Pool heaters have a plethora of parts that often rely on gas, electricity, water flow, and other sources. It’s understandable that they go through wear and tear, which means they can’t last forever. That being said, you shouldn’t have to replace your heater every couple of years. So, how long should you wait before getting a new one?
Pool heaters last between 10 to 15 years. You can extend your pool heater’s lifespan by cleaning the burner ports, ensuring there’s enough water flow, and removing pests from the heater housing. It’s unlikely that you’ll get more than 20 years from a pool heater. It’ll get too expensive to maintain.
Throughout this article, I’ll show you how often you should replace your pool heater, whether or not they require routine maintenance, and how you can make a pool heater last as long as possible.
How Often Do Pool Heaters Need to Be Replaced?
Pool heaters need to be replaced once per decade, though some of them last longer than others. Check the company’s warranty policy to know how long they expect the heater to last. Salt systems, direct heat, and incorrect wiring can shorten your heater’s longevity.
If you think you need a new high-quality pool heater, I suggest going with a gas model. They’re cheaper upfront and are accepted by almost every state and county. Some places ban electric pool heaters because they use a lot of energy. However, they can last a bit longer with proper maintenance.
Your pool heater can last up to 25 years, but you’ll undoubtedly need to replace parts regularly after 10 to 15 years. I typically suggest that pool owners get new heaters after the 10-year mark since the repairs end up costing more than a brand-new pool heater. You’ll save a lot in the long run, get a new warranty, and enjoy modern technology.
Failure to replace a pool heater on time can render it useless while consuming gas and electricity.
Do Pool Heaters Require Maintenance?
Pool heaters require regular maintenance, including cleaning the burner ports, replacing the burners if there’s any corrosion, and testing each internal component annually. Use a multimeter to test each electrical component to ensure they have enough voltage. Also, test for gas leaks if you smell gas around the heater.
The AstroAI Multimeter is an excellent choice for testing pool heaters. You can check the amperage, voltage, and wattage with this digital multimeter. The LCD display immediately shows you the details to let you know if you need to repair or replace the components. Place the red and black nodes on the desired wires for instant results.
I recommend performing annual full checkups to prevent your pool heater from not working. Here’s a quick list of preventative maintenance suggestions:
- Clean the burner trays and ports. Pool heaters have burner trays, ports, and other parts that create and maintain heat. If they rust and corrode, they won’t heat the pool. Furthermore, they could overheat the heater. Use an abrasive sponge to scrub the ports and trays. Replace any corrode parts if necessary.
- Check and fix any error codes as soon as possible. Most modern pool heaters post error codes on their display screens. These codes can be matched with the manufacturer’s handbook to know what you need to do. Troubleshoot the pool heater to fix these issues and prevent them from frying the control board.
- Secure each component to the motherboard regularly. The pump’s vibrations can loosen the wires and other parts throughout the equipment pad. Make sure everything has a secure connection to the heater’s control board; otherwise, they could cause a short or overheat the pool heater.
- Hire a professional pool service technician if you’re uncomfortable with electricity or gas. Pool heaters can be intimidating. If you don’t want to mess with the seemingly countless components, I suggest hiring a pool expert to handle the job. It’s more than worth the preventative maintenance in the long run.
How to Make Your Pool Heater Last Longer
To make your pool heater last longer, follow these steps:
- Clean your filter to prevent dirty water from getting into the heater. Dirty water can corrode the plumbing inside of the heater. The heater will rust, corroding the burners, control board, and sensors. Clean the filter whenever it gets over 20 to 25 PSI for the best results.
- Maintain a healthy pressure range in the filtration system. The pressure should always remain between 10 to 20 PSI. Anything lower won’t create enough pressure to circulate the water, whereas anything higher can buckle and warp the plumbing. Make sure you remove the debris from the pump basket and skimmer basket.
- Place the salt cell after the heater (if you have a saltwater pool). Salt cells create corrosive buildup that can damage pool heaters. However, the salt isn’t corrosive to any other part of the filtration system. Placing the cell after the heater will preserve the heater and make it last significantly longer.
- Use alternative pool heating methods so you can turn off the heater every so often. You can use solar covers, liquid solar blankets, solar rings, and solar balls to keep the heat in the pool. Warm the pool with the heater, place a solar blanket on the water, and turn off the heater to save on your utility bill.
- Remove the debris from the inside of the heater. Many pests (such as mice and snakes) love hiding in the warm pool heater, especially during the colder months. You’ll likely find bird nests, rat droppings, and leaves that need to be cleaned. Failure to do so can overheat the heater and ruin most of the parts.
Using a pool heater when it’s beyond its time will cause more harm than good. Old, worn pool heaters can leak gas, water, and harmful debris into the pool. If it seems like you’re replacing parts every month and your pool heater is beyond the warranty period, it’s time to get a new one.