A Raypak pool heater is one of the primary pieces of equipment you buy when you install your very first swimming pool. It keeps the pool warm and cozy throughout the seasons. Naturally, it is used a lot in the summer.
A pool heater offers endless hours of warm water and, consequently, requires routine maintenance to remain on top of its game. Once the Raypak has handled thousands of gallons of heated water, it may require some servicing.
If it takes longer for the water to heat up before you can jump in, or if the heater shuts off all of a sudden, you need to troubleshoot the equipment.
You’d naturally call a professional to get the job done but remember to keep a few tools handy.
Here’s a list of tools and equipment you may want to keep in reach before calling a specialist:
- A multimeter that’s compatible with AC and DC volts
- A manometer
- A nut driver
- A screwdriver
- Channel locks
- Pliers (needle nose ones)
- Combustion analyzer
Common Issues to Troubleshoot
1. Check the Water Flow
The most common issue is when the heater stops functioning. This is when you check on the water flow lamp.
Generally, when a pool heater detects a shortage of water, it shuts down automatically to prevent overheating and damage to the heater. If this is the case, watch for the display light on the heater. If you find that no display is turned on, now’s the time to look around the filter pump for a few issues:
- Check to see if the filter is clean and functioning
- Check the filter pump’s basket and whether it is clean
- Check the skimmer basket
- Are the valve positions in place?
Test Heat Loss
What if your heater works just fine, but the water’s not warm enough? This may be an issue when the pump functions well enough but takes twice the time to heat. Heat loss may be the primary concern here.
If your suspicion is heat loss, you might want to consider a few factors:
1. Is the temperature adequate?
Check the pool temperature to see if it’s 60 degrees or above; if the external climate is too cool, it may affect the overall performance of the Raypak pool heater.
2. How long does the heater run?
You should run the pool heater for at least eight hours a day to derive maximum performance. Naturally, this is something you initially check upon. If you want a majority of the pool warm enough to dip in, you must ensure that the pool heater runs long enough.
3. Is the solar panel an issue?
Solar panels or covers keep excess heat away from the pool and make the job of heaters easier. But is yours actually doing this? Solar covers eat up to an excess of 75% of heat and result in a colossal loss of total warmth. Make sure the source of heat loss isn’t the solar cover.
Check Air Flow
The evaporator coil is responsible for turning warm air into usable heat. As air passes through the coil, it leaves behind dirt, debris, and grease that can build up over time. When dirt accumulates in the evaporator coil, it can cause your Raypak heater to lose heat. This can be solved by a thorough cleaning of the coil and other parts of the heat pump.
Remember that debris can also get caught in the metal vents that protect the evaporator coil, leading to air blockage. Therefore, both the vents and the coil must be checked for dirt and debris.
Reset the Breaker
Often, the problem isn’t too concerning; it’s just on the surface. If the display on the heater isn’t working (no light whatsoever), it’s not the end of the world. It might be a minor electrical issue with the equipment, which you can solve with a total reset.
To reset the breaker, follow these steps:
- Check the circuit breaker and reset it
- Check to see if the display is showing signs of life
- No? Inspect the power sources and the primary plug point for any damage
- If none of this works and the display is still blank, contact a professional for a comprehensive solution
Look for Error Codes
Your Raypak pool heat pump may occasionally display an error code. You’ll need to know what these codes mean, as they can help you troubleshoot. Some common codes are as follows:
1. LP & LP3
The error code ‘LP’ is displayed when the refrigerant is low. To operate correctly, a heat pump requires refrigerant. However, it may lose refrigerant as a result of leakage. Because the refrigerant’s job is to absorb heat, a shortage of refrigerant will prevent the evaporator coil from doing so. This reduced ability to absorb heat can cause moisture on the evaporator coil to freeze.
If the heat pump displays ‘LP3’, it is an issue involving low pressure. The low-pressure switch likely turned off three times in the same hour. Faulty pressure control can lead to a shortage of refrigerant gas.
2. HP & HP6
The codes ‘HP’ and ‘HP6’ indicate low water flow or a malfunctioning high-pressure control. The unit shows ‘HP6’ after six consecutive high-pressure fails.
3. FLo and FL3
These codes are usually displayed when the pump is off or in the backwash position. They may show up when the filter pump stops working, the filter is dirty, there is a water shortage, or the water pressure switch is faulty.
The ‘FS’ code indicates that the unit is in the defrosting cycle.
Use a Solar Cover
We talked about solar covers and how they can elevate heat loss, but here’s a different perspective. A solar cover can help you by drawing a heat loss map on your pool. It sustains the heat for more extended periods and can help you quickly find the source of heat loss.
How this helps is by ticking some boxes. You know soon enough whether the root cause of all this is the pool heater or the pool itself. If it’s the swimming pool and the external climate, a solar cover can prevent drastic heat loss. However, if it’s the heater, you’ll need a further inspection to root out the cause of all issues.
Consider a Raypak Pool Heater Sensor Failure
Pool heater sensors help regulate the temperature of the water supplied through the heater itself. They signal the pool heater to stop when a certain degree is reached and begin functioning again when the temperature drops below a certain point. Constantly monitoring and recording the water’s temperature is what allows us to enjoy a warm feeling in the pool.
When the pool heater’s sensor stops working, things get tricky. A sensor failure can show up in the form of the popular error code ‘SNS’. This error code indicates a temperature sensor issue. Generally, it fixes itself when the heater is turned off and restarted.
However, the problem could stem from various sources. For instance, an issue with the thermostat could be causing the heater to overheat. This usually happens when the water’s temperature is above or below the average level.
Another common failure is when two thermistors are not matching in temperature and are usually two degrees apart. Lastly, it could be an issue with the JACO fitting; when the sensor equipment is improperly attached to the fitting, the ‘SNS’ error code pops up.
1. My pool heater is not turning on. What should I do?
A malfunctioning pool heater may have a few beginner solutions. Check for damaged electrical connections or whether the pump is receiving enough power or is heating up consistently.
Moreover, is there a low flow of water? This may be because of various blockages that you need to inspect and clean. Look around the pump, the pump’s basket, the skimmer basket, etc.
2. Why is the pool heater not detecting the water it’s receiving?
If your swimming pool isn’t adequately warm or if the heater’s still malfunctioning, check the pressure switch. Often, the problem lies there. A simple replacement of pressure switches can solve problems.
3. Why isn’t the pool heater heating the water?
Frequently, the pool heater is functioning, but the water is not heating up. The first thing to do is check the pump. Is it receiving enough water? Is it receiving enough voltage? Once you’re through with all that, set the heater to a higher temperature than your pool.
4. What should I do when the pump’s refrigeration instruments are malfunctioning?
If you find that the refrigeration components aren’t working the way they should be, leave them alone. You can fix various issues by yourself, but if there’s one thing you ought to leave in the hands of a professional, it’s refrigeration. Ring up a professional and relax.
5. Can I replace equipment parts with any brand?
It’s best to replace equipment parts with compatible brands. You may be able to replace them with generic brands, but these might lessen the equipment’s overall lifespan.
A pool heater is a blessing for those who live in colder climates. We cannot always afford to go skinny dipping, and having a heat pump to keep your water warm is certainly a luxury. This thorough read has given you various solutions to multiple troubleshooting issues. The result is that you will save not only money but also valuable time, which you can spend with friends and family on days when you don’t feel like calling a professional.