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Flo Error Diagnostics..


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#1 mojord

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 08:23 AM

My Catalina 2000 (Balboa 200 board) started displaying a FLO error and lost the heat to the tub ...
These are the steps I've takin so far to diagnose:

1 - Had SOLID FLO error .. I replaced the pressure switch only to get FLASHING FLO error (and when I turn on the jets I get a flashing FLO 1 error)
- I also tried adjusting the adj on the switch, but no luck.. put it back to where it was ..
2 - shorted the switch and the JETS GO OFF and still have FLO error (which is weird.. shouldn't it be FLC error?)
3 - removed short & check filters (in and out) no change ..
Circulating pump & full jets work fine but still no heat and FLASHING FLO error ..

#2 ChaiSTi

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 12:26 PM

The solid FLO and flashing FLO is Balboa's programming code for close and open switch.

Your intial problem was probably a stuck closed pressure switch.

Your new problem is that the board does not detech water flow. With the pump running on low speed adjust the switch until you get a close signal. Turn off the pump and the switch should be open again. Keep adjusting the switch until that condition is met.

#3 mojord

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 06:42 PM

The solid FLO and flashing FLO is Balboa's programming code for close and open switch.

Your intial problem was probably a stuck closed pressure switch.

Your new problem is that the board does not detech water flow. With the pump running on low speed adjust the switch until you get a close signal. Turn off the pump and the switch should be open again. Keep adjusting the switch until that condition is met.


Will do next week when I'm back at the spa .....
.. So you're saying, "It's not the pump because it IS circulating and turning on" .. If I can't get the switch adjusted to then IT IS THE ENTIRE BOARD?
I will report back...
Thanks!

#4 ChaiSTi

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 09:25 AM

For testing, you can always bypass the pressure switch to see if the board is okay. Remove the two wires to the pressure switch and jump the connection after the spa pump comes on. If you jump it before there's water flow, you'll get the solid FLO. Make sure you have adaquate water flowing through the heater or you'll burn it up.

#5 mojord

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:18 AM

For testing, you can always bypass the pressure switch to see if the board is okay. Remove the two wires to the pressure switch and jump the connection after the spa pump comes on. If you jump it before there's water flow, you'll get the solid FLO. Make sure you have adaquate water flowing through the heater or you'll burn it up.



Ok, so I adjusted the pressure switch from one extreme to the other with the pump running in circulation mode (slow) ... NO CHANGE in display (COOL-88 degrees - FLO)

when I turn on the pumps they work fine (error remains) ..

Is it the board? I REPLACED IT ONCE ALREADY ( 7 yrs ago)

Do I need to replace the entire board or just some part of it?

thanks!!!!!
rd

#6 PreservedSwine

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:49 PM

How about testing it before you needlessly throw parts at, and find out what's actually broken.

If you don't already have one, purchase a multi-meter, they're very inexpensive. Disconnect the harness from the pcb. Ohm out the pressure switch, at the pressure switch. Ohm out the other end of the pressure switch harness as well. Ohm them out out with the pump running, and the pump not running. You'll know right away if it's a circuit board issue, a pressure switch issue, or a pressure switch harness issue, and you will be able to stop guessing :)

Use common sense, and your other senses as well. Is there adequate flow when the pump is running? Does it sound normal?

#7 mojord

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:25 PM

How about testing it before you needlessly throw parts at, and find out what's actually broken.

If you don't already have one, purchase a multi-meter, they're very inexpensive. Disconnect the harness from the pcb. Ohm out the pressure switch, at the pressure switch. Ohm out the other end of the pressure switch harness as well. Ohm them out out with the pump running, and the pump not running. You'll know right away if it's a circuit board issue, a pressure switch issue, or a pressure switch harness issue, and you will be able to stop guessing :)

Use common sense, and your other senses as well. Is there adequate flow when the pump is running? Does it sound normal?


PS, thanks for the reply...
The switch was bad, because the condition changed when I changed it. The pump is running normally, and the adjustment on the switch does nothing to change the condition. That's what leads me to think its the board, but I will check the harness to the switch. I can't ohm it out with the pump "not running" because it is always running in the "error state" {COOL-88 degrees-FLO} ..

thanks

#8 PreservedSwine

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:26 AM


How about testing it before you needlessly throw parts at, and find out what's actually broken.

If you don't already have one, purchase a multi-meter, they're very inexpensive. Disconnect the harness from the pcb. Ohm out the pressure switch, at the pressure switch. Ohm out the other end of the pressure switch harness as well. Ohm them out out with the pump running, and the pump not running. You'll know right away if it's a circuit board issue, a pressure switch issue, or a pressure switch harness issue, and you will be able to stop guessing :)

Use common sense, and your other senses as well. Is there adequate flow when the pump is running? Does it sound normal?


PS, thanks for the reply...
The switch was bad, because the condition changed when I changed it. The pump is running normally, and the adjustment on the switch does nothing to change the condition. That's what leads me to think its the board, but I will check the harness to the switch. I can't ohm it out with the pump "not running" because it is always running in the "error state" {COOL-88 degrees-FLO} ..

thanks

You can turn the power off to test it not running. You're testing resistance, not volts.

#9 ChaiSTi

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:52 AM

My guess is that your board is probably okay since switching out the pressure switch changed the error message from solid FLO to blinking FLO.

Edit-

You say that your pump is always running. It's possible that your pump relay is stuck which would mean that you'll need a new board.

What is the current temperature of the water? Can you lower the set point below current temp? If so, disconnect the pressure switch. The pump should shut off if the spa is not trying to heat or filter. You should have no error code in this state.

#10 mojord

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 10:16 AM

You say that your pump is always running. It's possible that your pump relay is stuck which would mean that you'll need a new board.

What is the current temperature of the water? Can you lower the set point below current temp? If so, disconnect the pressure switch. The pump should shut off if the spa is not trying to heat or filter. You should have no error code in this state.



Thanks for the reply ChaiSTi !
NOW we're getting somewhere!
~ Temp is 83 degrees (which is down 5 since yesterday) and the desired temp was set at 102 ...
~ I set the desired temp to 60..... AND.. The pump turned OFF and there is no error msg.

Now what? You say disconnect the pressure switch? .

#11 ChaiSTi

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:32 AM

I was thinking that your pump relay could have been stuck but that's not the case anymore. Just leave the pressure switch connected for now.

So if you have no error code with the pressure switch connected that means that the board is registering the pressure switch as open.

All you have to do now is to manually activate the low speed and adjust the switch until it register a close circuit.

Ideally, you'll want to use a multi-meter to test for continuity or resistance.

#12 mojord

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 02:09 PM

I just checked the spa and the pump IS RUNNING ... It was off when I left it last..
~ It's flashing between 83 and FLO
~ I'll try adjusting the pressure switch to get it to go OFF

#13 mojord

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 02:18 PM

~ The pump went OFF again by itself..
~ I turned it on manually and adjusted the pressure switch - NO CHANGE
error remains: 83 - FLO

#14 ChaiSTi

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:03 AM

The switch or harness could be bad.

Try this:

1 Disconnect wires to the pressure switch
2 Turn pump on low speed
3 Jump the wires
4 If error code comes back on, jump the pins directly on the PCB

Provided that you jump it correctly, you should get no error code.

Have you invested in a meter yet? It will help TREMEMDOUSLY.

#15 mojord

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 10:56 AM

The switch or harness could be bad.

Try this:

1 Disconnect wires to the pressure switch
2 Turn pump on low speed
3 Jump the wires
4 If error code comes back on, jump the pins directly on the PCB

Provided that you jump it correctly, you should get no error code.

Have you invested in a meter yet? It will help TREMEMDOUSLY.


Once again, 'ChaiSTi' ... THANK YOU for you time on this... I love trying to figure this out myself (that is, with you!)

Results:
2 - FLASHING {80 - FLO}
3 - 81 degrees {NO FLO ERROR}


as before, both pumps work fine a full power..
Yes, I've always had a meter.... and know how to use it.

#16 ChaiSTi

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:10 PM

It sounds like you were able to bypass the pressure switch by jumping the wires. This would indicate to me that the pressure switch harness is good. Maybe you have a bad pressure switch? Use your meter and test that switch. Does it give you a close signal with the pump running and open signal when it's not?

#17 mojord

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:12 PM

It sounds like you were able to bypass the pressure switch by jumping the wires. This would indicate to me that the pressure switch harness is good. Maybe you have a bad pressure switch? Use your meter and test that switch. Does it give you a close signal with the pump running and open signal when it's not?



Ok, it's now switched in to the mode that it was in when all this started....
~ The cable to the switch is shorted, and now it has a SOLID {FLO} and none of the controls are responding... ...
..... originally when this happened I could STMP on the spa near the controller and it would come on.. not now... DEAD SPA!

#18 mojord

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 07:13 PM


It sounds like you were able to bypass the pressure switch by jumping the wires. This would indicate to me that the pressure switch harness is good. Maybe you have a bad pressure switch? Use your meter and test that switch. Does it give you a close signal with the pump running and open signal when it's not?



Ok, it's now switched in to the mode that it was in when all this started....
~ The cable to the switch is shorted, and now it has a SOLID {FLO} and none of the controls are responding... ...
..... originally when this happened I could STOMP on the spa near the controller and it would come on.. not now... DEAD SPA!



#19 ChaiSTi

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 01:30 PM

Remember that when the spa is not programmed to heat, filter, or jet1 activated the Balboa control system is looking for an open signal or you'll get the solid FLO.

#20 Roger

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 03:29 AM

Remember that when the spa is not programmed to heat, filter, or jet1 activated the Balboa control system is looking for an open signal or you'll get the solid FLO.

bump
Independent repair technician.
Part Time

#21 mojord

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 06:33 AM


Remember that when the spa is not programmed to heat, filter, or jet1 activated the Balboa control system is looking for an open signal or you'll get the solid FLO.

bump


This morning I came out to find the spa ON and running at 94 degrees .. the switch is dis-connected and the wires to it SHORTED ...
All of this "intermitant On - off, dead, not dead, heater working, heater not working" is making me think it's the board...[

#22 mojord

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 07:14 AM

Update... just went and checked in on my spa ..
~ now displaying FLO error only and keypad is not responding.. DEAD.

#23 mojord

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 02:56 PM

8 hrs later:

~ no change: spa FROZEN with FLO error

~ removed short from wires to pressure switch: spa came ON, all controller responds, flashing from (93 - FLO}

#24 ChaiSTi

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 04:54 PM

Everything I asked you to do was for testing only. From what you have been reporting, the board sounds okay to me.

The spa will automatically turn on and off the pump for heating and filtering. You can't be there all the time to short and disconnect the wires.

You need to reconnect the pressure switch and adjust it so that it works properly.

Remember that when pump1 is activated, automatically or manually, the control system is looking for a close pressure switch.

As soon as the pump shuts off, the control system is looking for an open switch.

Maybe it's time to bring in a spa tech?

#25 mojord

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 05:09 PM

Everything I asked you to do was for testing only. From what you have been reporting, the board sounds okay to me.

The spa will automatically turn on and off the pump for heating and filtering. You can't be there all the time to short and disconnect the wires.

You need to reconnect the pressure switch and adjust it so that it works properly.

~ I've tried adjusting to both ends of the switch.. no change at all.

Maybe it's time to bring in a spa tech?

~ I've called my local SPA TECH 3x .. they are so busy they don't even respond..
.. I know, this is getting boring...

THANKS ChaiSTi !!!

#26 ChaiSTi

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 05:21 PM

You have a meter, right? Disconnect the wires to the pressure switch, use your meter and set it for continuity and/or ohm and connect your probes to the pressure switch.

With the pump running you should be able to adjust the switch just enough to get a close signal (resistance / continuity).

Turn off the pump and that close signal should become an open (infinite / no continuity).

If you can't get the switch to do that, then you're either adjusting it too much or the PS is faulty.

Try adjusting 1/4 turn at a time.

#27 mountainmama

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 09:33 AM

So I'm very new at this hot tub and forum so excuse me if I'm butting in but I'm having a similar problem as mojord. Although I'm having more of a dead spa. From above posting it sounds as if the pressure switch is closed.

Just installed used tub, powered on and got FL on top control with no movement in water. Powerpac clicks when powwered on but thats about it. Left it alone for a day and turned on again last night and everything seemed to work fine. By this morning tub was back to FL reading but water was still warm/steam.

Before spontanious working tub, we metered connections and got feedback(volts) from neutral line. Otherwise seemed fine. Tub seems to be in a sleep mode of some sort?? Assuming I will be told to try everything that is previouly posted here but just wanted to make such due to "dead spa". Thanks

#28 mojord

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 08:55 AM

For testing, you can always bypass the pressure switch to see if the board is okay. Remove the two wires to the pressure switch and jump the connection after the spa pump comes on. If you jump it before there's water flow, you'll get the solid FLO. Make sure you have adaquate water flowing through the heater or you'll burn it up.

~ Shorted the wires and the FLO error went away [93 - COOL] but warming up....... but 1 hr later, the circulation stopped, and the controller is FROZEN and un-responsive to any of the controls ... display has solid FLO error.

You have a meter, right? Disconnect the wires to the pressure switch, use your meter and set it for continuity and/or ohm and connect your probes to the pressure switch.

With the pump running you should be able to adjust the switch just enough to get a close signal (resistance / continuity).

~ I tried adjusting the disconnected switch with the pump running and could not get a closed (shorted) signal
"this is a brand new switch!"


btw: I also cannot get any of 5 SPA repair companies to come out to montauk and FIX IT!!!

#29 ChaiSTi

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:47 AM

With the pump running you should be able to adjust the switch just enough to get a close signal (resistance / continuity).
[/quote]
~ I tried adjusting the disconnected switch with the pump running and could not get a closed (shorted) signal
"this is a brand new switch!"


btw: I also cannot get any of 5 SPA repair companies to come out to montauk and FIX IT!!!
[/quote]

Mojord,

Crazy question but is your spa heater on the intake or discharge side of the pump? If on the intake side, you will need a suction switch. If discharge side, a pressure switch. But maybe you just got a bad switch.

#30 mojord

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:50 AM

Crazy question but is your spa heater on the intake or discharge side of the pump? If on the intake side, you will need a suction switch. If discharge side, a pressure switch. But maybe you just got a bad switch.


Intake. The switch I took out is a Balboa 2 PSI - 30408 ~ which is what I put back in.
Thanks again, ChaiSTi

#31 snoop168

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:34 PM

I have a 2001 Sundance Optima 850 and having this FLO error also... When the unit calls for heat, the circ pump kicks on and runs fine however if I drop the temp all the way to 80 to keep the unit from heating up, the circ pump runs for about 2-3 minutes after the temp is lowered and i then get the solid FLO and screen freezes like you mentioned above... Sometimes the error clears itself in time, but usually if I don't want to wait i turn the breaker off for a few mins and then its fine...

My circ cycle is set to the default (on at 12:00AM for 24 hrs - constant) however the pump only runs when the unit calls for heat, and I don't get the FLO error until I turn the heat up and then turn it back down... Does anyone know why my circ pump isn't on continuously? I know the circ pump is not supposed to run if the actual temp is 2 degrees or more of the set temperature, but it still turns off once it reaches temperature.

#32 ChaiSTi

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:52 AM

Intake. The switch I took out is a Balboa 2 PSI - 30408 ~ which is what I put back in.
Thanks again, ChaiSTi


That could be your problem then. That pressure switch will only operate properly on the pressure/discharge side of the pump. That's probably why you couldn't get a close signal with the pump running on low.

#33 ChaiSTi

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:58 AM

I have a 2001 Sundance Optima 850 and having this FLO error also... When the unit calls for heat, the circ pump kicks on and runs fine however if I drop the temp all the way to 80 to keep the unit from heating up, the circ pump runs for about 2-3 minutes after the temp is lowered and i then get the solid FLO and screen freezes like you mentioned above... Sometimes the error clears itself in time, but usually if I don't want to wait i turn the breaker off for a few mins and then its fine...

My circ cycle is set to the default (on at 12:00AM for 24 hrs - constant) however the pump only runs when the unit calls for heat, and I don't get the FLO error until I turn the heat up and then turn it back down... Does anyone know why my circ pump isn't on continuously? I know the circ pump is not supposed to run if the actual temp is 2 degrees or more of the set temperature, but it still turns off once it reaches temperature.


I'm not familiar the Sundance controls/programming. You may want to create a new thread.

Did you buy this spa used or new?

Check the board to see if there are some jumpers or dipswitch settings that need to be moved for circ. pump operation.

#34 ChaiSTi

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:02 AM

So I'm very new at this hot tub and forum so excuse me if I'm butting in but I'm having a similar problem as mojord. Although I'm having more of a dead spa. From above posting it sounds as if the pressure switch is closed.

Just installed used tub, powered on and got FL on top control with no movement in water. Powerpac clicks when powwered on but thats about it. Left it alone for a day and turned on again last night and everything seemed to work fine. By this morning tub was back to FL reading but water was still warm/steam.

Before spontanious working tub, we metered connections and got feedback(volts) from neutral line. Otherwise seemed fine. Tub seems to be in a sleep mode of some sort?? Assuming I will be told to try everything that is previouly posted here but just wanted to make such due to "dead spa". Thanks


The FL is related to the pressure/flow switch or sensor so I would start there.

Do you know what control system is in the spa?

#35 mountainmama

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 02:08 PM


So I'm very new at this hot tub and forum so excuse me if I'm butting in but I'm having a similar problem as mojord. Although I'm having more of a dead spa. From above posting it sounds as if the pressure switch is closed.

Just installed used tub, powered on and got FL on top control with no movement in water. Powerpac clicks when powwered on but thats about it. Left it alone for a day and turned on again last night and everything seemed to work fine. By this morning tub was back to FL reading but water was still warm/steam.

Before spontanious working tub, we metered connections and got feedback(volts) from neutral line. Otherwise seemed fine. Tub seems to be in a sleep mode of some sort?? Assuming I will be told to try everything that is previouly posted here but just wanted to make such due to "dead spa". Thanks


The FL is related to the pressure/flow switch or sensor so I would start there.

Do you know what control system is in the spa?


Well, It is a balboa model not in front of me but after all my research and almost buying a new powerpack, my problem was the pressure switch. The professional I had out though b/c of no pump action that could not be the problem. Easy fix and learn alot so thankful!

#36 Wizzard of spas

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:10 PM

My Catalina 2000 (Balboa 200 board) started displaying a FLO error and lost the heat to the tub ...
These are the steps I've takin so far to diagnose:

1 - Had SOLID FLO error .. I replaced the pressure switch only to get FLASHING FLO error (and when I turn on the jets I get a flashing FLO 1 error)
- I also tried adjusting the adj on the switch, but no luck.. put it back to where it was ..
2 - shorted the switch and the JETS GO OFF and still have FLO error (which is weird.. shouldn't it be FLC error?)
3 - removed short & check filters (in and out) no change ..
Circulating pump & full jets work fine but still no heat and FLASHING FLO error ..



Just remember when screwing around with balboa boards and pressure switches, The Board reads Open, and closed. You can't just screw the P switch closed and expect to get heat. Make sure the switch closes when the pump is on, and opens when the pump is off. If you are trying to bypass the switch to test, you only have seconds to open and close the circut. Try pulling the filter first, anytime there is unexpected flo error. I replace elements all day long, because people run down the pressure switch to full closed. That will make it heat all day long, long after the temp has exceaded 104, and the pump has shut off.




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