Heater Whistling Noise

Rack55

Member
Aug 14, 2018
9
Ottawa
Raypak 156A propane heater for above ground pool with ioniz, 3 years old.

Recently and fairly suddenly the heater has developed a high pitched whistling while it’s running. I have tried many troubleshooting options and really don’t want to remove the burner tray if I don’t have to. Here’s what I have done so far:

- Flushed the heater with muriatic acid.
- Removed the header and inspected the pipes in the heat exchanger for blockage, found nothing but rust, scrubbed with a wire brush but only the first 4” due to brush length limitations.
- removed the heat exchanger to expose the burner. Scrubbed the burner tray with wire brush. Blew it all out with air.
-checked all propane valves to ensure full pressure was coming in.

The only remaining suggestion I’ve found is to remove the burner tray completely and hose it down. I would really like to avoid this if possible since whenever I fire up the heater in the spring, it takes a looooong time for the propane to fill the system and fire the pilot. So I would like to avoid disconnecting the gas.

Finally, the sound only happens when the burner is running, however, the sound changes when I change the amount of water running through the heater. It is at its loudest when there is low flow and it’s quietest when it is at max water flow.
Often in the past, there is a whistling while the heater first fires up that disappears within a few seconds.

Any advice or input would be much appreciated!
 

swamprat69

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2019
600
Las Vegas, NV
It would seem to be a logical conclusion that if the pitch of the noise changes when you vary the water flow, it probably has nothing to do with the burners unless it is related to water temperature in the heater. You could try turning the gas valve to the "off" position and varying the water flow in order to see if the pitch changes are the same without the burners firing.
 

Rack55

Member
Aug 14, 2018
9
Ottawa
I was under the belief that the water flows through the heater at all times, is this not the case? Is there a valve that opens when the heater is fired up that allows water through?
Currently there is no sound when the burners are off, which would make sense if there was no water flowing.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,888
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I was under the belief that the water flows through the heater at all times, is this not the case? Is there a valve that opens when the heater is fired up that allows water through?
Currently there is no sound when the burners are off, which would make sense if there was no water flowing.
Some water flows through the heater at all times. However, there are a couple internal valves that regulate how much is let through the heat exchanger.
See pages 22-23 in https://www.royalswimmingpools.com/rp2100manual.pdf
 

Rack55

Member
Aug 14, 2018
9
Ottawa
Hey guys, so a couple updates. I tried turning the gas valve to off, which shut the noise down completely. Not surprising.
I then put in a brand new cartridge filter and ran it again. Now, the noise is less than before but still much more than it was a few weeks ago (no noise then).
When varying the water flow into the heater, it is quieter with my bypass valve either fully open or fully closed, and loudest when the valve is half open.
Up until this problem came about, I had been running it with the valve half open with no noise or issues.
There is a bypass valve inside the header, could this be malfunctioning and causing this?
 
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