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Thread: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

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    Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    Hey everybody, I recently picked up a raypak 130A cheap locally knowing it had issues with staying lit. That said I'm very technically savvy and I anticipated the issue being something very simple, however I am a bit stumped at this point!

    I had a gasfitter plum the gas to the unit this morning – we used three-quarter inch line a short distance from the meter before downsizing to half inch, so there is no pressure issues for sure.

    Issue is that the unit seems to function as a normal – power switch on, the unit powers up and about 10 seconds later the gas valve opens and the DSI Ignitor fires off with its customary buzz. The unit lights and burns well, however after only two or three seconds the gas valve clunks shut and kills the burners

    Based on my previous experience this symptom points towards a thermocouple that isn't sensing flame and is assuming that the burners have not lit, thing is I can't seem to find a thermocouple anywhere on this unit! Obviously the unit must be sensing if the burner has or has not lit somehow, but exactly how that is getting accomplished is lost on me, but sure seems like that's the issue.

    Any thoughts?
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    PrivatePilot, Hello! I see you haven't received a reply yet on your post about the heater lights. I just wanted to let you know we haven't forgotten about you. This reply should get your posting updated back to the top of the queue where hopefully someone experienced with your specific question can provide some constructive answers. Thanks for checking-in with TFP, and have a great day.
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    TFP Guide

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    An electronic ignition does not have a thermocouple. They are used on pilot type ignitions to prove the pilot light only. All electronic ignitions, either hot surface or spark, use some sort of flame sensor circuit. This circuit rectifies a small amount of current thru either a separate sensor rod in the flame or thru the spark electrodes on a unit such as yours. It sounds like this may be the culprit on yours. Make sure all of the connections, both wires and bolt together components are clean and free from rust/corrosion. Also make sure whichever type of flame rod you have is fully engulfed in the burner flame.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    I don't know if you have this or not, but here is a link to a site where the manual for this heater is. It has a schematic in it and hopefully it can help you figure out your issue. Its the PDF on the right side of the heaters image they show.

    Pool Heaters Raypak Model 130A
    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: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    An electronic ignition does not have a thermocouple. They are used on pilot type ignitions to prove the pilot light only. All electronic ignitions, either hot surface or spark, use some sort of flame sensor circuit. This circuit rectifies a small amount of current thru either a separate sensor rod in the flame or thru the spark electrodes on a unit such as yours. It sounds like this may be the culprit on yours. Make sure all of the connections, both wires and bolt together components are clean and free from rust/corrosion. Also make sure whichever type of flame rod you have is fully engulfed in the burner flame.
    AHA! Ok, that totally makes sense given the situation - the ignitor assembly (as pictured below) is actually missing from the unit...it was something I knew about when I agreed to purchase it as-is, but didn't think would matter so long as I lit the unit manually until such time that I could source a replacement - I didn't realize that on a DSI ignition unit it actually serves a feedback purpose as well as a flame sensor.



    So it must be feeding a millivolt signal back to the control unit through ground I'm guessing (which varies upon ignition and heat between the prongs of the ignitor?) that the ignitor unit uses to confirm flame?

    The puzzle pieces just came together really quick - thanks for the knowledge. That totally explains it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
    I don't know if you have this or not, but here is a link to a site where the manual for this heater is. It has a schematic in it and hopefully it can help you figure out your issue. Its the PDF on the right side of the heaters image they show.

    Pool Heaters Raypak Model 130A
    Thanks, I've come across the wiring diagram and parts schematics before (and there's actually a wiring diagram behind the main control panel access) and I've spent a lot of time poring over them - I understand electronics pretty well and can read wiring schematics but just couldn't wrap my head around how the unit was sensing a successfull ignition (flame sense) vs a failed ignition - danpik's response above has now made it abundantly clear to me.

    Thanks guys - I'll follow up once I get the ignitor unit replaced. I paid $100 for the heater, plumbed it in (gas and water) yesterday and it's perfect so far. It was missing the pressure sensor and flame rollout sensor when I bought it, both of which I was able to replace for free from scrap units at local pool places. I'm also resourceful.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    How this works is the small voltage signal is conducted thru the flame between the two probes. fire is actually a good conductor of electricity which is how this works (simplified version) I am kind of curious as to why this part would be missing. Is the wire still there for it?
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    It's a bit of a long story. It was advertised on Kijiji for $150 but the ad was very clear that it was problematic. I called about it and the lady said that it worked good...when it would light, but that often it would light but not stay lit - sometimes it took an hour of on/off cycling for it to light and stay running, and she said often it didn't light at all. In hindsight, it was probably just the ignitor "tongs" were dirty and not sparking, or weren't conducting the voltage signal correctly if it did light.

    Long story short she had "some guy she found online" come over to look at it and he couldn't figure out what was wrong. Eventually she replaced the unit with a new heater instead of dealing with the old one and I think the "some guy" ended up scavenging parts from the old one without her knowledge, because as soon as I started looking I noticed missing parts, and more than a few of them as mentioned. That said, we ended up negotiating it for $100 in the end as I knew I could probably get most or all of the parts for free from salgave/scrap heaters in the end as a lot of my customers at work are pool places.

    The rest of the unit was a gamble in the end but everything (including the heat exchanger) looked solid and in good condition, so I was willing to take that gamble. It certainly doesn't look like it's been used a lot, lets just put it that way.

    The only part I haven't yet been able to find used was the ignitor. Yes, the high voltage ignitor wire was there and is just dangling. For testing I actually manually placed it inside the burner chamber and when the unit tries to light it sparks just fine (crossing to the burners) and actually ignites, but of course as soon as it does I yanked the wire out (as otherwise it'd burn obviously) and that was the missing link I wasn't getting - without the anticipated feedback voltage the unit thinks it's dealing with a failed ignition and promptly shuts the gas off.

    Is there an easy way to temporarily bypass this feature for testing purposes? I'd like to get a 5 or 10 minute burn to ensure everything is solid and then I'll order the new ignitor.

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    you might be able to get that part from a local heating supply shop. I know I have a similar one floating around that fits a Weil McClain boiler. The whole trick to making something non standard work is the gap needed for the spark to jump and the ability for the rectifying circuit to complete to ground. Probably best to use the proper part. Most likely there was a bad connection (most likely) that the previous "tech" did not find or the rectifying circuit on the board is bad (unlikely)
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    Thanks - ordered the part this morning from a local pool wholesaler warehouse...but not arriving until Wednesday or so. I'm hoping it's not a board issue after the fact, but if so, is the issue likely to be on the small PCB, or in the larger black Ignitor module that the HV ignition wire comes out of? It seems from tracing wires and looking things over that the flame detect circuitry is contained in the Ignitor module itself and the PCB is just secondary?

    Basically I want to know what part I may potentially need next if this doesn't solve the issue.

    Since you seem very technically knowledgeable, can you explain the electrical hookups on the valve itself? There's 2 sets of connections, two sets of 2 wires. The top 2 I'm assuming (having looked at the wiring diagram and traced wires) are the 24v electrical solenoid (valve open/valve close) control, but the other 2 (which are inline with the gas flow) are unclear - is this a flow sensor of some sort to confirm if gas is or is not flowing, or something else?

    Thanks again for your help - this is all starting to make sense and I'm enjoying learning about the dsi ignition system.

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    Edit: Sorry, no advice at this time. Previous post i made was not relevant.
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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    Figured out the valve. Manually energized the it tonight (yes, I'm fully aware of the safety issues with that, but I never let the heater out of my sight while things were bypassed) and lit it. Works beautiful and after running it for 15 minutes and watching the temp rise in the pool I calculated I should be getting between 1.2 to 1.5 degrees celsius rise per hour. I'm quite pleased with that. Disconnected all the bypasses and returned things to normal until the new ignitor arrives.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    New igniter arrived yesterday and I installed it last night. It was a little finicky at first but knowing what I now know I figured it was probably a grounding issue, so I relocated the burner box ground directly to the ignition assembly and that pretty much solved the issue - I was glad to be able to confirm that the rectifier circuit in the igniter module is apparently working fine.

    It is lightning reliably about 90% of the time now. I'm still getting a no light or a light and shut down on occasion, however since the unit tries to ignite three times before giving up it's almost always successful in the end.

    Thanks again for everybody's help, in the end including the gas line installation and the valve/pipes/plumbing running to and from the heater I only have about $350 total involved in this whole system and its now set to complement our solar system when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    OK...maybe the saga isn't over. Went out earlier today and flipped the switch on, heard the familiar "clunk" of the gas valve opening followed by the ignitor firing, but something weird is going on - despite hearing the gas valve actuating, no gas is flowing and the ignitor has nothing to light..and the whole cycle seems very short. Instead of going through the full cycle that would usually result in the smell of gas after a failed ignition, there's no smell of gas and the whole ignition cycle seems to be very short.

    If I provide 24v to the valve manually it does the familiar "clunk" as the actual opens the valve, but I've noticed that it takes about 3-4 seconds before you actually hear gas starting to flow - if I time it right so that there's gas present when the ignitor fires the unit lights normally and stays lit.

    The only thing I can guess is that since the weather got abnormally cold here all of a sudden...is it possible the valve actuator has got sticky? If that's the case, is there any remedy aside from replacing the valve?
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    I don't think the clunk you are hearing is the gas valve opening. The gas valve will not open until the igniter has been on for a certain amount of time. The gas valve never opens prior to the igniter coming on
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    The clunk is definitely the gas valve solenoid being engaged as it's the same noise it makes when I bypass (manually energize) the valve. The thing is the gas doesn't start flowing for several seconds after this point (or at least it should/did, but now it's not), around the same time the ignitor starts to fire.

    I did some reading on the valve model in specific and it sounds like there's some 2 stage system involved in its operation but I don't totally understand it at the moment.

    I'm wondering if these electric solenoids suffer from "lazy solenoid" issues the same as the water type solenoids on appliances often start to fail (or get slow to open) as they age. Or I'm still contemplating it being something getting sticky in the valve perhaps given as how the temperature went from the mid 20's (Celsius) down to a crappy 11c (some summer were having so far, grumble) this morning when I discovered this new issue.

    Hmmm.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    Here's the reading I've done on the valve. It's a Honeywell VR8205.

    https://www.engineeredair.com/parts/L62S38744.pdf

    The VR8205;VR4205 gas controls provide ON-OFF
    manual control of gas flow. In the OFF position, gas flow to
    the main burner is mechanically blocked. In the ON position,
    gas flows to the main burner under control of the
    thermostat, the direct ignition (DI) module, and the two
    automatic main valves.
    SYSTEM OPERATION WITH MODULE
    When the thermostat calls for heat, the DI module is
    energized. The module activates the first and second automatic
    valves of the gas control, which allow gas to flow to
    the main burner. At the same time, the DI module generates
    a spark at the igniter-sensor to light the main burner.
    The second automatic valve diaphragm, controlled by
    the servo pressure regulator, opens and adjusts gas flow as
    long as the system is powered
    . The servo pressure regulator
    monitors outlet pressure to provide an even flow of gas to
    the main burner. Loss of power (thermostat satisfied) deenergizes
    the DI module and closes the automatic valves.
    The system is ready to return to normal service when power
    is restored through the thermostat.
    Based on what I'm observing, it seems like that the part in bold above is what's acting odd now - the main valve is opening when energized, but this "second automatic valve diaphragm" which is what seems to actually start the flow of gas seems to be slow acting now? I'm not totally understanding how it all works yet though, any insight?
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    More info....I think I narrowed things down a little why it seemed to light normally at one point, and then suddenly is problematic - when something else in the house is consuming gas is when the heater acts up. As soon as everything in the house is shut off (we have gas hot water, a gas clothes dryer, and a gas furnace) it seems like the heater acts normally again.

    This evening I went out again to look at things, flipped the switch, and it lit off. Shut it down, in the meantime one of my teens started a load in the clothes dryer (so gas was being consumed in the basement), and then I flipped the switch again...and the exact symptoms I explained in post 13.

    Hmm. I'm having a hard time believing this is a pressure related problem as we used 3/4" piping from the meter (where it's 1") and the run is only about 15 feet to the heater where it goes down again to 1/2" into the heaters gas valve.
    Mark
    -- Courtice, Ontario, Canada. "Cabo San Backyardo"
    12x16 3/4 inground - Hayward 3400VSP, Sand Filter, Rooftop 4x20 solar w/ Hayward GL235 automation.
    Previously installed at a neighbors, before, during & after photos HERE!

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    If you have other appliances running and the heater won't fire, then it's pretty much pressure issue. Even if you are only 15' from the meter, it could still be the issue. The only way to know for sure is to us a manomater to measure the incoming pressure with nothing running and then with other appliances running. This way you will know what you are really seeing is for sure.
    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: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    Just touching on this thread again since it was such help before.

    The heater has been working well aside from being problematic to get lit, as I last touched on here. Without getting into details after having spent some time doing diagnostics and such I've come to the conclusion that the igniter module is short cycling during the ignition process - it seems to initialize properly, it begins the ignition process, I can hear the gas valve open in the igniter starts to spark however at just about the moment the gas starts to hit the burner the control module stops the whole process. About 10 or 20 seconds later it does the whole "failed ignition" retry routine with the same results...and after a few more of the same it eventually gives up.

    Part of what I have noticed is that after wiring in a temporary bypass that allows me to open the valve manually and light the burner with a barbecue lighter (yes, I'm aware of the safety issues, it was for diagnostic purposes) is that after the burner has been running for a few minutes the auto sequence appears to be more successful - the burner can go out (flip the switch off or loss of water flow) and upon attempting to relight everything goes normally.

    Knowing what I know about how the igniter module senses current flow through the igniter "tongs", I'm wondering if somehow when the heater is cold the igniter module isnt sensing successful spark, therefore abandoning the ignition process before the burner actually lights?

    The thing is, the igniter is actually sparking, hot or cold.

    Am I on the right path that this is a sensing issue of some sort, and if so how can I go abouts remedying it?

    As it stands right now although I have no trouble getting the unit lit when needed myself, I don't want anybody else in the house fiddling with the manual override because of the safety issues so unfortunately my wife (for example) cannot successfully light the heater if she wanted to run it for a few hours while I'm at work.

    Advice appreciated - thanks!

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    Re: Raypak 130a heater lights, immediately goes out.

    In the vast majority of cases like you are explaining, the system board is the issue. It's not sensing the signal from the ingnitor to say that it lit and is still lit.
    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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