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Thread: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

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    Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    Hi all-

    Brand new to the forum. Just bought a foreclosed house this past year; everything related to the pool works great except I am unable to turn on the pool heater from the control panel inside the house. The heater works fine when I turn it on at the actual heater box. The control panel inside acts like everything is working fine, but it just doesn't seem to communicate my input to the heater box. It communicates fine with the outside service panel in every other aspect. So I took off the access panel to the heater box and this is what I found inside:



    There are 2 wires that are not connected to anything. These wires run down and out of the heater box and into a sealed conduit; not sure exactly where it goes from there (probably one of the conduits that emerges near the service panel). It has the look of a temperature sensor wire, but I am really new to all this stuff. Not sure what it is supposed to be connected to inside this box, but it obviously was run there originally for some reason. If you look down below there are 2 terminal that are directly jumped together by a yellow wire; I'm wondering if this is where my 2 unknown wires are supposed to be connected?

    Also, I found this unknown part sitting in this opened package inside the heater box. Anyone know what this is and why it would be there?



    The heater is a Pentair MasterTemp 400.
    The control panel is a Pentair IntelliTouch System i7+3

    I would call a pool repair company, but I live an hour outside of Las Vegas and no one will even come out to my house without charging me a minimum $400, and then at least a repeat $400 for the following repair trip after making the diagnosis and ordering in any needed parts.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    Welcome to TFP!

    The extra part is for converting the heater to 120 volts. Right now it is setup for 240 volts.

    Normally low voltage wire is used between the control box and the heater. The exact way that wire connects to the heater varies from heater to heater, though being hooked up in a place that would otherwise have a jumper installed is very very common. There should be more about the exact place the connection should be made in your heater manual. If you can't find the manual, tell use the model number of your heater and we can probably find it for you.

    Typically, once connected to the control box the heater is left turned on with the thermostat set very high. Some heaters instead require you to setup a special mode on the control panel, but that is less common. Again, the heater manual will have more information.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    The two wires that are disconnected are the comm for the automation. Thats why you cannot control the heater from the indoor panel.

    The little brown board (in the picture) with a fuse on it is where the wires connect to. There is currently a jumper between the lower connection of the fuse and the connection to the left (yellow wire). Remove that jumper and replace with your two disconnected wires.

    Please note: there may have been a reason that this connection was removed. The comm wire should at least be inspected all the way back to the control box for a short that would cause the heater to stay turned on (no control), or open (no heat).

    If all is well, the heater should be turned on at panel in house, then turned on(at heater) and thermostat turned all the way up (104). Heater should now be controlled by automation.
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    Re: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    Wow, you guys are great. Here's another piece of info I forgot to mention; on the inside control panel, the water temp is reading 244 degrees! Air temp is correct, but water temp is obviously not. Is this related to my disconnected wires? I'm guessing maybe the water temp sensor is somewhere in the heater and it is not communicating the proper temp back to the control panel because the wires are disconnected? Or do I have a bad temp sensor? I will go out and inspect the disconnected wires for any visible damage. Does it matter which terminal each of the wires connects to (where the jumper wire is)? Also, there are several wires that come out of conduits and run into the outside service panel. Any idea which one this comm wire would be?

    EDIT: the heater seems to heat the water to the appropriate temp when I set it and it seems to hold at that temp, so the water sensor itself must be intact.... must be just a comm issue, correct?

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    Re: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    Usually in the PVC pipe between the pump and filter is a temperature sensor and it sounds like to me that is what is broken telling you the water is 244 degrees. It doesn't matter where the two wires in the heater go as all they do is complete a loop so as to turn on or off the heater. Your bad temp sensor is what will tell the heater to turn on or off based upon what temp you set your control unit at in the house.

    BTW, $400 to come out to your house is ridiculous. Plus even more is the fact that they don't carry parts on their trucks and they have to charge you a second time to return to fix it with the parts they had to order. I don't understand some of these companies these days. I'm a one man company and I carry thousands of dollars of parts on my van so that I can go to a customer in one trip and do the repair. It's called being efficient and not a waste of time or gas. I don't get some companies these days.
    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: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    OK, so I connected the comm wires and now my interior control panel is reading "error". I tried turning on the spa heater from inside and it acted like it was working appropriately, but the heater never actually turned on. I'm assuming this is because the water sensor is reading 244 degrees and therefore the heater doesn't need to turn on! So, sounds like I should just order a new water temp sensor. I believe I have located the water temp sensor, as seen in these 2 pics:



    I'm assuming that underneath the hose clamp, there is a hole in the PVC pipe that the temp sensor fits into...


    This is the backside of the exterior service panel, showing the wires for the temp sensors where they go into the panel.



    I think I'll just try ordering a new water temp sensor and see if that fixes the problem?

    EDIT: did a little more online research and confirmed this is the sensor. Ordered a new one and a spare for future use. Thanks everyone. We'll see if this fixes it!

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    Re: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    The temp sensor is telling the Intellitouch that it is 244 degrees so: 1) the heater is not going to fire (doesn't need to, I/T thinks water is warm enough) and 2) 244 is out of acceptable range for the I/T so it says error.

    While Paul is correct in that you can put those wires anywhere in that loop, why not connect them where the manufacturer has put a nice clean connection where you can plug in, and not have to cut any wires to accomplish same connection?

    Temp sensor should be under 100.00 depending who is servicing, and labor shouldn't be over 100.00-150.00. Anything outside those numbers, tell the tech: "Thank you, i will handle it myself". I too think 400 bucks is crazy. If i have to make a second trip cuz i don't have the part, its on me, not the customer!
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    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

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    Re: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    Yes that is your temp sensor in that picture. Here is a temp sensor that you can use if you want to order and install yourself. If you do it yourself, just make sure the pump is off or you'll get a nice shot of water in your face.

    http://www.amazon.com/Universal-10K-wat ... emp+sensor
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    There are two unrelated temperature sensors. When the heater is running on it's own the temperature sensor inside the heater is used. When the heater is being controlled by the automation system the temperature sensor inside the heater is ignored and the temperature sensor that goes with the automation system is used instead.
    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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    Re: Help- my pool heater won't communicate with control box

    Well, I installed a new water temp sensor today and it looks like that did the trick. It acted a little funny right at first; when I turned the power back on and turned on the heater, it cycled on then stopped with the "service system" light displayed on the heater. But I reset the system, turned it back to auto, went in the house and turned on the spa heater from inside. It appeared that everything was working correctly, so I went outside to confirm, and sure enough- the heater was on and working properly (no service light on). Heated the spa up and all is well. Thanks everyone!

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