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Thread: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

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    Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Sorry about that last crazy post.

    First, my gas heater pilot is on but it will not light. It is a Laars Lite ModelLLG.
    I have had the pool/heater since fall 1999. Every year it needs something. They replace a wire, a something or other. I had service here in early seaon, replaced a wire or whatever and it was fine. I shocked pool 3 days ago, and most of pool seems pretty clear, actually a little cloudy. I also just got my Blue Diamond cleaner 8/16 and ran it once. I remember some pool guy telling me that you should backwash several times if heater does not turn on. I have done that, did that 8/16 also. Still will not light, pilot still on. I am running the blue diamond again today. I have results from last night about 8 pm after the first run of cleaner.
    FC 11.0
    CC0.5
    TA 100
    CYA40
    pH
    7.4
    I had brought the levels of FC up to 16.5 on 8/15,CYA 50, ph 7.6,TA100.
    Sorry to ramble but I am not sure about why heater will not fire if pilot is on. This season I called the local service guy and he replaced a wire for $65 and it worked til this week.
    That is enough for now, I do not think I have an algae prob at this point even though the water is certainly not clear. It is more, slightly "muddy"? maybe this for another topic line, let's figure out the heater at this point I guess, thanks!
    T.
    15x 30 inground oval vinyl lined. 15000gals. Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter. Laars lite natural gas heater. 6 foot slide, underwater light . 3.5 ft. shallow,to 7ft. deepend. TF 100 test kit

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    TizMe's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Not sure if your unit has one but have you checked the thermal coupler. Im not a gas man but I think the thermal coupler has something to do with the gas flow to the equipment?
    Les
    Don't have a pool right now. Just sharing what I have learned over the years!
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    Pool School,Pool Calculator,Cl/CYA Shock Chart,TF Test Kit
    Doing BBB and loving it!

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    I have not checked anything like that, I fel that us for a professional. That is really because I am not comfortable at all checking anything like that or electricity,etc. That is just me, I really am gun shy about anything like that. I am afraid that it will blow up in my face.
    Thanks,T.
    15x 30 inground oval vinyl lined. 15000gals. Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter. Laars lite natural gas heater. 6 foot slide, underwater light . 3.5 ft. shallow,to 7ft. deepend. TF 100 test kit

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Also, the heater was working just fine and then, not. I have no idea what a thermal coupler is but thank you for your input. T
    15x 30 inground oval vinyl lined. 15000gals. Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter. Laars lite natural gas heater. 6 foot slide, underwater light . 3.5 ft. shallow,to 7ft. deepend. TF 100 test kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Sounds like it's more serious than a pressure problem, so if you backwashed and it didn't help, time to call out the serviceman....Good luck, hope it's not too much $$$ to fix....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Just want to be clear on a couple of things. Your pilot light is lit but the burners aren't firing, correct? Is the dial on the gas valve set to ON?

    I believe that heater is a millivolt system. That means the pilot flame provides the power for the system. It heats a pilot generator which is connected to the gas valve. If the generator or wires from the generator are bad the heater won't turn on.

    Another possible reason for the heater not firing is spider webs blocking the gas orifices at the main burners. This is a common problem in some areas (it certainly is at mine.)

    There are other reasons for a heater not firing but it does take some knowledge to troubleshoot it.

    Good luck with it.

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    The gas knob is set to on. I put a call in for service and see what happens. Thanks for your input.
    15x 30 inground oval vinyl lined. 15000gals. Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter. Laars lite natural gas heater. 6 foot slide, underwater light . 3.5 ft. shallow,to 7ft. deepend. TF 100 test kit

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Teresa, do you have the owner's manual for the unit? If you do, in the back is the trouble shooting guide which will 'walk' you through what to test in what order. Don't be afraid of electricity on this!! - as was said, it's microvolts - you'd get more of a shock testing a 9 volt battery with your tongue :P

    Unfortunately - I'm going to be away for the next week or I'd be here every day to help you with the testing and how to replace whichever of the redundant safety switches might be bad --- there are a number of other folks here that can provide the same info - see if one of the other "in the industry" guys won't take a look at what you find. If you follow the trouble shooting and can figure out which part is bad, someone here will help with how to fix it without! having to pay for a service call (you'll still need the replacement part, but without the pool company 'mark up' and service call fee)

    If doing this yourself is outside of your 'comfort zone' - call in the local pool dudes, but I think you can handle this yourself and save some $$ (needed for gassing up the car these days )

    When I get back from my vacation, 1 of 2 weeks I get to see my daughter (Martha's Vineyard BTW) I either want to hear that the heater is fixed or that you're just waiting for my help/ input :P

    Thanks for turning Dottie on to this site
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Well, put that call in for service and then on Wed. 8/20, i came home from work and thought I'll just flip it on and see what happens. (I had been trying this randomly each day, flipping it on, hoping for a miracle!). Well, it started up! I immediately go to call and cancel service. Here is the conversation: Hi, Iput a call in,etc. I just came home from work and it turned on. So,I don't know what happened exactly, but I will cancel that call. The Pool Doctor says, " I can tell you what happened, I came by while you were at work and I fixed it, turned it off. I knew you weren't home because there was no car in driveway. I said , "Why didn't you leave an invoice or something?" He says, "I was in area at Carolina St. and so Ijust stopped over." He had been over earlier in the season to fix the heater. Also, that same pool on Carolina St. was fixed that same day. I asked him, "So what did you replace?". He stammers, " The, uh,uh, umm, pick up switch." I have to take him at his word, but I just was doubtful. I opened the front of the heater and nothing appears new or different. So, I asked him what the fee was and I'd mail him a check. He charged $60.00. I sometimes feel that as a woman, that it is easy to get taken advantage of with stuff like this, cars, home repairs, etc.
    Well, it is working and I guess $60.00 is not bad.
    Sorry to ramble.
    As always thank you for your input.
    My manual has a small trouble shooting section. The diagrams seem to be for installation.
    Also, does the level of CL affect whether you can turn it on? If your Cl level is like 12-14,say? I had shocked it earler that week.
    I will shut up for now for those of you who have not clicked off already.
    15x 30 inground oval vinyl lined. 15000gals. Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter. Laars lite natural gas heater. 6 foot slide, underwater light . 3.5 ft. shallow,to 7ft. deepend. TF 100 test kit

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Hi,

    FWIW None of your chemical levels will stop the heater from working. For $60.00 for a service call and a part thats probably a very good price. In my area they wont even come out for less than $65.00 to even come look at anything. I also have a milivolt style heater and talked to a rep on the phone and he told me it is basic heater wiring on it as with a milivolt fired furnace so every switch is run inline and just conects back to the gas valve.

    example:That is if you took a wire and hooked it up to one side of a wall socket (that is only 1 blade on a plug) in your house, then to a light fixture then back to the socket (to the other blade on the plug) the light works. If there is a break in the wire anywhere along the line, the light wont turn on.

    Well with this type of heater it kind of works the same way, there is a wire that runs from the thermal coupler,(which is down by the pilot light) it then runs from the thermal coupler and then to all the safety switches in line on your heater manifold and then to the gas valve.

    If any of them safety switches are broken in that line then the gas valve doesnt get the signal in the wire and the gas valve wont turn the gas on to light all the burners.

    To fix this, you take a jumper wire, unhook the fist thing in the line which is usually the thermosat and you take the two wires off the back of the thermostat and attach the jump wire (jump the two wires is basically take the two wires and conect them together without the switch/thermostat inbetween them)and if the burners fire then your thermostat is bad, then you replace it. If it doesnt fire then you go to the next switch inline and take the two wires off it, then jump the two wires and if the unit fires up then you replace that switch, etc, etc and so forth on down the line until you get to a place where the jumper wire makes the unit work again. When it works again, you know that it was that switch that you jumped that is the bad switch. It really is simple and there is no way of getting electrocuted or for the unit to blow up in your face. There are just too many switches inline that wont let that happen.

    Hope this helps a little for the next time you have problems
    Brian
    24' round Vinyl liner Doughboy 48" deep 52" sidewall
    1hp Doughboy pump w/timer
    Doughboy Silica II filter with Zeosand
    Raypak 180,00 btu heater
    BBB method
    Sundance Optima '97 450 gal. spa w/Delzone ozonator
    Beats driving to the lake, and I'm only a block away from the lake!!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    I figured it wasn't too bad for the service call as far as cost. And here in Buffalo area, I like to have heater to help extend our season!!

    I appreciate your explanation as far as how it works. It really helps me understand. I don't like feeling dumb.

    Thanks again for your replies ! TFP rocks!
    15x 30 inground oval vinyl lined. 15000gals. Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter. Laars lite natural gas heater. 6 foot slide, underwater light . 3.5 ft. shallow,to 7ft. deepend. TF 100 test kit

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Teresa, very glad that the heater now works!! (And $60 is $25 less than if my company had come out and wouldn't even include the price for the new part )

    Brian, that was agreat explanation of doing the trouble- shooting
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Trouble with gas heater, pilot on?

    Waste, tvfoxy59

    Thanks for the kudos!!

    No problem if I can help I will try to do just that!

    Brian
    24' round Vinyl liner Doughboy 48" deep 52" sidewall
    1hp Doughboy pump w/timer
    Doughboy Silica II filter with Zeosand
    Raypak 180,00 btu heater
    BBB method
    Sundance Optima '97 450 gal. spa w/Delzone ozonator
    Beats driving to the lake, and I'm only a block away from the lake!!

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