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Thread: Cleaning Pool Heater

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    Cleaning Pool Heater

    I have had my house and pool since Fall of 2009 and have never cleaned the burner assembly on my pool heater. I have decided to give it a try this year before opening the pool and I hope that this will help with the efficiency of the heater as well as keeping it in good shape. The pool heater that I have is a Pentair MiniMax Plus 400 Natural Gas.

    The burner assembly seems to be a bit difficult to remove and disassemble and of course reassembling any tips or advice to for this type of work?

    I have vacuumed the heat exchanger each year when opening the pool but there is still a good amount of soot on it. Any ideas on how to clean this better with it still in place or is removing it and using a cleaning solution the best idea here?
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    If you are getting more soot each year and need to vacuum it out, it suggests that you may have a problem with either too much gas (not enough air), or not enough gas (gas line too small). It should be checked out.
    Factory Warranty Station for:
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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    Interestingly enough....I just did a complete cleaning as well as a crash course on how its made and what makes it tick on my Pentair minimax plus 400. Its fresh in my mind and I hope I can help ease any anxiety or questions you might have?

    First of all, don't let this lil hotbox intimidate you, There really isn't much to um? It sounds like you already have a feel for the task at hand.

    As far as cleaning? you will be on your back for this job.

    I had 2 burners that weren't working at optimum, come to find out spiders had built a minimall in 2 of the burner nozzle's.
    .
    So i recommend removing each nozzle when disassembling burner assembly. this was probably the hardest part of job,they can be stubborn so make sure you use a tubing wrench when first breaking them loose, to avoid stripping or rounding off nozzle's. once you break them loose you can use a a regular or ratchet wrench to complete the removal/reinstalling process. a simple inspection with your eye is all thats needed its a pretty big hole in nozzle so if clogged a mini flat screwdriver will do the trick.

    As far as burner assbly, your right it can be a little tricky, you'll have to remove igniter which is fastened to burner by 1 phillips head screw.

    Then just sort of pull the feeder line(the piece of tubing that has all nozzles attached to it)out & up towards you, being careful not to be to hard on it, you only need to move it maybe 1/4" to free up burners, infact a few will will actually fall out, not to worry? you will be removing all of them anyway so, once you have burner out you'll notice each one has a little hook on the end, think of it as the hanger, cause thats all that holds them up, that hanger slips in to a slot at the back of heater, then the front part of burner is hung over the nozzle itself. I found my burners to be in good condition, I thought i would have to ream some of the holes but that wasn't the case.

    Like I said assembly can be tricky, just be patient, eventually you'll get most of the burners to cooperate and stay in position. its ok if a couple aren't seated correctly, you can fine tune after you have turned feeder tube back down to its original position. when it's right? all burners will looked uniform (equal distance between each etc.)

    PS there are four bolts that hold burner tray, these will test your wherewithal for sure. As well as make that beer taste so much better upon completion.

    Good Luck

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    haha great response schoolpoolboy and thank you for taking the time to answer. I will make sure to have this post open when I start. I have found a service manual for the heater as well but it looks like it is a scan of a bad fax or something as none of the pictures are usable.

    In response to your post Pool Clown when i first opened it up there was a lot of soot, however there was also a burnt tube of pool lube and burnt leaves in there as well. I did not notice any additional soot the other times I cleaned it but do vacuum it as a standard maintenace item now.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    If it helps, you can type "Pentair Mini Max 400 pdf" into Google. The first listing that shows up is the manual for your heater, in nice, readable high resolution.

    Pentair and most of the other pool equipment manufacturers do a good job of providing online access to manuals. The first place I go when fixing something is the original manufacturer's website.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    Good point gtemkin,

    Personally, I've never really gleaned much useful info from manual, as far as cleaning and maintenance goes?

    But, I did find Pentairs technical support was pretty descent. As long as your not in any hurry(via email) and don't mind a bit of a run around initially? They can be quite helpful

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    I do have the manual itself however what I am looking for is the service manual. I did find the service manual for a MiniMax NT heater and did find cleaning instructions for the heat exhanger there.

    Remove the heat exchanger.
    3. Place exchanger in an area that won’t be affected by
    chemicals or strong detergents.
    4. After spraying the exchanger with water, use a mixture
    of detergent and water. Pour, spray or brush on.
    5. Rinse the solution off of the tubes and inspect them,
    repeat if necessary

    Here is the linke to the Service Manual for the MiniMax NT: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...LEnwbZEvoAZTiA

    It will open a PDF document.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by schoolpoolboy View Post
    I had 2 burners that weren't working at optimum, come to find out spiders had built a minimall in 2 of the burner nozzle's.
    Good point! That would soot up the exchanger too.
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy/Zodiac, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    For some reason it seems 90% of threads on TFP seem to be unanswered or unsolved?

    Can you please post results/findings or solution? IE: Did it help or not? was it fixed or not? etc.

    Not trying to be forum natzi or nothin? I'm "just sayin"

    Thanks, Parris

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    Schoolpoolboy,

    I certainly agree. In my case it will be a few more weeks at least before I can attempt this. I live in Northern Virginia and we are under a little over a foot of snow. Once that melts and dries and gets a little warmer I plan on giving it a shot. Maybe in later March early April I will open the pool and try to fire up the heater to see how the heater is working.

    What I can tell you is that your post will certainly be helpful as it is the most detailed instructions on the process I have seen so far.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    In case anyone is looking for it here is the link to the service manual I found for the MiniMax Plus 400 unit.

    http://www.rhtubs.com/manual/minimaxPlus.pdf
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    your welcome Rocco, I hope it all works out for ya. Let me know if I can help ascot8@gmail.com

    Good Luck and God Bless

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    It finally stopped snowing and raining for a couple of days and I have started this process. Yesterday I was able to remove the heater assembly from the heater and break it down into individual parts. As you said schoolpoolboy this was actually very simple. The most intimidating part for me was disconnecting the gas line, however once I figured out the big bolt was there to connect the two pipes together it was pretty simple.

    The burners had some buildup on top that were blocking a small portion of the holes. I plan on soaking all the parts in soapy water tonight and hopefully will be re-assembling and installing it again this weekend followed by opening the pool next weekend.

    I will update after re-installing and then again once I start the heater. Hopefully no issues this year.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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    Re: Cleaning Pool Heater

    No need to soak in water as this is not the best thing to do. Use a wire brush to clean the tops of the burners. That's all that is needed.
    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: Cleaning Pool Heater

    ps0303; Thank you for the input. I did as you stated and re-assembled the heater assembly and re-installed. Once i opened the pool and and had water flowing I tried the heater and it came on with no issues for the first time in 4 years. I only left it on for brief time and have not turned it back on in several days. Now that my water is clean I plan on turning it on and leaving it run for 30 minutes or so and inspecting the flames to confirm everything is working as expected.
    25,000 gallon in ground white plaster- 1 1/2 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump - 60 sqft FNS DE filter (with FiberClear), 1999 Sundance Optima 850 hot tub.
    Manassas Park, VA

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