This article provides a review of Raypak pool and spa heaters for residential applications. It covers popular and top-selling models, features to look for, and the benefits they bring to homeowners.
It is worth noting that Raypak offers a great selection of quality models that use gas, electricity, and heat pump technology, making it easy for homeowners to find a water heater that will fit their needs, no matter the pool type, size, and price range.
When selecting the best water heater for your swimming pool, it is recommended to size the heater based on the total pool surface area. Different calculations can be used for different pool shapes, as explained in the article about swimming pool heaters.
Raypak produces three main types of pool heaters for residential homes; gas-powered, electric type, and heat pumps.
The smaller devices, such as electric and some gas types, are designed for smaller pools and spas, while heat pumps and more powerful gas models are meant for larger pools.
The pool heaters allow you to open a pool earlier and keep it open later, so you can enjoy it longer, even when the weather is cooler.
Selecting the correct pool heater type depends on the climate, weather, pool size, and user habits.
For example, you want a gas pool heater if you desire fast water heating, reliable temperature controls no matter the weather conditions, consistently high performance, and if planning to use it occasionally.
If you live in warmer areas and using the pool daily, get a heat pump as the most cost-effective solution. Heat pumps utilize the surrounding warmer air for heating and electrical heating elements if it is needed to increase the power.
Heat pumps are reliable and efficient while heating the water slower than the gas type.
Electric pool heaters are cheaper than the above two types, but they cost more to operate. They are recommended for smaller pools and spas.
There are three types of gas-powered pool heaters for home use:
Raypak gas pool heaters (available on amazon.com) for the above-ground pools are designed to use both natural gas and propane, offering two sizes; the 106A model, which is designed to provide the power of up to 105,000 BTU, and the 156A model with 156,000 BTU of power - both high efficient (82%) but not low NOx compliant.
The models use quality elements such as the ceramic fiber combustion box, stainless steel gas burner, and copper heat exchanger, allowing maximum heat transfer and corrosion-free operation for many years.
Model 106A is the smallest unit of all gas types, equipped with a simple control panel with the ON/OFF button and analog thermostat, allowing users to change the temperature easily.
Raypak 156A is more advanced, as it comes with the AFT digital control system so users can take advantage of the microprocessor-controlled thermostat, control buttons, digital display, optional remote control for temperature control, and self-diagnostics system for troubleshooting.
Both models are designed for outdoor installation using the atmospheric vent system, and due to its low-profile construction, the risk of wind affecting the gas-burning process is minimized.
They utilize the spark-to-pilot ignition system using the 120 VAC and 240 VAC, which activates only when there is demand, and a water bypass system to easily handle different water flows and control the condensation better.
Raypak Digital pool heaters come in several sizes: P-R206A, P-R266A, P-R336A, and P-R406A models, with the BTU input ranging from 199,500 to 399,000 BTU, when the heaters are equipped with the standard copper heat exchangers.
Users have an option to order models with stronger and durable cupro-nickel heat exchangers, which is more resistant to water chemistry, or ASME copper fin tube for commercial applications. The total BTU gas input is slightly different.
Raypak Digital heaters are also found with the low NOx gas emission: P-R207A, P-R267A, P-R337A, and P-R407A models, and the power of up to 399,000 BTU.
All the models are equipped with digital controls that feature the microprocessor-controlled thermostat and control buttons to adjust the temperature - accurately.
The onboard diagnostics system allows users to check the heater's status and get a notification when there is a problem. Users also have an option to check the flame strength and run time of the heater.
The heaters use two different ignition systems; digital electronic ignition, which requires 120 or 240VAC to generate the pilot on-demand, and millivolt design that does not require any external power as it uses the thermocouple and continuously burning pilot.
The gas burner is made of stainless steel and can self-adjust the flame for cleaner and efficient gas burning.
Raypak heat pumps can be purchased from one of the three groups:
The Compact series of heat pumps, which includes models 2450, 3450, and 4450, is recommended for homeowners in warmer areas who require daily pool heating. These models can use solar energy as the primary source and gas as a booster, automatically.
The most powerful model in this series is the R4450ti, which can provide up to 80,000 BTU power. However, the most efficient of all Raypak heat pumps is the R2450ti, which has a COP of 6.2.
These models are built strong to resist harsh weather, corrosion, and damage from objects. The sturdy cabinet, base, and scroll compressor keep the sound level to a minimum without disturbing the surroundings.
In addition to the long-lasting scroll compressor, which is more efficient than the piston-type found in cheaper versions, these models also use the spiral titanium heat exchanger that can resist damage from the pool's chemicals used for cleaning. Raypak provides a 10-year warranty for these models.
These heat pumps come with advanced electronics that allow you to easily set the temperature, control it with an optional remote, and use the diagnostics if there is a problem with the heater.
Raypak heat pumps from the Classic series, including the R5450, R6450, and R8450, are similar to the models from the Compact series described above. However, the R8450 models have the additional option to heat and cool, and both the R6450 and R8450 models have the option for power defrost.
When comparing the size and gas burner specifications, you will notice that the models from the Compact series are larger and more powerful, with a maximum output of up to 140,000 BTU and a COP of 6.0.
The heat pumps in the Professional series are primarily designed for commercial applications. However, they can also be used for large residential pools, thanks to their high BTU output of up to 170,000.
These heat pumps are reliable and efficient, thanks to their professional-grade components, including stainless steel cabinets and titanium heat exchangers, as well as microprocessor controls with heat/cool and defrost functions. These high-quality elements make them a favorite in areas with coastal weather conditions.
Raypak electric heaters come from the E3T Digital series and are designed for smaller pools and spas. They are small and lightweight, designed with quality components such as titanium heating elements and stainless steel cabinets to withstand extreme weather conditions and pool chemicals, and of course, last longer.
All these electric models include a digital control center where you can set and control the temperature with the temperature knob, check the parameters on the large screen, and diagnose any issues with the diagnostic code when problems occur.
The E3T heaters are available in four sizes ranging from 5.5 to 27 kW.
Most of the Raypak heat pumps come with the Copeland scroll compressor type, which is more reliable, durable, and has a reduced noise level than the piston type.
Look for the heat pump with the reversing valve as it allows not only heating but cooling too. Since icing up is the problem that occurs on the heat pump's condenser coils frequently, rapid defrost is something to consider.
Heat exchangers made of titanium and designed with spiral tubes make them last longer, corrode much less, resist damaging water chemicals and reduce deposit build-up.
Digital control and diagnostics systems allow users easier temperature control, better accuracy, simpler troubleshooting, and savings.
Buying a pool heater with a powder-coated or stainless steel cabinet ensures superior rust prevention and long life, even in harsh climates.
Environment-friendly design in gas pool heaters allows low NOx gas emission and reduced pollution.
Look for the pool heaters with either cupro-nickel or titanium heat exchangers and get one as it will provide years of reliable and well-performing operation.
Buying a pool heater is a long-term investment that will increase the value of your home and provide fun, joy, and comfort during hot days.
Raypak pool heaters are the perfect choice for homeowners who want to extend the swimming season and enjoy pool parties not only in the summer but also when most people are closing their pools. Whether you buy a gas type, electric, or heat pump, you will have your pool water ready and at the temperature you set. Setting the right and accurate temperature is easy, and if you want a heater with superior features, state-of-the-art design, and top performance, Raypak has it, and we have reviewed it.
Just look for professional-grade components, energy-efficient features, and high efficient and environmentally-friendly operation.