Help! Girl with Technical Pool Heater Question!

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jenn64
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Help! Girl with Technical Pool Heater Question!

Postby jenn64 » Wed 17 Sep, 2008 01:38

Hi guys. I have a problem... a 13 year old gas pool heater that sprung a leak. The Home Warranty company says it's chemical damage (my chemicals have been fine); I say it's 13 years old and simply has reached the end of its life. They're sending a guy to pull out the "heat exchanger" for inspection - they said they can then tell if it's chemical damage or not.

Here's my question for the pros on this board:

What do they look for, and how can they tell 13 years of "chemical damage" from some kind of recent "chemical damage" as they assert? The pool has been well-maintained and used all summer, and chemicals are fine. Isn't it true that all heaters this old will show signs of chemical damage to this part? Is there an independent company that tests these things? Help! Thank you all! Jenn.


chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Wed 17 Sep, 2008 09:52

If there was some recent acidic conditions such as use of Trichlor pucks in the skimmer then that can show up as fairly newly stripped copper in the heat exchanger. Longer-term older corrosion will look different under a microscope. I suspect that's what they will be looking for. Your chemistry could have been OK, but if you used Trichlor pucks in a skimmer, for example, then that can be very damaging to copper heat exchangers. Higher salt levels also accelerate such corrosion.
jenn64
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Postby jenn64 » Wed 17 Sep, 2008 10:23

No, no Trichlor pucks - or any chemicals - in the skimmer. Just in the floater. So how do I know if the they are being straight up with me after they inspect?
Guest

Postby Guest » Wed 17 Sep, 2008 16:16

If it is chemical damage you would almost certainly have staining in the pool. Is this a plaster pool?



jenn64 wrote:No, no Trichlor pucks - or any chemicals - in the skimmer. Just in the floater. So how do I know if the they are being straight up with me after they inspect?
jenn64
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Postby jenn64 » Wed 17 Sep, 2008 18:03

Plaster pool; no stains.
Guest

Postby Guest » Wed 17 Sep, 2008 23:22

That tells me the problem is the age of the heater and not a chemical induced problem. Just my opinion of course.

When you have an over acid condition that damages the heat exchanger you get green stains in the pool.

jenn64 wrote:Plaster pool; no stains.
jenn64
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Postby jenn64 » Thu 18 Sep, 2008 09:44

Makes sense, but how do I "prove" it with a green pool? Their "2nd opinion" is showing up to remove the heat exchanger thingy on Monday. I just don't know what a "normal, old failed" one looks like compared to one with "fresh damages from chemicals."
Guest

Postby Guest » Thu 18 Sep, 2008 23:23

Confused by this: "how do I prove it with a green pool"?

The lack of staining in your pool shows that the heat exchanger wasn't damaged due to a chemical imbalance. When there is low pH in the pool you get a chemical reaction in the heater and you get copper sulphate into the pool. This shows up as staining.

As far as proving it one way or the other, without looking at it under a microscope, it is just going to be the opinion of the "expert."

13 years is a good life for a heat exchanger. All I might suggest is bring in an "expert" of your own that isn't being paid by the Home Warranty company.

jenn64 wrote:Makes sense, but how do I "prove" it with a green pool? Their "2nd opinion" is showing up to remove the heat exchanger thingy on Monday. I just don't know what a "normal, old failed" one looks like compared to one with "fresh damages from chemicals."
jenn64
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Postby jenn64 » Fri 19 Sep, 2008 00:07

Thanks for your advice PoolUser. What I meant by "how do I prove it with a green pool" is that my filtration cannot be run due to the leaking part, and the pool has gone green while I've been battling with the Home Warranty company. I was hoping there was a place/person/company/test that could examine the part and prove that "it's old, leaking and done for..." I just need ammunition to quiz their 2nd opinion person when they show up... and BEFORE the tear it apart. Thanks again, Jenn
Guest

Postby Guest » Fri 19 Sep, 2008 04:15

Ok, got you now. I still think bringing in your own expert would be the way to go. Don't know where you are but if there are lots of pool service companies around you could speak to a few and see if you can find someone that you trust.

I would make them put whatever they find into writing. Have them explain their reasoning. Perhaps they will actually be fair to you with this. Sure hope so.

jenn64 wrote:Thanks for your advice PoolUser. What I meant by "how do I prove it with a green pool" is that my filtration cannot be run due to the leaking part, and the pool has gone green while I've been battling with the Home Warranty company. I was hoping there was a place/person/company/test that could examine the part and prove that "it's old, leaking and done for..." I just need ammunition to quiz their 2nd opinion person when they show up... and BEFORE the tear it apart. Thanks again, Jenn

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