Product Battle Series 2: Hayward Heater Vs. Raypak Heater

35 thoughts on “Product Battle Series 2: Hayward Heater Vs. Raypak Heater

    1. Don’t get a Raypak, they changed the heat exchanger a few years ago. Mine went out in less than a year and now they won’t cover it because they said my water is bad. I check the water with a lab and it is perfect. They said I must have swapped out the water.. This company is a fraud and terrible. Never buy a Raypak!

      1. Raypak is one of the most reliable manufacturers we deal with regarding warranty or troubleshooting. If there is an issue, they have always been willing to take care of it. Also, their heat exchangers have not had a redesign since 2004.

        A few questions: What was the issue with your heat exchanger? What type of heat exchanger was it? Do you use a salt chlorine generator? How old was the heater when it failed? And lastly, was your water in good condition the entire time the heater was installed? Or was there a period of disuse or the water was left untreated?

      2. I’ve installed and maintained hundreds of Rapaks. They are very durable but as with all pool heaters the one thing that will destroy them is water balance. Low ph will eventually eat right through the copper heat exchanger. Even if ph is left low for a short period of time it starts etching the inside of the copper tubes and the layer fail.
        Also putting chemicals or chlorine tablets in the skimmers will do the same thing to any heater. I’ve seen many destroyed heaters in 30 years in the pool industry. Raypak is by far the best heater. Also parts are more reasonable for Raypak heaters.

      3. We are going through a similar situation right now. The pool company that installed out Raypak heater came to look at ours 2 times now (one of which Raypak sent him back) and they can’t figure out the problem yet. So far the Propane tank was the blame. So we had everything changed Propane tank and all parts and connections, and we are still waiting for the company to come back. The only time the company came when they said they would was when we bought the heater.

  1. What is the best electric Heat Pump Heater – 115,000 or 120,000 BTU’s for an Inground pool approx. 16’X32′.
    I live in South Florida and have a Hayward “Turbo” Salt Chlorinator.

  2. You can’t use raypack with salt water.Had raypak for one season and it rusted out.
    Have a hayward H series ,it is made for salt water.

    1. That is somewhat wrong. Hayward Universal H-Series do come with a cupro-nickel heat exchanger which are ideal for saltwater installations. The standard Raypak heaters are equipped with a copper heat exchanger which do not hold up to saltwater, but Raypak also makes Cupro-Nickel equipped heaters which hold up just as well as the H-Series.

      If you mistakenly installed the standard Raypak on a saltwater pool, then I can understand why you would get a season or less out of the unit.

    2. CuPro Nickel units CAN be purchased from RayPak which will last a lot longer. No unit will last is you don’t properly balance the pool water, alkalinity monthly and PH weekly or as often as needed.

  3. Replacing a Hayward H400FDN that had a heater exchange go bad. Luckily home warranty is covering (I’ve owned the house/pool for less than 2 months) and want the same/equivalent BTU and options. 4 different pool tech companies have split opinions b/t Hayward and Raypak; suggestions?

    1. Both are great brands, and you really couldn’t go wrong with either. Raypak has the pedigree of decades of solid service. The design of the Raypak cupronickel models is simple and very reliable. The Hayward Universal Low Nox has been atop of the pool heater ladder with Raypak for the last few years. My only qualm would be that the heater has a lot of moving parts that may need replacing down the line.

      Verdict: If you do not mind a little replumbing, go with the Raypak. If you want to keep your plumbing configuration the way it is, stick with Hayward.

      1. Great, thanks for the response. The latest company thru my home warranty is advocating for a Jandy Jxi – 400k BTU and low NOx, but copper fins instead of cupro-nickel. Seems like a solid option but I’m unfamiliar with Jandy/Zodiac products. How’s this line up compared to Hayward and Raypak?

        1. Jandy is an alright unit. But their replacement parts can be a bit pricey and not as widely carried as the Raypak and Hayward.

          Do you have a saltwater pool? And was your previous heater’s exchanger defective due to a water chemistry issue? If you answer yes to either of those two questions, try to stick with your guns to go with Cupronickel again. Copper is relatively fragile when compared to the heavy duty cupronickel. Copper is more susceptible to corrosion, meaning you have to be on top of your water chemistry. It seems like they are downgrading you.

  4. Our pool is 18×36 in ground and is 30-35000 gallons. We live in SC. What would you recommend and what should we expect in terms of extending the swimming season? Thanks!

  5. I have a Hayward H-Series heater that never lasts a full season without having to replace Printed Circuit Boards. Last year I replaced all boards, it was running fine up until today, wont start up on the day before Memorial Day weekend! The heater is a couple of years old and I am looking to replace it with anything other than Hayward…I’m between Pentair and Raypak right now…any comments on Pentair?

    1. I’ve had problems with Hayward…nobody around central Indiana wants to work on them. Pool companies always complain that they hate Hayward’s but I feel like this is only because they really don’t have “true tech” repairmen. I upgraded from a pilot style Hayward 200k btu to a cup to nickel electronic Hayward 200k btu version and have had a trouble fee 5 years or so until this year at opening when I keep get an “IF” code or ignition failure. So water is 60 degrees waiting on pool techs that really don’t want to work on my Hayward. I honestly think these pool companies like one brand over the other based nothing more than the simplicity of repairs and I get that but —I don’t like the way most pool companies bad mouth Hayward’s product line. I’ve had my pool for 19 years and my simple pilot style Hayward lasted 15 years this newer electronic version is in its 5th season and I’m pretty sure it’s just a spider web/egg issue but need a “pro” to diagnose further. I will tell you that Hayward’s toll free helpline will not provide any guidance over the phone to homeowners- only to a technician. So that really ticked me off.

    2. Mike, I believe I have the same issue. These boards are like $200 a piece. The blade fuses constantly blow and Hayward keeps referring me the stupid service manual. Every time a technician comes out its $75 and somehow the replacement fuse works. Any other fuses that you use besides a Bussman 3A ATC? Maybe it is a poor quality fuse? I just replaced the board so not sure that is the problem..

  6. I would choose anything g EXCEPT Hayward!! Got our pool last year, used the heater a handful of times… IF THAT… went to start it this year and a pipe cracked. We got the IG, ignition failure code and it’s been a nightmare trying to get it fixed. I’m sorry, but a piece of equipment that’s not even a year old and barely used should be 100% covered under warranty. It’s been 3 weeks, still no answers and everyone is playing the blame game pointing the finger between installer and manufacturer. Any reputable company cares more about customer satisfaction. You don’t create a situation where we, the customer, are having buyers remorse over the few hundred dollars it costs to fix the issue. Your crappy heater broke and it’s BRAND NEW! Do the right thing. No home owner wants to dump 30 grand into a pool to have any part of it not work the very next season.

  7. Hi,
    I am looking for a propane pool heater for my semi-I ground pool, which is 23 feet diameter.

    I want to be able to use the heater sporadically, but with a fast heating results.

    I am using a solar heating system, which allow to get 10 degrees higher that normal
    That is good for mainly 70 % of the time.
    Now I want to get the fastest way to heat my pool , when the weather is too cool before I get to swim.
    What should I get? Do you deliver in Quebec?

  8. I know this thread is old but as a trained certified professional pool tech, this isn’t even a comparison. Hayward equipment is absolute garbage period. Raypak and Pentair are miles ahead of Hayward it’s not even funny. The only place Hayward belongs is in the garbage.

    1. Jackson, you are SOOOOOOO right! Original pool installer used all Hayward, but slowly have been replacing with Pentair (Pumps, salt/chlorine generator, remote automation) and Raypak (Heater) and have never been happier! (You cannot kill a Pentair pump.) However, in all fairness, and to be honest, while I did get 13 years out of my original cupronickel Hayward H400 heater (as a CPO, I’m a fanatic about keeping my water chemistry balanced, Saturation Index (SI) ALWAYS +/- 0.5), and I’ve only had my new Raypak R406A heater for less than a year now, the QUALITY and design of the Raypak appears to be far superior. …just my 2 cents, FWIW.

  9. We had a Raypak heater that worked for 16 years with only minor issues. This year the fan went out and instead of replacing the fan at $750, we are going to buy a new heater. Done a lot of research and I am looking at the Raypak ASME low Nox 400 HiAltitude model. I looked at Hayward, Sta-rite & Pentair, but keep coming back to Raypak. I am willing to spend the extra for the better, more durable headers. I figure those will be what’s going to have issues.
    I like the variety of models so you can pick the one for your needs and wallet

  10. We just purchased a 40 year old home with a 35 year old gunite in-ground in-door pool. Property had been sitting for about 2 years empty so chemistry probably took the 29 year-old Hayward CZ-200-P1 heater. I’m told I have a 16,000 gallon pool with a 6×6 hot tub that overflows into pool. Looking for advice on best pool heater. The Hayward I’m replacing is currently a 200,000BTU natural gas even though it was originally propane. Don’t want to install too big of a unit (BTU) and not be able to use the hot tub. The fact that the pool is indoors and will be used year round indicates to me that “the larger the better” I keep reading may not apply to my in-ground pool. Once it’s up to temperature, it should not need to be bumped up very often.
    I’ve heard Pentair mentioned above. How do they rate in the mix with Raypak and Hayward?

    1. It would be third because of the scarcity and cost of the parts. And you will need parts because they are intricately designed; there is a lot of stuff that can fail on those things. If given the choice of taking a Max-E-Therm, I would likely pass.

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