ground
    TF Test kits, Pool School, Pool Calculator

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