Raypak 2100 won't start this year

Jun 6, 2017
8
Los Altos
My old Raypak 2100 was working last fall, but when I try to start it this year I get a "Clean Filter Strainer" service code. I have cleaned everything on the heater, backwashed, checked and cleared all baskets (skimmer and at pump). Pressure appears to be perfectly strong, and no different from in previous years. Based on what I can find on line, it seems the Pressure Switch may be faulty. Is that likely, do these fail? or is there another possible explanation?

If it is the pressure switch, are these simple to replace? The part number on mine is MSPS-EE05-071. I can locate on line for about $50 replacement switches with same specs labeled MSPS-EE05SS that look identical (Barksdale, the Little General, Single Setpoint .5-5.0). Do you simply remove the wires from the spades, unscrew, screw in the new one and reconnect the wires? Or do you need to adjust the set point, and how?

As a pool owner who maintains his own pool with help when needed from my installer, I don't know if this is something I can DIY or not. But given Shelter in Place orders, my installer is not open for business, otherwise I would have them take care of it. We would like to use the pool for exercise during the shelter in place, but unless I can get the heater working ...

Thanks for advice!

Bill in Bay Area
32K gallon in ground, Pentair EasyTouch PL4/Screenlogic, Intelliflo VS+., TA60D sand filter, Polaris 280, and Intellichlor salt cell
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
18,406
You can remove the wires from the pressure switch and check the resistance to see if the switch is closed or open.

If it's open when you know that the pressure and flow are good, the switch is probably bad.
 
Jun 6, 2017
8
Los Altos
Thanks Allen and James, I'll try those tests.

If it is a faulty switch, can I just replace that easily? I don't see how to adjust the pressure set point, and I don't know what it should be set to.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
18,406
The switch is relatively easy to replace.

Just be sure to make it watertight with teflon tape or sealant.

It shouldn't need adjustment if the heater base is about at the pool deck level.
 
Jun 6, 2017
8
Los Altos
OK, I bypassed the pressure with as Allen suggested. The low pressure message went away, and the screen said "Ignite" but nothing happened. So I took off the pagoda top, the front housing panel and did an even more thorough job of cleaning. When I turned the heater back on, it worked! BUT ...

... BUT there were visible flames coming out of the heater all around the pilot light. I'm done DIY'ing this sucker.

Just one more question: How long do heater's last? Maybe it's time for a new one.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
18,406
Heaters should last at least 10 years, but they don't always last that long.

How old is the heater?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,001
Northern NJ
Just one more question: How long do heater's last? Maybe it's time for a new one.
Some last 5 years and some last 15+ years. All depends how it is maintained and how often it is used. More frequent use is actually better for heater life.

You sure everything is assembled correctly in the burner section? We recently saw a Raypak heater where the burners were installed upside down.

What color were the flames? Yellow or blue?
 
Jun 6, 2017
8
Los Altos
Well that makes me feel better about getting a new one. This one is between 15 and 20 years old (installed before we moved here).

Flames were yellow. What's the significance of blue vs yellow?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
18,406
The manufacturing date for Raypak is in the serial number.

Before 1995, it was month (first 2 digits) and then year (digits 3 and 4).

Beginning in 1995, they changed to year and month.

For example, Serial number 1604304448 was made in April 2016.

Yellow flame is due to incomplete combustion.

Sounds like you might have a sooted up heat exchanger.

Probably time for a new heater. Have the gas supply evaluated by a qualified gas contractor to make sure that it's good for your new heater.
 
Jun 6, 2017
8
Los Altos
Here's a picture of what it looked like, for your amusement:

December of 2000, based on serial number. Rarely used during my ownership, since 2005.

Now I'm off to look for other discussions to read about new heaters and best recommendations ...

Thanks again!

Bill in Bay Area
32K gallon in ground, Pentair EasyTouch PL4/Screenlogic, Intelliflo VS+., TA60D sand filter, Polaris 280, and Intellichlor salt cell
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,001
Northern NJ
Looks like flame rollout...


As James said it is caused by sooted up heat exchanger or clogged burners. Spiders and other insects get into the area and clog things up.

For a new heater get another Raypak.
 
Jun 6, 2017
8
Los Altos
I see on other threads that you recommend the Raypak or the Pentair, Allen. Both come in regular and low NOx versions. After reading, I don't see why anyone wouldn't get the low NOx version. Is there something I'm missing?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
18,406
Low NOx heaters normally have somewhat higher efficiencies and exhibit much lower NOx emissions.

They were developed to satisfy low NOx emissions requirements as first imposed by the South Coast Air Quality Management District in California.

Your area might require a low NOx heater.

You might be in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Heaters used exclusively to heat swimming pools, hot tubs, or spas and the rated heat input is less than 400,000 BTU per hour are exempt in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The 400,000 btu heaters are usually listed as 399,000 or 399,999 btu/hr. Probably to slip in under the 400k btu/hr limit.

I would recommend a low NOx heater in any case.
 
Last edited:
Jun 6, 2017
8
Los Altos
It seems they are more efficient, slightly, and friendlier on the environment. Is there any downside to them (shorter life, more expensive, etc.)? If not, why do makers bother carrying two lines? Why not only make low NOx heaters?

I'll get one in any case.

Thanks!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
18,406
They tend to be more expensive and possibly more expensive to maintain due to the increased complexity.

Heater are all over the place as far as reliability goes.

Some people get 20+ years and others get 5 years.

Installation and operation are important to longevity.

Manufacturers tend to alternate between cost cutting and investing in quality depending on the current management.

Manufacturers initially invest in quality to get a good reputation.

Then, new management slashes costs and hopes that their reputation doesn't suffer until the leaders have left.

It's virtually impossible to keep up with who has the best quality year by year and manufacturers count on that to be able to cut quality when they feel like it.