Sta Rite Pool Heater Troubleshooting [7 Easy Fixes]

There are some common issues that the users of the Sta-Rite pool heater face. These frequent problems are heater cycles on and off, the heater won’t turn on, ignition failure, heater turning automatically, error codes, heater making noise, and service light on.

sta rite pool heater troubleshooting

Read our Sta-Rite pool heater troubleshooting guide to fix your heater ASAP.

Table Of Contents

Sta Rite Pool Heater Troubleshooting [7 Easy Fixes]

In this section, we will explore the common problems more in-depth and their simple solutions.  

1. Heater Cycles On And Off

The possible reasons why your Sta-Rite pool heater cycles on and off are low water flow, a clogged filter, and closed valves. The thermal regulator, ignition control module, or control board can also be responsible.


The first thing to check when your Sta-Rite pool heater keeps shutting off is the pool filter. In case the filter is dirty, you need to have it back-washed.

Empty the skimmer basket. Ensure that the water flow is adequate and matches the manufacturer’s recommendation. Here’s a table showing the suitable water flow rate.

ModelFlow Rate
20020 gal/min (76 LPM)
33330 gal/min (114 LPM)
40040 gal/min (151 LPM)

Test the thermal regulator and control board for continuity. Also, check the ignition control module. Replace them if necessary.

2. Heater Won’t Turn On

There can be various reasons behind your Sta-Rite pool heater not turning on. These reasons include the following.

  • Faulty temperature sensor & wrong wiring
  • Low voltage supply
  • Tripped the fireman’s switch
  • Broken membrane pad or damaged control board
  • Blocked pool filter or incorrect water pressure
  • Low water flow rate or ignition failure
  • Tripped safety switches


It can be tough to determine why your pool heater won’t start because the list of things that could be wrong is pretty long. Test the temperature sensor with a multimeter. Replace if needed. Check the wiring connections.

Make sure it is done correctly and the wires are secure. Ensure the voltage supply, and reset the fireman’s switch if needed. 

Test the membrane pad, control board, and ignition system, and replace any parts if needed. Your pool filter may need cleaning.

To get a deeper understanding of what to do when the Sta-Rite pool heater won’t turn on, read our article. 

3. Heater Won’t Ignite

If the Sta-Rite pool heater won’t fire after 3 tries, the heater will enter an ignition lockout. The causes of a Sta-Rite pool heater ignition lockout may include a broken ignitor, failed ignition control module, or clogged pool filter.

Plus, the blower not running, malfunctioning flame sensor, inadequate pump pressure, a dirty burner orifice, a damaged gas valve, and tripped safety switch are also can be responsible for the issue.


To fix the Sta-Rite pool heater not igniting, you can try to test the flame sensor with a multimeter and replace it if needed. The ignitor, and ignition control module may also need replacement.

Check the blower to see if it is running. Replace if malfunctioning. If your blower still doesn’t run, the culprit is the control board. Replace it.

The pool filter may need unclogging. Ensure the pump pressure is adequate. Reset any tripped safety switches. Clean the burner orifice.

Also, change the gas valve if damaged. In case you need detailed instructions, read our article on Sta Rite pool heaters that won’t ignite.

4. Heater Turns On By Itself

The number one reason why the Sta-Rite pool heater turns on by itself is a defective membrane touchpad. The control board can also be a problem.


Start by replacing the membrane keypad. If that doesn’t solve your problem, contact Sta-Rite customer care to inquire about a new control board for your unit. They may even send you a new board. Hire a professional to replace the control board.

5. Error Codes

When you are using a unit for a while, you are bound to get some Sta-Rite pool heater error codes. The frequency of the appearance of error codes will most likely increase with the length of usage as well.

Some error codes are more common than others. We will touch upon the most frequent ones that annoy Sta-Rite pool heater users. 

i) Error Code E01

Sta-Rite pool heater error code E01 means that the thermistor is faulty. This sensor detects the state of the water and regulates the burner temperature using the operating control.

If this sensor fails, the device is unable to receive any signals and the system shuts down with the error code E01 shown.


You will need to replace the thermistor to get rid of this error. 

  • Unplug the pool heater from power sources. Drain the heat exchanger of all liquids. To remove the front access panel, unscrew the four bolts that keep it in place.
  • To remove the control box cover, unscrew the two bolts that hold it in place. The thermistor connector should be disconnected from the ignition control panel.
  • Through the heater chassis hole, remove the thermistor. Unscrew the bolts holding the thermistor in place on the inlet side of the header. Install a new thermistor in its place, reversing the process.

You can watch the video on how to replace the thermistor of your Sta Rite pool heater.

ii) Error Code E05

The Sta-Rite pool heater error code E05 indicates ignition failure. Even if the burner goes out after being lit for a while even if the ignition is turned off after a long period of time of staying on, this code will show up.

This problem frequently happens when the heater is turned on after a long period of inactivity.


Here’s what you can do to get rid of this error code.

  • Turn the STA-RITE power source off. Using sandpaper, thoroughly clean the rusted ignitor. If the ignitor appears to be defective, remove it from its mounting, unplug any connections, and replace it.
  • Examine the sensor for any signs of damage. If this is the case, remove it from the device and replace it before restarting it. Clean the system’s intake and exhaust vents. Examine the control board for the proper signal light.

iii) Error Code E06

When the circuit board sensor reads 0 ohms of power supply, Sta-Rite pool heater error code E06 appears on your display. Either your central electrical supply or a defective sensor is to blame.


To begin, contact an electrician to inspect your home’s electrical system. Request that the electrical supply is repaired by professionals.

If the problem is with the sensor, however, it must be replaced. This is how you do it.

  • Turn off the entire system.  Unscrew the STA-RITE control board kit.  There should be a stack flue sensor there.  Using a long nose plier, pry it out.
  • Pick up a new sensor. Secure the sensor cables and arrange them correctly. Put everything back in its place.

iv) Error Code R8

When the Sta-Rite pool heater error code R8 appears on the display, the heater won’t turn on. Experts believe that this is a sign that the control board has failed to signal the entire system.


To resolve this issue, you must replace the malfunctioning control board. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Locate the control board housing and unscrew it.  Locate the control board kit once the control board housing has been removed.
  • Disconnect all of the writings that are connected to it.  Check for any broken wires.
  • As you unscrew and remove the control board, replace the broken wire with a new one.  Replace the control board. Screw it into place and make sure the wire connections are secure. Replace the control board enclosure with care.

v) Error Code R13

Sta-Rite pool heater error code R13 isn’t actually an error code. It is a part of the startup sequence.


You don’t need to fix this because it’s not an error code. You must, however, hit the temperature setting key whenever R3 appears on your Sta-Rite screen and adjust the temperature.

vi) Error Code R14

Sta-Rite pool heater error code R14 isn’t actually an error code. Rather, it’s the system’s rev level or revision level. This primarily reflects the number of times the settings have been modified.

So, if the number 14 appears on the screen, it means you’ve altered the heater setting 14 times.


You can erase this code from your display by resetting the unit. It’s as simple as shutting off the machine and unplugging it from the power source.

vii) Error Code 126

Sta-Rite pool heater error code 126 is not an error code, however, it indicates the temperature of the water as measured by the heater. With the water temperature at 126°F, the heater will not turn on.


You don’t need to do anything other than wait for the pool water to cool down. Then your heater should start. It could also be that the water temperature isn’t 126°F in reality but the heater is showing this error code anyway. 

The thermistor, the sensor that is supposed to read the water temperature, is the problem if the heater is reading the wrong water temperature.

To fix the heater problem, you’ll need to replace this sensor. It is quite simple.

viii) Error Code AFS

Sta-Rite pool heater error code AFS means that there is something wrong with the airflow switch. When there is an issue with the rubber tube between the draft inducer fan and the airflow switch, this code appears.


Double-check that the draft inducer route to the airflow switch is in working order. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Locate and open the terminal box. The rubber tubing that connects the airflow switch to the draft inducer can be found.
  • Remove this tube and clean any dirt that has accumulated inside. If the rubber tube is damaged, discard it and replace it with a new one.
  • Replace everything in its original location once the rubber tubing connection is secure. 

Your pool heater air switch should now function properly.

6. Heater Making Noise

Although your Sta-Rite pool heater making noise to some extent is normal, if yours begins to whistle, it’s time to wear your investigator hat.

Adequate gas pressure and clean burners are required for gas heaters. You may notice whistling if you have problems with either of these. The burners are making a whistling noise.


Inspect the pressure of gas – inadequate gas pressure in the burners might produce noise.

A blocked burner orifice is another possibility. Whistling might also be caused by partial blockages. Cleaning out an orifice clog with a fragment of wire or maybe a paper clip will help. Check your owner’s manual before you begin to work on a clog.

If neither of these solutions works, it’s time to call for pool heater service.

7. Service Heater Light On

Sta-Rite pool heater service heater light on may mean that there is an error with the safety switches and sensors on your heater. The PS, HLS, AFS, AGS, or SFS of your pool heater may be the culprit.


Identifying the cause of the error and fixing it will shut off the service heater light. Read our article on troubleshooting pool heaters when the service heater light on to get a clearer picture of what to do. 


How do I reset my Sta-Rite pool heater?

To reset your pool heater, you need to shut it down and unplug it. Wait for 10-15 minutes before plugging it back on and turning the pool heater on. This should restart the system.

Why is my heat pump not heating?

This could be a result of your heat pump being low on refrigerants. A leak is the most prevalent source of this. A professional can identify the issue, correct any leaks, and, if necessary, recharge the system.

Why is my pool heater clicking?

The “clicking” implies that the igniter is sparking and that the heater is attempting to fire, but that the gas and the “spark” are not connecting. If the heater was just installed, the gas pressure should be the first item to check.

Why is my pool heater backfiring?

Gas accumulates at the burner orifice until it reaches the chamber’s interior, causing a backfire. The heater shuts down as the flame in the box burns out due to a lack of oxygen (the backfire burnt it all).

How do I know if my pool filter is bad?

There are a few ways to identify whether your pool filter is broken. If the water becomes hazy, it means your filter is not working properly. Other signs that the pool filter is malfunctioning include leaking multi-port valves, broken or faulty laterals, valve collapse, tank failure, and pressure concerns.


Hopefully, our Sta-Rite pool heater troubleshooting guide will help you fix all the common problems that you struggle with.

However, there are many other things that can go wrong with a pool heater. So, if you have questions regarding your Sta-Rite pool heater, leave us a comment below.

About David

David is a man who loves doing research and finding out the best solution to any type of heating appliance issues like heaters and fireplaces. Whenever he finds the perfect solutions to any issues of heating appliances after doing in-depth research, he loves to share them with his readers. In fact, his aim is to help his readers to fix the issues with their heating appliances easily.More about us .

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