Pentair Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 400K BTU problem

space_manMarch 16, 2013

Hello everyone! It's been a long time since I've posted here, but I have a probem I hope the resident experts can help me with. I have the heater mentioned in the subject line (4 years old). Used it for most of Spring Break, then it quit working yesterday, with the "Service Heater" light coming on. I noticed water leaking out the bottom of it as well. When I check the error code, it has the AFS LED lit up. Not surprising since water is now pouring out of the exhaust port of the blower which is the source of the leak. Staring at the exploed view in themanual, I can only guess that maybe there is an internal leak in the tubing and now the whole combustion chamber pan is ful of water? The blower motor is spinning, but very slowly. I assume it's not designed to push water around in it. Any suggestions where to continue my trubleshooting?

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More than likely your heat exchanger is rotted out. Have you been maintaining your Ph? A new exchanger is almost the cost of a new heater..

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Thanks for the reply, that's kind of what I was suspecting.

Your comment about my Ph levels is very appropriate, yet frustrating. I had some warranty work done on the heater a couple years ago and the repair guy asked me the same incriminating question. But I'm pretty religious about my chemical levels and spent a lot of time on certain web sites to get smarter about the systems. I've kept the Ph levels as close to 7.4 as I can reasonably get it, and I have to add acid to the water frequently due to the chlorine generator. Sigh. Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Muddy waters (or others)...just out of curiosity...

I was digging around the web looking at heat exchangers and I came across several Pentair related sites that mentions they sell a "heavy duty" version of the heater that is suitable for salt water pools. That sort of implies to me that the non-HD units are NOT suitable for salt water pools? I do have a salt water pool. Is this a recent development with these heaters, or did I have the wrong one installed originally?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:34PM
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All of Pentairs heaters are good for salt water pools as long as you keep your salt below 5000ppm and your ph in balance. The heavy duty models are made with a Cupro nickel core and they do recommend those if you live in a area with a salty air environment. Also make sure your heater is bonded well, this sometimes will also lead to excessive corrosion with a salt pool.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 1:02PM
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I'm a late-arrival to the Pentair Minimax NT Problem Party. Bought my unit from pool installer who probably sold me obsolete, problematic heater. Just acquired 2008. When did Pentair stop making Minimax NT's ? Unsure if it's a TSI, how would one tell ? In summary, my problem, now, late last season, neighbors can smell the gas smell when unit is firing up, 4 neighbors away. Neighbors have called gas company and 911 on me. Pentair Tech, not pool installer came out, Tech said "All appears to be working correctly. Surprised my unit has lasted so long. (It's only 4 yrs old ???) And, it's time for a new one ! (What ?!?!)" Forums opinion on different Pentair ? Switch to Raypack Rheem ? or Hayward Universal ?

Ahhhhh, my pool is salt not chlorine. Wonder if my ph was also a problem to the dysfunctional Minimax heater ?

I read Raypack's/Rheems are good for use in windy area conditions, also...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 5:02PM
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Have you smelled gas while the unit is firing? The only time I have ever smelled gas on a heater is when the igniter was bad and a problem with the gas line it's self ....4 yrs is not old for a heater and should not need to be replaced. Call Pentair back and ask for a second company if you do indeed smell gas.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 6:47PM
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