Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    13

    Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    I just bought a house with a in-ground pool and all new to this. Had it opened this week and Raypac heater would ignite, just stuck at SPK. Guy said he would service at another appointment because it was likely the gas valve stuck and should fix itself if I keep trying. Today it actually fired up for 5 min but there was a lot of flame. With the panel off, the flames were coming a bit out the edges. After. 2-3 minutes the flame cut out and it started to SPK again. I had to run out so I turned everything off and I'll try again later but concerned about how much fire came out.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=y...&v=3nuVgxYmPR8

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    Welcome to TFP!

    That certainly doesn't look right. I suspect the burners aren't getting enough air, so the gas is spreading out until it mixes with enough air to burn.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    This happened to my heater this year. We paid somebody $150 to fix it. Do not run your heater, until it is fixed. What's happened is you most likely have a clog in either your burners, or your heat exchanger. They need to be cleaned, in order to get that flame back inside where needs to go. The little white and red fuse looking device at the top left of your video is a fusible link. When the flames touch that it will shut your heater down, and will not work without replacing that piece. Best thing to do is run a coat hanger or heavy wire through all the burners to remove any cobwebs. Then if you were able to pull apart to look at the heat exchanger it either needs be cleaned on top of which can be done with just a brush and some water. If that doesn't fix it, the heat exchange will need to be pulled out, which is doable but it's a big job. Pulling the exchanger out is the only way you can clean the bottom of the heat exchanger. There are a lot of things you can break while doing this job, so if you're not comfortable or experienced I suggest you hire professional to fix this. It was the first time I had taken apart, so I had a professional to help me. Next time I will do it myself. it is mostly just screws, but you have to be very careful how you raise the heat exchanger so you do not damage the fireproof coating inside. The pool guy told me that the heat exchanger was blocked not allowing the hot gases to escape, so the gasses pushed the flames out under the front panel. Fusible link is there because this is quite common, and it is to prevent heater from catching fire.
    13000 gal. IG vinyl w/ auto cover
    Sand Filter - Tagelus TA50/50D - 50 gpm
    3/4 HP Centrury Centurion Pump
    Rheem Heater
    Nature 2 Cartridge
    Built in 2005
    SWG added after build unknown age- AquaRite w/ Turbocell T-Cell-9

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Charlie_R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Mexico, MO
    Posts
    2,156

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    Welcome to TFP!

    That heater should be putting out a blue flame, not yellow. Check the tube from the main gas valve to the burner section. There will probably be several nozzle looking parts on it. These send gas through a mixing chamber. The mixing chamber(s) should be free of all debris. It could be that a spider or other bug has made a nest in the gas path, preventing air from mixing with the gas for proper combustion.

    Post a few close up pics of the burner assemblies, we might be able to guide you through cleaning, so your heater will work right again.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    In the Industry

    ps0303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    3,435

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    Clean the burners and also wash off the heat exchanger. To do the heat exchanger, after you pull the burner tray out, remove the top of the heater to get at the heat exchanger. Take a house and spray water from the top down and then set the top back on and then spray up from where the burners where to get the bottom of the heat exchanger. Do this a few times from the top and the bottom. The soot is nasty and will sit on top of the water as it comes out. Get it on yourself and clothes and you will be cleaning for a while. Once the heat exchanger has been rinsed off, clean the burners with a wire brush. Then reinstall and hook t all up and try turning on the heater again.

    BTW, is this a natural or propane gas unit? It's a Raypak/Rheem unit correct?
    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,

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    13

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    Thanks for all the feedback. I'm very new to all this and do not feel comfortable trying it myself (and my wife forbid me from trying). Glad I got such a definitive answer and know that I shouldn't run it until fixed. The previous owners had to get it serviced before closing on the house because water was shooting out during the inspection. I've got a feeling it's an old unit, natural gas raypak. This yard has been a complete nightmare (had to run all new electric when we discovered during a paver patio repair the electric was run 3" underground and fused to the underneath of the pavers).

    Curious, how long would it take to heat a pool that's l-shaped with a 20x40 plus. 15x15 on the "l" deep on diving board side? Its 63 now and I wonder what a good temp for swimming is.

    I've got tons to learn and I have a feeling this site will be a heck of a resource.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    western NY
    Posts
    1,557

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    This is a classic case of a clogged up heat exchanger. Please do not mess with the burner adjustments or jam a coat hanger wire in there. You will only cause more problems. The unit needs to be taken apart and completely cleaned. Any residual carbon buildup, which is what is causing the problem, will only serve to cause a faster buildup next time. The fins on the heat exchanger tubes need to be completely clean before it goes back together. This problem is caused by heating water that is too cold and causing condensation to form inside the heater.

    As far as how fast it will heat the pool, it is simply a function of the BTU output of the heater. We will need to know that. As far as temp for swimming...that is up to you. My kids were always fine once the pool got into the mid 70's, I prefer the mid 80's and my wife really likes the water to be in hot tub range.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    13

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    I just found the invoice for work the previous owners did during the house closing in the spring. It looks like the pool company in town replaced the heat exchanger and igniter and something else I can't read (maybe U/B or BUG). The bill was $1800. I can't imagine anything changing between September and opening it now. I'll call them but very frustrating.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    13

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    Got the tube cleaned professionally. The heater is a raypack p-r405b-en

    Now it won't light. At closing last year it got a new heat exchanger , igniter and UG. Now both my pool guy and the pool place that changed the exchanger think it's a bad board. One quoted me 550-600 and the other "around 400." At this point the pilot lights and it sparks and sparks and will just spark forever until I turn it off. It will make some clicking on and off and then spark again but it won't light.

    Very frustrating. Can you guys give any guidance on the board and what it should cost. Seems like a pretty wide split from 400-600. Any other thoughts on what it might be? My pool guy says the board looks significantly newer than the heater and thinks they probably replaced it at some point already in its 10ish year life.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    In the Industry

    ps0303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    3,435

    Re: Is this heater on fire? (New pool owner here)

    On the Raypak's it's usually the board when it sparks, lights the pilot, and then continues to say spark. Sometimes, and I mean remotely sometimes, the ground to the ignitor isn't connected and reconnecting it fixes the problem. However I would bet the board is your issue. The price can range from $400 - 600. Just depends on where they get the board.
    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,

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •