Old Heater not so Hot!

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  #1  
Old 05-12-13, 12:57 PM
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Old Heater not so Hot!

Posted this on an old thread a few minutes ago, but thought I'd start a new one just incase the other is too stale.

My pool heater is a Teledyn Laars millivolt heater - We bought this house last summer and there were some initial issues (again with the pilot), pool guy was able to make an adjustment and then it worked fine then for the summer.
Here is the what i posted to the other thread:

I have also been having trouble getting my pilot light to stay lit this season and had the pool repair guys take a look at it. Their diagnosis (after telling me this millivolt system was antiquated and needed replacement) was that (maybe..) it was either the thermopile or the gas valve. Of course they told me it would be hard to find such items - then they found them and quoted me a price that several times more than the cost I found online.
So, I gave it a shot and replaced the thermopile. Still no worky. Here are the symptoms:

1. Gas gets around thermopile does not stay on - sometimes it goes out immediately when quit depressing the pilot valve, sometimes it takes a few minutes. One time I think i heard a click when I watched it go out.

2. Even when it stay's lit for a few minutes in the on position, I cannot get the furnace to fire.

What I've done -

a. Replaced the thermopile
b. Thoroughly cleaned and tightened all connections
b. Checked the on/off switch, thermostat (heater setting), and pressure valve. All seem to be working (open when off, short when closed).

I think the next step is a new gas valve - but even online, they are several hundred dollars.

What say you o' great repairmen of the internet? Purchase the valve? Install it myself? Sheepishly ask a pool repairman to install the valve I bought? Give up (not really an option) and let them take all my money for a repair?

Oh, one more detail - need this sucker up by Saturday for a graduation party.

Thanks for your help,
Bob
 
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  #2  
Old 05-12-13, 01:19 PM
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Two threads running on the same subject started by the same poster causes a lot of confusion.
 
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Old 05-12-13, 01:32 PM
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Oh, one more detail - need this sucker up by Saturday for a graduation party.
I would let the kids swim in a cold pool.... Thats what they are made for......


Anyway there are several tests you can do with a multimeter to take some readings to verify the issue. Does sound like gas valve though....

I will try to find a doc link to these tests.
 
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Old 05-12-13, 01:42 PM
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Oh I would probably invest in a solar system before I would consider replacement....

An example here.

How Does Heliocol Solar Pool Heating Work
 
  #5  
Old 05-12-13, 03:01 PM
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Roger that! We only use it for the jacuzzi - where the old folks hang out and enjoy adult beverages.
 
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Old 05-12-13, 03:16 PM
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Got it. Sorry about that -
Desperate Newbee
 
  #7  
Old 05-13-13, 11:05 AM
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first thing to do is check your millivolts even replacing it you might have enough to open valve.
 
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Old 05-13-13, 01:48 PM
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What readings are considered good/bad?
 
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Old 05-13-13, 01:55 PM
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I believe at least 550 millivolt min...Should be around 750 mv.
 
  #10  
Old 05-16-13, 07:49 PM
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Thanks Lawrosa - was able to get this thing working and wanted to post a final update in case someone else has the same problem.
Got some great advice from a local (Escondido CA) pool repairman

The pilot issue was resolved by a thorough cleaning of the connection to the solenoid on the Robert Shaw gas valve. Apparently this is a common problem. buffed out the pin in the orifice with a small pencil like dremel tool attachment and did the same thing for the female connector on the wire. BOOM! Pilot light was strong and stayed lit! But alas, still no gas to the burners.

Found out that there are even more safety interconnects than the on/off, thermostat, and pressure switches. the same serial circuit also climbs up to the manifold to a couple of high limit switches. Lucky for me, the problem was the connection on the pressure switch leading up to these two puppies. Cleaned that sucker with the dremel and got a good ring with the meter. Next thing ya know - plenty o' gas and plenty o' heat! Wondering if i ever needed to buy the new thermopile - oh well 50 bucks compared to the first repairman's estimate of over 800 for a new thermopile and gas valve (which would not have solved the problem) - ya gotta love that!
 

Last edited by todrut; 05-17-13 at 08:56 AM.
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