Pool Heater Repair and Replacement: What You Need to Know


A swimming pool heater is an integral part of your swimming pool system. It allows you and your family to utilize your pool throughout the year. Given we’re personally from the northeast, we love the comfortable feeling of stepping into a warm pool on a chilly day. However, like all swimming pool systems, pool heaters may become faulty or wear down over time. Our qualified pool repair experts are ready to service all your pool equipment needs.


Common Problems with Swimming Pool HeatersSwimming pool heater repair customer photo showing equipment installation

There are several issues that may occur in your pool heater. Below are some of the common issues with swimming pool heaters.

Pool Heater Does Not Turn On

Your pool heater may not turn on if the filter is clogged or the terminals are corroded. Some modern pool heaters have a display panel where you can see error lights and messages (error codes). The codes indicate there is an internal problem causing your heater not to turn on, so you can contact us to assist in addressing the issue. Our technicians have extensive experience in repairing heater problems including circuit issues.

Pool Heater Turns On and Shuts Down After a Few Seconds

Some of the new pool heaters have built in flame sensors to monitor the ignition system. If the gas does not ignite, the gas valve shuts off for a short period of time and then it tries to ignite again. This problem may be as a result of a corroded or dirty flame sensor. Another source of this problem could be the ignition control, especially if it fails to read the signal from the sensor. For such situations, we use specialized service tools to diagnose the real problem and resolve it quickly.

Pool Heater Turns On and Runs for Some Time, then Shuts Down before Reaching the Set Point

For example, you have set a temperature point to 100, but the heater shuts off at 95. One of the possible sources of this problem is a faulty thermal regulator inside the heater. It could also mean there is a mechanical bypass whereby water does not flow through the heater. Another cause could be clogged water jets that might be reducing the pool water flow. At the first sign of this issue, please schedule a pool service maintenance appointment with an experienced expert to avoid degrading the pool equipment further.

Inadequate Pool Heating

A flawed pool heater may not be able to heat your pool properly. When a pool filter is clogged, you may notice inadequate pool heating. On the other hand, a small pool heater may not be sufficient to heat your pool up to the required temperature. This means the heater is too small to produce enough heated water to maintain a comfortable pool temperature. Lastly, your pool pump may lack the power to adequately circulate water through the pool heater.

Noisy Pool Heater

Any pool heater will produce some sound, but a defective one will generate unusual noises. If you realize the filter is making grinding or annoying sounds, the system might be dirty or clogged. Sometimes, grating sounds can be caused by damaged pressure switches.

Types of Swimming Pool Heaters

Electric Pool Heaters

Electric pool heaters use electricity to generate heat in the resistor units. Water flowing over the resistor unit is heated, thus increasing your pool temperature. Electric heaters are recommended for smaller swimming pools where relatively less heating energy is required.


  •         No emissions into the atmosphere
  •         Relatively cheaper to buy


  •         Energy inefficient
  •         Expensive to operate

Gas Pool Heaters

Gas heaters are the most common pool heaters. These use either natural gas or propane to generate heat. You can choose to either connect the heater to a natural gas line or mount a propane tank above or under the ground. You can learn more about operating costs at Energy.gov (https://energy.gov/energysaver/gas-swimming-pool-heaters)


  •         Relatively cheaper to install
  •         Heat pool fast
  •         Temperature control using a thermostat


  •         High monthly cost (especially if you forget to turn off the heater too frequently or if you live in an area with high propane costs)

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps extract heat from the air, and therefore more energy efficient than gas or electric heaters. They operate like your air conditioner unit… but in reverse! More information about swimming pool heat pumps can be found at the US Government’s Energy.gov website (https://energy.gov/energysaver/heat-pump-swimming-pool-heaters)


  •         Relatively lower maintenance cost than gas heaters
  •         Clean and economical


  •         Slower to heat your pool compared to gas heaters

Solar Heaters

Solar heaters use solar panels to heat water. The pool water is circulated through the heating tubes by use of the pump. Though solar heaters are energy efficient, they require a higher outside temperature than the pool water in order to work appropriately. The Energy.gov website provides great information about various solar heater options: https://energy.gov/energysaver/solar-swimming-pool-heaters


  •         Little maintenance and running cost
  •         Environmentally friendly


  •         Heat slowly and inefficient if not enough sunlight
  •         Not reliable for indoor pools

Cost of Buying, Installing, and Running a Pool Heater

There are many factors that may determine the cost of buying, installing, and running a pool heater. The entire project can run anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000+ depending on a myriad of variables. Here are some factors that influence the cost of buying, installing, and running a pool heater include;

  •         Type of pool heater
  •         Size of the pool heater
  •         Amount of energy it consumes
  •         Your location and the average daily temperature
  •         Size of your pool
  •         Above-ground/In-ground pool
  •         Pre-existing hookups
  •         Current cost of natural gas or electricity
  •         Pool temperature you want