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Pool heater tips so you can enjoy warm water any time.

School is out and summer has finally arrived at our doorstep, and nothing says “it’s summer” like the smell of suntan lotion and chlorine. If you have an inground pool, you are looking forward to lazy pool days and throwing pool parties. But you also know that June temperatures can be a little unpredictable and without a pool heater, the water may actually be too cold to enjoy some days.

Family-playing-in-heated-swimming-pool

To make sure that your pool heater is up to par and ready to crank up the water temp all summer long, you will want to follow a few basic steps upon opening your pool in the Spring.

1. Check the area around the heater for debris.

Pool heaters work by pulling air in from the outside and then mixes with the gas to heat the heat exchanger. If the area around the base of the heater and the vents are cluttered with leaves, pet hair, or other dirt and debris, this will prevent the air from flowing properly into the unit. Bad air flow can lead to inefficiencies or cause damage to the heater. Keep the area around the heater free of debris all summer by regularly looking for blockages.

2. Inspect the inside of the cabinet for pests or nests.

Before turning on your pool heater for the summer, you need to open the cabinet of the heater and inspect the inside for any pests or nests that may have gotten in over the winter months. Also inspect and clear the inside area of any debris, and look for obvious leaks or other obstructions around the internal components as well.

3. Make sure the water is flowing through the unit properly.

It is important to know that the proper amount of water flows into the pool heater from the pool filter. Therefore, ensuring the filter is clean and clear of debris is just as important as maintaining the heater itself. Maintain any filter baskets regularly and backwash the pool filter as needed. Do this throughout the summer to make sure debris doesn’t accumulate.

4. Inspect the connections for rust or leaks.

There are several pipes and tubes inside the pool heater otherwise known as the heat exchanger. You will want to inspect the heat exchanger for any obvious leaks, rust, or cracks. Leaks may not be obvious until the pool is fully functional, so you will need to inspect the area again after the maintenance is completed and the pool filter and pool heater are turned on and running as expected.

 5. Keep the water chemistry in check.

Ensuring your pool’s chemicals are balanced and at the correct levels may not be something you thought about for pool heater maintenance. However, it is important to understand that unbalanced chemical levels can affect the heater’s components. When pH levels in a pool are too low, the water can become acidic which can erode the heat exchange over time. This can lead to costly repairs and possibly a replacement unit all together.

Swimming-pool-heaterIn addition to the 5 tips above, here are a few additional things to consider and look for during your pool heater annual maintenance:

  •  Run the Heater: even if you are having a sweltering hot summer, occasionally run your pool heater to make sure the components are not sitting idle for long periods of time.
  • Water Levels: regularly check the water levels in the pool since low water levels can overwork the pool heater, causing damage and expensive repairs.
  • Backwash: occasionally backwashing the filter can help the pool heater by removing excess dirt and debris, preventing it from making its way to the heater.
  • Thermostat: check the thermostat to ensure it is working properly and maintaining the desired water temperature.
  • Professional Service: even if you are an avid pool maintenance DIY’er, getting a professional inspection every now and then can help detect bigger issues that may not be visible or obvious to a homeowner.
  • Proper Winterization: opening a pool is only as good as its closing. Ensuring that your pool and heater were properly winterized in the Fall is essential to prevent damage from the harsh winter months.

Following these simple tips may not prevent your pool heater from ever breaking, but it will prolong its lifespan and extend the mileage you get out of it. Being proactive can prevent unexpected repairs that are costly and frustrating. With proper annual maintenance, you will be able to enjoy a warm pool even on mild summer days.

If you have any issues with your pool heater, or you simply do not feel comfortable doing annual maintenance yourself, Blue Chip Plumbing, the leading pool heater repair company in Cincinnati, is always happy to help. Contact us here or give us a call today at (513) 999-6820 to speak to a plumbing specialist and get a free quote on any of our pool heater services.

Q&A

1. What should you check around your pool heater before starting it up in the spring?

Before starting up your pool heater in the spring, check the area around the heater for debris such as leaves, pet hair, and dirt. Keeping the area clear ensures proper airflow, which is essential for the heater’s efficiency and prevents potential damage.

2. Why is it important to inspect the inside of the pool heater cabinet?

Inspecting the inside of the pool heater cabinet is crucial to ensure there are no pests, nests, or debris that accumulated over the winter. This inspection helps prevent obstructions and allows you to spot any obvious leaks or damages to the internal components.

3. What should you look for when inspecting the pool heater connections?

When inspecting the pool heater connections, look for any signs of rust, leaks, or cracks in the pipes and tubes, also known as the heat exchanger. Perform this inspection both before and after turning on the heater to catch any issues that might arise once the pool is fully operational.

4. How does water chemistry affect your pool heater?

Water chemistry plays a significant role in maintaining your pool heater. Unbalanced chemical levels, particularly low pH, can make the water acidic and cause corrosion in the heat exchanger. This can lead to costly repairs or even the need for a replacement unit.

5. What are some additional tips for maintaining your pool heater?

Additional tips for maintaining your pool heater include occasionally running the heater to prevent idle components, checking water levels regularly to avoid overworking the heater, backwashing the filter to keep dirt and debris out of the heater, ensuring the thermostat functions properly, and getting professional inspections to detect any hidden issues. Proper winterization of your pool and heater is also essential to prevent winter damage.