How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Swimming Pool Heater?
Last Updated: January 19, 2022
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Heated pools allow for a longer swimming season than non-heated pools, but they have a higher cost of ownership. In addition to the fuel needed to run a swimming pool heater (at least if it's electric or gas; free-energy solar heaters are also available), mechanical upkeep is also required. While regular maintenance should help to stave off repairs, as with any complicated piece of machinery, a pool heater can break and require service. The cost to repair a pool heater depends on the heater type and the nature of the problem.
Before You Call a Pro: Basic Pool Heater Troubleshooting #
Electric and Gas Pool Heaters #
Also known as heat pumps, electric pool heaters capture heat from the outdoor air and circulate it through the pool's water. A heat pump can last ten years or more when properly maintained.
Gas pool heaters run on either natural gas or propane. They generally have a shorter lifespan than electric heaters due to their high operating temperature.
If your electric or gas heat pump isn't working correctly, there are a few basic problems that most homeowners can address. By all means, however, don't do any work that you aren't comfortable with, as injury and/or worsening of the problem could occur. Bearing that in mind, here are some issues to check when your heat pump is malfunctioning:
- The heater is plugged in
- The thermostat is set to the desired temperature
- The external and internal valves are open (gas heater)
- The pilot is lit (gas)
- Check electrical connections (with a voltmeter)
- Clean terminals and leads of corrosion
- Clean or change the filter (especially if the filter pressure is low…check the PSI gauge)
- Clean the pump basket
- Look for signs of rodent infestation (chewed wires, droppings, etc.)
- Check that the timer is correctly set
Many things can go wrong with a pool heater…far too many to list here. For additional troubleshooting resources, check out the pages below. And don't forget that the best resource is an experienced pool heater technician.
Solar Pool Heaters #
Solar pool heaters have by far the lowest annual operating cost of any type of pool heater. They're also relatively simple machines that require very little maintenance and can last 20-25 years or more. If your solar pool heater isn't working correctly, begin by checking for the following:
- Something is blocking the solar collector, or the collector is dirty
- Collector glazing and/or seals are in poor condition
- Leaking panels and/or plumbing
- The unit is unplugged or the breaker is tripped
- Panel valves aren't fully opened
- The circulation pump (if one is installed) is not only working, but properly working (i.e. circulating during high sun exposure and not forcing water through the panels too fast, which reduces heating efficiency).
Other solar pool heater troubleshooting resources can be found at:
Swimming Pool Heater Repair Average Costs #
- According to HomeAdvisor.com, the average cost nationwide to repair a swimming pool heater is about $400 to $600. Based on the type of repair and local pricing, however, actual repair costs could be significantly higher or lower.
- A recommended annual pool heater tune-up costs $100 to $200.