Swimming Pool Blog

Raypak Spring Startup for Gas Pool Heaters

At Poolcenter, we are fans of the RaypakChannel on youtube, with their comprehensive set of videos created for homeowners and pool professionals.

One video is especially well done and timely for spring pool opening season, and that is the 5-minute video (5:14 actually), covering pre-startup inspection procedures

Transcript: Raypak How To

Hello My name is Darren Hart, Senior Service Technician at Raypak. This video will help you perform some basic steps to prepare your heater for startup in the springtime.

During this process, if you come across any wires that are damaged, stop and call a service company. Rewiring and any other repair must be done by a qualified technician. Gas equipment can be dangerous if proper caution is not taken.

The tools you will need are a drill gun with a Phillips bit and a 5/16in nut driver at the lowest torque setting, or Phillips screwdriver and a 5/16in nut driver. A flat blade screwdriver and an industrial vacuum (wet/dry vac).

Verify the Following Before Starting:

  • Power has been SHUT OFF to the unit
  • Gas has been SHUT OFF to the unit
  • System Pump has been SHUT OFF

Inspect the area around the heater. If there are any tree branches, leaves, weeds etc. clear them away. Debris around the heater can cause many problems, including a place for spiders or rodents to gather. It can also be a potential fire hazard, so it's very important to keep the area clear at all times.

Be sure to store all pool chemicals and cleaning products away from the heater.

Using your screwdriver, remove the screws from the louvered jacket top. You can now lift the jacket top and remove it. Inspect the range panel and top of the heat exchanger for any debris. With your industrial vacuum, remove any leaves or debris that you find

Remove the screws holding the access panels located on the water connection side of the heater. Pull the access panels off any set them aside. Inspect the wires leading the the high limits, pressure switch and temperature sensor. Make sure the wires are not melted, pinched, cut or chewed.

Reinstall the drain plug into the bottom of the inlet/outlet header, finger tight only. Remove the screws holding the access panel located on the return side of the heater. Reinstall the drain plug into the return header, finger tight only.

Using the flat blade screwdriver, remove the knurled thumb screw on the door assembly. Pull the door assembly off and set it aside. Again, make sure the wires are not melted, pinched, cut or chewed. Visually check to make sure the wire connections are snug.

Inspect the bottom of the heater cabinet for any debris. If it is dirty, use the industrial vacuum to clean it. Inspect the cabinet for any signs of water leaks or overheating, including rust or burn marks.

Double check to make sure that power is disconnected to the unit before removing the transformer wiring box cover. Visually inspect the transformer wires and then reinstall the transformer wiring box cover.

Remove the four Phillips screws, on the upfront control panel, pull the top (down) and it will pivot towards you to expose the control box. Check for rodent nests in the control box. Clear away nests, and debris or spider webs. Inspect the PC board wiring and connections.

Now that your visual inspection is complete, turn on the gas valve. Reinstall the jacket top, and control box cover. Lastly, reinstall the front door assembly.

Turn the power, gas and system pump back on. Check fittings, drain plug and around headers for leaks. If you find any of these symptoms, please contact your local service provider. To find your model and serial number, check inside the cabinet for the rating plate decal.

Reinstall the access panel on the water connection side. Reinstall the access panel on the return side. You are now ready to test fire the heater. Turn up the thermostat, and turn the heater to the on position.

Gas heaters usually take 5-15 seconds to perform a safety check before igniting. If the heater does not ignite', check the following.

  • Turn the thermostat above current water temperature.
  • Ensure filter is clean, and pump baskets and skimmer baskets are clean.
  • If an external heater plumbing bypass exists, adjust bypass valve.
  • Be sure power is coming in and out of the transformer.
  • Be sure that the gas valves are on, and the line has filled with gas.

Or just look at the error codes or indicator lights. When a heater does not come on, and it is not a water supply, power supply or gas supply issue, it can be the igniter or pilot light. Otherwise, it can be one of the heater safety components sensing low flow or high temperatures.