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Thread: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

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    Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    Hi All,

    I know there are a million posts about mice in the heater and I read a bunch, but I wasn't able to find the exact info I need. Maybe you can help?

    Thought I would open the pool really early this year so last Monday 4/10 I scheduled the opening- the man/company that built the pool in 2013 always opens it. Pentair MasterTemp 400 propane heater would not even turn on- no lights, nothing! Mice had lived in and trashed the heater (see pics). My pool guy says first thing we need is a new wire harness for $700 and a new igniter. Seemed really high so went to amazon and found the harness for $130 and igniter for around $40. Told the guy $700 was too much I was going to order the parts myself. He agreed to fix the heater when the parts came in. This must have really annoyed him because he will not answer my calls now. So looks like I am on my own now.

    Sunday was beautiful and I decided I'm going to give it a shot. I was going to use the new harness but then thought "Why not just repair the gnawed wires?" So I spliced and taped and was pretty sure my repair job was good. But still no response from the heater. Nothing. No light. Zip. OK what could it be? I put a jumper where the fireman's switch connects back to the control panel. Nothing. Checked the little fuse there- looks good. Hmmm. According to the pool guy (discussed before he went incommunicado) the igniter control module could be fried- but why? Why would these parts just get fried because of the mice gnawed the wires?

    Anyway I don't know what to do next. Any ideas? I can fix things and it drives me crazy to be at the mercy of people who will not return a phone call. I actually like to fix things. So what would you do? Thank you for reading this long winded question and I hope you are enjoying your pool!
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    20' x 40' in-ground gunite pool with 6' x 8' connected spa. Aquamatic hydramatic automatic pool cover, 2- Pentair IntelliFlo pumps (filter, jets), Pentair Filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 propane heater, Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine generator, Air Supply spa blower, Jandy Aqualink RS controller, Aqualink RS pad, Spalink RS pad.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    I repaired the same thing for a friend TWICE. Heard wires are made of soy based product that is very tasty to mice.

    You need to take the heater apart and clean the combustion chamber -- as the mouse have made nests inside the heater.. this messes up the ignition and the air flow.... yes you can repair the wire harnesss--- but you will now need to clean the entire combustion chamber.

    Its easy to do - just be very careful with the ignition module as they break very easily.

    When your done (stuff all the openings in the heater with steel wool) as the mice cant eat through it and it. Also put a couple of those mouse killer pellets in the electrical box... as they will be back.
    25k 20x40 Gunite w/ integrated Spa & Caribbean Blue Plaster, Curved Bluestone Coping, Deck Jets
    Pentair Easy Touch/Wireless, Sta-Rite Intellipro SRVS Pump, Intellibrite Lights, & Pentair IC40 Cell, Sta-Rite 450sf Cartridge filter
    Heated from Central Boiler - Outdoor Wood Furnace & Triangle Tube Max Heat Exchanger
    ColorQ Pro
    TF-100

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    blakeusa,

    You are a good friend. The mice leave a big mess- and the smell is horrible!!

    I guess the next step is to clean that combustion chamber. The pool guy did clean away all the nests and things after he discovered the mice but I'm pretty sure he did not take it apart and do the combustion chamber. He was probably waiting until I had the new igniter in-hand.

    What I'm wondering is even if the combustion chamber is dirty wouldn't you still get some kind of lights or error code at the touchpad if all the wires are repaired? I'm afraid that even after I clean it out I still will not get any signs of life from this thing. I know there can't be wires in the combustion chamber.

    Thank you for your help! Can't wait to take this thing apart!

    -davedive
    20' x 40' in-ground gunite pool with 6' x 8' connected spa. Aquamatic hydramatic automatic pool cover, 2- Pentair IntelliFlo pumps (filter, jets), Pentair Filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 propane heater, Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine generator, Air Supply spa blower, Jandy Aqualink RS controller, Aqualink RS pad, Spalink RS pad.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    I would remove any wire going to your easytouch system and try without it. Maybe the also chewed the wire between the heater and the Easytouch. You also need to take the blower motor off and clean that out probably. I don't think you need to actually get into the combustion chamber itself. If you did, it's a huge job. You also need to get a meter and check for power before the transformer and after. Anything could have fried when you went to turn it on. You also need to replace the white air venture as the unit will not operate correctly with the chewed one in place. You also could have a bad board if they got up under the top and made a nest there. They are very destructive and do more damage than most people think.

    The price he quoted you was fair. As you can see, it's not always as simple as it seems.

    FIY, put mothballs inside the unit to keep mice out.
    Paul
    Gastek Pool & Gas Services If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. Gastek Google review,
    Check out some videos on my YouTube channel - Gastekservices on YouTube

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    ps0303,

    Thank you for the help! Great suggestions and you have given me some hope that I might still save it. I agree this is not easy as the heater is a complicated machine and there are so many wires. I did check my manual and they have a pretty good troubleshooting guide so I will go through that as well.

    Regarding the price: My pool guy has expertise and wisdom that is well worth a markup on parts. The quote for $700 was not to repair the heater- it was for the wire harness only. The labor and extra parts if needed would be extra. Like I said I don't mind a markup on parts but it shouldn't be unreasonable. Is a wire harness really $700???
    20' x 40' in-ground gunite pool with 6' x 8' connected spa. Aquamatic hydramatic automatic pool cover, 2- Pentair IntelliFlo pumps (filter, jets), Pentair Filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 propane heater, Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine generator, Air Supply spa blower, Jandy Aqualink RS controller, Aqualink RS pad, Spalink RS pad.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    I can't help with the wiring, but as you are working on getting it fixed go ahead and visit this site http://mkratproofing.com/ and buy the kit for your heater, I think we have the same one - you want the $50 kit, but compare the pictures. It is worth every penny. I caught the mice/rats early enough in mine last year I didn't have damage, but cleaned it up and installed this. It was recommended here on the forums and the best money I spent. A couple of pictures after the install. Yes - I wish Pentair did the right thing and put something like this on the inside from the factory as they should, but I take this any day to save the heater and wiring.



    Greg -
    11K gal, IG Pebble Sheen (Aqua Blue) with sun ledge and attached spa, Pentair Intelliflow 3050 VS/SVRS (3HP), Pentair ET 8 with Screen Logic, Pentair Racer with 3/4 HP booster pump, 400KBTU Pentair Mastertemp, Pentair 60 sq ft DE filter, J&J Intellibrite LED in spa, Zodiac Nature 2 (not used), Stenner pump/liquid Chlorine, build completed in August 2015

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    +1 on the MK kits. They are available for the Max-e-therm, Master-temp, RP2100 line, and others. They even have a generic kit (make your own). I am beginning to phase out selling of the Max-E-Therm in favor of the Mastertemp for replacements that don't allow the room for a Raypak. Basically, the two (Master and Maxi) are the same heater only with different packaging. I'm doing this because it is a cleaner looking heater and it is easier to install this rat proofing kit on the Masters. I have sold these heaters since they rolled them out, and rarely have come across one that has not had some evidence of at least a visit from a rodent. Hoping to have better luck with the Mastertemp + the kit.

    I would think the boys at MK should be millionaires within a few years with this product...

    Regarding pricing...

    $700.00 is WAY WAY out of line! I don't care how much that guy knows, get rid of him. He either is just plain greedy, or really busy, and purposely priced himself out of the bid, in which case, if he got the job, would probably rush through it. I sell that part for a little over 300.00 (MSRP- 310.61). I am probably the highest price in my area (due to overhead). For me, $700.00 would cover tax, labor and light cleaning (just getting the real bad stuff cleared out).

    You could very well be looking at some components too. Chewing the insulation but not actually through the wires themselves leaves the system open to dead shorts. Especially if the igniter dead shorts. If the secondary wiring from the xformer to the main board shorts, your looking at the xformer, control box, main board, and maybe even the blower. Any burnt smell in the heater (even cold) indicates xformer is done.
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy/Zodiac, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak (Rheem, Rudd), Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    Quote Originally Posted by davedive View Post
    ps0303,
    Regarding the price: My pool guy has expertise and wisdom that is well worth a markup on parts. The quote for $700 was not to repair the heater- it was for the wire harness only. The labor and extra parts if needed would be extra. Like I said I don't mind a markup on parts but it shouldn't be unreasonable. Is a wire harness really $700???
    I thought the $700 was the entire cost with labor and all.
    Paul
    Gastek Pool & Gas Services If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. Gastek Google review,
    Check out some videos on my YouTube channel - Gastekservices on YouTube

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    I would have hoped that too but...

    Quote Originally Posted by davedive View Post
    My pool guy has expertise and wisdom?? that is well worth a markup on parts.
    Factory Warranty Station for:
    Jandy/Zodiac, Pentair, Sta-Rite, Raypak (Rheem, Rudd), Polaris,
    and Paramount pool cleaning systems.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Clown View Post
    +1 on the MK kits. They are available for the Max-e-therm, Master-temp, RP2100 line, and others. They even have a generic kit (make your own). I am beginning to phase out selling of the Max-E-Therm in favor of the Mastertemp for replacements that don't allow the room for a Raypak. Basically, the two (Master and Maxi) are the same heater only with different packaging. I'm doing this because it is a cleaner looking heater and it is easier to install this rat proofing kit on the Masters. I have sold these heaters since they rolled them out, and rarely have come across one that has not had some evidence of at least a visit from a rodent. Hoping to have better luck with the Mastertemp + the kit.

    I would think the boys at MK should be millionaires within a few years with this product...

    Regarding pricing...

    $700.00 is WAY WAY out of line! I don't care how much that guy knows, get rid of him. He either is just plain greedy, or really busy, and purposely priced himself out of the bid, in which case, if he got the job, would probably rush through it. I sell that part for a little over 300.00 (MSRP- 310.61). I am probably the highest price in my area (due to overhead). For me, $700.00 would cover tax, labor and light cleaning (just getting the real bad stuff cleared out).

    You could very well be looking at some components too. Chewing the insulation but not actually through the wires themselves leaves the system open to dead shorts. Especially if the igniter dead shorts. If the secondary wiring from the xformer to the main board shorts, your looking at the xformer, control box, main board, and maybe even the blower. Any burnt smell in the heater (even cold) indicates xformer is done.
    I have one of these heaters and never would have thought about the mice issue if not for this thread. I know this shouldn't be an issue, but does anyone believe Pentair might deny a warranty claim if you install these screens? I understand putting these on in no way should harm the performance of the heater, but manufacturers do some crazy things. It looks like you drill through the housing to install these screens?


    Little Rock, AR - 25,000 Gallons Free-form Gunite (2017)
    Pentaire Intelliflo 2 3hp VSP & Intelliflo Whisperflo 3/4hp pump for water features
    Mastertemp 400K heater
    Clean and Clear Plus 420 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intellichlor IC40 & Intellitouch Controls

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtworm_ato View Post
    I have one of these heaters and never would have thought about the mice issue if not for this thread. I know this shouldn't be an issue, but does anyone believe Pentair might deny a warranty claim if you install these screens? I understand putting these on in no way should harm the performance of the heater, but manufacturers do some crazy things. It looks like you drill through the housing to install these screens?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I guess they could try and deny warranty - wouldn't surprise me, but think they would have to prove you caused damage - not sure. All I can tell you is that I KNOW they won't replace my wiring harness or other damage when they see it has been eaten by rodents - they will laugh at me and walk away. So when I know I had some rodents in mine for a while - I'll take this chance of blocking them out and the heater not having any problems for 3 years vs letting it get eaten up and know that I'll be repairing it on my own for sure.

    The screws are an inch or so in length, they are self tapping and very easy to install. None of them contact any other internal part of the heater.
    Greg -
    11K gal, IG Pebble Sheen (Aqua Blue) with sun ledge and attached spa, Pentair Intelliflow 3050 VS/SVRS (3HP), Pentair ET 8 with Screen Logic, Pentair Racer with 3/4 HP booster pump, 400KBTU Pentair Mastertemp, Pentair 60 sq ft DE filter, J&J Intellibrite LED in spa, Zodiac Nature 2 (not used), Stenner pump/liquid Chlorine, build completed in August 2015

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    I've not had a rodent problem in my heater ever, but that wire mesh kit is intriguing and
    I might have to just get one for piece of mind. I had a new Raypak installed last month.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    @davedive,

    Yes, the manual has a excellent flow chart for troubleshooting. Need a multi-meter, follow the steps. No power or lights is an easy diagnose as it has to do with the low voltage side. Check the wire above the fuse, this is the 24v from the transformer which then goes through the fuse, through the jumper or controller com lines and up to the control board.

    I have seen ignition modules fail due to rodents because it's a wonderful toilet. They'll sit on top and urinate on it which will short them out but that's not in relation to the no power/lights. Also don't waste time on the combustion chamber unless you get air flow faults which will pop up before ignition.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    Quote Originally Posted by borjis View Post
    I've not had a rodent problem in my heater ever, but that wire mesh kit is intriguing and
    I might have to just get one for piece of mind. I had a new Raypak installed last month.
    I have never seen mice destroy a Raypak like they do the Pentair's.
    Paul
    Gastek Pool & Gas Services If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. Gastek Google review,
    Check out some videos on my YouTube channel - Gastekservices on YouTube

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    JoelFitz,

    Well I got my multi-meter and started on the troubleshooting flow chart. "Check for line voltage heater"- opened the junction box and checked r and bk with probe and Yes! (actually got 240V) "Check that correct 12-pin plug is installed (red is 240V, black is 120V)"- OK The black 120V is installed and the red 240V is just sitting in the box loose- that's weird because my multi-meter is getting 240V. Does that make sense? The heater never would have worked if the wrong 12-pin plug was installed- confused but I say Yes!- next question: "Check for 24 VAC at secondary of transformer" Huh? what does that mean? Well I see the big transformer and unplug the connector from the output (y,y) and touch the meter to it- nothing. Then I disconnect the plug going to it (w,bk,o) touch the meter to it- nothing. I guess the answer is NO. Next question "Check for line voltage between L1 and L2 terminals on terminal board" OK guess I'm supposed to touch the far left and far right metal contacts on the terminal board with my probes and I should get 120V or 240V AC? Let me try- nothing. Guess that is a NO. Finally "Check wiring connections between power supply and Junction box and between junction box and terminal board:restore continuity" Well it's dark now. Seems I struck out. Maybe tomorrow.
    20' x 40' in-ground gunite pool with 6' x 8' connected spa. Aquamatic hydramatic automatic pool cover, 2- Pentair IntelliFlo pumps (filter, jets), Pentair Filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 propane heater, Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine generator, Air Supply spa blower, Jandy Aqualink RS controller, Aqualink RS pad, Spalink RS pad.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    Dave,

    From my limited experience both times *where that white plastic air inlet is.. the mice go into the heater and make their nests inside.
    Also when you take the igniter out there will be a nest or straw in there too.
    What this does is cause a NO START condition. Or a quick start and then SHUT OFF or lock out.

    I do think if you take it apart and clean it all out (just soap and water) and put it back together is should fire up.

    If not then you could have fried something (but in both cases I worked on) the mouse house and wire munching was pretty bad.. the heater fired right up
    after (the harness was repaired) and the heater was clean.

    Worst case you will have a clean heater and ERROR CODES you can work with...

    B
    25k 20x40 Gunite w/ integrated Spa & Caribbean Blue Plaster, Curved Bluestone Coping, Deck Jets
    Pentair Easy Touch/Wireless, Sta-Rite Intellipro SRVS Pump, Intellibrite Lights, & Pentair IC40 Cell, Sta-Rite 450sf Cartridge filter
    Heated from Central Boiler - Outdoor Wood Furnace & Triangle Tube Max Heat Exchanger
    ColorQ Pro
    TF-100

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    OK went out in the dark to take one last shot at this thing. Had kind of an ah-ha moment because as I mentioned before the red 12-pin plug was just sitting there. Duh!!! It's just sitting there because it is supposed to be plugged into the 12-pin receptacle in the box!!! That explains a lot! That 12-pin plug provides all the jumpers to get the juice to all the wires connected to the receptacle! It all makes sense now! I am an artist, not an electrician. I'm visual and I'm reading the manual but there are no pictures of this stuff! So I know now I just have to plug that thing in- but there is a problem. I attached a picture and you can see the mice chewed the heck out of the 12-pin plug. I don't know what wire goes where so I can't fix it and I can't seem to find the 12-pin plug (120V or 240V) online. I bought a new wiring harness but they don't include the 12-pin plug with that. Does anyone know where to get a new plug or how to rewire the one I have? Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    20' x 40' in-ground gunite pool with 6' x 8' connected spa. Aquamatic hydramatic automatic pool cover, 2- Pentair IntelliFlo pumps (filter, jets), Pentair Filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 propane heater, Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine generator, Air Supply spa blower, Jandy Aqualink RS controller, Aqualink RS pad, Spalink RS pad.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    Dang those suckers had one heck of a feast in there. No guarantees, but if we confirm we have the same model I could open it and take some pics tomorrow. Pretty much every connector out there can be found, just have to see what markings are on it and who makes it. There are a lot of different suppliers out there. Just have to find that one.


    Greg -
    11K gal, IG Pebble Sheen (Aqua Blue) with sun ledge and attached spa, Pentair Intelliflow 3050 VS/SVRS (3HP), Pentair ET 8 with Screen Logic, Pentair Racer with 3/4 HP booster pump, 400KBTU Pentair Mastertemp, Pentair 60 sq ft DE filter, J&J Intellibrite LED in spa, Zodiac Nature 2 (not used), Stenner pump/liquid Chlorine, build completed in August 2015

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    GDN,

    Thank you very much!! I found some sources online. It's a 120/240 volt plug kit 42001-0105S and it's around $40 with shipping. The money is OK (well actually no it's a ripoff) but I will have to wait. Maybe I can find it locally- there are many pool supply places around me. Or maybe I can rewire the one I have- all I need to figure out is which wires go where. There are only 4 wires- how hard can it be! Thanks again.
    20' x 40' in-ground gunite pool with 6' x 8' connected spa. Aquamatic hydramatic automatic pool cover, 2- Pentair IntelliFlo pumps (filter, jets), Pentair Filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 propane heater, Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine generator, Air Supply spa blower, Jandy Aqualink RS controller, Aqualink RS pad, Spalink RS pad.

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    Re: Mice in the MasterTemp 400 heater!

    OK I couldn't wait so I found a picture online of the plug that gave me a pretty good view of the wires. I soldered the gnawed ends back together, stuck the plug into the receptacle, crossed my fingers and turned it on. It worked!!! Fired right up! Hot water was actually pumping into the spa! Mice, you may chew wire and insulation but I have a soldering gun, electrical tape and the internet so I won this round. Thank you all for all your help!

    I am going to do some serious mouseproofing on this unit. I will post my work and let you all know how it works.

    Thanks again!!
    20' x 40' in-ground gunite pool with 6' x 8' connected spa. Aquamatic hydramatic automatic pool cover, 2- Pentair IntelliFlo pumps (filter, jets), Pentair Filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 propane heater, Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine generator, Air Supply spa blower, Jandy Aqualink RS controller, Aqualink RS pad, Spalink RS pad.

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