Sta rite 333 not ignite, no service lights on, new ignitor and afs

Leona518

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In The Industry
Oct 24, 2019
14
Usa
Hello wonderful helpful people!

Got a sta rite that had a quick one red blink led light for AFS + LED 11 and immediately turn off. No other lights red lights turned on at all. Greed led for pool and spa. No other bad indicators.

heater turns on, blower goes on and stays on, suction to afs is really powerful, propane gas is running - can smell it, can hear the valve opening click, but does not ignite....

So we went ahead and installed new AFS and new ignitor

no difference. Same thing happens where red led for afs + LED 11 blink for one millisecond, doesn’t stay on, all other functions work but not ignite, and all else looks good.

took a look inside the tub with my camera through the black metal exhaust and there is no water in it, some debris. Water pressure seems fine and I’m assuming gas pressure is fine too since it used to work

ideas? And thanks so very much!

—-
Little update here, 24 hours later, the filter broke down today.. so I’m wondering if perhaps the heater will work after we replace the filter. Maybe it is water flow... will update again after filter fixed but do appreciate comments
 
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Leona518

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In The Industry
Oct 24, 2019
14
Usa
If you are not licensed for gas you are taking risks that I won’t.
Thank you for the concern, you don't have to be licensed for gas to maintain / repair / plumb pool heaters in the state we live in. Only need license for installation, which was already done by a professional.
 
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Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
1,995
Silicon Valley, CA
Thoroughly check wiring. if you are getting the click of the gas valve, all your safety devices have been satisfied, including pressure switch, so it doesn't appear to be a water flow/pressure issue. Knowing that it is a new igniter, they can still fail. Try to fire the heater once then carefully touch the top igniter bracket to see if it is warm. If you aren't comfortable with that, you can turn off the gas and remove the igniter and try to fire the heater and see if the igniter glows. If it does indeed glow, you have some sort of fuel delivery issue. Just because you can smell gas/propane does not mean the mixture is correct, or that the heater should fire. Check your tank level. Same goes for the blower. I have seen blowers that have reduced flow from motor wear, age, etc. that have enough volume output to satisfy the AFS but then come up short on the fuel mix. These heaters are more finicky than you would think with regard to air fuel mix being correct. They have a "window" of correct AF mix that must be met before the heater will fire.
 
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Leona518

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In The Industry
Oct 24, 2019
14
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Thanks so much Pool Clown.

The new ignitor did get warm. And the fenwall ICM finally gave us Ignition Lockout flashes.

We tried a new high limit switch and new ICM and have same results. Ignition Lockout and gas valve clicking open.

So perhaps it’s being finicky as you said with the air mixture.

Or I’m wondering if it’s the output on the water cuz the system itself has VERY weak returns to pool and spa. Pump seems ok.

The blower is completely free of debris, we looked inside, and spins well.

more testing....
 

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
1,995
Silicon Valley, CA
You may still have to take the igniter out to confirm that it is glowing, and not just getting hot. Dont forget to turn the gas off first!

FENWAL flashes are like the "no kidding... I could have told you that!" comment after it wont fire.

Hi limit switches open when the temp exceeds a preset temp, then close when it cools. Hi limits RARELY fail. If your hi limit had failed, it would either fail in an always open, or always closed condition. If it were always open, heater would not attempt to fire, meaning the blower would not start. If failed closed, heater would attempt to, and probably would fire. It wouldn't cause it not to fire. IOW, if you had a hi temp condition that was causing the hi-limit to do its job, the heater would start, run for a while, over temp, then shut down. Then it would start all over again (cycle).

Dont forget that if you are hearing the gas valve click, the pressure switch has already been satisfied (water flow).

Dont rule out the worn blower scenario. Im not talking about a blower that is dirty or obstructed, i'm referring to a worn blower. A worn blower will spin up and appear to function properly. It may even sound normal. It just isn't moving enough air anymore.

You are smelling fuel, and you have a good non restricted flow of propane to the heater meaning propane regulator(s) set correctly (those can give up unexpectedly too), enough propane in the tank, and a glowing igniter, i would look at a reduced blower output (blower replacement).
 
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mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
803
OV, CA
I have a StaRite 333 as well. I had similar issues, Ignition lockout notification on the Fenwal, but NO diag lights on the panel... Similarly I replaced the igniter, the air tubing, tested every sensor I could find. Anyway it turned out to be the solenoid on the gas valve, the second one that detects a back pressure flow (I thinks its referred to as the regulator valve). The main Gas valve solenoid was fine. You can test them with a ohmeter across the solenoid coil or open the gas valve and confirm they are functioning... all the appropriate disclaimers when working with gas gizmos (yikes 😲)
I ended up purchasing another valve off ebay and using the regulator solenoid from it since they don't sell just that solenoid assembly or any sub parts for the gas valve.
 
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Leona518

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 24, 2019
14
Usa
You may still have to take the igniter out to confirm that it is glowing, and not just getting hot. Dont forget to turn the gas off first!

FENWAL flashes are like the "no kidding... I could have told you that!" comment after it wont fire.

Hi limit switches open when the temp exceeds a preset temp, then close when it cools. Hi limits RARELY fail. If your hi limit had failed, it would either fail in an always open, or always closed condition. If it were always open, heater would not attempt to fire, meaning the blower would not start. If failed closed, heater would attempt to, and probably would fire. It wouldn't cause it not to fire. IOW, if you had a hi temp condition that was causing the hi-limit to do its job, the heater would start, run for a while, over temp, then shut down. Then it would start all over again (cycle).

Dont forget that if you are hearing the gas valve click, the pressure switch has already been satisfied (water flow).

Dont rule out the worn blower scenario. Im not talking about a blower that is dirty or obstructed, i'm referring to a worn blower. A worn blower will spin up and appear to function properly. It may even sound normal. It just isn't moving enough air anymore.

You are smelling fuel, and you have a good non restricted flow of propane to the heater meaning propane regulator(s) set correctly (those can give up unexpectedly too), enough propane in the tank, and a glowing igniter, i would look at a reduced blower output (blower replacement).
Great response, thanks. Good to think through the 'basics' of the system here and realize each once of the other switches are satisfied enough to get to the gas valve opening. We will take a look at the igniter to make sure it is glowing, look into gas regulator and flow, and the blower. Thanks again for the overview here, very helpful!
 

Leona518

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 24, 2019
14
Usa
I have a StaRite 333 as well. I had similar issues, Ignition lockout notification on the Fenwal, but NO diag lights on the panel... Similarly I replaced the igniter, the air tubing, tested every sensor I could find. Anyway it turned out to be the solenoid on the gas valve, the second one that detects a back pressure flow (I thinks its referred to as the regulator valve). The main Gas valve solenoid was fine. You can test them with a ohmeter across the solenoid coil or open the gas valve and confirm they are functioning... all the appropriate disclaimers when working with gas gizmos (yikes 😲)
I ended up purchasing another valve off ebay and using the regulator solenoid from it since they don't sell just that solenoid assembly or any sub parts for the gas valve.
Ah, good to know. I'm assuming when you installed the solenoid it worked again. Thanks for the reply and info!
 

Leona518

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 24, 2019
14
Usa
Another Update: The ignitor is glowing. And a buddy had the same kind of spare working blower, so we attached it and got same results.

All safety switches seem satisfied but the gas does not ignite.

So I guess we’re down to making sure propane regulator(s) And gas flow is satisfied.
 

Leona518

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In The Industry
Oct 24, 2019
14
Usa
It was the gas regulator And also the gas gauge! So simple.... Lesson learned here, doesn’t matter how much you think you smell “gas” it might not actually have enough in the tank and the olddddd regulator wouldn’t have let it through at a proper rate anyway. So I can stop blaming the heater. Nice to have it working again finally. Thanks to all that helped us work it through!
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
803
OV, CA
Ah, good to know. I'm assuming when you installed the solenoid it worked again. Thanks for the reply and info!
yes.. it fired right up with the replacement solenoid.. sounds like your journey was similar to mine! I found it odd I could find information and guidance about troubleshooting every component of the heater except the gas valve, and that's where the problem was.

Thanks for posting back with your solution.. it adds closure to these things!:goodjob:
 
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