I am starting a regular weekly Sunday blog that discusses my opinion on a product. I have installed these products many times and I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone interested in that type of equipment. Without further ado, here is this week’s product.
I have watched this heater evolve over the past 15 years, but it has not changed dramatically. The overall design has remained the same, which makes me believe that it is a very good design. Offered in either natural gas or propane, there are four sizes (199500, 266000, 332500, and 399000 btus), and there are two versions of ignition (millivolt and electronic). Millivolt heaters have a standing pilot light and electronic ignition heaters spark or glow to light the gas each time. We will discuss Raypak heaters with a digital electronic ignition here since we see this type almost exclusively while out in the field. The current Raypak (also branded as Rheem) heater has a digital circuit board to control the heating process. There is a lit LCD display that shows detailed information about the state of the heater. Besides an on/off toggle switch, there are only three buttons to interface with the heater. Two of the buttons are for setting the temperature up and down. The other button is for selecting between a pool temperature or a spa temperature, allowing you to keep two temperatures stored for easy access to hot or warm water. This heater heats the water through a natural draft and this means that there are no fans, which leads to less problems and less expensive repairs. Like anything else, heaters do not last forever. On average, most pool heaters last around 10 years before the base of the cabinet rusts significantly. Of course, the care you take with the area around your equipment will affect its life span. Raypak warranties their product for one year against manufacturing defects.