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.


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  3. Excellent Post! The content is well written and the information about Swimming pool is extremely valuable. Thanks.

  4. Swimming Pool Company

    Too cool!
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  5. Does anyone know where I can purchase a mouse proofing kit for my swimming pool heater? I cannot find them anywhere, either online or locally.

    1. I may be able to help, what heater do you have? Brand and model. Or a picture if your not sure

  6. It's not something you even consider until it's happened to you, but getting vermin nesting on your heater really can cause a surprising amount of damage. In order to avoid the cost of getting a new heater installed, it's definitely worth trying a few different methods to protect against this.

    Benton @ Pool Solar & Spa

  7. we have a Pentair MasterTemp 400 rats have killed it twice, where can I get a rat kit?

    1. A local pool guy/store should be able to order one from their supplier. The part number that works for your heater is RP-200 made by MK REBAR BENDERS INC.

  8. Very good written article. It will be supportive to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.
    Pool Screen Repair