Heater question

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Hey all,

So of course this year my heater isnt working. 250k btu natural gas heater. Older than I am. Ok not quite. But it has to be over 20 years old.

The pilot light is on but the heater wont fire up.
I have American Home Shield. They have been great for my components. They sent a heater guy down.

He said I needed 2 parts:

1) Pilot generator assembly
2) pressure switch

Im sort of in a rush to get this thing going cause we have a huge party this weekend.
So just looking to see if Im being pointed in the correct direction. Do these parts make sense for a heater that's pilot runs without issue but burners wont fire up at all?

Thanks a lot!
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,049
FL
The pilot can be lit but not be supplying enough millivolts to actually run the system so it is possible that it has an issue. As for the pressure switch, I'm guessing they tested the entire safety circuit to know that it was bad.
 

Rocco

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2012
263
Manassas Park, VA
I have the Pentair Minimax Plus 400 heater. This is my number one problem with it. Can you tell us what lights on the front pane come on and which don't?

Almost every year it will not fire up at all or fire up and go out shortly after and then try to re-fire.

The most common issue for me is the burners are dirty. This could be due to spider webs blocking some of the orifices or even dirt and soot.


Below are the instruction to remove and clean the burner assembly via a service manual I found online a few years back.

To clean it you will need to:

1. Turn off the gas supply
2. Disconnect the gas union at the heater
3. Remove the gas pipe installed into the gas valve.
4. Remove the gas valve holding bracket.
5. Remove the gas valve wires.
6. Disconnect the ignition wire.
7. Slide the burner tray out.
8. You can remove the gas valve if you need to check the inlet and outlet screens (you will have to remove the pilot tubing).
9. Remove the bracket that holds the burners in place.
10. Remove each burner and check for any blockages.
11. Remove the main burner orifices and check for blockage.
12. Remove the pilot orifice and clean it (Do not use any sharp objects. It will destroy the designed orifice size!)

I also will normally take the top cover off and vacuum the heat exchanger to remove any soot from there.

If your heater is as old as you say it is possible it has gone a long time since it was last cleaned.
 

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
The pilot can be lit but not be supplying enough millivolts to actually run the system so it is possible that it has an issue. As for the pressure switch, I'm guessing they tested the entire safety circuit to know that it was bad.
Ok great. Thx a lot. Hopefully they will be back quick to install those parts.

- - - Updated - - -

I have the Pentair Minimax Plus 400 heater. This is my number one problem with it. Can you tell us what lights on the front pane come on and which don't?

Almost every year it will not fire up at all or fire up and go out shortly after and then try to re-fire.

The most common issue for me is the burners are dirty. This could be due to spider webs blocking some of the orifices or even dirt and soot.


Below are the instruction to remove and clean the burner assembly via a service manual I found online a few years back.

To clean it you will need to:

1. Turn off the gas supply
2. Disconnect the gas union at the heater
3. Remove the gas pipe installed into the gas valve.
4. Remove the gas valve holding bracket.
5. Remove the gas valve wires.
6. Disconnect the ignition wire.
7. Slide the burner tray out.
8. You can remove the gas valve if you need to check the inlet and outlet screens (you will have to remove the pilot tubing).
9. Remove the bracket that holds the burners in place.
10. Remove each burner and check for any blockages.
11. Remove the main burner orifices and check for blockage.
12. Remove the pilot orifice and clean it (Do not use any sharp objects. It will destroy the designed orifice size!)

I also will normally take the top cover off and vacuum the heat exchanger to remove any soot from there.

If your heater is as old as you say it is possible it has gone a long time since it was last cleaned.
Thanks! It is as old as Im saying it is :) Unfortunately!
There really arent any lights on the front. Theres a knob for cold and hot and a switch for on, off, and spa.
I had to hook up a digital fridge thermometer to it in order to control temps precisely for the spa. I would love to upgrade it to a new 400k one if they werent so darn expensive :)
 

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
Quick update:

Those parts were not what was bad. Plus they are no longer available since the heater is from '96 :)
So AHS is replacing the heater completely. Delivered tomorrow. I cant say enough good things about them.
A dual speed pump and natural gas heater a week apart. Incredible.
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,049
FL
Quick update:

Those parts were not what was bad. Plus they are no longer available since the heater is from '96 :)
So AHS is replacing the heater completely. Delivered tomorrow. I cant say enough good things about them.
A dual speed pump and natural gas heater a week apart. Incredible.
WOW count your lucky stars. Usually AHS isn't so nice. They usually find a way to deny a replacement.

Lucky for me that I still have some of the parts for this old unit. It amazes people when I pull them out of my van.
 

mitch08

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2008
408
Suffolk County, NY
WOW count your lucky stars. Usually AHS isn't so nice. They usually find a way to deny a replacement.

Lucky for me that I still have some of the parts for this old unit. It amazes people when I pull them out of my van.
I would've thought the same thing. But so far they have been fantastic for me. No problems.
They try to repair first and if not possible or cost effective they replace. Maybe the pool company they are using by me is good at convincing them. :)

- - - Updated - - -

Why would they replace a heater of it was more than 20 years old? Am I missing something?
Its one of those applicance insurance companies. I pay an extre $30/month to cover the pool equipment.
My dual speed pump stopped working and they replaced it no questions asked. Now my heater stopped working. They wanted to change out some parts but since the heater is from '96 they determined it wasnt possible and approved the replacement. I was shocked! It arrives tomorrow.

The only thing is, the old heater is so old that the electric needs to be upgraded and some gas plumbing needs to be done. They won't cover that. So I told them to just drop it off and my regular pool guy would take care of it. So it'll cost me a few hundred to install but I can't argue about that.