Natural gas heater recommendation

echo

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2013
62
western new york
About to have a fiberglass 15k gal pool installed. Of the most popular(hayward,jandy,pentair,sta-rite,raypac,etc) heaters available which seems to be the most durable and problem free? The heater will also be located outdoors so one that is a bit more resistant to sun fade/weather would be a plus. I'm interested in a 200kbtu heater. The pool will probably will have a SWG as well.

Thanks in advance for replies
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,028
FL
Not only should you consider efficiency, but also the cost of owner ship. When something breaks on the unit what will it cost to repair. I can tell you that Master Temp, Sta Rite(Same as Master Temp , just a different outside shell), and the Hayward's, are all not cheap for repairs. All three have a blower motor to help exhaust the heat that comes off the burners. That in itself is not a cheap repair.

Raypak provides a relatively inexpensive unit that is simple and straight forward to operate. No extra bells or whistles. Does what it's suppose to do, heat water.
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
3,018
Long Beach, CA
My in-laws just replaced a 33 year old Raypak with a MasterTemp, and the MasterTemp already needs service after one day of use. They have a known problem with some of the units causing them to whine. It it supposed to be a quick easy fix.

They went with the MasterTemp because they replaced all of their equipment and their pool guy works with Pentair equipment. I wanted them to get a Raypak again, but they chose the MasterTemp.
 

diyindux

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2013
187
One thing to consider is that if you buy 3 or more pieces from the same manufacturer they usually up the warranty. I bought a Pentair VS pump, SWG, filter and StaRite heater and they all have a 3 year warranty now. Plus, I used my credit card for the purchase and it has a warranty extension as one of its features so that added a 4th year.

Based on what I have read, the salt in a pool with a SWG raises the tds level to the point where there is additional erosion of the inner surface of the exchanger. When the metal surface oxidizes, the material below it is protected from oxygen. With the higher solids content in the salt pools, this oxidized layer is eroded off more quickly exposing the fresh metal below it. This speed the process up. I went with the cupronickel exchanger to help, but I plan to set up my piping to allow the heater to be bypassed in the summer when I don't use it which should help extend its life. Of course, that won't do anything for the control board or blower motor but we'll see if it helps.
 

echo

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2013
62
western new york
ps0303 said:
Not only should you consider efficiency, but also the cost of owner ship. When something breaks on the unit what will it cost to repair. I can tell you that Master Temp, Sta Rite(Same as Master Temp , just a different outside shell), and the Hayward's, are all not cheap for repairs. All three have a blower motor to help exhaust the heat that comes off the burners. That in itself is not a cheap repair.

Raypak provides a relatively inexpensive unit that is simple and straight forward to operate. No extra bells or whistles. Does what it's suppose to do, heat water.
good info... seems as if folks here are quite happy with raypak... I suppose its worth the few extra bucks for cupro/nickel heat exchanger especially that I'm considering a SWG. Any manufacturers use a monel exhanger?
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,028
FL
Honestly as long as you keep your levels good, the cupro nickel is a waste in my opinion. The only time I see or even recommend it is on a commercial pool. No monel in pool heaters that I have ever seen or heard of.
 

diyindux

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2013
187
I was told by a rep from Pentair that I would probably be ok with the copper instead of the cupronickel but being that I was installing a salt pool I spent the extra $250 or so for the upgrade. If that $250 is the only money I waste on this pool I'll be happy.