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Thread: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

  1. #1
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    Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    We have an SR200NA Sta-rite gas heater that has been working fine for about 4 years (ever since we bought this house). This season it will not work and the service heater light is lit. I did open it up and did some troubleshooting. The AFS indicator led is lit on the underside on the control board. In the manual this indicates either the wiring leading up to the blower is bad or that the blower itself is bad.

    Any ideas on how to find out for sure what is wrong with it? I have priced blower kits and they run around $400 on various internet parts sites. Is a blower something I could replace? I am pretty handy. On the other hand this heater is 10 years old (the previous owner left the receipt) and would it just make more sense to buy a new one. I have found the exact same model selling for around $1200 before shipping. I am just concerned that if I spend $400 fixing it something else might go bad soon on this unit since it is 10 years old.

    Thanks for any help.

    Keith

  2. #2
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    Keith, I've worked on hundreds of these units (though ours are the 333 or 400 and are propane) and have never! had to replace the blower!

    Did you have any mice take up residence in the heater? (It's our most common problem)

    What I've found is that either 1 of the 3 air tubes is blocked with stuff, the control board is bad or the ignition control module is bad, or - of course- the air flow sensor is bad. Unfortunately, what I do is 'throw new parts' into the unit until it works (i switch them out and replace any of the old ones that will still allow it to work ) - this is easy for me because we have at least 2 of everything that might need replacing.

    Because there are so many expensive parts that could cause the problem, I think you'll be best off getting someone who works on these units to do the repair (it's not that you couldn't do it, but you'd need >$1000 in parts to do it the way I do and would only need 1 of them

    Please keep me posted on your progress with this
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  3. #3
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    Well, I was able to turn the motor a bit with a screwdriver thinking that it might have been locked up. Sure enough that fixed the blower part. It now kicks on for about a minute before shutting off with a service heater red light on. If I turn it off then back on it will do the exact same thing every time. I am assuming either it is not getting gas or the ignitor is not working. Or a sensor is saying don't light or don't send gas. I feel nothing but cold air coming out of the exhaust.

    On the back of the board a ES2 light is lit. I don't see that error code anywhere in the manual. There could also be an error code on the temp readout but the digital display only has about have the lights working so I can't tell what it says. (I can't read the temp either)

    In addition after closer inspection I did find a mouse nest as well. I cleaned everything out.

    Any further suggestions? I am in a repair queue with a company that services these heaters in case I am not able to fix it.

    Thanks,
    Keith

  4. #4
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    This might be obvious, but did you look for chewed up, broken wires?

    I fixed my heater once must by replacing a wire that some rodent had chewed up.

    Randy
    20,000 gal fiberglass pool, Raypak 266k BTU Lo Nox gas heater, Purex 2048 48 sq ft DE filter, 1.5hp pump. iWave wireless remote, Pulsafeeder chlorine pump, Safety cover on most of the time

    seperate spa, with own pump, cartridge filter, Teledyne heater

  5. #5
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    Yea, I thought about the mice doing the same thing and did look for chewed wires. So far I have not found any but I am planning on doing a more detailed check later on.

  6. #6
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    If your unit is newer, the Fenwal (ignition control module) located inside the gray box above the burner column has a LED that can give you a code as to the source of the problem (I'm thinking that it will flash 3X which indicates "ignition lockout", however it also has a code to tell you that it's the control board ($$) While you're in there make sure the gas valve (the box on the gas line) is on!! Check again for any chewed wires.
    If you can get a code off the Fenwal, or see anything obvious, let me know and I can tell you a couple things to try before having to get the service guys out there.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  7. #7
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    My heater is now working. Thanks for all of the ideas. My error indicators are actually on the underside of the board that the temp readout is on. When opening the gray box I did not see an indicators. But I did see look more closely at the laminated 2 page guide that was attached to the gray box. On there I found out that the ES2 indicator error that I was getting said something about an exhaust flue switch. I then found what looked like a sensor/switch on the exhaust flue. I tapped it a few times with a screwdriver and now my heater runs perfectly.

    I am guessing that switch is either going bad or got stuck open. It looks pretty easy to replace. I may just go ahead and order one because it doesn't look like it is an expensive part.

  8. #8
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    Thanks for the update and glad! to hear that the heater is working. You are talking about the SFS (which is a stack flue either sensor or switch) One is a ceramic disk riveted to the flue, the other is a silver probe that screws into it.

    If you encounter any more problems with the heater, just ask and I'll tell you wnat I know
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  9. #9
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    Thanks for the update and glad! to hear that the heater is working. You are talking about the SFS (which is a stack flue either sensor or switch) One is a ceramic disk riveted to the flue, the other is a silver probe that screws into it.

    If you encounter any more problems with the heater, just ask and I'll tell you wnat I know
    Hey it is me again. My stack flue switch finally is about shot. Tapping it with a screwdriver can get in working for a little while but I really need to replace this. Mine is the ceramic disk riveted to the flue. How do you recommend replacing this? I have looked around for parts and so far have only found the sensor version. My understanding is that mine is the switch version.

    Thanks,
    Keith

  10. #10
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    Keith, what you want is part # 42001 - 0062S

    Call Pentair because they now own Sta- Rite and see if they can't get you one. Should that fail, I'll try to talk with my contacts and see if there isn't one floating around out there for you.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  11. #11
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    Re: Sta-rite Heater stopped working

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearcatkeith
    My heater is now working. Thanks for all of the ideas. My error indicators are actually on the underside of the board that the temp readout is on. When opening the gray box I did not see an indicators. But I did see look more closely at the laminated 2 page guide that was attached to the gray box. On there I found out that the ES2 indicator error that I was getting said something about an exhaust flue switch. I then found what looked like a sensor/switch on the exhaust flue. I tapped it a few times with a screwdriver and now my heater runs perfectly.

    I am guessing that switch is either going bad or got stuck open. It looks pretty easy to replace. I may just go ahead and order one because it doesn't look like it is an expensive part.
    Thanks for posting that Bearcatkeith! I had the exact same problem, even the broken digital temp readout. My SR333NA was installed 2000 or 2001. I'd spent a couple weeks trying to get my pool guys to come back to check it out, then a few hours going through the manual searching for mention of the ES2 light. I finally hit upon your post and merely tapping that flue switch with the blunt end of a screw driver took care of it.

    My switch is also riveted on. Did you manage to replace yours? I'd be interested to hear how you did it.

    BTW - I've been a lurker here for a few years, your post finally got me to register to say thanks.

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