How I Created a Great Garden and a Dream Home

Troubleshooting Pool Heaters That Run Poorly or Not At All

Pool heaters are harder to troubleshoot than filters or pumps, but thankfully there are certain tell-tale signs that tell you your heater is at fault, and not another part of your pool system. Troubleshooting doesn't always require a technician, but some of the issues you can identify may.

Make sure to read your heater manufacturer's service manual before you being inspecting your pool heater so that you know where each part is located and how it works.

Heater doesn't turn on or doesn't stay on

  • Clean the filter and then try again. A dirty filter causes low pressure which will cause the pressure switch to turn the heater off automatically.
  • Check the shut-off valve if your heater is gas-based. If the valve isn't open, fuel won't be supplied to the heater and it won't work
  • Check the electrical connections if your heater is electric. Make sure they are tight and not corroded. If they are in good condition, there might be issues with the transformer, the high limit switch or the pressure switch. You can check them with a voltmeter (a reading of 20-28 volts means they're fine). If you don't know how to operate a voltmeter, it's time to call in the professionals.

Low flow or low temperature

  • Clean the filter and see if the filter works properly. A dirty filter may make the heater shut off before warming the water to the desired temperature by triggering the pressure switch.
  • Check if the timer is properly set. Reset it to allow the heater to run for a longer period.
  • Check the system valves to see if they're turned to go through the heater
  • Make sure you're using the right size. If the filter is too small for the amount of water in your pool, it won't heat it properly. You can find what size heater you should get in the materials offered by your pool manufacturer regarding their product. If not, call in the experts and have a professional opinion before purchasing another filter.

When to call it quits and call the professionals

Pool heaters can be downright safety hazards when they're malfunctioning. If you're unsure about handling your heater or its individual parts, or simply can't identify the cause of the issue, call in the professionals. Do not try and repair electrical or gas issues by yourself, you may get shocked or cause gas leaks. If the unit has those types of issues, turn off the power and call a technician. Likewise, if you can't get it to shut off, it's an issue best left to the experts.

Troubleshooting is useful, but safety should always come first before a warm pool. If you cannot find the issue yourself, don't tinker with the heater and endanger yourself. Check out companies such as Pool Solar & Spa for more information.