Haward H200 Heat Exchanger: Repair-Replace-or buy new heater

mlyle11

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2011
10
Central Illinois
Hello all! What a crazy season start here in Central IL. 86 degree March had everyone fooled! I'm still waiting a few weeks, but plan to be going by 3rd, 4th week in April. Here is my dilemma.
Last year at season end my H200 heat exchanger developed a pinhole leak in the exchanger where one of the copper tubes makes u-turn out of the exchanger and goes back in. I removed the exchanger, soldered the pin hole, and it lasted me through the season end. It started leaking again just before close, a drip, not stream this time, but from the same area. I suspect a poor job of soldering with me and the old maap torch. However, I also suspect the exchanger may be on its way out because its 10 years old, and I let my alkalinity get out of hand last year a bit. I have also largely fed pucks from the skimmer, and know this can be hard on the exchanger. I will use a feeder this year or go back to bleach.

My questions are:
1) I can remove the exchanger and take it to a local radiator shop, that also does a lot of industrial repair (I use them at my assembly plant to repair the heat exchanger in our air compressors - they look about the same as my Hayward except 3X the size). I know they can pressurize the exchanger, clean it better than me, and do a heck of lot better job in the repair/solder. This will run me $100 or so. I worry that this is a Band-Aid, because I fear there are other pinholes waiting to appear. But at a $100, it might be worth the shot and the hour or so of labor.
2) Replace the heat exchanger. This runs about $600 - $700, and I have seen them as low as $550. I know this will work great, but then I wonder... what next... gas valve (300)? Burners (50 each, manifold for 100)? It seems every year I am doing more and more trouble shooting. Replacing switches, control, and sensors.
3) New heater. Is 10 years the right time? I can pick up a direct replacement for $1400-$1600, drop in and be "trouble free" for some time to come.

Thanks for reading through my ramblings! I appreciate any sage wisdom that cab be provided!

Mike
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
Re: Haward H200 Heat Exchanger: Repair-Replace-or buy new he

There is no single clear answer. Once you have a heat exchanger leak, you are very likely to have more leaks in other places soon. However, it is quite possible that you could get another year out of it for $100 using your first plan. Personally, I would go with plan 3, but that is just me. I suppose it really comes down to a question of how you value your time fiddling with the heater compared to the cost of getting a new one.
 

mlyle11

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2011
10
Central Illinois
Re: Haward H200 Heat Exchanger: Repair-Replace-or buy new he

Fair assessment! I think it's number 3 for me, and time to bite the bullet on SWG as well. Thanks for the feedback, I will watch the forum for a few more days then place my order.

I'll also start a search on threads regarding SWG, but anyone who happens to read and wishes to offer ideas, please do.

Thanks to Jason and other readers!
 

mlyle11

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2011
10
Central Illinois
Re: Haward H200 Heat Exchanger: Repair-Replace-or buy new he

I installed a new direct replacement H200. $1500 deliviered. I tore apart the old one to salavage any parts, and I'm very glad now that I bought new. After 10 years, many other parts were starting to deteriorate. If I had replaced the heater core, I would have been asking for more trouble to follow. Thanks all!
 

mlyle11

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2011
10
Central Illinois
Re: Haward H200 Heat Exchanger: Repair-Replace-or buy new he

I installed a new direct replacement H200. $1500 deliviered. I tore apart the old one to salavage any parts, and I'm very glad now that I bought new. After 10 years, many other parts were starting to deteriorate. If I had replaced the heater core, I would have been asking for more trouble to follow. Thanks all!
 
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