Pool heater pilot lights, goes out when heat called for
Ray Pak, 2100, good pilot, tried new pilot generator and gass valve. Jumped terminals around safety switches, cleaned pilot and burner. Seems like the gass pressure may be too high, would this tell the valve to shut down the pilot when heat is called for?
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Re: Pool heater pilot lights, goes out when heat called...
No, that would just cause you to have huge flame. There is another high pressure switch located next to the flame sensor/ pilot genator that can cause this problem it is the size of a quarter and is screwed down with 2 phillip head screws
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It is not a flame sensor.
It is a pilot generator or sometimes it is called a thermal pile or thermocouple.
easy to replace...
loosen brass nut, with aluminum tube at gas valve, and take good notice here... Two wires follow along the tubing and are connected to two of three screws on top of gas valve - loosen and remove. then unsecure pilot assembly from under the burner tray. Pull out the pilot assembly as one unit along with the tubing.
Then either unscrew small retaining nut or just pull straight down and generator will slide out.
i would replace the whole pilot assembly. If not at least clean the pilot orifice!
look at the picture at the following site. Click on 'enlarge picture'
It sounds like a weak pilot generator. They wear out after a number of years. It is trying to fire which means the safety loop is all good. Sometimes the pilot generator is strong enough to keep the pilot valve open, but upon call for heat the main gas valve isn't getting enough voltage to open (and a good voltage output from the generator drops to nothing). It's not too hard of a diy
I have the same heater and have been struggling with it since we purchased our house 6 years ago. I am very familiar with the "tapping" method and just this year learned that I could jump the TH connections to consistently get it to light. Finally that too became unreliable as the heater would shut off shortly after I jumped it. I used a voltmeter to test the millivoltage coming from the pilot generator (assembly) and found that it was only around 300mv, whereas supposedly 500mv is required to open the gas valve. Before investing $70-$100 on a replacement pilot assembly I decided to take it apart and see if it needed cleaning. There was a bit of buildup on the thermocouple that I removed with 150 grit sandpaper. I re-installed the pilot assembly, lit it, and retested the mv. I was disappointed to see that the millivoltage was still only around 300, but as I watched it began to rise until it eventually reached 500. I then turned the thermostat on and adjusted it until it was higher than the temp of water and the heater instantly turned on. So far so good....
Are you certain you are connecting the generator to the correct terminals? Is the pilot head partially blocked not allowing the flame to reach the generator even though the pilot is lit? Can you read the millivolts on the generator leads? Is the reading 400mV or higher? I assume it will be with a new generator but if it is not then the flame is not across the generator as it should be. If it is, be certain you are connecting the two leads properly and in the correct order. The generator has polarity so it needs to be connected to the valve properly. The tag up inside the heater should give you the correct locations for the white and red wires on the valve.
Unless there is water running out of the inside it is always repairable. You can start by pulling the burner tray and cleaning the unit and the burners. Also pull the wires and clean the leads and contacts. At 23 the heater is probally a milivolt run heater so a small drop in power can stop the heater from working. Often the problem will be the pilot generator or the gas valve. The generator should delevop 1/2 a volt to run the heater. This can be measured with a milivolt meter. You should get 500-700mv from the generator. If you get that and have no pilot you may need a gas valve and if not you probally need a new pilot generator and it would be best to replace the whole pilot assembly. If you live in Calif. or someplace that makes standing pilot obsolet you can probally find these parts on line through Ray-Pak.
But before starting check the filter to be sure it's clean. If you have had the pool for 23 years that goes without saying but I have to say it anyway.
After that you can use a jump wire and isolate each itim in the saftey circut (thermostat, high limits, presure switch...) just follow the wire when it leaves the gas valve and follow it to each item and jump across. If you find one of these itims to be the culpret it is just a simptom and their is probally another problem and the part just keeps the heater from working so as to keep it safe from that problem. Good luck and let me know what you find and we can go further if need be.
if burner lights after jumping valve you have something wrong in thermostat loop. disconnect the 2 thermostat wires on gas valve and use multimeter on continuity setting. if all wires ,connectors and components are good,you will get a tone.since you have jumped out each component in thermostat loop with no success ,i would suspect a bad wire or oxidation on a terminal .
Your problem is the pilot generator where the flame is by the burners. This needs to be repalced. That is what is causing the pilot to go out and not start. It is a flame sensor and also tells the gas valve when to release more or less gas.