Raypak Heater - Rollout SW Open

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
544
Chicago, IL
Hi,

Last weekend I was heating my pool for several hours, went out to check the temp and it had shut down displaying a 'rollout switch open' error.

So, I know I need to replace that switch, but also need to determine the root cause of the switch opening.

I’ve had some mice attempt to nest in the heater a few times this summer but have gotten them out and attached mesh screens to all of the openings so that should take care of that. The mice seem to have chewed some of that foam that I believe is insulation that is visible when the top lid is removed, but not any wires or anything that I can see.

I used a leaf blower to try and clear out/loosen some of the debris and (hopefully, maybe?) clear out gas orifices, and then shop vac’d into every nook I could.

Seems that the usual suspects for this are, wind, debris in orifices, or sooting. I don't recall that it was a particularly windy day, hoping my shop vac/leaf blower treatment helped with debris where it shouldn't be. Is sooting something that can build up over time (heater is 6 years old) under proper operation or is it strictly indicative of a problem? I’ve observed the flames recently (several weeks ago) and they all looked fine – consistently blue, no orange, etc. so not sure how likely sooting is as a cause? Is there a way to visually inspect for sooting without taking lots of things apart?

Otherwise, my plan is to replace the switch, start it up with front door removed and observe if there are any flames rolling out the front. Does that sound reasonable as next steps? Or should I completely remove the burner tray for cleaning? Any other troubleshooting I should be doing?

As an aside - I see these switches ranging in price from $6-$35..... is it a matter of original raypak parts vs generic? This amazon link says it is raypak, but I am skeptical: https://www.amazon.com/Raypak-00589...out+switch+406a+005899F&qid=1633382445&sr=8-3

Thanks
Paul
 

Poolbreh

In The Industry
Jul 31, 2021
272
San Diego
Hi paul,
Sounds like you have done your research and are on the right path. Soot is just carbon, I’ve heard it can come from too much flow or a lean flame. Don’t quote me, but I’ve encountered it few times. I use a leaf blower and open the top and blow the fins and soot out the best I can(it makes a mess) air compressor and/or shop vac works too, from the bottom up, top down. Wear a mask. You can also remove the whole heat exchanger and pressure wash(best). But it’s more work. I would pull the burner tray out and use compressed air but it involves removing/undoing gas so it’s what you feel comfortable with. Once it clean you inspect and monitor flames. If the flames come out the front at all, shut it down and do another cleaning or post here. As far as the part, the model number is the same as the manual.
 
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Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
544
Chicago, IL
Thanks Poolbreh. We are at the end of the season here (most pools that I can see are already closed) however, we have happened to have unusually warm weather on Columbus Day something like 4 of the last 5 years and are supposed to be in the high 70s this weekend once again. So, it has become kind of a novelty to swim amongst all of the fall colors for us. I am thinking I will put off removal of burner tray and heat exchange until after this weekend and see if my compressed air, leaf blower, shop vac did enough and flames all look ok (I see zero evidence of sooting). I am reasonably handy and have made some minor repairs on the heater in the past, however, I am a little hesitant when it comes to reconnecting the gas pipes (It has been awhile), though I would certainly do the soapy water test to ensure no leaks, use pipe dope where needed, etc. The problem is that I can hardly find anyone in this area that works on pool heaters and the few I do find are nearly impossible to get over to the house given events and through the roof demand for all things pool since last year.

I am thinking I could also just take things apart, clean them myself and then hire gas plumber to reconnect things. Should be able to get one of those between now and next pool season.

Thanks again.
 
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Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
544
Chicago, IL
All right. I replaced the roll out switch and heater fired up. Ran it for about 5 min with front cover off and saw no flames rolling out from the burner tray or anything like that. Got down on the ground to look at flames and saw blue everywhere except for the end burner I could see some orange/yellow at the top of what looked like a very tall flame. But, because it is the end burner I can see far more of that flame than I can any others, so can't tell if that is normal. See pic, does that look ok?

(Incidentally, I saw the mouse scurry away from underneath the heater, so seems that is where he has tried to live now. Would it actually get hot there? I assume that is what caused him to run.)
 

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Poolbreh

In The Industry
Jul 31, 2021
272
San Diego
Hi paul, that picture looks like there is something on top of the burner or the burner is dirty. I would definitely try and correct that before running heater again. It’s also where the flames came out from before, you can see the scorch marks.
 

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
544
Chicago, IL
10/4. I see what you mean on the scorch marks now that I look closer. I'm going to see if I can get in there with a long brush of some kind. I'm desperately wanting to get use out of it this last unusually warm weekend before closing so hoping to avoid taking a bunch of things apart.
 

ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,127
FL
A down draft of air can also cause a flame to shoot back out the front and trip the rollout switch. But definitely check and make sure there isn't anything sitting on top of the burner. I also see white flakes on the bottom of the unit. I hope the mouse you saw isn't destroying the refractory inside the heater.
 

Pauls234

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 4, 2012
544
Chicago, IL
I used a dryer vent cleaning brush on the top of the burners as best I could (without pulling it out). I don't see anything on top of the burners but can only see so much. Fired up the heater, I thought the flame looked a little better, but then did see it shoot out the front right near the rollout switch so shut it down.

So next step is pull the burner tray and give it a good cleaning? Is it the port holes I'm looking to clean? Is a wire brush the appropriate tool for this?

Paul - it's not destroyed but the mice did definitely chew a piece of the refractory and that is the white flakes you are seeing. See pic
 

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ps0303

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jul 6, 2011
4,127
FL
I used a dryer vent cleaning brush on the top of the burners as best I could (without pulling it out). I don't see anything on top of the burners but can only see so much. Fired up the heater, I thought the flame looked a little better, but then did see it shoot out the front right near the rollout switch so shut it down.

So next step is pull the burner tray and give it a good cleaning? Is it the port holes I'm looking to clean? Is a wire brush the appropriate tool for this?

Paul - it's not destroyed but the mice did definitely chew a piece of the refractory and that is the white flakes you are seeing. See pic
Yes pull the burner tray and check the burners out. Also, when you have the tray removed, look up inside the u nit and see if the heat exchangher is sooted up. If it is, you will need to clean that as well. Just using a hose with a nozzle on it to spray it off.