Raypak Pool Heaters
Review and Buying Guide
(updated 2019)

A review of Raypak pool and spa heaters for residential applications, including the popular and top-selling models, features to look for and benefits they bring to the users. With the great selection of quality models that are using gas, electricity, and heat pumps technology, homeowners can easily find a water heater that will fit their needs.

The Raypak manufacturer offers heaters for both above-ground and in-ground pools, no matter of the pool size; and with the variety of options, they can fit in almost any budget.

Highlights

Selecting tips

To choose the best water heater for your swimming pool, it is recommended to size it based on the total surface area of a pool. With the different pool shapes, you will use different calculations, as explained in the article about swimming pool heaters.

Raypak models review

Raypak produces three main types of pool heaters for residential homes; gas-powered, electric type, and heat pumps. Smaller devices, such as electric and some gas-type are designed for smaller pools and spas, while heat pumps and gas models with much power are meant for larger pools. The pool heaters allow you to open a pool earlier and close it later, so you can enjoy it longer, even when the weather is cooler.

How to select the right type?

Selecting the right type of pool heater 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 of the weather conditions, consistently high performance, and if planning to use it occasionally.

Use the heat pumps as the most cost-effective solution if you live in warmer areas and want to use the pool daily. 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 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.

Popular models

Raypak gas heaters review

There are three types of gas-powered pool heaters for home use:

  • Above-ground
  • Digital
  • Digital low NOx

Above-ground pool and spa gas heaters

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.

A model 106A is the smallest unit of all gas types; equipped with the simple control panel with the ON/OFF button and analog thermostat, allowing users to change the temperature easy.

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 the outside 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 water bypass system so the units can easily handle different water flow and control the condensation better.

Digital pool and spa gas heaters

Raypak Digital pool heaters come in several sizes: P-R206A, P-R266A, P-R336A, and P-R406A models, with the B.T.U. 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 B.T.U. 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 the 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 status of the heater 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 review

Raypak heat pumps can be purchased from one of the three groups:

  • Compact series
  • Classic series
  • Professional series

Heat pumps Compact series

The heat pumps from Compact series are available as 2450, 3450, 4450, and are recommended to homeowners who live in warmer areas, for daily pool heating, where the solar energy can be used as the primary source, or gas as a booster, automatically. The most powerful model in this group is R4450ti, designed to provide the power of up to 80,000 BTU, but the most efficient off all Raypak heat pumps is the model R2450ti, which has the C.O.P. of 6.2.

Models are built strong so that they can resist harsh weather, corrosion, and damages from objects. Its sturdy cabinet, base and scroll compressor can keep the sound level to its minimum without disturbing the surrounding.

Except for the long-lasting scroll compressor which is more efficient than the piston-type found in cheaper versions, models also use the spiral titanium heat exchanger that can resist damaging pool chemistry that we use non-stop for cleaning the pool. The manufacturer provides a warranty of 10 years.

The heat pumps come with the advances electronics so you can easily set the temperature and forget about it, control with the optional remote and use the diagnostics if something happens to the heater.

Heat pumps Classic series

Raypak heat pumps from the Classic series; R5450, R6450 and R8450 are similar to the above models from Compact series, while the R8450 models have an option to heat and cool, including the model R6450, which also has an option for the power defrost. By looking at the size and gas burner specs, you will see that models from Compact series are bigger and more powerful - reaching high 140,000 BTU and C.O.P. of 6.0.

Heat pumps Professional series

While the heat pumps from Professional series are designed for commercial applications mostly, they can also be used in large homes with luxury pools, primarily due to the high B.T.U. output of up to 170,000.

They are reliable and efficient, that contain professional-grade components such as the stainless steel cabinets and titanium heat exchangers, including the microprocessor control, heat/cool, and defrost function. High-quality elements make them favorite in areas with the coastal weather conditions. 

Raypak electric pool heaters review

Raypak electric heaters are coming from the E3T Digital series and are designed for smaller pools and spas. They are small and lightweight, designed with the quality components such as the titanium heating elements and stainless steel cabinet so that they can withstand some extreme weather conditions and pool chemicals, and of course last longer.

All these electric models include the digital control center where you can set and control the temperature (temperature knob), check the parameters on the large screen, so as the diagnostic code when the problem occurs.

The E3T heaters are available in four sizes ranging from 5.5 to 27 kW.

Features to consider

Compressor type

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.

More options rather than heat

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.

Titanium heat exchangers

Heat exchangers made of titanium and designed with the spiral tubes is what makes them last longer, corrode much less, resist damaging water chemicals and reduce deposit build-up.

Advanced electronics

Digital control and diagnostics system allow users easier temperature control, better accuracy, simpler troubleshooting, and savings.

Non-corrosive cabinets

Buying a pool heater with the powder coated or stainless steel cabinet ensures superior rust prevention and long life, even in harsh climates.

Environment-friendly design

Environment-friendly design in gas pool heaters allows low NOx gas emission and reduced pollution.

Heat exchanger

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.

Summary

Buying a pool heater is the long-term investment that will, with the pool, increase the value of your home, and bring a lot of fun, joy, and comfort during hot days. 

Raypak pool heaters are the perfect choice for homeowners who would like to extend the swimming season and enjoy pool parties not only in the summer but when most people are closing their pools. You will have your pool water ready, and at the temperature you set, no matter did you buy a gas type, electric or a heat pump. The right and accurate temperature is easy to set, and if you want to have a heater with the superior features, state-of-the-art design, and top performance, Raypak has it, and we have reviewed it. 

Just look for the professional grade components, energy efficient features, high efficient and environment-friendly operation.

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