The Raypak Pool Heater Review: Pro’s & Con’s

raypak pool heater

A short intro to the Raypak Pool Heater

Raypak, Inc. makes a plethora of pool and spa products including residential & commercial hydronic systems. It is probably best known for its pool heaters, at least among consumers if not for businesses. Raypak makes several pool heaters. Some run on natural gas and a few operate on propane. There are models that can run on either gas or propane. There is a vast range of pool heaters, primarily varying in power or capacity. There are specific features for certain models that are not found in other variants. In our Raypak pool heater review, we take a look at the most sold models and how they fare, against one another and when pitted with competing brands.

Raypak Pool Heater Variants

British thermal unit is the primary differentiator of the variants. You can choose 206,000 BTU, 266,000 BTU, 336,000 BTU or 406,000 BTU. The size of your pool and the volume of water should be the two major criteria. The local weather should also influence your choice. When and how you wish to use the pool will influence the BTU demand. Raypak makes pool heaters below 206,000 BTU as well.

Raypak Pool Heater Features

Raypak 206,000 BTU, 266,000 BTU and 336,000 BTU pool heaters have similar features. All these three come with digital electronic ignition. The first two run on natural gas. The third one operates on propane. All three are bestsellers in their respective categories but the 266,000 BTU and 336,000 BTU models have much better reviews. All three are pool and spa heaters. They have a microprocessor controlled thermostat. Setting precise temperatures is not an issue with any of these models. Pool and spa owners can configure or set the thermostat and just let the heater do its job.

All three models have rust and corrosion resistant cabinet. The internal parts or components are also noncorrosive and resistant to rust. The heaters have PolyTuf powder coating, full copper fin tube heat exchanger and polymer headers, stainless steel tube sheet, fire tile, burner tray and two inches water connections made of CPVC.

Raypak 406,000 BTU pool heater has distinct features. It too is a digital natural gas heater. The heater has cupronickel construction. This type of build enables the heater to endure some of the most difficult settings. Raypak states that harsh applications are not an issue for this model. Heavy use, high flow or water with low pH does not pose any challenge to the RAY-014941. The model has a digital control panel. The LCD display shows heater settings and temperature options. There are headers made of Capron resin that prevent rust. The pool surface does not get affected by rust stains. There is a two inch PVC threaded union for direct plumbing. It is included in the box. This model too, like the other three, has microprocessor controlled diagnostics. There is real time monitoring of its operating status.

Raypak Pool Heater Review

Our Raypak pool heater review found the models to be appropriate in compatible settings. If the right capacity is chosen, then a Raypak pool heater can be a wise investment. P-R207A is capable of generating 199,500 BTU. This model is suited for small pools. The natural gas heater is among the more affordable options. It is a low nitrogen oxide variant so it can be used in regions where the restrictions on emissions or the regulatory standards are much more stringent. Raypak 207A is not ideal for larger pools and in colder climates.

One of the focuses of our Raypak pool heater review was on the distinct features. The designs of all the models are similar and in some cases identical. All models have weatherproof housing and exterior. There are smart features such as microprocessor controlled thermostat. There is self diagnostics in all the models we checked for our Raypak pool heater. The control panel is easy to work with. The smart display makes it easy. While the models are meant for pools of varying sizes, the similarity in features makes it simple for buyers to make a quick decision. One does not have to compromise on the smart features or durability and efficiency when choosing a model over the others. Bearing in mind the requirements is the only criterion to choose a compatible model or variant.

The models have varying thermal efficiency rating. Raypak 207A has 83% rating, which means it can convert that much of the gas it consumes to heat and resultantly warms the pool. This model does not run on propane. A fifteen thousand gallon pool spanning around five hundred square foot can be effectively heated up with P-R207A 199,500 BTU. Larger pools, whether in regards to the volume of water or the square footage, demand more powerful models, perhaps the 266,000 BTU or 399,000 BTU one. The most powerful Raypak pool heater is not really necessary for installations at homes. It is for commercial pools and spas.

Raypak provides all essential information through the control panel, thereby leaving nothing ambiguous or to be guessed. There are three buttons, one for mode and two arrows to raise or lower the temperature setting. The display shows set temperature, if the heater is heating or if it is on, there are messages from the self diagnostics it runs and you can access a voltmeter, pilot flame strength, cycle meter and runtime. These details can be used to decide if the heater needs troubleshooting. The performance of the Raypak pool heater can also be easily assessed with such information.

We noticed during our Raypak pool heater review that the models are truly well built. The company has paid great attention to the need of such models being resistant to weather extremes. The heaters are expected to spend their entire lifetime outside and hence the exteriors must be sturdy. The galvanized metal housing, the polyester powder coating for the paint to avert rust, the solid mounting and the copper heat exchange in some models and the cupronickel exchanger in a few variants make these pool heaters reliable and durable, regardless of the climate or unforeseen natural events. 

Raypak Pool Heater Pros and Cons

Raypak has several models but identical features. Pool and spa owners will not miss out on smart features if they go up or down the scale of power. Self diagnostics is really useful. Those who want to use propane can choose a model accordingly. The one year warranty may be short of what most pool and spa owners would have liked.

Raypak Pool Heater Price

The 206,000 BTU heater costs $2,000, 266,000 BTU model costs $2,148, 336,000 BTU model costs $2,198 and $2,429 for the propane and natural gas variants respectively and the 406,000 BTU model is priced at $2,600.

Raypak Pool Heater Customer Reviews

Some customers have expressed their concern about the warranty. There is also the need to hire a professional to install the heater to enforce the warranty. Other than these two issues, most features of the Raypak pool heater are appreciated and this is regardless of the specific variant. The rugged exteriors, the smart features and the durability of the Raypak heaters make them a wise investment.

Conclusion

Raypak does not make the cheapest pool heaters. But they do make some of the smartest and most reliable pool and spa heaters. Whether you own a swimming pool in your house or you operate a large commercial pool, you will find a suitable Raypak pool heater. There are natural gas and propane options so no one has to feel compelled to choose one over the other and go against their preference.