You spend thousands of dollars on a swimming pool heater to enjoy the benefits of a warm swimming pool all summer long. Ensure your investment lasts for years to come by properly winterizing your propane pool heater!
This essential procedure must be done annually to ensure the extended life of your equipment. While it’s not especially hard to winterize your propane pool heater, if you make a mistake you may have a broken pool heater on your hands.
If uncertain, call the professionals at Combined Energy Services to happily guide you through the process.
Winterizing Your Pool Heater:
Step 1: Turn the gas valves off
This is a very important step! Pool heaters have two valves – one inside the heater that will usually have “on”, “off” and “pilot” designations. A second valve, usually a brass ball valve, is located somewhere on the gas line that feeds to the heater. This is usually directly beside the heater itself, however it’s sometimes located directly after the gas meter on the line feeding your heater. You must find both valves and be 100% sure you closed them for the winter.
**BOTH VALVES MUST BE CLOSED** If one of them fails, or has a slow leak, this could result in enough gas building up in the heater that a spark could ignite an explosion.
Call your HVAC professional to ensure you do this process correctly!
Step 2: Open the pressure switch
Some pools have pressure switches while others do not. If your pool has a pressure switch, be sure to properly open it to avoid it from breaking during the winter from the normal freezing process. This piece of equipment is expensive to replace!
The switch is normally located inside the heater and is connected with a 1/4″ copper tubing. There will be two nuts connected to the top of the pressure switch that need to be opened. Use a wrench to carefully open avoiding damage to the nuts or pressure switch itself. Don’t remove them completely. Opening the copper tube connection and letting the pressure switch hang form the wires is standard in the pool industry. The copper line will drain water when you open the connection port.
Step 3: Open the winterization ports / drain cocks
Every heater has winterization ports or drain cocks in multiple locations. The number of ports vary depending on the model you have. Normally you will be looking for 2 to 4 ports in total.
To find the ports, look under the header of the heater where the pipes connect. You may find 1-2 ports in this location. There may be additional ports located on the opposite side of the heater.
The ports will be a standardized thread plastic plug or a brass bolt style. To winterize, remove every drain plug that you can find. Be careful when loosening and removing these to avoid breaking. Rule of thumb is plastic drain cocks are removed and brass drain cocks are placed back on the unit for the winter.
If you need help locating the heater winterizations ports, contact your pool professional.
Step 4: Drain the heater of all standing water
Blow out any excess water in the pool heater using an air compressor. Store the plugs in the filter basket to keep in a safe place and accessible next season. Do the same with other pool equipment like strainer, filter, chlorinator and pump body.
Step 5: Move heater indoors if possible
This helps preserve the unit and will keep it safe from the winter elements such as snow and ice.
Place a breathable cover on top of the unit to avoid moisture from being trapped inside. Moisture buildup can promote rusting and corrosion on the interior of the pool heater.
Step 6: Rodent proof your pool heater
Rodents can create a lot of problems to your pool or spa heaters. They chew through wires that are essential for keeping the heater working.
When everything is clean and clear, it’s time to prevent rodents from moving in. A fine mesh chicken wire works well. Place the mesh over large openings or vents around the outside of the heater. For smaller heaters steel wool or silicone caulking works. The following is a method to created to prevent rodent infestation in your swimming pool heater. Try to fill every opening, rodents can fit through a hole the size of a quarter!
Step 7: Call Your Pool Professionals for Yearly Maintenance Service
Performing a yearly maintenance service on your pool heater is highly recommended. It’s important to properly maintain the unit to keep it running efficiently year after year. This is to remove any spiders, leaves or anything that can obstruct passageways causing it run less efficient. Heating your pool is expensive so be sure to treat it properly!!
If you have any questions while winterizing your pool heater, call Wechsler Pool & Supply Co. today!
We are your pool professionals!
Wechsler Pool & Supply Co has been serving the Catskill & lower Hudson Valley since 1934. A long tradition of servicing businesses and residences with a service staff second to none!