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c4charlie

Pool Heater Issue

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This year has not been a good one for me as far as opening the pool.

 

First the pool pump decided that although it was working fine and strong through the end of last season, it would not start this year. I needed something quick so I just decided to pick up the same exact pump. The older one was 6 years old. I have a feeling the older one can be repaired but I needed to get the pool ready for mon.

 

Pump fixed, decide to turn on the heater on Sun and does not work. Once again, no problems last year. Look inside the heater and chipmunks made a nest and had a party in the heater all winter. mad.gif I clean it out and see that some wires are chewed. I go to Home depot and get what i need to fix the wires and replace the fuse.

 

Go to turn on again and now I am getting some type of gas pressure issue. I have a Laars Jandy LX which is a digital heater with a million safeguards and one time I had the same issue because a cob web was in one of the gas sensors. Cost me a lot a few years ago for a repair person to come out and figure that out. I have vacuumed and cleaned as best as I can and I am still getting the ERROR.

 

It turns on, fan starts, lights up but then shuts down and fan exhausts to clean out the gas because of shutdown. It does this three times and then shuts off.

 

Any pool experts out there. I am about to schedule an expensive service appt. and who knows how quickly they will get here with the busy season.

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Ed,

 

The electric on the heater is working fine, all controls including the water temp and switch modes work fine and read out properly.

 

I press the button for pool and set the temp higher than the pool temp.

 

Heater blows air first, then the igniter glows inside the heater. Then it clicks and the gas gets sent into the igniter area, it ignites and heats for a few seconds (all of this so far is normal and how it always has worked). After a 5-10 sec of heating, it turns off gas automatically and fan goes on to blow out any remaining unburned gas and heater shuts down.

 

This heater is setup that it repeats the above cycle 3 times before it gives me the error of AGS - Automatic Gas Shutoff.

 

I wish I owned a gas pressure tester so I could see if I have 3". Heater has worked fine for many years so I would not assume gas line is the issue. I am thinking a sensor or the chipmunks clogged the gas area somewhere near an internal sensor.

 

The problem is that the heater is not easy to take apart and thoroughly clean. Like I said, a cobweb in one of the 4 or 5 gas output things caused the same error. First thing I did was unscres and check all of them and cleaned them with a q-tip.

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I don't know your heater specifically, but I do know the sequence of operation of stuff like yours. What you are describing is the flame sensor not sensing flame. There should be a rod in the flame wrapped in porcelain (the part in the flame is just a metal rod), if you can get to that and clean it, it would be my fisrt move.

 

There is also a slight chance that the hot surface ignitior is also the sensor, but that is a small chance.

 

Try and find that porcelain thing first.

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Ed,

 

I know what you are talking about. I did not try to clean that. It looks like a small needle (mini soldering iron type thing). I think there are two wires on it that are wrapped in some white fireproof wrapping if I remember correctly.

 

I have this old gas valve for this heater. Pool came with the house. The gas valve for the heater in the basement is not a normal handle type gas valve. It is a square head that I unscrew. I have never given it much thought until I had this problem. I am wondering if the gas valve is not 100% open. The square head never comes out because there is a nut or something on top of the pipe that allows it to spin continuously. I am wondering if it should be a certain way in order to get 100% gas. Maybe I am getting 90% and not 100% and that could be the issue. Are you familiar with these old fashioned gas valves. I will try to take a pic.

 

Thanks,

Charlie

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Clean the thing that looks like this 2009-10-20_220450_flame_sensor.jpg with steel wool or fine sandpaper before you go any further, the chances of it being low gas pressure or a problem with the valve are slim.

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Ed,

 

After days of trying to figure this thing out. I got it to work. I took your advice but also did two more things so not sure what made it work. I cleaned the sensor. I played around some more with the downstairs gas valve. Changed it to a different position and I also realized that I still had gas going to my fireplace and the pilot light for that was still on so I shut that off.

 

I could backtrack and try to figure out which one it was but for now, my pool is heating up and I am very happy now!!! biggrin.gif

 

Thanks Ed!

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Just curious Charlie, how expensive is it to run the heater? We moved into a house last September that has a 25k gallon inground pool and this is my first time owning a pool. It has a heater but after looking at the size of the gas line, I vowed never to turn it on. wink.gif We had some trees start to come down in that area this winter and I just shut the gas off to it. I opened the pool two week ago and this weekend the water was 80, so there may not be a need for the heater until the Fall anyway.

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Ed, Thanks Again. Not sure where to send the bill but my kids thank you dearly! They have been in the pool all day today!

 

Mike,

My heater is a pretty efficient model since it is a newer heater. That being said, it still costs money to run. The trick to keep down the cost is to make sure you keep the heat in after you spend money to heat it up.

 

I would assume to get the pool to 80 degrees from 73 probably cost $15-20. That would probably be running for 5-6 hours. This is just a guess. The way I run the heater using my methods, I really do not see a huge cost on the gas bill. This may have to do with the efficiency of the heater as well.

 

The way you make the most out of the money you spent is that when people are not swimming in the pool, the solar cover goes on. At night or when there is wind, the solar cover must be on. Most of the heat loss would come on windy days or at night. If you are diligent on keeping the solar cover on, you can keep the pool near 80 pretty easily. The only time you should have to run the heater again is after a heavy rain or a really cold night. Then you just follow the same methods.

 

Running everyday for that extra degree or two each day would be a big waste of money. The cost of each additional degree over 79 is very costly.

 

A good solar cover will keep in 95% of the heat and keeping it on in the am or on days when you don't go in the pool, will make up for any heat loss.

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It takes 1 BTUH to raise 1 pound of water 1°.

 

A gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds.

 

So it takes 8.33 BTUH to raise 1 gallon of water 1°

 

Gas (on my bill tax and tags included) is $1.60 a therm (100,000) BUTH.

 

$1.60 will make 12,000 gallons of water increase in temperature 1° *if all the fuel makes hot water.

 

So it will take a little more than 2 therms of gas to raise your pool 1°.

 

Take heater efficiency into account (*guessing it's 80% efficient) my pricing @ $1.60 per therm and the volume of water you have listed, I'd ball park it at 4 bucks for every 1° in temperature rise.

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View PostIt takes 1 BTUH to raise 1 pound of water 1°.

 

A gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds.

 

So it takes 8.33 BTUH to raise 1 gallon of water 1°

 

Gas (on my bill tax and tags included) is $1.60 a therm (100,000) BUTH.

 

$1.60 will make 12,000 gallons of water increase in temperature 1° *if all the fuel makes hot water.

 

So it will take a little more than 2 therms of gas to raise your pool 1°.

 

Take heater efficiency into account (*guessing it's 80% efficient) my pricing @ $1.60 per therm and the volume of water you have listed, I'd ball park it at 4 bucks for every 1° in temperature rise.

 

Ed rules. clapping.gif

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