Pros / It has a smarter self-diagnostic function than other heaters.
Cons / This gas heater only runs on natural gas, not propane.
Verdict / The Raypak Low NOx is a well-designed pool heater with smart features and a weatherproof exterior.
The Raypak 207A is a low NOx (nitrogen oxide) natural gas heater. It puts out 199,500 Btu (British thermal units) of pool-heating power and meets emissions standards in all U.S. low NOx areas, including Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley. The P-R207A has a thermal efficiency rating of 83 percent, which means that 83 percent of the fuel it consumes is converted into heating power.
In addition to the P-R207A, Raypak makes three other sizes of this heater, from 266,000 Btu to 399,000 Btu – all four heaters are basically the same except for their power output. We chose to review the 199,500 Btu model based on our pool scenario, which is a 15,000-gallon pool with roughly 500 square feet of surface area. A different model may be better for you, depending on the size of your pool.
The Raypak Low NOx heater features a digital control panel with a display and three buttons: two temperature set arrows and a mode button. It does a bit more than other heaters' displays. The display shows the set temperature, whether the heater is on and heating, self-diagnostic messages, the heater's run time and cycle meter, pilot flame strength, and voltmeter. All this information makes it easier to troubleshoot and monitor your pool heater’s performance than it is with heaters without diagnostic functions, like the EcoSmart SmartPOOL.
Raypak put a lot of thought into the Low NOx pool heater's design and construction. Because these appliances tend to be outside and subject to a lot of elements, it's important they be up to facing wind, rain and all sorts of weather. The Raypak's galvanized metal exterior is coated in a polyester powder paint layer to prevent rust. It is also designed to prevent operational interference caused by wind, airborne debris and precipitation. The heat exchanger is made of copper, which is not quite as durable as the cupro nickel used in the Hayward H-Series. The Raypak also features a Unitherm Governer to help reduce condensation, sooting and scale buildup.
Raypak offers a one-year warranty on its pool heaters, and it has the warranty information and online product registration on its website. You can contact customer service via an online form. Note that improper installation and damage resulting from it voids the manufacturer warranty, so you should probably hire a professional to install your heater. Improper installation can also cause dangerous malfunctions, including gas leaks and fire.
The Raypak P-R207A Low NOx is a well-thought-out pool heater with a rugged metal exterior and extra features designed to protect your purchase against all weather conditions. As a natural gas heater, its operation costs can run high, so it is best suited to pools that only need intermittent heating. It heats quickly regardless of the ambient temperature, so it can keep you swimming even in cooler temperatures.