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Polaris Water Heater Error Code 2

Polaris Water Heater error code 2, also known as the Pressure Switch Open failure.

The Polaris Water Heater has an onboard diagnostics system that will flash a red LED to indicate a fault. This LED is visible through a small window on the access panel near the bottom of the hot water tank. By referring to the Polaris manual, you can discover what each of the error codes mean and there’s also a nice flow chart that suggests what to check/fix.

Basically, the Pressure Switch Open (error code 2) indicates that the Ignition Control Module (ICM) is unable to test the air pressure of the incoming fresh air to the unit. This is because it is unable to close the pressure switch to perform the test. Without fresh air coming in, the Polaris Water Heater cannot start a burn cycle as it needs oxygen for combustion. It also needs to ensure it can exhaust the gasses of combustion to prevent Carbon Monoxide (CO) buildup in the house.

The Pressure Switch Open failure is supposed to be a soft lockout (SL) fault. The IGM will try again in 60 minutes and if successful, the unit will resume normal operation.

There are three noted sources of this failure:

  1. There isn’t 24Vac across the pressure switch (no power)
  2. The clear PVC tubing is cracked or has some sort of leak
  3. There is a blockage in the inlet/exhaust air venting

There is now also a fourth possibility. As discovered by Steve, error code 2 can also be caused by frost buildup in low temperature environments (~ -28C or -20F ). There is a technical bulletin available for this issue which describes how to correct the issue. Steve was kind enough to forward the PDF to me that he received from the Polaris Technician.

Polaris Water Heater Technical Bulletin #5002 – Frost Buildup (PDF)

If you have a Polaris Water Heater from roughly June 2008 or newer, error code 2 can also be caused by a dirty air filter. The air filter is located in the air inlet pipe and can be removed for cleaning. An addendum to the Polaris Water Heater user manual is available on the John Wood Water Heater website:

Polaris Water Heater Addendum – Inlet Air Filter (PDF)

If you are still having problems, John Wood provides a form you can use for technical support questions. If you are a US customer you should use the American Water Heaters technical support form. Also note that American Water Heaters has a listing of some Technical Service Bulletins on their website.

5 thoughts on “Polaris Water Heater Error Code 2”

  1. Pingback: Polaris Water Heater Error Code 1 | Ivany

  2. My 1998 Polaris residential heater has been plagued with this problem and several others to the point where it was locking out at least once a week for the first 3 years. In the case of the Pressure Switch open failure, the problem has always been the switch itself, I have a large stack of them now having replaced mine about every two years. The switch contacts go bad, possibly due to humidity in the basement. I understand that the design changed later to reduce the sensitivity of the system and improve reliability

  3. 2010 Polaris I woke up today… -38 outside and the house was a little cool, I turned up the heat (in floor) and went to check the Polaris as the floor didn’t feel as hot as it should. Sure enough I had the two blinking lights. I did a web search came upon this site and with in a couple minutes found the problem. In my case I thought it would be frost build up, but as I took off the air inlet, there was a ton of dirt in the filter, I cleaned it out and viola… tout fini.

    It seems to be working normally but will keep an eye on it as we have a week of cooooold weather forecasted.

    Thanks for the information!

  4. Had this problem in a 6 year old polaris heater. In the end it was a dirty filter which I cleaned tested pressure switch with volt meter it was ok but still had error 1 code when I reattached.

    Solved by trimming 1/4 inch off each end of the 3 vacuum hoses to the pressure switch. They had become loose with age. Leaked the vacuum created by the blower.

    Saved an expensive service call.
    Thanks for the info!!

  5. Hi Jeff,

    You have a great website that I’m hoping might be able to solve a mystery that has stumped even the Polaris experts:

    Essentially our older boiler (PR50NATFV) works perfectly … unless we ‘stress’ it with too many hot water demands within a short time period. If the dishwasher and washing machine are both running, it will ‘kick out’ and not restart automatically. The same with showers – can’t have one going with either one of the appliances without the boiler shutting down and requiring a manual reboot (red LED flashes three times on the panel).

    On the bright side, if we carefully coordinate hot water usage in the house, the Polaris can run indefinitely without interruption.

    The pattern is absolutely consistent but doesn’t make a whole lot sense to me … unless somehow the igniter simply can’t fire up that often within a specific amount of time. (BTW this has only been a problem for the past year or so: It started kicking out once every so often, then monthly, then weekly and ultimately multiple times daily … until my wife was able to establish this pattern to keep it going).

    We’ve hired a great professional (well experienced with Polaris) to change the igniter, clean the unit, check the natural gas pressure, et al. Essentially he’s done everything you could possibly do to the unit but has not solved the underlying issue.

    I don’t want to spend $10,000+ to replace the boiler without at least understanding why it works under low load and kicks out under high load. It’s a complete mystery.

    I would appreciate any suggestions from you or others on this forum. Thanks!!!!


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