2nd thoughts about Raypak

davidhum66

Bronze Supporter
Jul 8, 2018
19
Austin, TX
I'm having an issue with a newly installed Raypak digital propane heater (406btu) that replaced an old Pentair model. Unit installed last week by company recommended on Rheem site (not on Raypak which I found out today) as I wanted to ensure the year warranty was honored. Issue is the heater reads about 6-8 degrees hotter than actual pool/spa temp. I have a manual thermometer in spa and Jandy temp sensor inline with pool automation that gives temp readout. Both manual and inline temp read the same. Installer replaced the inline temp sensor yesterday, but this made it worse (meaning now a 6-7 pt differential vs previous 5-6F difference). Called Raypak to file warranty claim at advice of installer. After 45 min wait, got info conveying a different warranty station from the one I used to install (which surprised to hear different than Rheem as they are now same company). They then forwarded me over to tech support. Told it could be faulty temp sensor, board, or some type of "clog in uniform governor" causing heat sensor to read higher? Who knows....but frustrated with this experience as Raypak unit thus far has been a big disappointment.
Temp readings taken were:
- pool temp 56F, manual thermometer 56F, Raypak unit 62F (no heat)
- pool 84, manual therm 85, Raypak 91F (heating in Remote mode)
- pool 90, manual 90, Raypak 98F
We did set max setpoints for pool and spa to 107 per manual, but at around 99F, the unit shuts off the propane with "no demand". Upon inspection, the Raypak reads 107F as water temp, while manual and inline readings read 99. So I can get it to 99F with no issue. Of note, upon first firing of heater, I did get a "high temp limit 2" where water reading on Raypak listed 102F, while spa was only at 97F. Hi limit fault has not been encountered again. I did have some luck with getting it slightly above 100F when I took it out of Remote mode and manually heated spa. But only to 100 or 101. Anything else to look for or that I should convey to service tech? Anyone experience this kind of water temp calibration issue?
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
140
Sunrise,FL
I'm sorry to hear of your issues. Is it possible that the installer reversed the IN and OUT of the heater? I could believe the 8 degree difference in temperature if the heater had good water flow and was measuring the temperature after flowing through the exchanger....
 

davidhum66

Bronze Supporter
Jul 8, 2018
19
Austin, TX
Thanks for the info. Slowly getting to the root issues. I ordered another temp sensor and replaced yesterday. Same result. The temp was 8-9 degrees warmer. I got another manual thermometer to confirm the actual reading of my Jandy automation. I then hooked up the original temp sensor to the board and left the sensor part outside the heater. The new temp sensor was placed in the port not connected to the board. This "tricked" the unit into heating past 100F. Yea! But alas, a new problem. The heater went past 102F (my OneTouch setting spa limit) and continued to heat. I then turned off heat demand on Jandy controller but heater still didn't kick off propane. Manually shut off heater and called it a day. So after spending a while on the phone w/ Raypak last wk, they basically helped narrow it down to the temp sensor, board, or an installation error (exchanger banged down, maybe causing undue heat up around wires). They ruled out the unitherm governor that the previous Raypak tech support had mentioned. They helped guide on getting the replacement sensor and leaving it not connected, given in theory, the Jandy controller should regulate heater. They then gave me 3 warranty station providers in the area. I contacted the nearest one and was VERY fortunate to have one available today. Upon inspection, the 2 wire cable at control board was touching wires. Hence, no signal reaching heater to shut off propane as signal was shorting out. That issue is resolved. Heater is turned on and off remotely. Very happy to have a working heater that now goes above 99F...albeit one that is being tricked by having temp sensor bypassed. Repair tech today was great in that he helped confirm everything looked in order and that his best explanation was a faulty board and recommended getting the temp sensor back in place like how unit was designed. He's contacting Raypak for next step. Onward! But like I said, nice to have a heater working....and an additional, reliable pool repair place to turn to that is recognized by Raypak.
 
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davidhum66

Bronze Supporter
Jul 8, 2018
19
Austin, TX
The inline sensor is about 1' past the filter basket. See photo. The green casing near the heater is the workaround that houses parts of the 2 temp sensors. @homegame - yes, possible the wires were originally switched. Original installer came back out and corrected that given heater was firing whenever pool or spa kicked on. He said he just disconnected and reconnected and that restored automation control. Hmmm.... One thing I forgot to mention which was bizarre. When I disconnected temp sensor (but left connected to the board), I wrapped in in a cloth and but foil around it. Was surprised to see the reading of 110F on the sensor while heater was on. In other words, I know this was designed to be in water sensing the temp, but did not think that the area that houses the board would get that hot. I guess the board and wires are designed for this heater application, but still, when I pulled the unit back down to retrieve the sensor, I was surprised at the warmth coming from this area. That is why I just ran the sensor outside the heater to ensure it stays "cold."
 

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swamprat69

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2019
86
Las Vegas, NV
If the inline temperature sensor is mounted between the pump and the filter, it is measuring the return water temperature from the Pool/Spa. The integral temperature sensor in the heater is measuring the temperature at the heater. It could be that much different than the other sensor and thermometer if there was a water flow problem.
 

davidhum66

Bronze Supporter
Jul 8, 2018
19
Austin, TX
Good point. But assume my previous heater (Pentair Minimax) that was replaced by this Raypak had similar configuration? Meaning, if there is that kind of difference between heater temp sensor and inline sensor, I would have seen that issue previously? Also, can't recall if I mentioned, but when heater is not on and just cycling the pool, the temps are still different, but not as much. Around a 6-7F difference vs the 8-9F seen in heat mode. Hopefully its just the board or maybe the electronic area or wires are getting too warm from the heat being produced? Thanks again for the comments. I'll post on the outcome when I hear back from the repair tech and how this resolves.
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
866
West Bloomfield, MI
My Raypak 206 has read 5-6º too high since it was installed a year ago. I was starting to panic while reading this thread as I wondered if my HX is damaged and my warranty clock is ticking down!

It always reads too low though, whether it's heating or not, so I guess I'll chalk it up to a bad sensor? FWIW, I've heard/read this complaint from many Raypak owners.