Things You'll Need
Phillips head screwdriver
Do not use a wire brush to clean the heat exchanger. It can cause sparks that ignite gases trapped in the soot.
If there is soot on the heat exchanger, it could indicate other problems with the pool heater and you may want to have it serviced.
Jumping to a pool filled with cold water can be quite a shock–especially if you thought your Hayward pool heater was working. The problem may be that you need to clean the heater and remove dirt from the evaporator and burners. Hayward's H series pool heaters quickly heat pool water, a reliable ignition system and a rust-resistant water path. The different models operate the same way, although they differ in the amount of BTUs they produce.
Remove the screws from the pool heater top and take this piece off. Then remove the screws from the side access covers and take those off. Then remove the front door panel.
Check the burner flames. They should be one-half to 2 inches tall and not lift off the burners. They should be blue without yellow tips. Yellow tips indicate that the burners need cleaning.
Turn off the burners and allow them to cool. Brush the burners with a wire brush to clean them. This is something that you should generally need to do only at the beginning of the pool season or once a year for annual maintenance.
Disconnect the high-limit wires from the heat exchanger and the thermistor leads from the control panel. Now you can remove the pressure switch and tube from the heat exchanger.
Remove the four screws from the retaining air deflector and take if off. Unplug the wires and pressure tape tubes from the combustion blower. Remove the screws from the blower and take it out of the heater.
Remove the heater screws that secure the heat exchanger in place; move it to a clean surface.
Apply a degreaser to the heat exchanger using a soft-tipped brush. Allow the degreaser time to loosen any soot. Wash the heat exchanger with a garden hose.
Reassemble the pool heater performing the previous steps in reverse.
Spray non-pressurized water on the evaporator to remove dirt from the aluminum fins. Using pressurized water through your garden hose can damage the fins. If you do, you may void the warranty.
Clean the heater’s plastic cabinet with a brush and soap.
James Rada, Jr.
James Rada, Jr. was a newspaper reporter for eight years and earned 23 awards from the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association, Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Maryland State Teachers’ Association and CNHI. He also worked for 12 years as a marketing communications writer, earning a Print Copywriter of the Year Award from the Utah Ad Federation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.