Hayward Pool Heater Ignition Failure

Hayward Pool Heater Ignition Failure1

Anthony Barnes

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Is your Hayward pool heater not working as it should? Are you having difficulty with igniting it before each use? There are several reasons why you may have issues igniting your Hayward pool heater. 

In this troubleshooting guide, we explain how you can check and solve this problem. 

Hayward Pool Heater Ignition Failure1

Troubleshooting Guide 

If the issue is stemming from a problem with the gas supply you will note the heater’s LED display will be showing an IF diagnostic fault code. 

There are three different tests that you can do to figure out what the reason may be for your Hayward pool heaters’ failure.

For each test, you will need a manometer, which measures the gas pressure reading in inches of water column, or WC. 

Before carrying out these tests, there are a number of things that should be noted:

  • When you buy your Hayward pool heater you will be provided with the ideal pressure reading for your natural or propane gas heater
  • The main gas valve should be in the OFF position before connecting or disconnecting the manometer to prevent gas leaks when testing pressure
  • The Allen-head plug should be replaced before moving from test to test

We explain these tests below.

Test 1: Static Pressure Test 

The aim when carrying out this test is to get a measure for the baseline pressure of the propane or natural gas at the inlet.

The hope is that the figure will remain constant. The manometer should be attached to the INLET section on your Hayward pool heater’s gas valve.

Before completing this test, make sure that the Hayward pool heater is in the off position. 

If the reading you get shows that the static pressure is low there are a number of reasons that could cause this, they include:

  • A small gas line
  • The heater is installed too far away from the meter
  • There may be an obstruction in the gas line
  • The meter size could be smaller than the attached heater
  • There could be damage to the gas line regulator or it may have been set incorrectly
Hayward Pool Heater Ignition Failure (1)

Test 2: Load Pressure Test 

Here the aim is to check and measure if the gas supply or pressure holds up when the heater is in use. The manometer should again be attached to the INLET section of the gas valve.

When conducting this test the Hayward pool heater should be turned to the on position. 

If your manometer reading is showing low loads pressure this could signal that:

  • The meter size is smaller than the heater size
  • The gas line itself is too small
  • The heater is installed too far away from the gas meter
  • There may be damage to the gas line’s regulator or this may have been incorrectly set

Test 3: Manifold Pressure Test

For this final test, we are measuring if the pressure and gas supply are safely reaching the combustion chamber. The manometer will need to be attached to the Manifold/OUTLET side of the gas valve when conducting this test. 

The Hayward pool heater should be turned to the on position for this test also. 

If the readings you get do not remain constant this could be because:

  • The meter size is too small
  • An obstruction may be in the gas line or shutoff valve

If the reading you get is too high or too low this could be because the gas valve has been improperly adjusted. 

Additional Troubleshooting 

If the above tests do not help or provide any insight into what may be causing your Hayward pool heater to fail to ignite, check the below:

  • Plumbing Valves: check the plumbing valves are open so water flows to the heater
  • Gas and Gas Supply Valves: check that both valves are open so gas flows to the heater 
  • Heater Switch: Check that the switch is on, if it is on and the heater is not responding there may be internal mechanical issues with the heater. To check if the switch is the issue, jump-start the heater and if it turns on you may only need to replace the power switch. 
  • Thermostat: The thermostat should be set to a temperature above the pool’s actual temperature, if adjusting this fixes the issue your heater is now working if it doesn’t try jump-starting the thermostat to see if the thermostat is the issue 
  • High Switch Limit: This prevents the heater from overheating and can be the cause of ignition failures. Do a by-pass test to see if it’s faulty by jump-starting the heater. If it starts the switch needs to be replaced

Final Thoughts

Hayward pool heaters are usually very dependable units and rarely break down, if they do it is important that you immediately begin to troubleshoot the issue to fix it as soon as possible to prevent any serious damage to the appliance.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age