If you use your pool heater even just occasionally through the summer, pool heater maintenance should be high on your swimming pool maintenance “things to do” list.
Why? Maintaining your pool heater can save you a lot of money and aggravation. First, a well-maintained heater runs more efficiently, which lowers the energy costs of heating your swimming pool. Second, keeping your heater in top operating condition reduces the chance of needing costly heater repairs or having to replace your heater sooner than later.
Tips for DIY Pool Heater Maintenance
These are tips for maintaining gas pool heaters. It’s just as crucial to keep pool heat pumps well maintained and we’ll cover that topic in a future post.
Clean the Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is the set of copper or nickel finned tubes found at the top of the combustion chamber. At least once a year, remove the exchanger and get rid of any leaves and debris from the fins. If there is a buildup of corrosion between the fins, use a wire brush to remove it.
Clean the heater Floor
Once a year, remove leaves, dust and rust from the floor of the heater, beneath the burner tray. A brush or vacuum will be helpful. Keep the drain holes around the side of the heater open so moisture can get out and not corrode the heater floor.
Check for Water Leaks Inside the Heater
Hey, it’s a pool heater, water will leak. But water leaking inside the heater can cause rust on the metal panels and wiring.
Check the Burner Flame & Wiring
The burner will need to be on and you may need to remove the burner shield to inspect the burners. Check that all burner flames are storing and blue. If any rows of burners do not have a flame, or the flame is weak and yellow/red, the burner(s) may be clogged, the exhaust from the exchanger may be weak, the gas pressure may be low, or you might have a problem with your gas regulator.
For the wiring, check that their protective sheathing is intact and there is no evidence of melted wires.
Keep the Area Around the Outside of the Heater Clear
The area around your pool heater should be kept clear and dry to increase airflow and decrease moisture. Prune any vegetation the grows near or is overhanging the heater.
To found out more about improving the energy efficiency of your pool, check out our article “How to Make Your Pool More Energy Efficient”.