Gas pool heaters allow you to extend swimming season into the fall and lets you start swimming in early spring. Nothing ends you cool swimming seasons quicker than a faulty gas pool heater.
Swimming pool heaters are one of the most complicated pieces of pool equipment and we recommend calling a local professional to make repairs. However, there are a few common problems you can diagnose yourself.
Most pool owners at one time or another will experience their pool heater not turning on. This doesn’t necessarily mean your pool heater is malfunctioning. First, check your water temperature and make sure your heater is set on a higher temperature than the pool water temperature. If the temperature isn’t the issue, make sure the gas supply valve is in the on position and that the pilot is lit.
If your pilot won’t light, it’s normally due to low gas pressure, poor air supply or improper venting. Check the heater pilot tubing and look for any debris blocking the passageway. You’ll also want to check that the vents are in good shape and the heater isn’t flooded.
The good news is your heater is working, and in most cases, you’ll just need to adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature. If your heater never seems to kick into gear, you may have too small of a heater or an inadequate supply of gas to the heater. If your pool isn’t being heated to the right temperature it could also be a malfunctioning high limit switch. The switch might be telling your heater to turn off before its job is done. If it’s very cold outside, your equipment might be functioning properly but it’s just too cold outside to keep up.
Usually, you have a water flow issue if your gas pool heater is cycling on and off before reaching the set temperature. Check to see if your filter is dirty and that your valves are properly opened. If the water flow looks good you might need to replace your pool’s thermostat.
There are several reasons for a leaking gas pool heater. You might have a damaged heat exchanger, it might simply be due to low temperatures or you could have a gasket leaking or a loose connection. We recommend checking the gaskets first, as these are cheap and common repairs.
Most likely, you have a venting or air supply problem. Check to see if there is debris blocking the intake valves around the sides or top of your heater. If everything looks clear the issue might be caused by low gas pressure. In any case, stop using your pool heater if it’s emitting dark exhaust as it can a variety of hazards and other issues.
If rust chips are getting into your pool while your heater is on, you have a corroded heater. In many cases, a cast iron heater is the culprit. The chemicals added to your pool can strip your heater of protective layers and cause it to rust. You might need to replace the corroded parts.
The main causes for a whistling noise in your pool heater is low gas pressure or there is some partial clogging within the system.
At Pool Refs, we’re pool heater experts and we’ll work not only to repair your gas pool heater quickly but affordably. With such a complex piece of equipment, many companies replace unneeded parts. For example, on a recent pool heater repair we diagnosed a faulty blower assembly. To replace the entire assembly, it costs $300-$400. Instead of taking the easy road, we went to a specialist to have the blower inspected and determined the motor capacitor was the real issue, a $40 repair. See what else we repair.
Having a pool heater is great to get more swimming days out of the year. Knowing how your gas pool heater works and being able to diagnose and fix small issues can keep your pool heater working great and saving you repair costs. Here’s to working on your pool repairs less and working on your cannonballs more!