Pool And Spa Heaters
SoCalGas Co. is giving out 300.00-750.00 rebates for new gas heaters...if you are in or near the "box" formed by the 118,405,101,and 23 freeways call 818-345-7665 (POOL)
rebates also available for commercial 2.00 per 1,000 BTUs
or click the "contact form" above left
The photo above and below is a Sta-Rite Maxi-E-Therm pool and spa heater. This heater is my favorite residential gas heater for several reasons:
1)Note the round combustion chamber - its harder for rats to get inside the enclosed combustion chamber,and its very unlikely for debris to get in exhaust due to its simple but effective design.
2)It has one of the highest efficiency ratings in its class and price, mainly from the way the gas is mixed with the air before being introduced into the combustion chamber - notice how the gas valve is directly connected to the circular blower which pumps the gas/air mixture to combustion chamber.
3)Reliability - its one the most reliable and trouble free and easy to maintain gas heaters I have ever worked on - and I have over 20 years experience with heaters.
4)Because of its round shape, size and weight, it can be easily installed almost anywhere.
5)The outside is made of a composite material which does not rust.
6)This pool and spa heater has no pilot-it uses a ceramic ignitor to ignite burners-extremely reliable! (photo of ceramic ignitor at link below) If you are having trouble with your heater, below is a link to common heater problems:
Shown above is same Maxitherm heater but commercial version with brass header... the best commercial heater in this price and efficiency range
Shown below is the same heater in a square box and different color - same on the inside but available in more sizes(BTU's)...another advantage of the square box is that if you have rats that like to chew on your heater wiring,the square box makes it easier to secure any openings.
The heater shown above is a copy of the StaRite/Pentair heater at top of page. Jandy pretty much copied the heater after several failures of their own - however they added a few improvements. This is the Jandy JXI heater and two major improvements come to mind:
1)The header where the copper heat exchanger tubes come together is made in stainless steel.
2)They added an optional feature (shown below) that allows water to by-pass heater when it is not in use, prolonging the life of the heat exchanger...there is also an additional plumbing port on the VersaFlo by-pass to give installer more plumbing options.
UPDATE 11/15/2018: I worked on one of these heaters for the first time today....they are more difficult to work on than the Pentair/StaRite heater and parts are MUCH more expensive...if you are deciding between these two heaters I would pick the Pentair/StaRite heater over the Jandy JXI
Heater above and below is Pentair ETI 400 Heater. Mostly intended for commercial applications,it boasts 94% thermal efficiency and pure Titanium exchanger for corrosion free service. On photo below you an see two blowers - one for intake,one for exhaust....because the heater puts so much of the heat into water,the venting can be plastic. 3 year warranty including labor QUALIFIES FOR 750.00 SoCalGas Co. REBATE!
Below is a heater from the Raypak heaters brand I think these are generally a good design except changing/cleaning the pilot can be a real pain on these heaters and:If you are in California or any other area where Lo Nox heaters are required,these heaters have been converted to Lo Nox standard which I believe is not as good as having a heater designed from the outset to be Lo Nox such as the models above..in my opinion,heaters that have been converted are more temper-mental as far as pressure settings,cleaning of burners and orifices,etc. and are more likely to need maintenance to burn properly.
Shown above and below is a Hayward H-series pool and spa heater. It is low profile and designed from the outset to be a Low Nox.
I especially like the 150,000 BTU version of this heater for spas (shown above) because it will fit in many tight spots formally occupied by 125,000 BTU or smaller heaters.
The version below is the commercial model with brass manifold.
These heaters in my opinion need their circuit boards replaced a little too often.
I have had repairmen who deal exclusively with pool heaters tell me that the Hayward H-series heaters have problems with the heat exchangers fouling due to the very tight spacing of exchanger fins which was done to wring maxinum efficiency from heat as shown below....personally I have not encountered it yet on any of my installations.
You may notice an absence of Jandy/Zodiak heaters on this page: they have a new heater called the JXi which i believe to be somewhat a copy of the heater at top of page-it may be good have not tried it...but the four heaters proceding it - the Lite lo nox,the HI-E2,the LT,and the LX were absolute garbage and a standing monument to the fact "made in the USA" does not always mean quality