Hayward H250 Heater Stopped Working

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  #1  
Old 07-28-08, 02:14 PM
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Hayward H250 Heater Stopped Working

I have a Hayward H250 heater that has been great for eight years (used about 3 months per year for a total of 24 months use - about 3-4 hours a day). Today the water was a bit cold, so I checked the thermostat and it called for heat but the heater wouldn't fire up. All wire connections appear to be OK although some are a bit corroded.

I then checked the pilot light, but, of course, it's not visible on this unit without taking some parts off, so I can't tell if it's on or off and the outside noise makes it impossible to hear the hiss. So, I tried a whole bunch of times to light it using the igniter, but nothing. Then I tried to light it with a butane lighter just in case the igniter was shot, but still nothing.

So it doesn't work, but I've never done any maintenance on any pool heater before other than lighting each season. Can someone provide some suggestions on what may be the problem, what I have to do to diagnose it, etc.?

Thanks,

QC
 
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Old 07-28-08, 03:00 PM
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good place to start is here. Should help you out.

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=348005
 
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Old 07-28-08, 06:43 PM
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Thanks, todrut, but I don't think most of that stuff applies to me.

I though it may something more like this

http://forum.doityourself.com/showth...highlight=h250

except our friend here didn't specify exactly what parts he had replaced!

QC
 
  #4  
Old 07-28-08, 07:44 PM
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OK, looking at the Hayward parts diagram and parts list for this heater, there seem to be two switches - a pressure switch and a system switch, as well as a pilot. Is the pilot generator the same as the pilot? I presume that the pressure switch senses the water pressure and turns on the heater when pressure reaches a certain threshold. What exactly does the system switch do? I know it needs to be on for the heater to work, but am not quite sure what it does exactly. This switch was a bit stiff and loosened up when I pressed quite a bit harder! Does that indicate a faulty switch?
 
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Old 07-29-08, 06:48 AM
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Any pool heater technicians around this forum?

My family keeps complaining that the water is too cold (down to 82 deg F!) and I need to get this thing working again to get it up to what they like - 85 deg plus.
 
  #6  
Old 07-29-08, 07:36 AM
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The switches are not an issue if your pilot is not lit. You have to get down on your knees and look up under to see pilot. If it is not lit and will not stay lit more than likely you have a bad pilot generator or if it does not lite at all it is most likely a gas issue or spider webs in pilot.
 
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Old 07-29-08, 05:54 PM
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OK, I dug out my owners' manual for this heater - it is a treasure trove of good information.

I went through the Heater Will Not Fire - (Millivolt) flowchart (for qualified service personnel only, it reads, hahahahaha...)

and here is what I've done:

Got an old blanket and got right down as you suggest todrut. Then lit the pilot. That worked just fine. And it stays lit. Turned gas valve to ON, turned system switch to ON, turned up the thermostat (and heard the click indicating it's calling for heat) but nothing happened from the burners.

So I jumped across both TH terminals on the gas valve (I think). But still nothing happened. So it looks like my gas valve needs replacing according to the flow chart.

But here is my uncertainty at the moment. The diagram in the manual looks different from the unit itself and the labels on the unit are so faded, I can't be sure I've jumped the correct terminals. I am attaching a photo (above) so that someone can help me by confirming that those are the two terminals I was supposed to jump, before I go out and spend money and work on replacing this thing. What I jumped are the two terminals to the left in the red zone. Are those the correct ones?

Thanks in advance.

QC
 
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Old 07-29-08, 09:16 PM
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I don't see that you have tripped anything in the picture however you should be tripping the black wire terminal and the white. Before being sure it is the valve, you need to check the millivolts of the pilot generator(red & white wire coming from pilot). It should be more than 300 if not there is not enough to open valve. If it is more than you need a valve.
 
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Old 07-30-08, 07:33 AM
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Yes, the picture was taken afterwards. But I tripped the black wire with the red cap over the connector and the white wire in the middle. I'll do it again though before putting out $200 plus for the valve. Wow those things are pricey! I'd hate to assemble an entire heater with those parts prices!

I'll check the voltage coming from the pilot generator as you say. Hummmm, wonder why they left that out of the diagnostic flow chart in the manual?
 
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Old 08-01-08, 11:36 AM
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OK, todrut, I've made some progress but am not sure i am out of the woods yet.

I tested the pilot generator output and obtained 570 mV on my multimeter, so I went ahead and picked up a new gas valve from my local pool supplier and installed it. These suckers are expensive - I was able to negotiate a discounted price of $297 from $354.25!

Once installed (not exactly a piece of cake) the thing still would not fire, and I had a sad vision of having picked up a defective valve and having to re-do the job! So I jumped the white and black wires and then it fired up. Then I just left it to heat the pool water for a few hours. Once the water was at the correct temperature, it turned off so then I turned it back on to see if it would fire up on its own, and it did! So now I am just wondering if it just needed a little help to get it going the first time after the valve was replaced (i.e. is that common?), or if something else is on the verge of going too, like the pressure switch, etc .....

Any thoughts?

QC
 
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Old 08-01-08, 03:15 PM
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that stinks to hear is was of course the higher priced part. Anything could have been causing it when you put the new one on, but probably it was just air in system unless you bled the valve. I would never leave a heater tripped out though, it could cause serious fire, it bypasses all safetys so if your pump was to stop the heater would continue to burn and just melt down. If it acts up again, double check your wire connections for looseness.
 
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Old 08-01-08, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by todrut View Post
that stinks to hear is was of course the higher priced part. Anything could have been causing it when you put the new one on, but probably it was just air in system unless you bled the valve. I would never leave a heater tripped out though, it could cause serious fire, it bypasses all safetys so if your pump was to stop the heater would continue to burn and just melt down. If it acts up again, double check your wire connections for looseness.
Thanks, I thought something like that could have happened so I kept a fairly close eye on it, still am. Sounds like it was just air in the gas system, because I didn't bleed the valve, didn't know I was supposed to. It seems to be working OK now, though.
 
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Old 08-26-08, 05:47 PM
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Well, this new valve I installed didn't last long. After two weeks it decided to not start up and it's been the luck of the draw from day to day since then. Most days I've had to jump the wires to get this thing firing up to heat the pool while I've waited for a replacement, which has just arrived, so hopefully this one will last longer.

Are these valves as crappy as they appear to be in general or did I just get a lemon?

I have never have any such problem with either my furnaces or gas water heaters. Don't they utilize similar valves?
 
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Old 08-28-08, 09:03 AM
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OOps, double post.......................
 
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Old 08-28-08, 09:08 AM
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Looks like I need to replace the pressure switch.

Here is what I've done. Replaced the gas valve again and she started up right away as soon as I turned the dial to ON and the thermostat up. That was yesterday. When compared to the gas valve I just put on, the first gas valve I replaced was missing the thread sealer and the two plastic caps on the threads as well as the brass fitting for the pilot tube connection, so combined with the fact that it didn't start up right away like this one did, my guess is that the pool retailer sold me a used or tampered gas valve the first time around. That S.O.B. !!!

This morning it didn't fire up again! So I jumped the wires on the gas valve, and she fired up. Turned the thermostat down and then back up to continue diagnosing the problem. Again it did not start up. Jumped the pressure switch wires and she fired up again. In this scenario the manual says to clean the filter and check for adequate pressure. I've cleaned the filter and the pressure is normal. So then it says to adjust the pressure switch or replace it. I've played with the setting on it without success. So it looks like I need to replace it. Does this sound good?

QC
 
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Old 08-28-08, 02:05 PM
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If you jump out the pres switch does it fire up alright? If so then yes replace it. It does sound like you got one that they have been stealing parts off of. I hope you did not have to pay for the new one. The valves are generally pretty good, not somuch trouble with them.
 
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Old 08-29-08, 07:26 AM
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Thanks, todrut. I only paid once for the gas valve. It's against the law in this jurisdiction to sell defective parts, so suppliers have to supply a good one (for a one time charge) within a reasonable period of time.

When I jump either the gas valve or the pressure switch it fires up. If I jump the thermostat wires, nothing happens; besides I can hear the click of the thermostat when I turn it up and down at the point where it wants to start or turn off, so the thermostat should be OK. I'll go ahead and buy a pressure switch.

I hope that the old saying "problems happen in threes" doesn't come true in this case, lol. Two failures in one summer is enough for me!
 
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Old 05-24-12, 07:13 PM
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Just went to light my pilot light, but it keeps going off. The push button igniter no longer works, but I can light the pilot with a long butane lighter. Once it ignites, it will stay lit until I release the pilot button about 90% of the way, then it goes out when the button nearly reaches the top! It has done this about a dozen times, far too many to keep trying.

Any ideas what may be causing this?

This heater was initially installed back in 2000. Anyone know the approximate service life of these units?

Thanks,

quickcurrent
 
  #19  
Old 05-25-12, 08:44 AM
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sounds like the pilot generator is bad or could be the pilot light has a cobweb in it preventing it from being full flame. I would clean out pilot with a pipe cleaner or something similar then try it again. if does not help check mv on generator.
 
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Old 05-25-12, 07:20 PM
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Thanks todrut, I had actually thought of doing that because there are cobwebs inside the cover panel, but I can't even see the end of the tube feeding the pilot light! All I can do to get the thing lit with the propane lighter is to stick the lighter as far as I can and light it blindly that way. Do I need to take everything part to clean the pilot tube, or is there some trick to it?

Thanks,

QC
 
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Old 05-26-12, 06:35 AM
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usually you can get your arm back to it going under burner tray. If not you will need to remove burner tray.
 
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Old 05-30-12, 02:25 PM
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Looks like my pilot generator is toast!

I wasn't able to get in to clean the pilot (can't get at the end of the tube), but got the pilot lit and had my son hold the pilot button on the valve so I could read the milivolts. I could only get 3-5 milivolts on my meter.

The wire connections are quite good with little dirt or corrosion.

Guess I better get a pilot generator, huh?
 
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Old 05-31-12, 05:54 AM
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3-5? or 300-500? Still can be the pilot if the flame is not consuming the generator properly. I would pull out tray and clean pilot before purchasing new generator.
 
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Old 05-31-12, 07:22 AM
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That's what I thought, was it reading 3, 4, 5 or 300, 400, 500! My multimeter has settings of 200m, 2000m, 20, 200, and 1000 in the DC volt section. With the settings at 20 and higher I could only get either nothing or crazy negative numbers. With it set at 2000m (resolution 1mV) my readings were either 3, 4, or 5. So that would be 3-5 millivolts wouldn't it? Would that not indicate that the pilot generator is doing next to nothing?

I noticed the flame appears to be yellowish (but a good size) rather than bluish while holding down the pilot button on the gas valve, don't know if that means anything!

Anyways, I have to start taking the whole thing apart, whether for cleaning or to replace the pilot generator. Unfortunately things like pool heater parts, auto parts, etc. always cost twice as much in Canada as they do in the US. I was planning a trip to Buffalo, so I'll see if I can line one up for pick up while I'm there. But, first I will attempt to clean it once I can get at it, just in case.
 
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Old 05-31-12, 07:39 AM
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with the flame being yellow, it makes me think it is the pilot that is dirty.
 
  #26  
Old 05-31-12, 07:40 AM
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I think it is only 6 screws and gas pipe to remove the tray.
 
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Old 06-04-12, 01:59 PM
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It's a bit more work than that, todrut, but not too bad. We've had a lot of rain on and off here over the past few days and I had to work between showers to get the heater taken apart. I've taken the burner unit out of the heater and have taken three shots of the end of the burner tube, the spark igniter and pilot generator assembly. Photos are here

Login to a private Photobucket.com album

The end of the pilot tube has a little cap on it and pin holes around the sides, too small to insert a pipe cleaner, but they appear to be clean anyways.

The spark igniter end wire is a little bent toward the pilot generator; I don't know if it's supposed to be like that! When I press the igniter button it does produce a spark towards the pilot generator that reaches the pilot generator, yet the spark did not ignite the pilot light! I sort of expected the spark to go towards the pin holes near the end of the pilot tube (to the gas)!

The pilot generator itself looks quite corroded. Is there any way of testing it, before I replace it?
 
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Old 06-04-12, 02:47 PM
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can't see pictures, it says it is a private album and asks for password. Need to get a small wire or something to clean out the pilot. you can test the generator with a voltmeter set on mv, should get around 700 or more with a good flame to it.
 
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Old 06-04-12, 06:27 PM
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Sorry, todrut, I've set it to public now.

So if I apply a flame from a copper pipe soldering torch to the generator and hook its wires up to the multimeter, that would work to test it without reassembling it?

I don't know about cleaning it because it's very hard to get anything in there and bend it to clean it, but if I can test it that way and get 500 + milivolts, then I'll have to find a way. Maybe if I can take the little cap off, then I can use a pipe cleaner. But if it tests bad, then it's a moot point.
 
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Old 06-04-12, 09:24 PM
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the cap does not come off, yes on the torch, use a trash bag twist tie, rip the paper off of it. You can also take pilot apart from bottom and remove the parts making sure everything is clean
 
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Old 06-05-12, 11:09 AM
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I have to give it to you, todrut, it's people like you that, in addition to helping us users save a few bucks, make this forum a worthwhile and interesting learning experience. Your personal experience and contribution is much appreciated.

I just tested the generator and it did in fact reach up around 800 millivolts before I cut the heat to it. It's obviously an obstruction in the pilot tube that keeps my unit from working properly.

Unfortunately I could only get a piece of phone wire (full cable) up to the second bend in the tube, it's impossible to push it through the second bend. Pipe cleaners are too short. It's also impossible to get a thinner wire down into the pilot from the cap end - the wire just wants to go through across to the other little holes! So I tried taking the tube apart underneath the pilot but that connection is too corroded and the corners of the hex nut stripped off! So I then sprayed some oil on the connection and am leaving it sit overnight to soak in and then I'll try using a vice grip on that joint to take it apart. That's the only way I'll be able to clean out whatever is obstructing the flow of gas to the pilot.
 
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Old 06-05-12, 01:55 PM
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thank you, I do my best. Hopefully it is not just rusted on inside, might need a new pilot. The wire you are using to go through the pilot, what I do is make a small bend so it is L shaped and insert into pilopt then spin and twirl in and out to get the web (usual cause is spider web).
 
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Old 06-05-12, 01:57 PM
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you mentioned something about a bend, just to clarify, you are cleaning the actual pilot where the flame comes out not the tube to the pilot right?
 
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Old 06-10-12, 07:27 PM
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OK, I finally got around to taking the pilot off the pilot tube. What a job! The hex nut got totally stripped, first with the open end wrench, then with the vice grip! But it's apart.

Now I have another issue. The tiny hole through the pilot is so small that I have nothing around that is fine enough to push through the hole. The finest sewing needle in the house is too thick! My suspicion is that the little hole is partially blocked with corrosion, there is corrosion everywhere that made me think that all the other pilot parts were all one part, until I looked at the owner's manual! I suppose the hole is that small to restrict the flow of gas. Is there something that can be used to push through it (very fine but strong), or do I need to replace the pilot? Or might a soaking over a couple of days in rust remover (CLR) clean everything out?
 
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Old 06-10-12, 08:15 PM
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unfortunately at this point it sounds like might need to get new pilot.
 
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Old 06-11-12, 01:34 PM
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That's what I was thinking. $150.00 + 13% tax here. $99 in US!
 
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Old 06-11-12, 04:51 PM
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sounds about right, over priced pool parts....
 
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Old 06-12-12, 07:11 PM
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You got it bro. I asked the dealer in Ontario if the part was gold plated, lol.

The dealer in the US selling this pilot online for $99 does not sell to Canadians (I suppose our money is no good), wants a US billing address! So I called a pool dealer in Niagara falls, NY, and was quoted $98 (no shipping charge or fee payable to the UPS store to hold the parcel for me). They told me that they've been selling these parts like hot cakes; I suppose lots of folks are trying to fire up their heaters only to find out what I did :-( but they have some on order that should be in soon.
 
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Old 06-12-12, 08:10 PM
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let me know how it goes when it comes in, good luck...
 
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Old 06-18-12, 09:58 AM
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Hayward H250

I am having trouble getting my pool heater to fire. Have replaced the gas valve per Hayward manual at $350 but no luck. Have also bypassed all switches in an attempt to get to fire. This is the Haywrd milli volt heater. Pilot generator is measuring 440 mV. Cleaned pilot orifice. Any ideas? Heater is only 4 years old.
 
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