Design Flaw in Hayward Pool Heaters Causing CE Error Codes

Bish K

New member
Jul 22, 2020
I have been a pool owner for about 20 years now. I have a 21' diameter above ground pool. It is heated by a Hayward 250 unit. The unit is the 2nd one we have had over a period of 20 years. I too experienced problems with the control panel on the and ended up replacing it on the first unit. The current unit is about 5 years old. It was purchased to replace the original one after the heat exchanger failed with leaks.

I write today after experiencing the pool owner's dreaded "CE" error.

The reason I joined this board/blog is to share with others after I recently read hundreds of posts, some dating over 10 years ago, throughout the Internet regarding the Hayward heater issues. When I summarize all the experiences other had, and recommendations of 'experts' and the manufacturer it becomes clear to that there IS a design flaw in the Hayward units that allows moisture to get into the area of the control panel and circu20200722_144638.jpgit board (s). It is also evident that Hayward has sufficient evidence of this deficiency in their product, and had more than enough time to correct it. It would seem they would prefer to continue to rake in money on expensive part replacements. If I were a lawyer I would be filing a class action suit for all those who have been wronged by Hayward's inaction to either redesign or replace a lemon product.

I too purchased a metal cover (from others) for the control panel to avoid the sun beating down on it (see photo). The thought at the time was this would help avoid the intense heat from burning out the panel. After reading tomes of posts regarding this specific Hayward heater issue, and with recommendation remedies ranging from replacing the board(s) both purchased by the pool owner or 'free' from the manufacturer, sealing the control panel bezel with silicone, putting plastic over that part of the unit, or in one case a pool owner removing the control panel whenever the pool wasn't in use(!), the correlation between the presence of moisture and the CE code is overwhelming.

We recently had a good week of heavy rains and this morning the unit had the "CE" error. The keypads were non responsive. I unplugged the unit from its power source and waited a good 30 seconds and then plugged it back in. The buttons now responded and I was able to set it to "Pool". I reset the temperature to the setting of 85 degrees and shortly afterwards the vent fan turned on followed by the burners. It has been working without issue.

I will be taking extra measures to seal the control panel bezel with silicone and look further on how the control panel and related circuit board might be installed into a weatherproof box. Meanwhile I hope someone with some legal tenacity will try to get restitution for all those who were taken advantage of by Hayward for a defective design.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Thanks for your report. We have had quite a few threads about the CE error. Here is a long one that started in 2012...



New member
Aug 16, 2020
New York
I was recently, or still having problems with my Hayward pool heater . My unit , 400 model, was installed 3 years ago .

I was getting the CE code . After 2-3 weeks of on and off usage I figured out the cause .

When I turned It on first thing in the morning , shade in backyard, unit fires right up. However, if I wait until mid day or afternoon when the hot sun hits my backyard and the unit and panel is hot , it won’t fire up . The dreaded CE code appears.

Family is on to it and knows to only turn it on in the morning.

Don’t know where to go from here . May just live with it. Maybe I’ll make a shade cover for the unit.