Hayward H200 "sooting up"

flyweed

Bronze Supporter
Aug 4, 2009
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48
SW Wisconsin
#1
[attachment=0:2yw3ak2z]heater.jpg[/attachment:2yw3ak2z]Hi all

I notice that when I started my heater up today that it was "smoking" a bit more than usual. Didn't really think anything of it..until I came back later, and noticed all the vent slots on top were black with "soot"...I took the front panel off and noticed that all the flames are coming out pretty orange..which I know means that it isn't burning efficiently..they are normally almost all blue in color.

Is this lack of air intake, or ?????? what is going on?? I've had this heater up and running in the same location for years and never had this problem?

Any help troubleshooting would be great.

Thanks
Dan

PS---here is a photo of the top of the heater
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,649
2
#2
I would suspect that the burners and/or the heat exchanger are corroded and preventing proper airflow. I would recommend that the heater not be used until it can be thoroughly inspected and repaired.

The top is easy to remove so that you can check the heat exchanger. The burners can be seen if you remove the cover plate near the front of the burner tray.
 

flyweed

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Aug 4, 2009
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SW Wisconsin
#3
James

thanks for the quick reply...How do you remove the top? I already have the front off, and if need be, I can pull the burners out to clean up. I read the manual, and I guess something as small as a spider web in the burner can cause this issue as well..so I suspect both burner and exchanger could use a good power washing.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,649
2
#4
The top is held in place by two spring clips. Just lift up to remove the top.

You might need to use a flathead screwdriver to pry up, but it should come up fairly easily.
 

techguy

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 21, 2010
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Antelope, CA
#6
In my experience of working with HVAC professionals, I believe a sooted heat exchanger/furnace/heater is a sign that the exchanger has a crack and is dead. If it were the result of the incorrect orifice on the burner it would have been noticed earlier. A quick Google search showed the when you get soot, its time to replace the exchanger and if you need to replace the exchanger, it probably time for a new heater. Part of this is cost of the new exchanger part and then the cost of taking a heater 100% apart to fit the exchanger to find out it was another part that accelerated the failure of the exchanger.

Just wanted you to maybe consider simply replacing and getting a more efficient heater in the end.
 

techguy

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Jul 21, 2010
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Antelope, CA
#7
We vary careful cleaning the exchanger, if you cause a hole or crack... its garbage. In the thread I read, cleaning the exchanger often caues its death when you remove a rust flake and make a hole.

I have never directly worked on these, this is based on personal experience of having a failed exchanger and selling exchanger parts. When I worked for Trane, if the furnace had a exchanger warranty failure, it was often cheaper for the home owner to pay for the replacement the entire furnace (not warranty) than to pay for the labor-only cost of a new "free" heat exchanger part (labor is not covered for these, covered part only).
 

flyweed

Bronze Supporter
Aug 4, 2009
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#8
well, I am an optimist, and a pretty handy Home DIY'er as well. I have the heater apart already, and am "carefully" cleanning between the exchanger fins with water, and cleaning the burner as well. If it was cracked or had a pinhole somewhere, I assume I'd notice a small leak in the bottom of the heater (without heat turned on of course). I am going to let it air dry overnight and fire it back up tomorrow and see what it looks like.

here is a short video I just took as I remove the final covering of the heater exchanger, and before I have done any cleaning. http://youtu.be/S6obHdV712U
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,682
0
western NY
#9
Sound like the burners need to be cleaned. Also, at the front where they connect to the gas manifold there are usually adjustable air doors. Make sure these are not clogged. Unfortuantly, you may need to open the top of the burner chamber as the soot buildup may have clogged the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger in these are tubular with fins. If there were a leak in the exchanger there would be water coming out
 

flyweed

Bronze Supporter
Aug 4, 2009
524
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SW Wisconsin
#10
I am HAPPY to say that TechGuy is wrong and danpik is correct. Being that my father in law works for Wisconsin Fuel and Light, and is pretty much a gas expert. I called him up and texted him some video and photos. I did clean the heat exchanger entirely out since I had it all opened up..and since I had it all opened, it was very easy to get down into the top of the burners too, so cleaned them good as well. Danpik you again are correct, if heat exchanger was cracked or had a hole it would be leaking, or at least seeping or dripping somewhere, which it was not. After cleaning the heat exchanger it looked in remarkably good condition. After I cleaned everything off, I sucked out remaining water with shop vac and let air dry for a bit. I started it back up just a bit ago, and I now once again have some nice blue flames coming out of the burner with just a bit of orange at the tops of the flame..and NO SMOKE coming out off the top.

WHOO HOO..with that being said.......If I would have had to replace the heat exchanger, I think I would have....as I had this thing broke down so far tonight anyway..All I would have had to do was disconnect a couple more wires, and the water connections and I could have lifted the old heat exchanger right out, and sat a new on in it's place. So I feel confident I could easily replace the exchanger IF need be at some point.

Dan
 

flyweed

Bronze Supporter
Aug 4, 2009
524
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48
SW Wisconsin
#12
Techguy....I am glad that you were wrong too!! :) while I would be up to the task of changing the heat exchanger....I STILL didn't really want to shuck out $600 this far into the season, thats for sure.