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Thread: Time for a new pool heater

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    eemueller's Avatar
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    Time for a new pool heater

    My 9 year old Jandy Laars Lite 2 heater (325K BTU) has finally given up the ghost. The gas valve is sticking, there's a very healthy leak from the heat exchanger, the manual pilot ignition is kaput, and the burner tray looks pretty bad. The parts to repair it are more than the price of a new "legacy" unit from Jandy, so I've I've checked out the new Jandy heaters and have a few questions:

    My pool is saltwater. Does cupro-nickel heat exchanger tubes and brass headers make a difference in service life?

    In Michigan, we only have, at most, a 4 month pool season, so I don't think the significantly higher price of a 95% efficiency unit warrants it's purchase. In the Jandy heaters, I can buy 3 of their legacy units for less than the cost of 1 HE unit. Is the operational cost of an HE unit that much lower to make it worthwhile in terms of cost? Again, our pool season here is at most 4 months. Is there another compelling reason to consider an HE unit? I've heard that trapped condensation from the exhaust can be an issue with HE units.

    The digital displays look nice, but how about their reliability compared to a manual thermostat?

    My old unit had a standing pilot, and even when the ignition switch was gone, I could still manually light the pilot and be sure that the heater would fire. Some people are edgy about having a standing pilot, but I'm not concerned about that. Some of the newer heaters use an electronic ignition system. I'm sure it saves a bit on gas (how much gas can a pilot use in only 4 months?), but I'm concerned about the reliability of electronic systems.

    Any thoughts and shared experiences would be greatly appreciated.

    Eric
    32K gal rectangular pebble sheen IG salt pool, 1200 gal pebble sheen IG salt spa
    Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWG, Jandy AquaPure 700 SWG
    Sta-Rite 2HP pump, Sta-Rite 1HP pump
    Triton II sand filters on both, Pentair MasterTemp 400K BTU nat gas heater
    CAT 1000 pH controllers w/ Stenner acid pumps on both, Levolor auto-fillers on both

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    Re: Time for a new pool heater

    Look at a Raypak unit. No standing pilot as it has electronic spark ignition, digital display, and is very close in size to your old Jandy unit so the install it pretty easy. I wouldn't worry about any of the HE ****. It's not worth it. Electronic spark systems are very reliable.

    Raypak is a great system and it doesn't have extra bells and whistles like blower motors that when they fail costs you an arm and a leg to get fixed. So look into a Raypak.
    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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    eemueller's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pool heater

    Thanks for the reply, Paul.

    I'm not familar with Raypak, but I'll give them a look. Do they work with my Jandy Aqualink RS system?

    I tend to agree with you regarding the HE units. When I ran an energy calculation using the Jandy Legacy ($1500) vs Jandy HE ($5800). The savings was approx $225/year, so at that rate, it would take me over 19 years to recover the additional cost of the HE unit, solely from the savings on natural gas. I think it's unlikely that either unit would last that long.

    Eric
    32K gal rectangular pebble sheen IG salt pool, 1200 gal pebble sheen IG salt spa
    Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWG, Jandy AquaPure 700 SWG
    Sta-Rite 2HP pump, Sta-Rite 1HP pump
    Triton II sand filters on both, Pentair MasterTemp 400K BTU nat gas heater
    CAT 1000 pH controllers w/ Stenner acid pumps on both, Levolor auto-fillers on both

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    Re: Time for a new pool heater

    Yes you can wire the Raypak to the Aqualink or any control system for that matter.
    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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    eemueller's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new pool heater

    The reviews look good on the Raypak. It is more expensive than the Jandy, but I'm willing to pay for quality.

    What about the cupro nickel tubes in the heat exchanger? I am quite fussy about my water chemistry, but there seems to be a lot of people recommending the cu-ni tubes for SWG pools. Any thoughts here?

    Thanks.
    32K gal rectangular pebble sheen IG salt pool, 1200 gal pebble sheen IG salt spa
    Jandy AquaPure 1400 SWG, Jandy AquaPure 700 SWG
    Sta-Rite 2HP pump, Sta-Rite 1HP pump
    Triton II sand filters on both, Pentair MasterTemp 400K BTU nat gas heater
    CAT 1000 pH controllers w/ Stenner acid pumps on both, Levolor auto-fillers on both

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    Re: Time for a new pool heater

    If you keep your chemicals inline, you really don't need to spend the extra $$ for cupro nickle. It's a matter of personal preference.
    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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