Pool Heater won't ignite


  #1  
Old 06-09-02, 11:50 AM
Danny8ch
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Pool Heater won't ignite

Starting my 11th season with my Purex Tropic Isle pool heater. Got the pilot working OK, but the heater won't ignite when I switch to ON. I checked the ON/OFF swich with a tester and it seems OK. The Temp. control switch always required a few back and forth motions to get that working, and I sprayed with contact cleaner, but no luck. Any suggestions or tests I can try myself? Thanks in advance, Dan
 
  #2  
Old 06-14-02, 05:40 AM
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Hello: Danny8ch

The most likely cause is a defective pressure switch.

The pressure switch has two functions.

The pressure switch verifies water is flowing thru the system.
In doing so, it prevents the burners from coming on should water not be flowing thru the system. This fuction acts as the safety device system.

The pumps water pressure closes a set of contacts points which allows current to flow between the pilot generator and the gas valve.

If the pressure switch is defective or not getting enough water volume or pressure, the contacts will not close. Opened contacts do not allow the current to flow, thus the burners do not turn on.

If the pilot flame is HOT and all blue and the pilot generator is functioning correctly, most likely the pressure switch is either defective or there is a water flow restriction in the system.

Test method to determine if the switch is functioning:
Connect a jumper wire across the terminals of the pressure switch. Best and safest method to perform this test is with the main on/off switch OFF!

Once the jumper wire is attached, turn the power switch on. If the burners fire up, do not allow them to continue to remain on. Only long enough to verify if the burners will turn on. Once it is established they turn on, remove the wire.

Safety Precaution: DO NOT allow the burners to continue to remain on with the jumper wire attached across the switch. Doing so can cause major damage to the firebox if water is not flowing thru the system.

Be cautious also when and if the burners do fire up. A flashback or flash outwards of flames can cause major burns to your person. Stand clear at all times.

If the burners do fire up with the jumper wire attached, the switch is defective and must be replaced. If the burners still fail to turn on, the problem is elsewhere.

Regards & Good Luck
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Last edited by Sharp Advice; 03-19-05 at 05:46 AM.
  #3  
Old 06-15-02, 12:16 PM
Danny8ch
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Thanks for your help, Tom. I jumped out the pressure switch and it still didn't ignite the burners. I'm ready for any other suggestions. Is there anyway to jump the Temperature control switch? Thanks, Dan
 
  #4  
Old 06-15-02, 02:01 PM
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Hi: Danny

FYI:
I moved your topic here prior, to ensure a reply to your question {orginally posted in the pool & spa forum} since the topic is related to a gas appliance.

Yes. The thermostat is also a switch and can be jumped using a jumper wire. Use the same method used to jump the pressure switch. Be sure there is a good connection at the clips to the terminals and at the clips.

Once the jumper wire is attached, turn on the pump and the burners should fire up. Providing, of course, the pressure switch is in fact operational.

If this attempt fails to open the gas valves internal valve, all other systems known to be working and functioning correctly, another most likely problem could be a burned out and or defective pilot generator.

The pilot generator is the part the pilot flame is heating. it has two wires leading from it. They are both attached to terminals on the gas valve.

The pilot generator produces dc electrical current when it is heated. The current it produces flows thru the entire low voltage electrical system. The generator must be heated cherry red hot on it's top tip to a point where it actually turns cheery red.

If this is not the case, the generator may not be getting sufficient heat from the pilot flames which encircle the generator. The pilot flame may be restricted. If so, cleaning the entire pilot assembly usually corrects this problem.

It's the pilot generators current that operates the electrical circuity of the componets, with the pump motor, as one of the only exclusions, within the heaters self contained unit, less the timer box. If the generator is weak or dead, {not producing current or enough current} replacing the pilot generator {PG} resolves this problem.

Pilot generators come in at least 3 different dc current producing capacities. Remove the exist PG and purchase a new one of equal size to ensure equal current producing capacities.

PG's can be purchased at pool supply stores and at heating agents retail stores. Some hardware stores carry replacement PG parts also. Just be sure to buy one of equal current producing valve.

FYI:
For the benefit of others reading this topic, a jumper wire is simply a single length of wire with alligator clips on each end. Jumper wires can be made simply by purchasing two small alligator clips at any electronics parts store and attaching a length of wire to each clip.

Regards & Good Luck,
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Last edited by Sharp Advice; 03-19-05 at 05:46 AM.
  #5  
Old 03-17-05, 08:05 PM
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Hi Danny, thats an old heater, keep in mind your working with apx. 1/2 dcv

which is not a lot. ideally you need a multi-meter set on ohms scale ,

take the wires off the gas valve [ leave the pilot wires connected ] what you have is many different switches that control the heater firing circuitry,
connect one end of your multi-meter to the wire that went to the gas valve, and goes to the thermostat, with the loose end of the probe of your multi-meter check the thermistat terminal, you should have continunity, [if not replace that wire], now move your probe to the other terminal on the thermistat [ with the thermistat turned up] you should have continunity, [ if not the t. stat is defective] from the t. stat the wiring should go to the toggle switch, same drill , put your probe on the terminal [ from the t. stat] again you should have continunity] turn the switch on and move your probe to the other terminal on the switch, you should have continunity] [ note if you can wiggle this switch and see your meter fluctuate , replace the switch [ they are noted for this ] from the switch the wires run up the side of the heater to the hi limit switches [ 2 ] check them the same way, and from the last hi limit the wire returns to the gas valve, the pilot should read apx. 500 mv hopefully , set your multi-meter on dc voltage and a low range connect one lead to the red wire and the other to the white [ if you connect them in reverse you will see the meter try to go off the scale backwards, [ if your using an analog meter]. if every thing checks out ok, it may be the gas valve itself, with the pilot off, use a 1.5 volt AA batt and momentarily connect to where the wires you removed to make all your tests, you will hear an audible clicking, this is the valve working, sometimes gas valves stick when not used for a long time, there may be spider webs in the gas orifices, stay away from in front of the heater, when trying to fire the heater, if it ever fires and runs, then you can bend down and look at the flame to see if all burners are on and what the flame looks like.

sorry this is soooo long winded. steve

p / s after all that i left out the pressure switch , same drill , with the pump running you should have continunity.
 
 

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