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Pool Heater Maintenance – Expert Tips

Is Pool Heater Maintenance Important?

Pool heater maintenance is essential for several reasons, primarily to ensure your pool heater’s efficient and safe operation while extending its lifespan. Here are some key reasons why pool heater maintenance is important:

  1. Efficiency: Regular maintenance helps your pool heater operate at peak efficiency. When a heater is dirty or has worn-out components, it may require more energy to produce the desired water temperature. This can lead to increased energy bills and a less comfortable swimming experience.
  2. Cost Savings: Proper maintenance can prevent costly breakdowns and repairs. Neglecting maintenance may lead to more significant issues requiring expensive repairs or heater replacement.
  3. Lifespan Extension: Routine maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your pool heater. Well-maintained heaters are less likely to suffer from premature wear and tear, corrosion, or other issues that can shorten their operational life.
  4. Safety: Safety is a crucial consideration for pool heater maintenance. Regular inspections can identify and address potential safety hazards such as gas leaks, faulty electrical components, or carbon monoxide emissions in gas heaters.
  5. Water Quality: Maintaining your pool heater can also help maintain water quality. Dirty or corroded heater elements can introduce impurities into the pool water, affecting its clarity and balance.
  6. Warranty Compliance: Many pool heater manufacturers require regular maintenance as a condition for warranty coverage. Neglecting maintenance could void your warranty, leaving you responsible for repair or replacement costs.
  7. Environmental Impact: An inefficient pool heater consumes more energy, which can increase your carbon footprint. Regular maintenance helps reduce energy consumption, making your pool more environmentally friendly.

So, in summary, pool heater maintenance is important for efficiency, cost savings, safety, extended lifespan, water quality, warranty compliance, and environmental considerations. It’s generally recommended to schedule regular pool heater maintenance checks preferably before the swimming season, to ensure trouble-free operation and maximize the enjoyment of your pool while minimizing operational costs and environmental impact.

Pool Heating Maintenance

Pool Heater Maintenance Checklist

You should check the following at least every six months and at the beginning of every swimming season.

  1. Examine the flue outlet and panel louvres for blockages. Ensure there are no obstructions to the airflow to or from the appliance.
  2. Keep the heater area clear and free of combustibles and flammable liquids. Chlorine should not be stored in the vicinity of the heater. Chlorine and acid vapour, when drawn through a heater, can rapidly cause corrosion of the heat exchanger.
  3. Keep the heater area free from garden refuse and debris. This will help prevent insects from nesting in the unit and ensure the extended life and reliability of your heater.
  4. Have your heater professionally inspected at least every two years, preferably every 12 months.

Pool Heater Maintenance Checklist

Water Chemistry

It is imperative that correct chemical balance be maintained in your pool and spa water. Otherwise, corrosion of your pool heater may occur. Corrosion of the heat exchanger voids warranty. Your local pool heater maintenance specialist can advise the correct chemical balance. Your water should be checked and maintained regularly by a professional. As a guide, the following parameters may be used.

  • pH = 7.6 to 7.8
  • Total Alkalinity = 80 to 120 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness = 100 to 350 ppm
  • Salinity = 5000 ppm max. Excessive Salt can damage your heater.

You should test your water chemical balance at least on a weekly basis.

Excessive sanitiser can damage your heater. Chlorine should not exceed three ppm, and bromine should not exceed five ppm. Salt chlorinators, especially when used on spa pools or indoor or covered pools, can easily produce excessive chlorine levels, damaging the heater internals.

If the pool has been unused for a month or more, turn the heater off at the main gas isolation valve. For areas where there is no danger of freezing, water should circulate through your heater all year long, even though you are not heating your pool.

Where freezing is possible, it is necessary to drain the water from the heater. This may be done by loosening the inlet or outlet barrel union. If the heater is below water level, isolate it from the pool first by closing shut-off valves before and after the heater.

CAUTION: If the heater has been drained for freezing conditions, do not turn on until the system is circulating water.

Corrosion Prevention In Heaters

All pool and spa heaters use copper or copper-nickel to make their heat exchangers as it is the most efficient material in transferring heat from the combustion chamber into the water. The typical life expectancy of a well-maintained pool/spa heater is between 5 and 12 years.

Adding sanitizers (Chlorine, Bromine etc.) and other water balancing and conditioning chemicals can increase the rate of wear and tear on the heat exchanger and associated parts in your heater.

There are three most common reasons for heat exchanger corrosion which can be avoided with pool heater maintenance:

  1. Excessive Sanitizer. This means too much Chlorine or Bromine in the water. Be careful; if the level of Chlorine or Bromine is excessively high, your test kit (and the pool shops) may not read accurately or, indeed, may show a nil reading. Any time a salt chlorinator operates for extended periods (when heating the swimming pool from cold), particularly if the weather is overcast or the pool is enclosed or covered, the Chlorine level may exceed normal levels. When heating a Spa Pool, turn the chlorinator down or off for the duration of the heating period.
  2. Out of balance water. The water balance combines pH, total alkalinity, Calcium hardness and temperature. Balanced water will help prevent corrosion of your heater. Balanced water should be between 7.2-7.8 pH.
  3. The addition of acid to lower pH. Acid must always be added in small quantities and spread evenly over the pool surface, not into the skimmer. Do not add a litre at a time; add a cupful daily to lower your pH.

If you have a salt-chlorinated INDOOR pool or COVERED pool, be very careful of the level of Chlorine being produced. If you use a salt-chlorinated spa, be very careful of the Chlorine level as the Chlorinator is usually sized for the pool and, therefore, should be switched off when heating the spa. Leaving the chlorinator on can rapidly raise the chlorine level in a small volume of water.

These comments are intended as a guide only and are not definitive answers or recommendations on pool water chemistry. Astral Pool’s intention is to provide a little understanding of the potential problems of water chemistry and the dangers of corrosion to heaters (and other pool equipment and fittings).

YOUR WATER SHOULD BE ADJUSTED & BALANCED PRIOR TO ANY CORRODED PARTS BEING REPLACED.

Pool Heater Maintenance Perth

Pool Heater Maintenance from Pool & Spa Heaters Perth

Pool & Spa Heaters boast over 25 years of experience and specialises in all aspects of pool heating, from supply to installation, repairs, servicing and pool heater maintenance. Servicing the entire Perth metropolitan area and beyond, we are authorised, experienced and reliable. Don’t trust your pool heater maintenance to anyone but Pool & Spa Heaters Perth. Contact Scott today on 0403 309 939 to arrange a free quote.

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