How Do You Troubleshoot A Pool Heater?

Pool heaters will always be a popular trend among swimming pools, and because of the advancement of technology, there are pool heaters with higher efficiencies and longevity. However, you should know that your pool heater will depend on the climate and the pool size to work effectively.

How do you Troubleshoot a Pool Heater? First of all, know the cause of its malfunction, which depends upon the level of its flow, the noise it creates, and when it doesn’t turn on anymore. If this takes too mechanical work for you, then call the attention of any pool professional.

A Must-Read: How to Select the Best Pool Pump

But you don’t have to worry because basic troubleshooting steps are being provided in the manual. In here, different information about the pool heater will be discussed, including a short overview of its importance, various issues, and how you will troubleshoot it. Some frequently asked questions will be discussed in the article as well.

What Is A Pool Heater?

A pool heater is used to control the water temperature of the swimming pool. It is operated either by gas, solar power, or electricity. But before buying a new set of pool heaters, you need to know some of the basic, but important information about this equipment, such as its operation, lifespan, and types.

How Does A Pool Heater Work?

The regular job of the pool heater is to circulate cold water into the heating system to balance the water temperature. The water would pass down through a filter going to the heater. Then, the heater would generate the heat going to the water that’s returning to the pool. The most efficient type of heater is gas pool heaters because they can quickly heat the water regardless of the weather.

Selecting A Good Pool Heater

In choosing a pool heater, you must consider the size, costs, and efficiency. The pool heater can only be determined according to the size and the surface area of the pool. Aside from that, you should also think about some other factors, including the humidity levels and cold night temperature, so it becomes easier for you to adjust the pool temperature.

The Efficiency Of The Pool Heater

The British Thermal Unit output is one way where pool owners can determine the energy efficiency of a pool heater. You have to calculate the ratio of the usable output to energy input. Also, there’s information about the heater’s efficiency percentage. Most of the pool heaters have 80 to 95% energy efficiency.

The Benefits of Having Pool Heaters

A swimming pool is an ideal add on to your home’s beauty. You can improve your pool by installing a pool heater. Here are the advantages of having a pool heater:

Pool Heaters Extend Your Pool Season

If you add a pool heater, then it will extend your summer because it will automatically set to perfect summer temperature. You’ll also have to add a heat pump that could transfer heat from the air to your pool. Thus, making you and your family enjoy the pool without a drastic increase in energy costs. You can also upgrade your swimming pool by adding a heater, which can be used for a particular bonding time for your family.

Pool Heaters Is A Great Investment

It’s great to keep a swimming pool with complete pool equipment because it can be the main reason for the property cost increase. To acquire the most value from your investment, you should also improve your pool and make it a crowning glory of your home. Improving your home won’t keep it from appreciating value.

Pool Heaters Are Durable

Although it’ll make you extra careful to maintain the pool heater, yet it can be very durable and would last for a couple of years. You just have to maintain your warmth at all times, so it won’t easily get damaged. Keeping a pool heater will add to the value and style of your home and the swimming pool’s longevity.

How To Troubleshoot Pool Heater’s Malfunction

Like any other thing, pool heaters can malfunction if it’s not taken care of or simply because of old age. Pool heaters need to be maintained, and as a pool owner, you also have the responsibility to know the best way to take care of your pool.

If The Heater Won’t Turn On

It is among the most common dilemmas in every swimming pool. First of all, you should check the heater’s filter is clean and then try to turn on the thermostat if it’s working after cleaning. One of the reasons why you can’t turn it on is because of the dirty filter that causes low pressure. As expected, if the pressure is too low, it will cause the heater to turn off.

If it’s not working, then you have to if the shut-off valve on gas heaters is open so it can supply fuel properly going to the heater. If the heater is electric, then make sure that there’s no corrosion forming at the terminals and check if they are tight enough.

If the problem persists, then you proceed in checking the transformer by and connect the voltmeter leads to the transformer’s terminal.

Inadequate Heating

It is another filter problem, where the owner might have mistakenly set the timer wrong. What causes the filter to stop heating is a dirty filter, so you have to clean it first before setting the temperature on, which has to be high enough so you can assure it’s working. Then, you also have to reset the timer, so it will allow the heater to run.

Another thing that you have to look after is the system valves and make sure that it will go through the heater. If checking all these things doesn’t resolve any problems, then check if you are using the correct heater.

One factor affecting the heat is the size of the pool and heater that might not correlate with one another. If the heater is too small, then expect that the pool might not properly heat.

The Noise That The Heater Projects

You have to be alarmed when your heater makes unusual noises, such as whines or grinding, because there might be problems in the system hoses and filters.

What causes the heater to make whining noises is the debris being trapped in the filter, so you have to remove them. Check the system hoses for any blockages and the back-flush the filter. If there are still noises after you clean the debris, then better to call a technician instead.

The Best Time To Call A Pool Professional

The best thing that you can do is to start asking for a professional’s help is when it’s the last resort to do, and there’s no other way out to resolve the problem. You needed to call pool professionals so that they could educate you with their expertise and teach you some basic troubleshooting steps.

If You Don’t Know What To Do

Most of the time, people tend to panic when they find out that something is wrong with their heater instead of fixing it by themselves. However, if you’re not an expert in fixing complicated pool problems, then settling for a pool professional would be the best thing that you can do.

If It’s Too Technical To Handle

Simple troubleshooting steps can’t easily resolve some things, and even if you have already exhausted your resources, the problem still exists. There so many things that you cannot do yet the pool experts can, so you have to be teachable when they teach you new things about resolving your pool heater problems. Apart from that, they might have the materials to fix it completely.

If Your Safety Is Compromised

Any malfunction that occurs can be a serious warning to you because it might compromise your safety, especially to the little ones. If you’re not sure how to solve your problem, especially when it comes to fixing the electrical part of the heater, then ask either the manufacturer or a professional pool technician to assist you.

Complicated situations need expertise, and one of the most dangerous problems of a heater is when the gas valves are malfunctioning. There are also faulty wirings that may cause electrical shock.

Top Common Pool Heater Problems

Time will come that your pool heater began to downgrade its performance. If you’re in this situation, the only thing that you wanted to do is to put some remedy on how to lengthen its lifespan, especially if the heater is too pricey to handle.

The Failure To Ignite

If you want to solve the issue, you must correctly address the problem and ask yourself a couple of questions. Is your heater turned on? Is your pool heater set on the correct temperature level? Is the pump running with a filter? Did you turn on the gas supply valve?

If your heater failed to ignite, you have to inspect if the temperature has been set correctly. If yes, then check the pump and the filter if there is some debris hindering the filter and heater from working. Then, you have to check if the pilot is lit. If not, then check the gas pressure and air supply and ensure that the pilot is not clogged.

Low Water Pressure

If the filter is not working well because of some trapped debris and impurities, then the result would result in low water flow and pressure. To operate the heater efficiently, you have to maintain the flow of water, and heaters would do its job to apply pressure sensors. Before checking, you have to ask yourself some questions.

How many times have you cleaned the filter? Do you have another set of water features and how to fix the defective pressure sensor? What are the kinds of settings you are using on the variable speed pump?

Regarding the filter, you have to monitor the PSI reading to filter the pressure gauge. If proven that PSI is high enough, then it’s best to clean the filter. In terms of the water features, you must replace the motor with a larger heater because it might work well with the pool.

You also have to close all water features that you’re using all at once until the pool automatically heats to the correct temperature.

Pool Heater Is Not Heating

When the pool heater isn’t reaching its desired temperature, it could be that the heater is not enough to the pool size, or the heater isn’t heating at all. If the heater doesn’t generate heat anymore, you might have to inspect the temperature sensor and make sure it was installed correctly.

Regarding the size, they have to be aligned with each other. You cannot put a big heater in an undersized swimming pool and vice versa. You have to buy a heater that’s well-suited with the size of the pool.

Questions You Needed To Ask Before Troubleshooting

It’s essential to know the root of the problems before you troubleshoot the heater. Here are the most commonly asked questions that you have to figure out for yourself:

How To Fix A Defective Pressure Sensor?

What made a pressure sensor so vital in the pool heater is that it ensures that the water is flowing before you turn on the heater. You must make sure that the pool pump is turned on, and the filter is already clean, so the voltage can manage to pass through the unit. If the pressure sensor and switch are not working correctly, then better to replace them.

Was The Pool Water Chemistry Balanced?

If pool water chemistry is poor, then expect that equipment is bound for failing, especially the heater. You have to adjust the chemical levels of the pool water before setting up the equipment or regularly checking it. If you don’t know what to do, then the instructions are provided in the manual.

How Often Are You Cleaning The Filter?

You have to maintain the cleanliness of the filter to prevent low water pressure. With low water pressure, there’s a tendency that the heater’s pressure sensor will turn off automatically and will only be restored when you remove the debris in the filter. A dirty filter will also result in the heater to shut off.

Are You Using Multiple Water Features At Once?

If you are using too many water features, then realize that it will be the reason for decreased water flow. If you think that the heater cannot sustain the pool size, then replace it with a large heater to cover the water feature. The pool will automatically heat until the desired temperature is hit.

Did You Try Inspecting The Pressure Sensor And Thermal Regulator?

Every part of the pool is essential to one another. Although these parts played different roles, they are united to make your pool experience great and exciting. You have to make sure that every part of it is not experiencing corrosion and any electrolysis issues. If in case it happens, then don’t hesitate to replace them.

What To Do When You Have A Persistent Malfunctioning Heater

There are only two ways to get clarification about your malfunctioning heater: either you avail of its warranty or have it repaired by the pool professional.

Check The Manufacturer’s Warranty

If you have the equipment for about a year, then there is a bigger chance that the manufacturer will replace it with the one you needed the most. On the other hand, you must make sure that you have the official receipt with you before claiming the warranty.  It is because the official receipt is one of the requirements to access the manufacturer’s warranty.

If you cannot comply with the manufacturer’s requirements, you should expect that your warranty will be forfeited. For this reason, make sure to keep your equipment’s receipt secured in one place after making a purchase.

Contact The Local Pool Professional

In every situation where there is a major problem happening in your pool heater, it is better to consult a pool expert for effective advice. You are not required to be a know-it-all to resolve your pool problem because it might lead to doing wrong. It’s always best to be guided by professionals and have them teach you for the solution.


When troubleshooting the pool heater, then you must ask from a local pool expert. You can do many things with the internet if your local pool professional is not available. You can join in many online forums where pool owners are gathering to assist you with your pool problems.

Having a swimming pool in your house is always a great addition to your home. However, maintaining its beauty is another story. It indeed takes a huge amount of money to take care of a swimming pool, yet the joy it brings is priceless. Therefore, to keep the beauty of your home, you must also know how to maintain and improve it.

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