This winter, I decided to not close my pool. Everything was going swimmingly until I heard the sounds of air coming out the pool returns last Thursday. I went out to look, and sure enough, water was gushing out the side of my pool heater. Boo! Luckily, we had a warm front this weekend.
I decided to do a little PVC work to bypass the heater as a quick fix, and wound up paying the local pool guy to do it and give me an estimate on the heater. First lesson- $158 for 2 elbows and about 4 inches of straight means I will start doing my own PVC work
They did look up parts- they pointed out the rather obvious crack in the return header, and rusted bolts holding it on. No evidence of water underneath, but a lot of rust. They estimated the age at 6-10 years. They came back with $201 parts and $300 labor to "clean it up" and install the header.
Amazon shows the header at about $80, and the bolt kit another $50(!!). Seems like I can save myself about $370..well, maybe less as I have to redo the PVC.
If there is an obvious crack in the return header (plastic), and nothing froze in the system (ran pump 24/7 during freeze conditions) is it reasonable to assume I might buy another couple of years use by replacing this? It was working fine in September.
What cleanup would they be doing that would take 2 people 2 hours, for what appears to be a 15 minute header replacement?
If I do put a heater back in, would it be wise to put in a valve to bypass it during "winterized" time, just to prevent excessive wear? He said the valve would be $80.