Best NG Heater? My Raypak RP2100 rusted out....Please help!

bankingdom

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
36
Texas
Hi Guys. Just moved into a new house and I never owned a pool before. I was stupid not to get a pool inspection. Tried to turn on the heater and it turned on for about 30 minutes, but I could smell burning, then it stopped and now will say CFH and then stay in perpetual SPK mode but will not fire up. Had my pool guy come and he said it was rusted out and that I need to replace the whole thing.

My current Heater appears to be a Raypak RP-2100 but the old model. I think this is the original heater installed in the early 2000's when the pool was built. It looks like this:
http://blog.poolcenter.com/designdocuments/blog-raypak-rear-header-replacement.JPG

He recommended a Jandy JXi 400k btu with VersaFlow.

Most on here recommend I get another Raypak. Anyone have any specific models that would be best for me? I don't mind spending a bit more for quality, but I don't need name brands or anything like that. I plan to install a Pentair system later if that makes any difference. I have read that most of your stuff needs to be the same brand for automation but the heater doesn't matter much.

Thanks for any input!
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,269
Quaker Hill, CT
The raypak 400kBTU unit seems to be the hands downs favorite on the forum. I'd say your original raypak seems to have given you and very nice service life.

I haven't seen a bad word about the Pentair heaters when they have been mentioned. If you are planning on going with all Pentair and are doing automation staying with the same company is generally the best way to go.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
967
Stuart/FL
Bank,

I faced a similar issue when I added a heater to my pool. As you've found most here have a preference to Raypak. My concern was that I wanted to add the Jandy wireless remote controls. They do have a section in the installation manual to install a Raypak but the control function seems to be limited to simple on-off. I wanted full wireless control with my phone so I went with the Jandy and it turns out that I use the full control function extensively. It lets me do things like change the spa and pool temp set points remotely. The Jandy has been relatively trouble free other than one terminal connection that seems to corrode but it only happens once per year. We use the spa 3 days per week or more and just love the ability to turn it on from anywhere and have it ready when we get to the house. We've had it operating for 3 years now and would make the same decision again.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,447
Bedford, TX
Ben,

The heater is the one exception to the "Same Manufacturer Rule"... almost all heaters can be controlled by automation.

Basically, you set the heater to its highest temperature and tell it to expect external control, and then the automation tells it when to turn on or off.

As you know, I don't have a heater, but if I did, I'm pretty sure I would buy a RayPak, just based upon this forum's recommendations.

Glad to see you back,

Jim R.
 

bankingdom

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
36
Texas
Thanks for the info guys!

I will probably go with the Raypak. Now there are so many models I'm confused which one to buy.

I will be converting to Salt Water. I think I need a 399 btu model, but which one? I need a Natural Gas version. Anyone have any specific model #'s and a good store to buy from? Any links would be appreciated.

I was looking at this one specifically:
raypak P-R406A
Raypak Digital 399,000 BTU Heater 009219. Raypak 009219. Raypak P-R406A-EN-C #50.

but then I saw one with Cupro-nickel. What is that for?

Also, it seems they have not changed these models for 10 years or so? Is that right? Do they just keep making 10 year old heater technology?
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
3,968
FL
Cupro-nickel is a mix of copper and nickel that is used in making the heat exchanger. It is really overkill on a residential pool. If you manage your water chemistry correctly, a standard copper heat exchanger will be just fine. No need to go with cupro-nickel if you have a salt chlorine generator.

There have been some changes in the new units from the old but as they say "if it isn't broke, why fix it." Raypak's are still the better unit on the market. It has fewer parts which means lower repair costs down the road if it should break.

The unit you mentioned above is fine for your setup. I am guessing you have a 400K BTU unit now?
 

CountryBumkin

Bronze Supporter
Jan 9, 2017
124
Orlando/FL
I just bought the RayPak 406A which is 400K BTU propane (with the cupro-nickel. It didn't cost much more than standard copper, and I have salt pool too so just some added protection).
I got it through INYO POOLS.
 

bankingdom

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
36
Texas
Thanks guys! I'm also getting the Raypak 406A NG cupro-nickel. It was actually cheaper than the all copper version, go figure.

I found Activepoolsupply.com has it for the cheapest and its a google trusted store (not sure if that means anything)

https://www.activepoolsupply.com/product/raypak-digital-natural-gas-pool-heater-399k-btu--electronic-ignition--p-r406a-en-c-009219-p-m406a-en-c-009965/35581

I will also look into INYO POOLS. Any issues with them?

I found all these places have huge restocking fees, so I want to make sure this is the right heater for me before i buy. I was leaning pentair because all of my other automation will be pentair, but like Jim said the heater from a different brand won't make much of a difference.

Thanks again.
 

denhajm

Active member
Apr 4, 2015
40
Western, WA
@bankingdom, I'm shopping for a new heater and have found this site to have good prices: https://www.poolsupplyunlimited.com/raypak-009219-pool-heater/86509p1
There the heater like you listed above is available for $1,831.32. Note this is not the cucpro-nickel one, but I didn't see that listed under the description in the link you posted. In fact it does say all-copper heat exchanger.

I've never purchased from them before, but I'm looking at getting a 250 to 266kbtu/hr heater soon and this supplier might be the one I purchase from. Looks like they are in California.
 

bankingdom

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
36
Texas
Quick update guys, just got my new Raypak installed!!!!!

Bought it from INYO and it was delivered on a truck in a week. Guy charged me $300 to install it.

Only issue is now I do smell a bit of gas. Installer was good and checked all the seals, he put the yellow junk glue all over and even checked for leaks with a flame, but it seems the smell is coming from INSIDE the heater itself. Do you think something could dislodge inside? Its pretty minimal, but its been a few days and I can still smell some lingering of it.

View attachment 58562

Thanks for all the help guys!
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
3,968
FL
Unless someone uses a gas sniffer, it might be hard to tell where it's coming from. Nothing inside that would dislodge and cause a leak. I see you have the main feed and then a line going back underground near the heater. Does that like look healthy? During the install wrenching on the pipe could have caused a leak if that pipe was rusting out. If it looks mushroomed out where it meats the ground, that could be your gas leak. Again, a gas sniffer would help find a possible leak better.
 

bankingdom

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
36
Texas
Thanks for the reply ps0303. The other line is going to our gas grill towards the house. It was working fine before the heater install. I did tell the guy to come back and check it out. I'll ask him to bring a gas sniffer, whatever that may be. Hopefully he knows what it is.

Great heater though! Heated my spa from 70 to 104 in less than 20 minutes.

Thanks!
 

Veccster

Bronze Supporter
Aug 30, 2016
353
Pittsburgh PA
I'm sure you know that Raypak does not warranty heaters purchased online???

I wanted the warranty so I bought that same heater locally - 406A NG with Cupro Nickle. It cost $2,238 after tax. The standard copper was only a few dollars cheaper so I wanted the extra protection of CuproNickel. And yes, it is slightly less efficient because it's thicker but that is a trade-off.
 

stevie3x

In The Industry
Feb 17, 2017
37
laguna hills , ca
2 issues i see. 1. should have installed the heater on blocks or bricks , will prevent the jacket [ metal ] from rusting out . 2. paint all of your exposed pvc pipes [ color or type doesn't matter] to protect against the harmful ultravilot rays of the sun , [ makes pvc brittle ] its code in some places ours included
 

Patrick_B

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2011
14,999
Midland TX
I just bought the RayPak 406A which is 400K BTU propane (with the cupro-nickel. It didn't cost much more than standard copper, and I have salt pool too so just some added protection).
I got it through INYO POOLS.
Congrats on the new unit! Mine has been good to me, but just have the copper one.

Just as a friendly tip, low pH and high Chlorine levels are real the enemies to a heater. Salt really doesn't matter or come into play until other corrosive conditions are present.
 

bankingdom

Active member
Feb 15, 2017
36
Texas
"I'm sure you know that Raypak does not warranty heaters purchased online???"

Veccster

Are you sure about this? I was told that as long as a "professional" installs the heater and gives a invoice the warranty is honored. I may have to call them tomorrow and find out the scoop.
 

Veccster

Bronze Supporter
Aug 30, 2016
353
Pittsburgh PA
"I'm sure you know that Raypak does not warranty heaters purchased online???"

Veccster

Are you sure about this? I was told that as long as a "professional" installs the heater and gives a invoice the warranty is honored. I may have to call them tomorrow and find out the scoop.
That is what they told me. Said they want to protect their dealer network. It also says it on their website.

I asked a couple local places if they could match the online price and found one that would. They even delivered to my house.

Also, pretty cool that the box it comes in has a tip verification. If the box is laid on its side during shipping, this will turn blue so you know. Mine apparently was not.





Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
967
Stuart/FL
Vec,

Very cool, I've never seen this tipping detector. Glad this all worked out for you. On the cupro-nickel I'd say you did the safe thing. I used this metallurgy in heat exchangers offshore for many years where salt water was on the water side. I seem to recall the metallurgists claim that the high cl content causes chloride stress cracking above 250 deg F. Our temps run that high during normal operation but I"m pretty sure it can get close each time the flow stops and heat transfers from the hot side. Don't know if it really works this way in pool water but as you say it doesn't cost much for the "insurance".

On your gas leak, I'll encourage you to make sure the tests are performed with a sniffer as you indicated above. Testing with a flame is not too smart. I don't notice any lingering odor on ours except just before and after it lights. Also, normally there is a particle trap for internal corrosion products and other particles to keep them out of your gas tubing inside the heater. It's simply a tee in the line with a short nipple capped and pointing down. Gravity makes the particles drop into the nipple. Maybe your short run from the main gas line makes this unnecessary but I think most manufacturers require it or possibly the gas line drop to your grill serves this purpose.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Chris
 

GDN

Bronze Supporter
Oct 17, 2016
308
Dallas, TX
I don't have any comment on the heater, etc. - only real comment is on a professional checking for a gas leak with a "flame". I'd never let him back on my property. The gas detector is probably the best way to go, but as some other mentioned soapy water is what the common homeowner will use. If there is a leak it will bubble. I don't see a shut off there (which would be a good idea if not code requirement) but had the flame caught just what would he have done for the next step?
 

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