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Thread: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

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    Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Opened pool today with help of a pool-boy who will likely not be able to come back for many days. Started the heater and all seemed fine --but as I was in the yard tonight I heard it re-fire once. Didn't think much of it. A bit later I was checking to see the temp and noted the "Heating" light was blinking, and then went to solid. So I hung out to monitor it a bit and noted the "Heating" light blink again and then the "Service Heater" light came on. At that point I just turned it off. Not sure if the "Service Heater" light had come on previously and then gone off, or if I was watching as it lit for the first time.

    I can call a plumber to look at it, but pool-boy will be unavailable. Anyone with thoughts on what might be the issue? Only thing I can think of is that I recall last year, when same pool-boy installed it, he adjusted an air flow switch. I don't remember if that was something that was winterized, but I know that today he did not take off the side panels at all -- just hooked up the water pipes (I take my pool down for the winter), plugged it on, opened the gas on my line to the heater, and fired it up.

    Any help or warnings for what I might be looking at for a fix are welcome. I will keep the unit off, unplug it, and close the gas line to it until someone qualified takes a look, but I'd love any insight as to what the cause may be. This is only its second season so I'm hoping it is not the unit itself, but something pool-boy and I have done wrong in the start up.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    I should have included that the "heating" light is supposed to be solid while heating. The water never go to temp, so it never should have gone off or blinked. It did get from 62 to 78, but I was not around for most of that, so don't know if it was stopping and re-firing all day.

    Only other info I have is I know when I winterized it, Pentair had me unscrew two purple wires from the pressure switch. I am assuming Pool-Boy re attached those, but since I don't know what they govern, not sure if it is possible if they are still unscrewed and it still heated okay for awhile.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Quote Originally Posted by crek31
    I should have included that the "heating" light is supposed to be solid while heating. The water never go to temp, so it never should have gone off or blinked. It did get from 62 to 78, but I was not around for most of that, so don't know if it was stopping and re-firing all day.

    Only other info I have is I know when I winterized it, Pentair had me unscrew two purple wires from the pressure switch. I am assuming Pool-Boy re attached those, but since I don't know what they govern, not sure if it is possible if they are still unscrewed and it still heated okay for awhile.
    since you are familiar with the two purple wires, did you check them to see if they are attached ( I can pretty much guarantee they are) and tight? They have to be attached to the pressure switch to verify the induced draft circuit is functioning. Is the water flow thru the unit good. It could be the water pressure thru the unit is getting low causing the burner to shut off intermittently
    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: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Danpik, i will open up the panels and look at the purple wires. I am guessing they are exactly how i left them last winter. If that is true, is it possible for it to have fired up at all?
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Although I am not familiar with that unit, If they are unhooked from the pressure switch it should not have fired at all if they are the circuit wires to the control board. I find it somewhat puzzling that they needed to be disconnected to winterize it. The pressure switch is one of several "proving" switches in the system to verify that everything is in good order to fire. The switches are daisy chained together so that if one is not "making" the circuit then the circuit won't allow the unit to fire. If If these were unhooked, the blower fan for the induced draft (if equipped) will come on but the fire will not lite. Are you sure the fire was lit durring this event?
    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: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Yes, I know the water coming out of the return was heated. Rhe manual was horribly deficient in detail as to how to winterize, so I called Pentair to ask for clarification. The guy, who impressed me as competent and not a phone flunky, had me go home and call him when I was beside the heater. He took quite a bit of time walking me through it and I recall him having me unhook the purple wires. I can't quite picture the part anymore but I found my notes from that call and they reflect unscrewing the purple wires. I have not opened it up this season because pool-boy was supposed to get it opened for the year -- so I don't know if he did anything with the purple wires or not. He is now awol on bigger and better pools and so i haven't had him weigh in on it as yet. When I get home from work this evening I'll take the panels off and hopefully it will be apparent, and jog my memory on exactly what I undid with the Pentair guy's advice and I can put it back to how it was before winterizing.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Here is the entry in the manual that I call Pentair to help walk me through because they just say what to do, not how to do it:

    For outdoor heaters in freezing climates, shut the heater down and drain it for winter as follows:
    1. Turn off electrical supply to the heater and pump.
    2. Close main gas control valve and manual gas valve (located outside the heater). Turn switch on heater gas valve to OFF.
    3. In northern climates where they may be required, open drain **** located on the bottom of the manifold adapter, and drain the heat
    exchanger and manifold adapter completely. If heater is below pool water level, be sure to close isolation valves to prevent draining
    the pool (isolation valves are not required and should not be used on heaters installed above pool water level except when needed
    for winterizing valves). Assist the draining by blowing out the heat exchanger through the pressure switch fitting with low pressure
    compressed air (less than 5 PSI or 35 kPa).
    WARNING
    Explosion hazard. Purging the system with compressed air can cause components to explode, with risk of severe injury or
    death to anyone nearby. Use only a low pressure (below 5 PSI or 35 kPa), high volume blower when air purging the heater,
    pump, filter, or piping.
    4.Remove the Water Pressure Switch. Plug the port in the manifold to prevent bugs and dirt from getting into the manifold.5. Drain the plastic inlet/outlet manifold through the outlet pipe. If the pipe does not drain naturally to the pool, install a drain ****
    in the outlet pipe to drain the manifold.
    6. Cover air inlet grate with a plastic bag to prevent


    I gave pool boy a little bag of stuff he'd need like the little knob that goes on front of the heater; a little gauze type bag that goes on top of the filter; etc. I'm guessing the pressure switch was in that and I'm hoping it is as simple as he did not install it right or something. Really hoping when I open it up my memory is jogged and I can hone in on some of this detail I've forgotten in the last nine months. And, hoping I can get this thing going reliable in time to heat the water tomorrow - but I guess that seems like a long-shot a this point.

    Thanks for your responses and your help in figuring it out.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Well, I got home and pulled off the panels. Seeing the two purple wires did jog my memory. Also, the pressure switch was in place and the wires were snuggly attached. So.......... I read the start up and trouble shooting stuff and turned the gas back on to the unit, plugged it in, and fired it up. All seems normal so far - but it did to begin with yesterday as well. Been going about 10 minutes and has not cut out and had to re-fire itself. The "heating" light has stayed lit solid. The only difference between yesterday and today was that yesterday I had the pump on High (to heat it faster) and today I have it on low speed as only contact from flakey pool boy has been to suggest "it will probably work on low."

    If anyone can make sense of this to chime in and ratify that something makes sense as to why low speed and not high speed would work, I'd like to hear it. I am hopeful I can just keep letting it heat on low and eventually flakey pool-boy will show up and adjust something so I can use either high or low speed on the pump. Or, if someone thinks this sounds way fishy and I should shut it down until August when flakey pool boy shows up, let me know that ASAP, please. Seems fine at the moment. I certainly won't let it run overnight, however.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    I let it heat for about 2 hours. Is now at 87 degrees. I was not out there the entire time, but tried to check on it every 10 to 15 minutes. Never heard it re-fire. Never saw the "heating" light flash. Pump was on low speed the whole time tonight. I did not reach temp (93 degrees for my wimpy little princesses) but I turned it off for the night as I want to be sure all is well before I let it run while I sleep five feet from where it would explode.

    Does it seem as simple as putting the pump on low speed being an acceptable answer. That is, can I comfortably assume all is well and fire it up to heat all day tomorrow while no one is home? Seems like all is well, but want to be sure none of you industry or mechanical people don't disagree.

    I am sure I ran the pump on high speed last year when heating, so even if this new situation is not onerous or evidence of the heater needing a repair, it is definitely different. Maybe the daisy wheel thing on the pressure switch got moved when I un-installed or the pool-boy re-installed it? Impossible for me to figure out where the factory setting is - no markings as far as I can tell.

    Thanks for any input.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Update:

    Heater was on all day set at 93. I came home at lunch and it was at temp and heater was on, but not heating. Seemed good. Went back to work. Came home and kids swam (first of the season - -YAY). Heater still said 93, which seems right. Turned heat to 89 because pool was on warm-side for the kids with a little sun still on us. As the evening grew later and sun not on pool, I turned it back to 91. Kicked on and heated for a bit. Then I noticed it was off (meaning not heating) (unsure how long) and saw the "service heater" light on. Turned the unit off than on and it kicked on and heated normally for about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, I can't say for sure what I had the target at - may have been 91 or may have been higher. It stopped heating again and the "service heater" light went back on. Temp at that time was 91 -- again, not sure if that was my target or a degree off.

    Although I am tempted to fire it up again, I'm going to err on the side of caution and leave it off for the night. Anyone have any thoughts on what is going on???? Does it seem gas or water pressure related, or something else? Am I damaging the heater by letting it heat til it quits? FWIW, all day today the pump has been on low.

    Danpik? Bueller . . .
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    I would be in there checking all of the safety switches with an Ohm meter when that error comes up. It is possible that you may have a limit switch opening.
    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: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Ohm meter + "limit switch opening" = do nothing until professional gets here. Not much of DIYer when it comes to gas/electric/plumbing. I guess I just need to try to get a warranty guy out here. I am hoping Pentair is open on Saturday to point me to someone to call. Bummer.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Monday - Friday only.
    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: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Paul, any thoughts on what it is?
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Do you have a reliable HVAC guy you can call? Pool heaters really are no different than home heating boilers with the exception of a couple extra switches. Any HVAC guy worth his salt should be able to troubleshoot one.
    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: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Here's what you can do if you haven't already. Fire the heater up and let it run. When/if it goes to "Service Heater" light again, without powering off the unit, pull the side covers and remove the wing nuts holding the top on. The wing nuts are in each corner of the unit under the top. Flip the top over and on the control board are a series of LED lights. See if one of them is lit. If one is, what is the label next to it? This could lead you into the direction of the problem.
    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: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    I was game to try to do as suggested and pull up the top, but it is pouring rain so I'm stuck. At least the kids have to blame Mother Nature, not Mother Crek for not swimming today!

    I called Pentair tech-support. They were there, talked at length about the symptoms, and set up a warranty service call. Ironically, their only two warranty shops are two local pool stores who refused to sell me the equipment last year because they said it would not work on an Intex (one even said no above ground pool can have a heater or the SuperFlo pump). I asked the Pentair lady if I could have my HVAC guy or plumber who did the gas line install do it and she said no, has to be their warranty service guy. So, I'm hoping this goes okay.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Good deal. Must me open Saturdays for summer. I called them back in March on a Saturday and they were closed.

    Yeah if it's under warranty you do not want just anyone coming out. Plus if you did not choose a warranty company you would be stuck with the bill.

    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: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    Sounds like a thermal regulator issue. Its a car thermostat looking device located directly on the bulkhead of the in/out pipes under a screwed in cap. Run a search for it and see of that's the problem.
    Hot Springs certified service tech A
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    Re: Troubleshoot a MasterTemp

    CPS - I watched a youtube or maybe prior post on here (I already forget, I've been surfing for two days on this) and it showed how to access the thermal regulator and showed a good and a bad one based on coloring. I went out to try to look a it, but cannot budge the cap. Used the shaft of a screwdriver and literally cannot budge it. But, in surfing about that part, most stuff said to remove it and then fire up heater to see if it works. So even though I did not do anything with the thermal regulator, I decided to fire it up. Everything seems NORMAL.

    The only thing I can think of is I may have opened my second suction port between Friday day, when it heated the pool to temp when I was not home to know if it was intermittent, and Friday evening when it went intermittent and gave Service Heater light. I can't understand how there would be a water flow issue relying on the water from the skimmer only, as opposed to the skimmer plus the other suction port. Plenty of water height to not have variations in water to the skimmer, and no one in the pool making any waves. Plus, if it was a water flow issue, I had understood that the Service System light would go on, not Service Heater. FWIW, the filter is totally clean (was winterized clean and just put in last week). I did take it out and hose it off just for kicks, but there wasn't much there.

    So, as of today it seems to be working like it did on Friday during the day - I have gone up about 3 degrees in a little over an hour (I think) and the heating light has been solid every time I've checked on it, which is every 10-15 minutes.

    We are going to have a beautiful week for swimming after work - without the full sun on the pool my kids need the water heated to at least 90 (it was 78 this morning). So, if I am to enjoy our pool I need to use the heater. The warranty repair local pool stores both said their wait list is 5 to 7 weeks. I will call Pentair tomorrow and suggest that timing is unacceptable, and petition them to let me have an HVAC guy service it instead. But, if they say no, is there any reason to not continue to operate it if it keeps working like it seems to be today?? Does firing it up and letting it run til it quits and gives the Service Heater light damaging the heater, or just a waste of gas and electricity?? The way I am running it now, the pump is on low and the skimmer as well as the other suction port are open.

    Thanks for everyone's input.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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