Heater Questions from a noob

Hey guys,
I inherited a pool when I bought a house last fall, and the set up includes a Raypak Heater (Model 156). I just have a few (probably stupid) questions.

1) During my summer start up, should I try to isolate the heater from the system? My pH is likely going to be low on start-up and I don’t want to do any damage to the coils.

2) On a related note, I honestly don’t know how to do that. The plumbing is not pvc pipes, but rather flexible tubing… I have seen posts on how to set up a bypass system with a T split and a check valve on the other side, but is this possible if I only have the tubing? If so, what should I be looking for?

3) In the manual for the heater, it specifically says in bold, not to exceed 5 ppm of FC…. should that warning be seriously considered? If so I suppose I would constantly have to be on the low end of the recommended FC range (5-7) for the lowest recommended CYA (40ppm)

4) In relation to future possible SLAMs, similar to question 3, would I have to isolate the heater from the system in that case?

5) And finally, probably the stupidest question, I assume if it’s shut off, the water runs through the heater normally? For example, if the weather and solar cover are capable of maintaining the desired temp for weeks, I can shut off the heater (power button & gas valve) and the water will continue to circulate through the heater, it just won’t be heating the water?

Thank you in advance! Haley :)
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,900
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
1) During my summer start up, should I try to isolate the heater from the system? My pH is likely going to be low on start-up and I don’t want to do any damage to the coils.

Why is your pH going to be low?

How low is low?

Any pH in the 7's is ok.

2) On a related note, I honestly don’t know how to do that. The plumbing is not pvc pipes, but rather flexible tubing… I have seen posts on how to set up a bypass system with a T split and a check valve on the other side, but is this possible if I only have the tubing? If so, what should I be looking for?

Flex PVC is fine in an AGP. You can hard plumb parts of the equipment if necessary.

3) In the manual for the heater, it specifically says in bold, not to exceed 5 ppm of FC…. should that warning be seriously considered? If so I suppose I would constantly have to be on the low end of the recommended FC range (5-7) for the lowest recommended CYA (40ppm)

That is the pool equipment manufacturers parroting 30 year old industry guidelines. You are best to ignore it. If you want a comparison or TFP and pool industry methods read...



4) In relation to future possible SLAMs, similar to question 3, would I have to isolate the heater from the system in that case?

No. Chlorine levels are not damaging to heaters. Low pH below 7 can be.

5) And finally, probably the stupidest question, I assume if it’s shut off, the water runs through the heater normally? For example, if the weather and solar cover are capable of maintaining the desired temp for weeks, I can shut off the heater (power button & gas valve) and the water will continue to circulate through the heater, it just won’t be heating the water?

Yes, when the heater is "off" the pool water still circulates through it.

There is no reason to shut off the gas valve. Just turn the heater on and off using its control panel.
 
Why is your pH going to be low?
I tested the pH of my tap water and its below 7 (I believe it was 6.8), the pool water as its sitting now at under 7 (no circulation so I don't know what the actual pH will be, but I took two samples at opposite ends of the pool for an approximation), and the rain water here is under 7 (waiting for it to rain to get an actual value, but it is well known to be on the acidic side.)

Flex PVC is fine in an AGP. You can hard plumb parts of the equipment if necessary.
Can flexible tubing be attached to the diverter and check valve?

Thanks for answering more of my questions, Allen!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,900
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Can flexible tubing be attached to the diverter and check valve?

You call it flexible tubing. You need to look for labeling on it and see if it is schedule 40 flexible PVC...


Flex Schedule 40 PVC can be used like rigid PVC with the correct PVC glues.