Hayward Pool Heater Troubleshooting: A Comprehensive Guide

If you own a swimming pool, chances are you’ve invested in a high-quality pool heater to keep the water temperature just right, especially during those chillier days or evenings. One of the popular choices amongst homeowners is the Hayward pool heater, revered for its durability and top-notch performance. However, even the best of machines face occasional hiccups, leading to performance issues. But, there’s good news! Most of these issues can be tackled with a little bit of troubleshooting know-how.

When your Hayward pool heater starts acting up, it’s natural to feel a sense of urgency. A malfunctioning heater can interfere with your swimming plans or relaxation time. Instead of jumping to wrapping ups or fearing the worst, equip yourself with the knowledge to identify and, in some cases, resolve these problems on your own.

Common Hayward Pool Heater Problems

Understanding the typical problems that might arise is the first step towards Hayward pool heater troubleshooting. Here’s a breakdown of the frequently encountered issues:

  1. Heater Won’t Turn On: This is a common concern for many users. If your heater isn’t turning on, it could be due to reasons such as:
    • A tripped circuit breaker.
    • Malfunctioning thermostat.
    • Issues with the gas or propane supply.
  2. Heater Won’t Heat: Perhaps your heater turns on just fine, but the water remains cold. This could be a sign of:
    • A malfunctioning heat exchanger.
    • A faulty pump.
    • Blockages or issues with the filter.
  3. Heater is Leaking: Water puddles around your heater? That’s a sign that there might be a leak, which can arise due to:
    • A cracked heat exchanger.
    • Loose fittings.
    • Damaged seals.
  4. Heater is Noisy: While a mild hum is normal, any unusual or loud noises could indicate:
    • Issues with the fan.
    • Pump-related problems.
    • Damaged or worn-out bearings.

How to Troubleshoot Hayward Pool Heater Problems

The key to effective Hayward pool heater troubleshooting is a systematic approach. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the problems:

  1. Check the Circuit Breaker: Ensure it’s on. If it’s tripped, reset it, and try the heater once more.
  2. Inspect the Thermostat: Ensure it’s set at the desired temperature. If it’s properly set but the water isn’t warming up, test the thermostat using a thermometer.
  3. Examine the Gas or Propane Supply: This is crucial, especially if your heater refuses to turn on. Ensure there’s a continuous supply and that there are no discernible leaks.
  4. Inspect the Heat Exchanger: In cases where the heater turns on but fails to warm the water, a visual check of the heat exchanger for cracks or visible damage can provide clues.
  5. Evaluate the Pump and Filter: A well-functioning pump and a clean filter are vital for the heater’s optimal performance. Ensure there are no blockages or clogs.
  6. Investigate Leaks: If you notice water around your heater, scrutinize all fittings and seals. Replace any damaged parts immediately.
  7. Listen to Your Heater: Odd noises can be due to issues with the fan, pump, or the bearings. A thorough inspection will help identify the root cause.

Remember: While these steps can help you troubleshoot many of the common issues, always prioritize safety. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable handling any aspect of the troubleshooting, it’s always best to seek professional help.

How to Prevent Hayward Pool Heater Problems

While troubleshooting is essential, prevention is always better than cure. By undertaking regular maintenance and ensuring your pool heater operates under optimal conditions, you can avoid many common issues and extend the life of your unit. Here’s a list of preventive measures to safeguard your Hayward pool heater:

  1. Regular Filter Maintenance: One of the primary reasons for heaters overheating is a clogged filter. A dirty filter restricts the water flow, causing the heater to work harder than necessary. Cleaning it regularly, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, can make a significant difference.
  2. Monitor Gas or Propane Supply: When not in use, ensure that the gas or propane supply to your heater is switched off. This not only saves resources but also prevents potential leaks.
  3. Regularly Inspect the Heat Exchanger: As mentioned earlier, cracks or damages to the heat exchanger can hamper the heating process. Regular checks can help you spot minor damages before they escalate into major issues.
  4. Winterize Your Heater: For those residing in regions with harsh winters, it’s essential to prepare your pool heater for the cold. Winterizing prevents freezing, which can lead to cracks and other damages. If unsure about the winterization process, it’s advisable to consult a professional or refer to the heater’s manual.
  5. Avoid Overloading the Circuit: Overloading can trip the circuit breaker, leading to the heater not turning on. Always ensure that your heater is connected to a dedicated circuit.
  6. Annual Professional Checks: Even if you are diligent with your maintenance routine, having a professional inspect your pool heater at least once a year can prove beneficial. They can catch potential problems early, ensuring your heater works efficiently for a longer duration.
  7. Read the Manual: As basic as it sounds, many users overlook the importance of the user manual. It contains a wealth of information, from basic troubleshooting tips to in-depth maintenance guidelines.


Hayward pool heaters, like any other piece of machinery, require care and attention. While they’re known for their reliability, occasional issues are bound to arise. However, with a solid understanding of common problems, their causes, and how to troubleshoot them, you can ensure that your pool remains warm and welcoming throughout the year.

It’s important to remember that while DIY Hayward pool heater troubleshooting is a cost-effective solution for minor issues, not every problem can or should be tackled on your own. In situations where you’re unsure or believe the issue to be complex, always trust a professional to handle the repairs. Safety and proper functionality should always be the top priorities.

In the end, with a mix of proactive care, regular maintenance, and timely troubleshooting, your Hayward pool heater can serve you efficiently for many seasons. Dive in, relax, and enjoy the warmth!