Raypak heater faults and rusting out

Too_Tall

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2018
70
Joshua, TX
Good day,

I have a Raypak 406a that's not working currently. We only fire it a couple times in the winter for the spa. This time around it initially threw a Hi temp 1 fault code at us. Upon taking the front panel off for inspection and clean out it seems the whole bottom part of the heater has rusted out. I don't know if it's exactly the firebox or what but seems to be rusting faster than an old jeep. Serial number puts its build date at 7/09, so over ten years old. Is this type of damage repairable or just start saving for another one? How would I keep the next one from rusting out so bad? Current heater is out in the open on a concrete pad with good drainage.

Thanks!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,231
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
10 years is a good run on an outdoor heater. You keep the next heater from rusting out as quickly by running it once a week or so for 15 minutes to keep moisture from forming rust. A heater run often lasts longer then an idle heater..

I will let @Pool Clown @ps0303 @swamprat69 issue the formal death certificate.
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,535
Tucson, AZ
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Those metal strips hanging down are part of the flame tray where the natural gas burns. I would not run that heater in that condition as you could get flame roll out to the bottom of the heater. Sort of looks like a small animal (rodent) may have gotten in there and was pulling it apart to find a place to sleep. It looks like it needs to be rebuilt but with the bottom all rusted out like that, you may just be throwing good money after bad.

Time for a new heater in my opinion ... and yes, run it more often.
 
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Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
2,187
Silicon Valley, CA
A few things...
Yes, those are the flame rails or burners. They have become disconnected from the jets and the heater should not run like that.
Assuming that the heat exchanger is not leaking, the only moisture that you would get underneath the burners is condensate. Not only does the water itself promote rust, but also the Low or acidic Ph of the water accelerates the rusting process. You can get condensate when the heater is heating the water from a Cold temp to a warm or hot one. Your not going to get condensate the whole time it is heating, only as the water temp passes up through a certain temp range (as its being heated). I want to say it stops around 68 degrees. I used to remember more... The fact is, your going to get it, and you cant really avoid it UNLESS the water never drops below the low 70s. What I'm getting at here is, running the heater "every so often" to keep the rust away won't. Don't get me wrong, you should run it every so often, to keep other components from failing prematurely. Having said that, Raypak has done some improvements to the floor of the heater since 2007 with regard to rust resistance, and you will see it when you buy your new one.
 

Too_Tall

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2018
70
Joshua, TX
New heater it is, got it! Do we have preferred vendors for a new heater? I'm pretty handy but with this being gas related I'll probably leave the install to a local pro. Any recommendations in the DFW area? I'll probably call the original builder as well to get a quote.

Thanks folks!
 

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
2,187
Silicon Valley, CA
I would say stay with the brand you have, Raypak. If you decide to get a larger size (BTU) you will have to assess the gas line (size) to make sure it can handle the extra gas demand or volume requirement of the new heater.
 
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