Pool Heater is down for the count

dkrob58

Member
Aug 23, 2017
14
Surprise, AZ
Hi Folks,
I live in Surprise, AZ and I have a 15 year old hayward 400,000 btu heater. The weather is cooling down and I went to start the heater the other day and the amount of rattling that was coming from the heater you would have thought it was going to blow up. A pool Tech said it is probably the heat exchanger and for the age of the unit it is probably time to replace it.

So, I am in the process of reviewing different pool heaters and I thought I would reach out to you folks. I am looking at a Pentaire Master Temp 460736 or the 460805 which has nickel-copper alloy that is much stronger and the Hayward H400FDN Universal H-Series. Can anyone give me there thoughts on these three heaters. So appreciate any input. At the moment I would lean towards a Hayward as the last one worked well for 15 years. Thanks for your help.

dkrob58
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
Dkrob,
My Hayward heater is similar to your size (H300) and Similar age (installed 2001). Works fine, but I’m really careful with the areas I know can crack and have an issue like you did. The casing of our Hayward’s are all steel and the new ones (Pentair too) use a lot of plastic. Raypaks are comparably built like a brick - house.

Usually desert life is good to our heater‘s exchangers—and cupronickel isn’t absolutely necessary. I had a 33 year old Raypak heater at my old home, they are still built similarly today.
I’m not impressed with the current line of Pentair models, the plastic casings just don’t do well in desert climates. The Hayward exchangers apparently are prone to leaks at the bulkhead connection points, and the way Raypak does it leads to a more modular replacement if leaks ensue, so the copper exchanger lasts for decades, where the electrical equipment and panels fail long before them. Friends with newer Raypaks have had to replace the button/LED panels from UV heat damage, but it’s a inexpensive fix. They're all suffering from similar issues, but the tough money is on Raypak.

Most on this forum, myself included, vote strongly for Raypak. The prices really spiked on heaters in last 2 years, but I found a 336k-btu model for $1400+tax shipped maybe a year ago.
 
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swamprat69

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2019
96
Las Vegas, NV
You really need to know where the where the rattling is coming from. The most likely place for a rattling noise to be coming from is the combustion air motor assembly squirrel cage ( the part that acts like a fan) as it is one of the few moving parts in the heater. If the heat exchanger has a buildup inside of the tubes the noise would be more like a ticking or gurgling. My H400 is 13-14 years old and is still going strong except for some minor repairs that I have done. If you can isolate the noise to the part just below where the hot air discharges you may just need to replace the combustion blower.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,453
Chapel Hill, NC
Heat exchangers don't rattle unless they are loose (they either leak or they don't leak). Find the sources of the rattling before you junk it and buy a new one.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
If necessary, certain copper areas can be welded—not for the amateur though. Many of the older heaters chug along with these repairs as they have no CPVC parts. There’s a couple pool repair people I know that carry a welder and can TIG weld (some parts of) copper exchangers and some of the thicker parts of the copper alloys in heaters. It’s a $100 fix in some cases.