Sta-Rite Heater Won't Run

eSunshine

New member
Oct 8, 2018
3
New Orleans, LA
This is a little long, but I wanted to be thorough, I really appreciate any insight the group might have.

First off this heater is probably original to the pool (2006), but it worked fine when I last started it up in the Spring. I tried to start it up from the inside wall control a couple of weeks ago. The blower came on, but didn't try to light the igniter, the Service Heater and (I'm pretty sure but not positive) the AFS leds were lit. So I shut it off at the wall control, flipped the breaker and tried again. This time, nothing, it wouldn't turn on and no diagnostic leds.

I worked thru the troubleshooting flowchart for this model, and ultimately replaced the transformer today. This time I used the outside RS8 controller and it didn't turn on at all. I checked the control board leds; the Service System and every led on the back of the board was on. So I shut it off again, and turned it on again. This time, the only leds on were the Pool On and Spa On lights, and they were faintly flickering.

The only other clues I have to go by are 1) maybe most important, I found a rodent nest below the cap where the control board is a couple of weeks ago. I cleaned it out and saw that the only chewed wires (insulation only, still intact otherwise) were the 2 brown ones leading from J5 on the control board to the thermistor on the manifold. I taped the wires with electrical tape, 2) what I would describe as "gurgling" at the manifold inlet. I think that's due to decreased flow into the heater, but the pool jets are very strong. So low flow is probably contributing to the problem once I get the rest of it fixed, and I was going to pull off the manifold and see if there was any calcification, but since the pool jets are strong I haven't done it yet. 3) I also replaced the inside wall control a month ago with an identical (but much newer) unit. Maybe I need to retrain the heater? I'm just not sure of the next step.

Any advice would be really appreciated - thanks!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
13,006
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

I think your rodents did more damage then you think. May be other damaged wiring or urine on the board causing corrosion and electrical failures. Focus on that.

Once you repair or replace your heater consider...


You can read various threads about Sta-Rite heaters and rats here...


Rats seems to like Sta-Rite heaters.
 
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eSunshine

New member
Oct 8, 2018
3
New Orleans, LA
Thanks for the insight.

That's what I've been reading in some other threads here too. Thanks also for the search link you supplied. I'll read through those too. Must be easy for them to get in. I haven't looked at the top of the control board yet, but I'm seeing a lot of discoloration on the combustion chamber cover. You're right that it's probably rodent urine. Looks like at least a good cleaning and a new wiring harness, along with some rat deterrent screening (once it actually works) would be a good idea.
 

eSunshine

New member
Oct 8, 2018
3
New Orleans, LA
Thanks to both you and Allen for the great advice. Sounds like that would help me avoid this problem in the future.

I purchased a wiring harness and once it comes in I'll replace all the wiring, and see what else, if anything, was damaged in the rat attack. Once I've got the heater going, I definitely plan on using something like, if not specifically, the mk ratproofing solution. I went to their website and that looks like exactly what I need, at a really good price. And the fact that it's precut for my heater makes it even better.