The need for pool heater repair can sneak up on you, because nothing wakes you up faster than an unexpected cold soak. Just ask anyone who’s done the polar dip!
After you’ve thawed from your Arctic-level adventure, you might wonder whom the best person would be to provide pool heater repair service: would it be a gas technician or a swimming pool specialist?
The answer depends on your particular situation. In fact, you might not need to call anyone at all.
Troubleshooting Your Pool Heater
The first step to assessing the heater’s issue is confirming that:
- The pool heater won’t light or fire
- The pool heater won’t turn on
- Increasing the temperature setting won’t make the heater turn on
If any of these are the case, the heater might have an issue that requires a gas technician to fix. But in our experience, many of the pool heater issues are the result of inadequate water flow.
So before you pick up the phone, you can try to fix the heater issue by simply checking the pool filter and pressure gauge in only a few easy steps.
Checking Your Pool Filters
Try the steps below to check your pool filtration system:
- Empty all skimmer, pump, and strainer baskets to free them from any debris and allow for optimal water flow.
- Remove any suction-based cleaners/vacuums from the pool and ensure that the system is drawing water directly from the skimmer or other suction ports.
- Perform a thorough backwash (the process of cleaning a sand filter) or ensure that your cartridge filters are thoroughly cleaned. Dirty or old filters are the number one cause of pool heater issues.
Check Your Water Pressure Gauge
Another important step you should take is to check the operating pressure on your systems pressure gauge. It should be between 10 – 18 psi during normal operation. If you don’t have a working pressure gauge, you will need to replace yours in order to understand and accurately assess how the system is operating.
- If your gauge shows a high psi reading (over 20 psi), clean or backwash the filter. Ensure there are no restrictions on the plumbing system, such as closed valves or blocked jets.
- If your gauge shows a low psi reading, check to see if there are any air bubbles coming out of the jets.
If you still can’t correct your water flow, it’s time to call your local pool professional. Proper water flow is imperative to the operation of your heater and a qualified pool technician can help fix the problem.
After the pool professional has restored good water flow at a proper operating pressure, attempt to start the heater. If the pool heater still isn’t working, then it’s time to call in a gas technician to assess the unit itself.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to service the pool heater yourself. There are a number of safety and control mechanisms on a heater that need to be working correctly in order for it to be functional. Any work being performed on a pool heater must be carried out by a licensed T.S.S.A. gas technician. If you’re not sure which one to call, ask your pool professional for a recommendation.
Different Types of Pool Heaters
Unlike in southern climates such as Texas or Georgia, pool owners in Southern Ontario need pool heaters to maintain a comfortable water temperature. Generally, there are three types of pool heaters on the market, each with their own set of benefits for pool owners:
- Solar powered heaters: Solar powered pool heaters offer the benefit of a one-time installation cost with no direct ongoing operating costs. The solar heater is installed on your roof or on a structure in your backyard, and captures the sun’s energy to circulate warmth through the pool using your current pump system. The heating system can be quite large to capture enough of the sun’s rays to heat your water, and your existing pool pump must be kept running in order for the solar heater to properly operate, which will result in a higher electric bill. In other words, the solar energy may be free, but the cost to use it isn’t.
- Electric heat pumps: Although this type relies on good old-fashioned electricity, electric heat pumps also rely in part on solar energy. This is because the electric heat pump pulls air that is naturally warmed by the sun, enhances it, and transfers it into the water.
- Gas pool heaters: Using natural gas or propane, gas pool heaters operate independently of external temperature or weather conditions. When you turn your gas pool heater on, the fuel is burned in the combustion chamber. Your pool water is drawn through the copper coils and returned to the pool toasty warm.
In our experience, gas pool heaters offer the fastest, most cost-efficient way to heat a pool. Because they heat the pool so quickly, they don’t have to be run as often as the other options. Lower usage of the heater also means they aren’t subject to the wear and tear than electric pool heaters or pool pumps.
If you’re not currently using a gas pool heater, it might benefit you to switch to one in the long run.
Need a New Hayward Pool Heater?
If you need a new gas pool heater, our retail store in Mississauga exclusively carries a selection of Hayward pool heaters. These energy efficient, high-performance units use natural gas to quickly heat your pool water. Hayward pool heaters are constructed with only the finest quality metals that are highly resistant to salt corrosion and water chemistry issues, two problems that can directly lead to heater failure.
We’ll make sure to match your pool with the proper size of heater, and answer all of your questions so you can maintain your pool with confidence. Just ask us!
Swimming Pool Heaters in Port Credit and Mississauga
Since 2004, the award-winning pool experts at Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs have been helping pool owners in the Mississauga, Oakville, and the Western Greater Toronto Area keep their pools in top-running order all season long. We promise to treat your pool like it’s our very own. Call us today at (905)-891-8818 or visit our store at 309 Lakeshore Road East in Mississauga to learn more!