Pentair MiniMax propane gas spa heaterby Admin
Apr 2014

Message: I am interested in the subject Pentair Mini Max Gas Heater because I am disappointed with my 2 yr old Balboa VS501Z electric heater.  I have several questions about both. Thank you

Dated on : 03-22-2013

Replies :


Please let me know what questions you have?   Dan

Post By : Dan Jung Dated On : 03-22-2013


Regarding my Spa It is recessed in an above ground deck. It is approx. 450 gals. capacity. I currently have the above noted electric heater because I was informed by the heater installer that I needed a flue to vent a gas heater. I previously had a Teledyne gas heater  that worked well on the same spa but in another location. It wore out. I have plenty of ventilation below the deck. I have about 9' of clear space below the deck framing. The best space for a gas unit is located about 10' from the closest side of my Spa. I have a 120v pump and a new blower. The Spa is in a second home and used infrequently. Regarding the gas heater: !. if I were to use the above gas heater the top of it would be below the bottom of the Spa. What problems does present? 2. What are the clearance requirements for the heater? I have plenty of ventilation all around. 3. Do you have installation instructions that I can download? Regarding the electric heater: 1. The 240v circuit breaker for the heater tripped and I cannot get it to stay on. I detect a clicking sound from the heater when I flip the breaker. The heater is under cover and away from rain drops. I quite frankly do not know what the problem is as I was not there when it originally tripped. What brought my attention to it was the 3x's higher electric bill I received for last month. Any suggestions? 2. Does the less then 2 years old electric heater have any resale value? Thanks, Jerry

Post By : jerry podesta Dated On : 03-22-2013


Here are the answers to your questions Gas Htr Questions 1) No problem with the gas heater being below the hot tub.  The pressure switch may need adjustment.  That is easy to do. 2) & 3) I ave attached the manual.  It includes the clearance requirements.  Generally the installation code doesn't allow the gas heater to be under a deck unless the exhaust gases are vented.  However you seem to have lots of clearance above the heater and good ventilation underneath.  So I would not consider it a problem, but I am not the inspector, should you have to obtain one. Elect Htr Questions 1) Sounds like the heater element is ground faulting.  If you disconnect both copper strip from the heating element (use two wrenches) and it stops tripping the GFCI, then that's the case.  Heater tube assembly can be replaced.  You have to know the comarative cost of electricity and propane in your area.  For propane add 20% because heater is around 80% efficient.  Electric heater is near 100% efficient.  If you are in California electric rates are very punishing and the more you use the higher the rates get. 2) If you fix it by installing a new heater tube (around $130) you might be able to sell it. Hope this helps.   DieterTechnical support

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Post By : Dieter Jung Dated On : 03-23-2013

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