Heater not igniting

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
I have a Haywood natural gas pool heater, H250FDN. Recently it's been acting up. When I opened my pool this spring the heater wouldn't start. There was all sorts of clicks and but it didn't ignite. The temperature display started flashing and the amber service light was lit. usually I hear the clicks, some fan start and then the ignition. It eventually cured itself though the next day and all was fine through out the summer.

Well, I'm back to the same problem now except the problem won't go away. I pulled the cover off the front and did a quick inspection and didn't see anything obviously wrong. It's not a big deal because I was going to close the pool in a couple of weeks but I would like to get some advice anyway in case I'm in for a major repair/expense.

Thanks.
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,029
FL
No error code on the display? Usually this unit will provide an error code on the display.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
Hi. Thanks for responding. I don't see any error code. Unless the 56 flashing is an error code and not the temperature. Which I thought was a reasonable temperature given the climate I live in.
 

Chuckiechan

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2014
448
Roseville, CA
Looking at your wiring diagram from Hayward, it appears to be similar the standard system used in home central heaters.

I'd suggest you find your igniter, and buff it up with steel wool.

To do a through job, remove it and lightly sand where it is attached to the frame, and clean the igniter itself.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
Okay I'll check that. I'm concerned though that I don't hear the blower/fan start up. My furnace at home does something similar. When the thermostat triggers, there's a bunch of clicking noises (I assume relays) from the furnance, the fan starts, and then a few seconds later another persisitant clicking which I believe is the igniter. And then finally a woosh as the thing actually lights.

I get the impression the fan not starting is a big deal and preventing the rest of the start up procedure.
 

Chuckiechan

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2014
448
Roseville, CA
What happens in a normal furnace, is the igniter lights the burner and if there is no electrical signal saying the burner is lit, it shuts off the burner.

This service manual has troubleshooting, in case you don't have it.

OOPS...:

http://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/manuals/Manual225.pdf

One more thing... in the digital world trouble code Sb could look like 56.

I'd just read the trouble shooting, find out how to get a trouble code, and hope it is something simple like an igniter.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
Hey thanks again. I've got the manual and I think I know what's wrong. On page 46 the manual talks about he vacuum blower switch:

"The blower vacuum switch is a safety device that prevents the ignition sequence from continuing unless
the blower is developing sufficient airflow for combustion. Figure 31 shows the location of the blower vacuum
switch in the heater cabinet. When the blower achieves sufficient airflow, the negative pressure created in
the blower housing closes the contacts on the blower vacuum switch, indicating to the ignition control board
that it is safe to continue the ignition sequence. A silicone tube connects the blower vacuum switch with the
blower as shown in Figure 31."

I'm pretty sure there is something wrong here. The heater is definitely not getting to the ignition stage. Maybe the tube is clogged or the switch is actually broken.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
Gah! Went out today to inspect the heater to confirm my suspicions. Of course the bloody thing decided to work today. I guess I should be thankful about that :)
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,029
FL
These units are very good at displaying error codes. I would not suggest pulling the ignitor and cleaning it unless you get a code that shows failure to ignite. You could make things worse by doing that.

How cold is your water?
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
Today the heater said 65. Which was a little suspicious since the temperature setting also said 65. Which is also odd as I'm pretty sure last time I adjusted it, I set it to 70. I'm thinking of just turning off the heater altogether now. Things are pretty cool now and no one wants to go swimming any more.

I'm a little worried about the chlorinator not functioning properly at such low temperatures. I want to keep filtering etc. until I finally close the pool in a couple of weeks to prevent algae build up.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
Oh man. Things just keep getting better. Today I went out and discovered the heater is leaking. You should have seen the steam coming off it when it was running. I decided to turn it off at the breaker. I didn't want the steam condensing on the control panel for the chlorinator and messing it up too.
 

dbigstick

Member
Sep 4, 2010
6
I occasionally had issues with my heater lighting. A teck that was out onaother matter while system was under warranty helped me fassion a samll hook out of extra wairt that is just samller that the venturi for each of the burners. Apparently spiders like to nest in the venturies and the low NOX heaters are very sensitive about flow. I have now learned i can either set the heater to run for 10 minutes or so a couple of times a week or to clean the venturis if it has not been run in a while.
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,725
western NY
Oh man. Things just keep getting better. Today I went out and discovered the heater is leaking. You should have seen the steam coming off it when it was running. I decided to turn it off at the breaker. I didn't want the steam condensing on the control panel for the chlorinator and messing it up too.
I would not jump on the leak thing just yet, The fact that the air is getting cooler and the water temp is too may be contributing to condensation forming when the unit is running. although not as bad as a leak it can still be damaging to a heater in that the condensation pulls the soot out of the exhaust stream and deposits it inside the heater on the exchanger and other internals. This will eventually lead to a sooted up heat exchanger.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
I would not jump on the leak thing just yet, The fact that the air is getting cooler and the water temp is too may be contributing to condensation forming when the unit is running. although not as bad as a leak it can still be damaging to a heater in that the condensation pulls the soot out of the exhaust stream and deposits it inside the heater on the exchanger and other internals. This will eventually lead to a sooted up heat exchanger.
Understood but there was a lot of steam. There was even water inside the front cover. I suspect a leak in the heat exchanger. The steam goes everywhere and condenses everywhere.
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,725
western NY
Don'd doubt the amount of water, what you may be seeing is similar to how condensing furnaces/Boilers work. Of course in those the condensation is collected and sent to a drain. My condensing boiler will produce about 3 gallons of condensation/day when running. My pool heater, on a cool damp morning, will look like it is on fire with all of the steam rolling off of it. With your daytime temps being in the low 50's, it is not a good time to be running the boiler as the air temps now will cause an enormous amount of condensation

If you think there is a leak, the water will still be present when ever the pump is running. Try running only the pump for a couple days without the heater and see if the water still is present.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
I opened my pool two weeks ago and got back to my "leaky" heater problem. I ran the pump without the heater for almost a week as suggested by danpik. I did not observe any water around the heater or anywhere actually.

When I finally fired it up (miracles upon miracles, it actually started first time), I still see a lot of steam. Even if it isn't even that cold outside there is a lot of steam. Initially I thought the heater was damp from being outside and unused for 6 months. A week on and the steam issue is still present.

I'm wondering now if the exhaust isn't being vented properly. Unfortunately I don't know enough about what I'm doing to properly diagnose the problem.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
So I've been having lighter problems again. I got a code 1F which means there were too many restarts. From what I can tell the unit seems to ignite but almost immediately shuts off. I actually had it go for about 20 seconds or so before shutting down. This spawned numerous attempts at restarting. Sometime it would (but only run for a few seconds) other times it would not.

Because of this, its been hard to pin down what it going on with the "leak". Looks like I might have to call in a professional.
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,029
FL
1F is actually IF for ignition failure. A few things it could be such as a bad flame sensor or fuel supply issue. If it's lighting and then in 4 seconds shuts off, very likely the flame sensor. You could try removing it and cleaning it with some steel wool.
 

jkayca

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2014
76
Ottawa Ontario
Update: After running the pump with the heater off for a day or two, I noticed there was still water underneath the heater on the concrete pad. It turns out the heat exchanger is shot. I'm looking for the part for my particular model, H250FDN. This is the natural gas version. There is apparently a propane version, H250FDP. Looking at the parts it seems the same exchanger is used for both types. Does that make sense?

Hayward Heat Exchanger Assembly - H250FD - FDXLHXA1250 - Toronto Pool Supplies