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Help Sought From Hot Spring Moto Massage Experts...


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#1 Raeven

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 04:09 PM

So I went out one evening for my usual soak, and the Moto Massage jet in my HS Envoy is working intermittently.

Works great with the left SmartJet lever in the 3 o'clock position and the right SmartJet lever in the 9 o'clock position; that is, with the Moto Massage on and the neck jets off. But when I turn the right SmartJet lever to the 3 o'clock position to enjoy the neck jets along with the Moto Massage, the Moto begins working very intermittently -- mostly not working at all.

I pulled the face plate off the Moto to make sure the hoses were all hooked up, and they appear to be fine. I know the most common problem here is plugged filters, and the tub was due for a water change anyway, so I did everything: Changed the water, bought new filters, and.... no joy.

Any help out there or hints on what else I might check before I give up and call in the (very expensive) local dealer for assistance? Any and all advice will be gratefully received!

Thanks, Raeven
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.

#2 hottublady

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 03:58 PM

QUOTE (Raeven @ Jun 11 2009, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So I went out one evening for my usual soak, and the Moto Massage jet in my HS Envoy is working intermittently.

Works great with the left SmartJet lever in the 3 o'clock position and the right SmartJet lever in the 9 o'clock position; that is, with the Moto Massage on and the neck jets off. But when I turn the right SmartJet lever to the 3 o'clock position to enjoy the neck jets along with the Moto Massage, the Moto begins working very intermittently -- mostly not working at all.

I pulled the face plate off the Moto to make sure the hoses were all hooked up, and they appear to be fine. I know the most common problem here is plugged filters, and the tub was due for a water change anyway, so I did everything: Changed the water, bought new filters, and.... no joy.

Any help out there or hints on what else I might check before I give up and call in the (very expensive) local dealer for assistance? Any and all advice will be gratefully received!

Thanks, Raeven


Don't call the dealer! I have a jetsetter and on my 9th year the moto jet went out. So I went to the local retailer and bought one at the register, I think it was 80bucks and replaced in myself and it took about 10 minutes. You can also call the service center of your local dealer and the advice over the phone should be free! I would call monday and go over troubleshooting, then they can't resolve over phone then buy a new jet. Let me know what you do!
Best Wishes,
Hottublady
Proud owner of a Hot Springs Jetsetter

#3 Raeven

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:46 AM

QUOTE (hottublady @ Jun 14 2009, 04:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Raeven @ Jun 11 2009, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So I went out one evening for my usual soak, and the Moto Massage jet in my HS Envoy is working intermittently.

Works great with the left SmartJet lever in the 3 o'clock position and the right SmartJet lever in the 9 o'clock position; that is, with the Moto Massage on and the neck jets off. But when I turn the right SmartJet lever to the 3 o'clock position to enjoy the neck jets along with the Moto Massage, the Moto begins working very intermittently -- mostly not working at all.

I pulled the face plate off the Moto to make sure the hoses were all hooked up, and they appear to be fine. I know the most common problem here is plugged filters, and the tub was due for a water change anyway, so I did everything: Changed the water, bought new filters, and.... no joy.

Any help out there or hints on what else I might check before I give up and call in the (very expensive) local dealer for assistance? Any and all advice will be gratefully received!

Thanks, Raeven


Don't call the dealer! I have a jetsetter and on my 9th year the moto jet went out. So I went to the local retailer and bought one at the register, I think it was 80bucks and replaced in myself and it took about 10 minutes. You can also call the service center of your local dealer and the advice over the phone should be free! I would call monday and go over troubleshooting, then they can't resolve over phone then buy a new jet. Let me know what you do!
Best Wishes,
Hottublady


Hottublady, thanks so much for the great advice!!! I am confident I can change out the jet myself, and I really appreciate your input and encouragement. May I trouble you with a few questions? (Hopefully yes, 'coz I'm gonna ask them!)

Were you able to change out the jet with water still in the tub, or does it need to be drained?

Was your jet behaving the same way as I have described before you came to the conclusion that you needed to change it? I am assuming yes, since you replied to my post, but I just want to confirm that.

I will follow your advice exactly. Can you tell me how best to determine the service center for my local dealer? Will they provide that information if I ask them for it, or can I find out another way? I will say that although they always want to charge me at least twice what everyone else does (to move the spa, for parts, etc.), they are helpful whenever I talk with them.

Thanks again -- you're a treasure!

All the best, Raeven
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.

#4 imnay

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:06 AM

Keep in the back of your mind that if/when the local dealer can't answer your questions you can always call Watkins direct yourself and ask their Customer Support.

I would always try the local dealers and I'm sure Watkins would prefer that but they are the "brain trust" of HotSprings and helped my like I wouldn't have believed.

#5 hottublady

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 02:05 PM

QUOTE (Raeven @ Jun 15 2009, 11:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (hottublady @ Jun 14 2009, 04:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Raeven @ Jun 11 2009, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So I went out one evening for my usual soak, and the Moto Massage jet in my HS Envoy is working intermittently.

Works great with the left SmartJet lever in the 3 o'clock position and the right SmartJet lever in the 9 o'clock position; that is, with the Moto Massage on and the neck jets off. But when I turn the right SmartJet lever to the 3 o'clock position to enjoy the neck jets along with the Moto Massage, the Moto begins working very intermittently -- mostly not working at all.

I pulled the face plate off the Moto to make sure the hoses were all hooked up, and they appear to be fine. I know the most common problem here is plugged filters, and the tub was due for a water change anyway, so I did everything: Changed the water, bought new filters, and.... no joy.

Any help out there or hints on what else I might check before I give up and call in the (very expensive) local dealer for assistance? Any and all advice will be gratefully received!

Thanks, Raeven


Don't call the dealer! I have a jetsetter and on my 9th year the moto jet went out. So I went to the local retailer and bought one at the register, I think it was 80bucks and replaced in myself and it took about 10 minutes. You can also call the service center of your local dealer and the advice over the phone should be free! I would call monday and go over troubleshooting, then they can't resolve over phone then buy a new jet. Let me know what you do!
Best Wishes,
Hottublady


Hottublady, thanks so much for the great advice!!! I am confident I can change out the jet myself, and I really appreciate your input and encouragement. May I trouble you with a few questions? (Hopefully yes, 'coz I'm gonna ask them!)

Were you able to change out the jet with water still in the tub, or does it need to be drained?

Was your jet behaving the same way as I have described before you came to the conclusion that you needed to change it? I am assuming yes, since you replied to my post, but I just want to confirm that.

I will follow your advice exactly. Can you tell me how best to determine the service center for my local dealer? Will they provide that information if I ask them for it, or can I find out another way? I will say that although they always want to charge me at least twice what everyone else does (to move the spa, for parts, etc.), they are helpful whenever I talk with them.

Thanks again -- you're a treasure!

All the best, Raeven



Hi Raeven,

I was able to change the jet in about 10 minutes its totally simple! You can do it with the tub full of water, I just went out there with the jet in one hand a screw driver in the other and my suit on=) My moto wasn't going up or down at all when I replaced mine. But I do notice when it comes time to clean my filters my moto was on and off. But if you bought all new filters the moto should work. Are you cleaning them every month? If I remember correctly you live in Oregon? If so the number to your local service center for Hot Springs is 503.553.5603. Let me know what you end up doing!
Best Wishes,
hottublady
Proud owner of a Hot Springs Jetsetter

#6 Raeven

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 03:20 PM

Hi, hottublady,

Yes, in Oregon -- thanks for the number! I will call them tomorrow. I have been scrupulous in maintaining the spa as directed, cleaning filters weekly and giving them a good clean once a month by soaking overnight in a cleaning solution, then working them over with a pressure washer. The water is tested weekly and kept in balance as recommended. I changed the water right on schedule at 4 months. I let the old filters take the majority of the load for cleaning my hard well water after using sequestrant, then replaced with brand new filters. I am pretty much the only user of the spa except once a week when a friend comes by for a soak.

One website I visited said it could be low water flow due to jet malfunction, but I don't think that's it. The flow through the jet feels powerful enough, and so do all the other jets on that circuit. The website also said to check the air tube. That was replaced only 4 months ago and seems to be attached fine. So that leaves only the jet itself -- which is a little troubling, since the tub is a 2005 and was little used (but well maintained) by the prior owners.

Again, I appreciate your help and will let you know how it all goes! Thank you!!

Take care, Raeven
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#7 Raeven

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 03:22 PM

QUOTE (imnay @ Jun 15 2009, 12:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Keep in the back of your mind that if/when the local dealer can't answer your questions you can always call Watkins direct yourself and ask their Customer Support.

I would always try the local dealers and I'm sure Watkins would prefer that but they are the "brain trust" of HotSprings and helped my like I wouldn't have believed.


Hi, imnay,

I'll try all 3 and see what helps the most -- thanks for your input! smile.gif

Raeven

Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.

#8 JerimiahR

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 03:33 PM

Couple of ideas come to mind after reading what you've tried so far. Kudos by the way on the troubleshooting so far. smile.gif

On your Envoy, there should be a couple of control knobs beside your seat (smaller ones). One controls air pressure for your neck jets, and the other controls air pressure to the moto massage. You might check to see if adjusting those does anything to help the problem. The Moto-Massage relies somewhat on the air pressure (combined with water) to cause it to flip up and down. Without the air, sometimes water movement alone isn't quite enough. smile.gif You should see a difference in the water coming out of the Moto-Massage when you make this adjustment (water rippling versus 'white water' because air bubbles rushing out).

If this knob makes no changes, there is a possibility the air control valve isn't working properly, and therefore isn't supplying the needed air to the jet.

Also, if you unscrew and remove the back rest, take a look at the links on the "spinal cord" of the moto-massage jet. Make sure none of them are obviously cracked, separated, etc. If one of these isn't connected properly, the unit doesn't flex properly and may stick in place or not move well.

Since you bought the spa used it sounds like, I'm hoping it's just the Moto-Massage itself, since buying that is cheaper than having a valve replaced by your local dealer. Plus, the Moto-Massage is pretty simple to replace yourself. smile.gif

EDIT: Always, by the way. To help maintain over all jet pressure and performance, it's not a bad idea to run some Spa System Flush or some other plumbing purge product every now and again to make sure you clean any build up out of your jet lines. We do this on all the spas we take in on trades as part of our refurbishment process before we sell them to someone else. And I recommend doing it if you buy a spa from someone else. smile.gif It's just nice to clean out the plumbing and make sure all flows through well.

Jerimiah Reece
Mountain Hot Tub

#9 Dan.The.Spa.Man

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 04:47 PM

Take the moto-jet out and hold it in the air by the bigger end. If it hangs straight down and is loose when you wiggle it then the jet is fine.

If it has any sort of bend to it then it needs to be replaced.
I have a few extra HotSpring heater relay boards for tubs from 2001-2008 if anyone is looking for one cheap. Part #77119

#10 Raeven

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:45 AM

Great information from all, as usual. I will run through all suggestions and let you know how it goes. Thanks again so much!

Raeven
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.

#11 Raeven

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:33 AM

Okay, an update:

I climbed back into the tub with my trusty (now rusty!) screwdriver and removed the cover piece to the Moto Massage jet (I'm getting quite expert at this!). Removed the air tube and gave it a really good look. Blew threw it; looked through it. No problems there that I can see. I fiddled with the Moto Massage jet for awhile to see if I could figure out how to remove it -- abject failure. It's just not my style to start pulling and hope something comes loose. So with the jet in place, I inspected it as best I could. No kinks, no cracks, and placement seems correct. The jet wants to flow up and down as it is supposed to.

Messed for a bit with the air valves as suggested by Jerimiah. I've played with these before in attempting to get the jet to work properly, but I paid lots of attention to what the air flow was doing this time. The little valve does definitely control the air flow, and it is noticeably different from one position to the other. When in the low position, the Moto barely works. When in the high position (its usual position), the Moto is beginning to work better with the neck jets on.

Here are my conclusions, posted for all to ruminate upon and to which I hope all will provide their expert criticisms. I don't think it's the jet, and I don't think it's the air control valve. I think it's a simple (ha ha) air flow issue. Here's why: The Moto jet works perfectly when the neck jets are turned off, and it's beginning to work better with the neck jets turned on as filtration continues. The air valve does seem to perform its function as it should.

I'm also a big believer in starting simple and working toward more complex solutions. So first order of business will be to flush the lines as Jerimiah suggested. If that doesn't work, I guess it's time to call the dealer.

I did attempt to call the HS Service Center with the number provided by hottublady to see what they thought of my troubleshooting efforts, but the number has been disconnected and is no longer in service.

Lastly, if anyone can give me some guidance on how to disconnect the Moto jet from the spa, I'd really appreciate it. I looked for a schematic online but found nothing of help. If the dang thing is working properly, the last thing I want to do is break it with my removal efforts!

Thank you all again for your help and great advice!

Raeven
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.

#12 imnay

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:13 PM

Here is the toll free number that will connect you directly to the Watkins main office out on the West Coast. 1-800-999-4688.

This is a good number as I've called a few times over the last week and the help I have received from Customer Support has been amazing and outstanding. The guys at this number know their stuff!!!!!

Also, a online site for ordering anything for HotSprings is www.backyardplus.com. They appear to be an authorized source for parts and their prices are enough lower than what our area dealers quote to be worthwhile for you to check out.

I know how hard it is to get your nerve up to start taking things apart. I remember my recent attempt to replace a small part in a Twilight Zone pinball machine and I removed a mid level screw and springs and things flew everywhere!! But I got it all put back together just fine.

I'm about to CAREFULLY remove two corners of our redwood spa walls to get to the Suction PVC between our filter compartment and the main input to our jetpump - it's taken me a couple of weeks and a lot of encouragement from Tech Support at Watkins to get the nerve to tackle the job myself.

If you are careful and keep track of parts as you remove them (take notes or digital pictures) you can't do permanent damage.
Best of Luck

#13 spatech (the unreal one)

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 02:44 PM

QUOTE (Raeven @ Jun 16 2009, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here are my conclusions, posted for all to ruminate upon and to which I hope all will provide their expert criticisms. I don't think it's the jet, and I don't think it's the air control valve. I think it's a simple (ha ha) air flow issue. Here's why: The Moto jet works perfectly when the neck jets are turned off, and it's beginning to work better with the neck jets turned on as filtration continues. The air valve does seem to perform its function as it should.


Lastly, if anyone can give me some guidance on how to disconnect the Moto jet from the spa, I'd really appreciate it.


Here are a couple things to understand about how this jet works. Over time the "rubber" tube that the water flows through can age and stiffen up and that may be what your issue is (can be other factors but letís assume itís that for a minute). The fact that it works with the neck jets off but not as well with them on is because when the neck jets are turned on the moto jet flow drops a little (not much but for a so-so tube that can be enough of a difference). If the tube is the problem that flow drop may cause it to not operate well. With that same reasoning, when filters are dirty it can be enough to cause less flow to all the jets which normally doesn't matter unless you have a so-so moto assembly.

As far as removal, you were almost there. You simply unhook the air tube as you did and then unscrew the rest of the assembly (CCW, it is threaded at the end). Itís a very simple swap out.


#14 Raeven

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:59 PM

spatech TUO, THAT is exactly what I needed to know! I did just find a schematic on the website imnay referenced for a single Moto, and now I've got it figured out how to detach the jet. It's kinda hard to see underwater and know what you're supposed to be doing... plus I'm frankly a total goober at DIY.

In the absence of a split or some other obvious trauma to the air hose, I sort of eliminated it as the problem for the time being. The reason is that when I went to purchase the spa from the original owners, the Moto DX was not working. (I knew this because I wet-tested the spa as recommended by the wise folks on this website!) Since the spa was still under warranty for the original owners, I asked that they have the jet repaired before I took possession. The tech came out and replaced the air tube -- and the Moto DX worked perfectly until it started giving me trouble last week. So this air tube is only about 4 months old -- hopefully not enough time to stiffen up. It seemed new and flexible when I took it out. Sure makes sense that it could have been the problem, though... and I wish it had been so simple a fix. dry.gif Thanks for taking the time to explain it all.

Raeven
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#15 Dan.The.Spa.Man

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:14 PM

QUOTE (Raeven @ Jun 16 2009, 08:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
spatech TUO, THAT is exactly what I needed to know! I did just find a schematic on the website imnay referenced for a single Moto, and now I've got it figured out how to detach the jet. It's kinda hard to see underwater and know what you're supposed to be doing... plus I'm frankly a total goober at DIY.

In the absence of a split or some other obvious trauma to the air hose, I sort of eliminated it as the problem for the time being. The reason is that when I went to purchase the spa from the original owners, the Moto DX was not working. (I knew this because I wet-tested the spa as recommended by the wise folks on this website!) Since the spa was still under warranty for the original owners, I asked that they have the jet repaired before I took possession. The tech came out and replaced the air tube -- and the Moto DX worked perfectly until it started giving me trouble last week. So this air tube is only about 4 months old -- hopefully not enough time to stiffen up. It seemed new and flexible when I took it out. Sure makes sense that it could have been the problem, though... and I wish it had been so simple a fix. dry.gif Thanks for taking the time to explain it all.

Raeven


The flexibility of the air hose doesn't matter. The key is the flex of the moto-jet itself. The tube that shrinks is the inner blue tube inside the vertebrae.

If indeed the whole thing is flexible and loose, then it almost has to be the air control valve.

I have a few extra HotSpring heater relay boards for tubs from 2001-2008 if anyone is looking for one cheap. Part #77119

#16 spatech (the unreal one)

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 07:03 AM

QUOTE (Dan.The.Spa.Man @ Jun 16 2009, 06:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The flexibility of the air hose doesn't matter. The key is the flex of the moto-jet itself. The tube that shrinks is the inner blue tube inside the vertebrae.

If indeed the whole thing is flexible and loose, then it almost has to be the air control valve.


That's exactly what I was going to say, you really don't have to worry about the air tube stiffening up, its the water tube that can over time.

#17 Raeven

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 07:41 AM

spatech TUO and Dan, my apologies -- I completely misunderstood. Obviously I thought you were referring to the air hose and not the water hose that runs through the actual jet. Given how the problem is evolving, your deduction is probably spot on. I'll remove the jet today (now that I know how!) and will go from there.

Many, many thanks to all who have offered their opinions!

Raeven
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#18 Raeven

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 12:44 PM

Ok, other pressing matters have kept me from continuing with my work on the spa, and I'm still stuck at the point of removing the Moto DX jet from the guide body. Here's the difficulty I'm having: There is a little piece that the air hose hooks onto and also joins the 2 independent Moto jets together. How the heck do you remove that thing, or should it be removed at all?? There is a little arrow on the bit in the middle of the part that seems to indicate there is some way to push it toward the rear of the spa, and that would make sense for removal, but no way could I get that thing off. I took the flat end of a screwdriver and pressed it into the piece, pushing in the indicated direction, but nothing happened.

I don't see how I can unscrew the 2 Moto jets out of the guide body without removing that air hose piece that joins them together. Is there a trick? (There's always a trick!! WTH is the trick??)

Thanks for any and all help and your patience, as well.

Raeven
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#19 spatech (the unreal one)

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 02:46 PM

QUOTE (Raeven @ Jun 26 2009, 01:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't see how I can unscrew the 2 Moto jets out of the guide body without removing that air hose piece that joins them together. Is there a trick? (There's always a trick!! WTH is the trick??)


OK, didn't know (or pay attention to the fact) you had the double kind. As you realized, you need to remove that air manifold that is holding the two heads together. Its just press fit on (though tightly). Just take a thin screwdriver and work it off, a little bit at a time from each side. That will free them and allow you to remove them separately.

#20 Raeven

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 09:08 AM

Thanks, spatech TUO, that explains exactly what I need to do. I'm making headway thanks to you!

With gratitude, Rae
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#21 Raeven

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 10:31 AM

spatech TUO, your instructions were on the money. Once I understood how the air manifold was attached to the 2 Moto jets, it was easy to remove it, and the 2 jets as well. Thank you!

Here's what I discovered: First, at least one of the jets has been replaced before. How would I know this? Because they're different colors!! The one I am assuming is the remaining original jet (because it is the same color as the trim pieces on the spa) appears to have a kink in it at the screw-in end of the jet. Well, not so much a kink as a.. tightening. I expect this might be enough to create problems for the operation of the jet.

So my next question is, how important is it that I replace both jets at the same time? Can I try replacing one and see if that takes care of the problem? The newer (I assume) jet appears to be fine.

And my last question is, I noticed plumber's tape wrapped on the ends of the jets. Is that recommended for installation? Makes sense, but thought I may as well ask.

Thanks again so much for everyone's help. smile.gif

Rae
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.

#22 spatech (the unreal one)

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 10:53 AM

QUOTE (Raeven @ Jun 27 2009, 11:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So my next question is, how important is it that I replace both jets at the same time? Can I try replacing one and see if that takes care of the problem? The newer (I assume) jet appears to be fine.

And my last question is, I noticed plumber's tape wrapped on the ends of the jets. Is that recommended for installation? Makes sense, but thought I may as well ask.

Thanks again so much for everyone's help. smile.gif

Rae


I see no reason to change both if one seems to be in good condition. Yes, use the plumbers tape, no big deal but at a minimum it gives you piece of mind that you're installing it as recommended.

#23 Raeven

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 05:07 PM

SUCCESS!!!! biggrin.gif

My local dealer had a jet in stock, and since I was well torn into this today, I headed down and took him up on his offer. The new jet works perfectly -- in fact, stronger than it's been since I took possession of this spa! I am very, very pleased.

Thanks to everyone who provided input and assistance. You all rock!!!

Happily tubbing again, Rae
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready.




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