Hayward Heater H250K Natural Gas Problems

by Pam Baltzer
(Delta, BC)

I put in an inground, liner pool in July 2009. Installed was a Hayward Heater H250K series with a salt water system. In July 2012 the heater started leaking and had to be replaced. I never did get a clear answer why it failed but was told it was not due to chemical imbalances. I regularly check my pool chemistry as well as double check it at a local pool store where I keep all of the printed records stating my water is balanced. As Hayward only had a one year warranty I shook it off an bought another without contacting them.

In August 2012 a new Hayward H250K heater was installed. Around December the heater had problems igniting/starting up and I believe the gas automatically shut down for obvious reasons. Again, I believe my water is balanced to a tee as I check it and double check it w/my local pool store and always maintain it when levels go above or below the range. This time I have contacted Hayward. They are slow at getting back to me, originally said they would send a Hayward rep out yet I have yet to see anyone.

My concern is: although I have bought another Hayward heater (not installed yet) I am not convinced that Hayward is the way to go. Replacing a heater should not be needing replaced every two years. I am attaching a few photos. If at all possible can you let me know if you recommend a salt water pool w/a Hayward Heater, if you think the salt has anything to do with the failure of the heaters and/or if you can suggest a heater that would better fit my system?

If you feel you can be of any help I will gladly work with you on your fees.

Thank you,


Thanks for the question Pam. I can say wow...that heater is pretty gunked up. I would like to have your complete chemical readings, the actual numbers:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, salt level, Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs. It makes troubleshooting much easier.

Heaters are normally found on the return side of the pool, after the filter. With a heater such as yours I would ask if the filter is running properly? Cleaned out and/or backwashed on a regular basis?

Calcification is normally white and from the pictures it looks like a sludge type of material. Is this accurate or could it be calcium deposits?

High calcium hardness can clog up heaters and chlorine generators. I would ask if you've had an issue with the chlorine cell? Does it look the same or is it clean? With two electrical components I would assume both would show the same kind of wear but if the cell is good and the heater looks like this then perhaps you do have a case for the chemicals being balanced. The heater may be defective.

Are you on city water or do you have a well? It could be mineral deposits in which case you'd need a metal sequestrant.

Is the cell the only kind of chlorination you have or do you use regular chlorine such as calcium hypochlorite? If you do you need to stop as that product contains calcium which I never recommend with salt pools.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Heaters" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you feel your situation is more complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

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Have a great Summer.


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