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Thread: Pentair MasterTemp heater with gas smell at the vent??? Normal?

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    Join Date
    May 2014
    North Dallas

    Pentair MasterTemp heater with gas smell at the vent??? Normal?

    Hi, I appreciate if you guys can shed some light on this matter. About 1 week ago, we heated up the pool. When I got real close to the heater vent, I could smell gas......The BP always think that I am paranoid about stuff so I got my husband to check if he smell something. He smelled too. So, I asked the pool service guy to check it out and he also smelled it.

    So, I called Plumber sub contractor who installed the gas line and equipment to have them check for leaks. They said no leaks. However, they were whooshy washy about whether they could smell gas when the heater was on. They kept saying Normal....

    So, still not feeling comfortable about the heater, I called the gas company and they sent out a technician to check for leaks. The technician said there is no leak when the heater is off, but when the heater turned on, the heater vent was releasing a lot of carbon monoxide and extra gas....he used a meter thing like a gas sniffer. So, he red tag the pool heater and shut off the gas valve to the heater.

    So, then today finally the Pentair warranty technician came out while I was at work, and he left me a not that "no leak, heater in good working order". He also wrote "it is normal to smell the exhaust occasionally".....

    So, what should I do now? Why would the gas company red tag the heater if there is not a big problem? Why the Pentair technician would say everything is OK knowing that gas company detected a problem?

    I am at lost.....what should I do now? Assuming everything is OK then? Have any of you have similar issue? is your heater vent smell normal with no gas smell?

    Should I get a second opinion from another pool company to check the heater? This pool was just finished in Nov 2014, and we are really not on the best term with the original pool builder.....
    72' X 10' IG pool with infinity edge spa and in pool dry deck completed Nov 2014. Pentair 3 HP VS pump for pool and spa. Pentair Challenger 3 HP for three 3 feet sheer decent water features. Pentair MasterTemp Heater and QUAD D.E. Filter.

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    In the Industry
    ps0303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Re: Pentair MasterTemp heater with gas smell at the vent??? Normal?

    Is this heater new or still under warranty?

    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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    In the Industry
    Pool Clown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Silicon Valley, CA

    Re: Pentair MasterTemp heater with gas smell at the vent??? Normal?

    Get a new pool tech...

    It is not normal to get UN-burned gas out the exhaust while the heater is firing. I had this once a couple of years ago, and I can't remember what it was, or what I did to correct.

    Consequence of old age...

    Did the gas guy do a water column test on the inlet of the valve? May be too much, or not enough inlet pressure. However, those heaters are real sensitive to correct fuel mix. IOW, if it aint right, the heater wont fire.

    Is this natural gas or propane? If it is propane, have the gas valve inlet pressure checked, if it hasn't been already. And verified that it is correct per the manual, not what the tech feels is correct. These heaters use WAY more gas than any other appliance in the house, and in some cases, more than all appliances combined! So what the tech feels may be adequate, could be grossly under adjusted.

    Throw all this advice out if you have run this heater without incident in the past... Unless you were never in a position to smell the heater exhaust in the past.

    If the heater is in warranty or not, a call to tech support would be advised.

    You shouldn't run this heater until it is fixed. It's un-safe, and is probably using/wasting more gas than it should.
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak, Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

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