Raypak propane heater has wide temperature swing

ChadJ

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2016
68
Delray Beach
Hi all. I have a Raypak propane heater on my attached spa. I don't know the exact age of the heater as we bought the house this summer. I suspect it is 4+ years old, but only guessing. This issue I have is when I heat up the spa, it comes up to temperature nicely, but once it reaches the desired max temperature of 104, it does not hold this temperature. Instead, the spa cools by up to 4 degrees before the heat will kick back on. The water temperature reading shows the spa cooling down to 101 or 100, but the temperature on the heater itself still shows it at 104, so it does not heat the water. Any thoughts on what might be causing this and/or how I could correct it? The pump is running at a high speed and water is circulating through the heater, but it is as though the water at whatever sensor the heater itself uses is not getting the recirculated spa water. Your ideas and input are appreciated!

-Chad
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
141
Sunrise,FL
That is probably well within manufacturer's specifications. Your temperature difference (delta) from high to low is dependent on a number of factors - length of plumbing runs, ground temperature, air temperature, spa volume and heater capacity are the main ones I can think of.

Pool and spa heaters would use a lot more energy if they cycled on and off excessively. There *may* be a setting you can change on it to decrease the delta, but I doubt it.
 

ChadJ

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2016
68
Delray Beach
Chad, is your heater controlled by automation or is it standalone and you control the temperature on the heater controls?

Please create your signature and tell us details about your pool there.
The pool is controlled by automation. The water temperature readings are in agreement as it is warming up. However, once it achieves the set temperature is when the delta grows. As you can imagine, it's pretty annoying when you get into it nice and hot, but the heat shuts off and water cools significantly before kicking back on. Even once it kicks back on, it does not come all the way back up to 104. The heater thinks it hits 104 well before the actual water in the spa has climbed back up, so it never fully heats up to max again until everything cools all the way down and you start over.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,847
Northern NJ
You still have not told me WHAT automation you have nor other details about your pool.

I am happy to listen to you vent but cannot solve problems without knowing the equipment you are dealing with.
 

ChadJ

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2016
68
Delray Beach
You still have not told me WHAT automation you have nor other details about your pool.

I am happy to listen to you vent but cannot solve problems without knowing the equipment you are dealing with.
I bought the house a few months ago so I don't have all the details of the pool and equipment, which were all pre-existing. It is a gunnite pool with attached spa, which is approximately 28k gallons combined. The automation is Pentair. It has a Pentair variable speed pump and DE filter. The heater is a Raypak running off propane. Once I get back home I can add more details around model info, etc.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,847
Northern NJ
Pentair IntelliCenter? Easy Touch? IntelliTouch?

What does the spa temp on the Pentair controls say as the spa water is getting cooler?

You say the heater thinks it is 104. Where are you reading that temperature? On the Pentair system or the Raypak heater?
 

ChadJ

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2016
68
Delray Beach
Pentair IntelliCenter? Easy Touch? IntelliTouch?

What does the spa temp on the Pentair controls say as the spa water is getting cooler?

You say the heater thinks it is 104. Where are you reading that temperature? On the Pentair system or the Raypak heater?
I'm 95% certain it is a Pentair Easy Touch. As the spa is getting cooler, the Pentair control confirms that the temperature is decreasing. The spa could be set to 104, but the water temp is only reading 101 and the heater is not producing heat. At this same time, the RayPak heater's display on the unit itself is reading 104. So the heater believes it is at max temp, but the actual spa water is cooler. When it initially heats up, the Pentair control shows it climbing until it hits 104. The problem comes with maintaining the temperature. I appreciate your help.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,847
Northern NJ
Ok. Now I have an idea of what is going on. What model Raypak heater? Can you raise the temperature above 104 on the Raypak control panel?

The Pentair system is turning the heater on but since the heater is at it's internal set point it is not giving heat. You may have a bad temperature probe in the heater.
 

ChadJ

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2016
68
Delray Beach
Ok. Now I have an idea of what is going on. What model Raypak heater? Can you raise the temperature above 104 on the Raypak control panel?

The Pentair system is turning the heater on but since the heater is at it's internal set point it is not giving heat. You may have a bad temperature probe in the heater.
Confirmed that automation is Pentair Easy Touch. The Raypak Heater is a propane R406A-EP-C. I cannot raise the temp above the 104 top limit on the Raypak control panel.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,015
Pacific NW
I know it is not the heart of the issue, but just a comment: Raypak heaters have a tendency to be off a bit degree wise....this is considered normal.
My brand new heater, when I set it for 84 degrees, the pool is actually 82 confirmed with different thermometers as well as others experiences.

I like the water 85 so my Raypak is programmed to heat to 87 F.
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
141
Sunrise,FL
Generally... the factory has a preset max temp of 104 on the Raypak heaters. You may be able to adjust this to 107, which might help you out a bit. Get the model # of your heater and look online for a manual to see if you can increase it. Raising the max might minimize your issue, but it would be too hot for me!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,847
Northern NJ
Generally... the factory has a preset max temp of 104 on the Raypak heaters. You may be able to adjust this to 107, which might help you out a bit. Get the model # of your heater and look online for a manual to see if you can increase it. Raising the max might minimize your issue, but it would be too hot for me!
Excellent tip!

Page 28 of the manual --> http://cdn.globalimageserver.com/FetchDocument.aspx?ID=c404f1c5-ac50-4209-9457-56246d010b20

Spa Max Temp – Spa Setpoint Maximum Adjustment
Refer to step one above to access the program screen.
Press the MODE button until SPA MAX TEMP appears on
the digital display. Using the UP and DOWN buttons will
change the Maximum Temperature Setting to your desired
value. The control can be set for a maximum of 107°F
(42°C).

Pool Max Temp – Pool Setpoint Maximum Adjustment
Refer to step one above access into the program screen.
Press the MODE button until POOL MAX TEMP appears
on the digital display. Using the UP and DOWN buttons
will change the Maximum Temperature Setting to your
desired value. The control can be set for a maximum of
107°F (42°C).
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
141
Sunrise,FL
My spa is set at 99 degrees. I'd rather sit in it (or lie in it and look at the stars) for 30 minutes or more (and then jump in the pool!) than feel like a lobster in a pot for 5 minutes. :)
 
  • Haha
Reactions: borjis

davidhum66

Bronze Supporter
Jul 8, 2018
19
Austin, TX
I just posted on this same issue. Same model of propane Raypak heater that has a much larger delta (in heat and non heating modes). My heater is only 1 week old and experienced this issue from day 1. I get that there is an expected differential (+/- 2F or so?) and the plumbing, etc are factors. But a temp difference of this much is not normal. Or at least never encountered as a problem with my Minimax 400 model previously. I am having unit serviced under warranty in hopes of resolving. Did you get the heater fixed and was there a reason for why the Raypak readings listed higher ?
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
141
Sunrise,FL
My Raypak performs pretty well, but it does do better after everything is warmed up a bit - The spa shell can be a little cool initially which might explain some of the differences in temperature (You are sitting on a relatively cool shelf while the water is going through a certain amount of plumbing that may or may not be warmed up). I always let it run for a bit before I get in if the water starts off at 80 degrees or cooler.
 

ChadJ

Well-known member
Jan 28, 2016
68
Delray Beach
Excellent tip!

Page 28 of the manual --> http://cdn.globalimageserver.com/FetchDocument.aspx?ID=c404f1c5-ac50-4209-9457-56246d010b20

Spa Max Temp – Spa Setpoint Maximum Adjustment
Refer to step one above to access the program screen.
Press the MODE button until SPA MAX TEMP appears on
the digital display. Using the UP and DOWN buttons will
change the Maximum Temperature Setting to your desired
value. The control can be set for a maximum of 107°F
(42°C).

Pool Max Temp – Pool Setpoint Maximum Adjustment
Refer to step one above access into the program screen.
Press the MODE button until POOL MAX TEMP appears
on the digital display. Using the UP and DOWN buttons
will change the Maximum Temperature Setting to your
desired value. The control can be set for a maximum of
107°F (42°C).
Great tip indeed! I will try this. Thank you all for the help!