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Thread: Clogged heat exchange tubes - cleaning tips ?

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    Clogged heat exchange tubes - cleaning tips ?

    My 2 year old Raypack howls everytime I turn it on. The manual says could be the unitherm governor, a clogged gas line, or clogged heat exchanger tubes from imbalanced chemistry.

    I have never had this issue in 20 years of pool ownership, and the difference this year is that I added some high cal based on the pool store's chemical test.

    The UG has been replaced and still no luck. It looks like heat exchanger tube is clogged based on the lack of flow on the Linley pip from the filter to the heater....doesn't seem to be much water flowing into the heater.

    Any tips on how to clean the heat exchanger tubes or other things to look for ?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    17,000 gal SWG pool
    Liner, 5 x Heliocol solar panels, Haywood gas heater, Super Pump II 1HP, Haywood pro sand filter, Haywood T cell-15, Pro Logic controller,
    Taylor test kit controlled pool
    Params - 5.0FC (if not shocking) ca-270, ALk-100, pH-7.2-7.6, NACL - 3000, CYA -60-70

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Clogged heat exchange tubes - cleaning tips ?

    So if I understand you correctly, you increased your Calcium Hardness (CH) based on pool store advice and now your heat exchanger is clogged, possibly with calcium carbonate. Lowering the pool pH and possibly other parameters to lower the Calcite Saturation Index (CSI) (you can use PoolMath to calculate it) should help remove the scale though you may need to use a scale removal product if the scale is very thick and you need it removed more quickly. You'll probably want to replace some of your water if the CH is high. Get a recommended test kit (see Test Kits Compared) and post the results from your water tests if you need more assistance.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    ps0303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Re: Clogged heat exchange tubes - cleaning tips ?

    Anything you added, high cal, would have dissolved in the water or gotten stuck in the filter. Not to say it can't happen, but I have never seen a clogged heat exchanger on this unit. Are you sure you have good flow of water though the unit? Do you have a bypass configured into the piping at the heater?

    What you can do if you want to look at the heat exchanger tubes is remove both the left and right side headers and then you can look inside the tubes. We can go from there once you determine if in fact they are clogged. Please take some pictures and post here as well.

    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.

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