Sunday, April 21, 2013

Swimming Pool Heater Rat Kit Review

Swimming pool heater Rat Kit Review

This is a review of the MK “Heater Rat Proofing Products” RP-100 for StaRite Max-E Temp heaters written by
Rodents (mostly rats and mice) are attracted to swimming pool/spa heaters for the shelter and the warmth radiating from the heater burners. Once inside the heater, they will create nests and chew on any exposed wiring, damaging the heater.

To combat the rats, there are a few methods available from leaving out poison, setting up traps, and also blocking all entry points into the heater. The third method will be discussed here using the rat proofing kit from MK which contains a set of screens meant to block all of the open entry paths in to the heater.

What’s included
The MK kit comes with 7 wire mesh screens, a page of instructions, a bag with 12 screws, a warranty card, and an ad insert for the kit.

Note: The MK kits are heater specific and not universal. Be sure to get the kit made for your specific model.

The install
The instructions have steps. Each step has a picture of the heater highlighting the area to place the screen with a one sentence explanation.

Opening the heater is required. It is not explained how to do this in the instructions but most users should be able to find the 4 hex head screws holding the cover on.
A few of the wire mesh pieces had tape already on them and the others needed to be attached to the heater with the included screws.
In general, the instructions were adequate if you make the assumption on how to actually install pieces. There are no pre-marked areas for the screws or where to position the tape.
Below are pictures of a few of them installed.

Guessing the little details of connecting the wire meshes isn’t a problem except for the single section of screen mesh that fits over the water pipes. It was completely unclear how to place the screen on this section. Should it be on the outside or inside of the cover? Should part of the cover be outside and part inside? Below was my best guess.

The wire mesh seems sufficient to keep mice and/or rats out of heater. One advantage of using the mesh method is not having to leave rat poison in your backyard or dealing with additional dead rats/mice.

This product must be new since when this article was written (4/16/13), the kit and the manufacturer MK did not exist on the internet in any form.  I knew about this product because it was the only heater rat kit available from our supplier (Superior Pool Products).

The warranty is a little disappointing, as it is a minimal limited 30-day warranty against material and workmanship defects with no guarantees on the wire mesh effectiveness to keep rodents out.

It is possible to buy the wire mesh yourself, cut the pieces and cover the opening in your heater (using screws to secure the mesh). If you already own the mesh, screws and wire cutters it would be cheaper to make your own parts to cover the openings of the heater. Finding the openings of any heater is a trivial task that anyone can do.
(From our local home depo)

If you do not already own the parts, it would be cheaper to buy the “MK Heater Rat Proofing” kit, then use the included instructions to place the screens around your heater.

The MK “Heater Rat Proofing Products” kit does seem to keep rats out of the heater if properly installed. However, the included paperwork does not invoke confidence in the system with the lack of detailed installation instructions or some kind of guarantee the system works.  The kit could just be new with revisions already in progress. If you use the MK kit, be sure to double check all of the wire meshes to ensure “your method” of attaching them has secured all of the meshes down with no holes for rodents to enter once installed.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cleaning a Pentair Clean and Clear Single Cartridge Filter

Cleaning a Clean and Clear Single Cartridge Filter

This is a guide on cleaning the Clean & Clear single cartridge filter system (Part numbers CC50, CC75, CC150, and CC200) written by What makes this model unique is the removable center core of the cartridge which also makes this filter cartridge element a non-standard cartridge. The filter used in this example is a Clean & Clear CC150.

I will try to list part numbers in case any parts are broken or are found broken during your cleaning.

1) Turn off the pump to ensure that the system cannot turn on automatically. The easiest way is to turn off the breakers for the main pump.

2) Open the air relief valve (98209800) on the filter.

3) Push the two buttons on the bottom of the “Locking Ring Assembly” (59052900) up and turn the entire assembly counter clockwise while pulling it up to release it from the filter.

4) The top half of the filter (178561 for CC75, CC150, CC150 and CC200) can now be removed by pulling it up and off.

5) The cartridge (R173216 for CC150) can now be pulled up and out of the filter.
For a thorough cleaning, you will need to separate the filter from its “Center Core” (59053800 for CC150 and CC200).

6) Turn the cartridge upside down. Now pull the Center Core can be up and away from the cartridge.

7) Hose off the cartridge to remove as much dirt and debris as possible. Be sure to hose the inside as well as the outside.

Note: A swimming pool professional might use liquid acid to remove stains from the cartridge.

If there are any holes or tares in the cartridge it will need to be replaced, the part numbers for each size is given below.

Manufacture Part numbers:
R173213 Cartridge Element 50 sq. ft.
R173214 Cartridge Element 75 sq. ft.
R173215 Cartridge Element 100 sq. ft.
R173216 Cartridge Element 150 sq. ft.
R173217 Cartridge Element 200 sq. ft.

8) With the Center Core right side up, place the cartridge onto it with the writing on the top side of the filter. When the filter is on the Center Core you should be able to see text on the cartridge top. If not, the cartridge is upside down.

9) Place the Center Core and cartridge back into the filter. Notice the arrow marking the direction to insert the unit. Once placed, it should lock in and you should not be able to spin the Center Core once it is set. If you can spin yours, it is not in place and will need to be readjusted.

10) Place the top half back on to the filter. It should sit flush with the bottom half. To do the next step, this needs to be all the way down. If you cannot push your lid down completely, the O-Ring (87300400) may have expanded and may need to be replaced.

11) Place Locking Ring assembly over the top of the filter while turning clockwise and push the assembly down. It will lock in place once it is seated correctly.

12) With the air relief valve still open, turn on the main system pump. Once the system is running and water is blowing through the relief valve, close the valve.

If your filter is leaking water around its midsection while running, you can turn everything off and check to see that the Locking Ring Assembly is correctly installed. If after checking, it is correct and the system still leaks, the O-Ring (87300400) that sits between the top and bottom halves of the filter should be replaced.