Pool Heater Maintenance if you Live in Arizona.

Updated Jun 1, 2021

You can preserve your expensive pool heater by performing a very simple annual maintenance and it can even extend its lifespan for another 5-10 years. Pool heater maintenance in Arizona sounds counter-intuitive, but its more common than you think for Arizona.

banner image of arizona-pool-heater-maintenance

To help you maintain that perfect pool water, we’ve created a definitive guide on everything you need to know about owning and operating a pool in Arizona.

From that guide, we have created this quick and easy reference article for on pool heater maintenance if you live in Arizona.

We recommend pool heater maintenance once per year in Arizona.

  • Clean It: Once of the easiest things to do to keep your heater healthy in Arizona, is to clear out any debris build-up. Sweep out the dirt, dust, cobwebs, grass, etc. and ensure nothing is blocking any drain holes on the side of the heater, the top is clear, and it has plenty of ventilation as intended.

 

  • Clean the Coils: Turn off the breaker so there is no power to the heater and use a hose to wash the coils out. Coils lose effectiveness if there is any debris build-up slowing down the airflow.

 

  • Check the Fan Blades: Hose off the Fan Blades and use a rag to wipe the edges on the blades. Check for any lose blades and have them tightened if needed.

 

  • Check the Wiring: Make sure the wiring looks clean and not worn out. You don’t want any frayed wires, and if you find anything out of whack, you should call an electrician.

 

  • Check the Refrigeration Line: The black foam insulation that you see on the pipe can degrade over time, so each year, you will want to replace this insulation, which you can buy from any basic home store in your area.

 

Everyday Arizona Pool Heater Maintenance

Now, that you have the annual maintenance battle plan for your pool heater, you need to read this part very carefully. If you don’t set yourself up for everyday maintenance, your annual maintenance won’t matter.

The #1 Enemy of your Pool Heater is Calcium Hardness

So, pay attention to this next part…

Calcium Hardness Affects Pool Heater Maintenance

Everyone in Arizona pretty much knows that Arizona has a hard water problem.

For reference, any water measured with over 3.5 grains of calcium and magnesium bicarbonates per gallon is deemed “hard water.”

We recommend having calcium hardness between 150-400 ppm

That being said, some cities have hard water that borders at the top of the recommended range right from the start, so be aware of your city water hardness levels to better prepare yourself on how to handle things.

To give you some reference points, we have measured hardness variations across multiple cities, and you can see below that they are all so very different:

To give you some reference points, we have measured hardness variations across multiple cities, and you can see below that they are all so very different:

City Grains/ Gallon Hardness (PPM)
Apache Junction 13.6 232
Avondale 22.2 379
Cave Creek 13.5 231.1
Chandler 16.5 282.5
El Mirage 7 119.8
Gilbert 11.5 197
Glendale 15.8 271
Goodyear 24 410.9
Litchfield Park 11.1 190
Mesa 15.5 265.4
Paradise Valley 16 273.9
Peoria 10 171.2
Phoenix 14.1 241.5
Queen Creek 11.5 196.9
Scottsdale 19.2 328
Surprise 3.9 66.1
Tempe 13.9 238
Tolleson 8.5 144.5
Tucson 13.3 228
Yuma 20.2 345

* Those are yearly averages.

Calcium will build up over time and start messing with your pool chemistry.

Calcium also reacts with hot weather, something we have plenty of in Arizona, and tends to create an ugly ring around your pool tiles called, “scale” if it builds up over time.

Luckily, it’s not an immediate issue that you have to worry about. It is a long-term process which means every 2-3 years, you will need to drain and refill your pool water to remove those total dissolved solids.

Why do Arizona Pool Heaters Form Calcium Scale?

Calcium scale tends to form in the hottest water first… and secondly, it will tend to form where the water has the least amount of circulation.

Typically, this will be inside saltwater chlorine generators (salt cells), or heat exchangers, or the top of your water line.

In Arizona, it’s hot most of the year, so you will most likely always see the water line scale.

If your water chemistry is balanced, it will help reduce the formation of scale.

Remove Scale from the Inside of your Pool Heater in Arizona

Scaling is an especially problematic for Arizona pools with heaters because the scale will build up quickly as it moves through the heater’s plumbing. Over time, the calcium in the heater’s plumbing will build up and cause the heater to fail.

Pro Tip…

Run your pool pump 30 minutes after the heater turns off to flush it out and avoid scale formation.

This very simple adjustment to your flow timing on your heater will significantly affect lifespan so please be sure to follow our recommendation and get the most out of your pool heater.

Conclusion

Anyways, we hope this guide was useful. We have been maintaining pools in Arizona for some time now with our Smart Chemistry technology and found that the above recommendations for pool heater maintenance should keep you on the right track.