Hayward H400 Heater - IF Code, Rusted bracket, how to get to and check the igniter

RonInSoFla

New member
Jul 4, 2020
4
West Palm Beach, FL
Pool Size
15000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Hi. I have a Hayward H400 natural gas pool and spa heater that is now around 15 years or so old. My kids wanted to use the spa over winter break but the heater was not coming on. I checked it myself and saw it was giving the IF code - ignition failure. I changed modes back to pool, waited for the valves to turn plus a few minutes more, and then changed back to spa mode. Once back in spa mode I attempted to turn on the heater and it behaved as it is supposed to when there is an ignition failure - 3 cycles of ignition attempts and then posted the IF code again. I can hear and smell the gas during ignition attempts but there was no "whoomp" and no ignition. I checked all of the obvious things - gas valve turned on, no tripped breakers, etc.

Next I removed the front cover and observed a temperature limiter just hanging from its black and white wires, because the metal bracket it (and the manifold) mounts to was significantly rusted-out, the screw holes for mounting it were gone, as were the mounting screws. Much of the rest of the bracket is rusted-out as well, there is rust on the edges of the burner tubes, but the rest of the inside of the heater and all other components appear to be ok. The manifold looks fine, and I used a paper clip to make sure all of the venturi injectors are clear of any spider webs or other blockages. Then I started checking all of the electrical connections I could see. When I got to the spade connections on the electronic gas valve, one of the wires came off in my hand as soon as I wiggled it, on the "TR" side of the gas valve. It appears to share a common connection with the wire above it so I'm thinking I can splice it in with that one or solder the connection. But that wouldn't explain the ignition failure since I know the gas is making it to the manifold and the burner tubes. Pics attached.

I wanted to check the igniter, but there is no bracket in place for it. I am guessing that back in the days when I used to call a service tech for these types of things, the rusting bracket may have already been an issue and he simply eliminated the bracket and ran the igniter and wire directly to where it needed to go. (See orange wire in pics)

My questions: I don't plan to be in my house more than another 2-3 years and don't want to replace the heater unless I have no other options. In terms of trying to order replacement parts online myself, I can't seem to locate the rusted bracket, am not sure if it comes with the manifold and if not, I don't know what that bracket is called so I can try to locate it, if it is even available. I stumbled through the Hayward site and some manuals and parts lists without success. Do I need to replace the gas valve or I can simply splice (or solder) the white wire into the connection above it as they appear to share a common connection on the "TR" side, or must I order and replace the gas valve? If replace, any guesstimate of the cost and a reputable site from which to order it? Any suggestions on how I can get to the igniter to try to inspect/check it for proper function, as the access panel on the side of the heater is near the top and gives no access to the lower half of the heater? Do I need to replace the burner tubes as well because of the rust?

Any and all suggestions and input gratefully accepted!
 

Attachments

swamprat69

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2019
372
Las Vegas, NV
It may be an uphill battle or next to impossible to repair in a manner that will allow the heater to be safely operated. The part that is badly rusted out is what I would call the "burner bracket". It does not seem to listed in the H400 manual as a replacement part. This is the part which it appears that the burners are attached to with screws at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock and which is then attached to the "cabinet frame" (also not a listed replacement part). The gas manifold is then attached over the burner bracket. With the amount of rusting on the burner bracket, the attachment of the burners to the bracket is questionable and I can see gaps around the point where the burners are attached to the burner bracket ( fourth photo ). Also difficult to see the screws that are holding the burners to the burner bracket (because of excessive rusting). Then you have correct the problem that caused the excessive rusting in the first place and make sure that all of the safeties are working correctly. If all of the parts are available it may be possible to repair, but as I mentioned before it could be an uphill battle at best.
 

RonInSoFla

New member
Jul 4, 2020
4
West Palm Beach, FL
Pool Size
15000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Thanks for your reply. It seems to me that there has to be a way to obtain/replace that bracket. The manifold and venturis all seem to be ok, and I can order new burner tubes to replace any that are bad. That would be considerably less costly than replacing the entire heater, especially given that I don't anticipate living in this house more than another 2-3 years at most. Any suggestions on how to locate and obtain a replacement for that "burner bracket"? And any reason I can't just splice or solder the broken spade connection on the "TR" side of the gas valve since they appear to share a common connection anyway?

I'm not particularly concerned about the cause of the rusting of the bracket in the first place. I'm in South Florida and the unit is around 15 or so years old and has been exposed to our tropical rain and humidity for all that time. Nothing I can do about that anyway.

Thanks!
 

swamprat69

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2019
372
Las Vegas, NV
The only thing that I can think of is to contact Hayward regarding the bracket. Without the bracket and considering the amount of rusting there is a possibility of burners falling off of the bracket and causing a very hazardous safety concern. As to the gas valve wiring it depends on if the terminal that broke off was the actual connection to the common side of the gas valve solenoid coil(s). Looking from the front of the heater, if you remove the left rear wire which goes to the external gas valve solenoid coil and show continuity between the right rear and left front connection you should be able to splice the wires on the right. If no continuity you would need to replace the gas valve.
 

1poolman1

In The Industry
Jul 14, 2014
66
Sacramento
Please be aware that it appears that your main gas valve has been exposed to a great deal of water and is badly corroded. The burner tray and burners are completely rusted. If you were to remove a burner you would find that the metering slots are burned out and would never form a proper flame. Your "rollout" switch, a very important safety device, is laying on the bottom of the cabinet. And I can go on.

Every heater school that I have ever attended has instructed that a heater with a corroded valve should NEVER be put back into service. They can fail "open" (on) and the heater would remain lit with no water flow. This is an extreme hazard, especially if the heater is located near a structure (your home?). I've seen the carnage when a homeowner has attempted this type of repair. You can never safely repair a gas valve. The operative word is SAFELY. No reputable repair person would even try to put this heater back into operation without replacing everything in the heater. Many of the parts required for that heater are no longer available, that's why you can't find them listed. Hayward stops making parts after about 10 - 12 years, sometimes sooner. Even if available the cost would be beyond that of a new heater.

This heater has reached end-of-life and beyond.
 
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