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  1. Not sure about this brand, but many spa manufacturers do have proptietary controls built just for them. Usually it's just button differences (jet button might turn on light, or raise temp, etc) but anything is possible. The dipswitches must match the equipment.
    2 points
  2. I normally remove the sensor in the side closest to the element to make it easier to get it in/out. Also there are small o-rings just make sure they don't fall off when installing.
    2 points
  3. pop the wet end off again and post photos of your shaft and we'll let you know how to proceed.... No @RDspaguy not you
    2 points
  4. I always think it nice to see a solution to an issue posted on a web board so here is either an update or a solution depending on how it plays out. After 18 days of running without tripping the GFCI, I came out yesterday morning to it tripped and it would not go back. I ordered a new controller because I just don't like or trust this one, but I wanted to see what was wrong-and I hate to drain it because its going to be in the teens here this weekend. It will likely take 2 weeks for the new one to get here. So after work, I opened the controller box. Unhooked the heater, 11 ohms. OK. Turned the breaker on, instant trip. Unplugged the pump. No trip. Ah-ha! I had the pump from my other spa so I put it in and am back to enjoying the spa again. So I think it was the pump all along that caused the trip after an hour and a half or so of steady pumping. The new pump is a little bit quieter than the old which is nice. And it ran at least 2 hours solid without tripping to warm the water from 79 degrees back to 100.
    2 points
  5. Watkins, the folks that make hot springs, use invensys controls and their designs are proprietary and protected by patent. You will not ever get what you are looking for unless you work at or maybe hack in to invensys. Just describe your issue and post the pics, we'll see what we can do.
    2 points
  6. Randy, I'm not aware of any specific source of information that will help you. I'd just ask specific questions regarding the problems you're having. Also, it always helps to post pictures of your system.
    2 points
  7. thank you all for the above post. the easiest way for me was to use an adjustable wrench to dislodge the piece. it took a few minutes to ensure that it was tight enough, and with a small rotation with a slight incline to add tension it worked perfectly
    2 points
  8. Hey Ralph. Where in Colorado? I lived in Longmont for several years. How fast does it trip? Post pics of the controls and equipment area. In 99 it likely has dials for the temp and light, and a multi-relay pack with a small circuit board. Hopefully we won't need to drop the pack. The fact that it has tripped alot suggests a bad breaker. They wear out faster the more they are turned off/on, and will often have a period of random tripping before going out completely. You usually cannot simply disconnect the spa and test the breaker as it often won't trip with no load, though it may. Start by unplugging the heater and see if it holds. Next, the circ pump as well, then the light, then the jet pump. If it still trips with everything disconnected, unhook main power. If it still trips, replace breaker.
    2 points
  9. It may have a dipswitch or jumper to enable the ozone. The ozone turns on automatically for filter cycles, but turns off for a set period (30 minutes I think) any time any button is pressed.
    2 points
  10. Personally I'm cutting off the male plug and redoing the wires with female spade connectors and attaching them directly to the circuit board and by passing the J&J male/female plug connection altogether. Just make sure the wire is long enough to reach before cutting.
    2 points
  11. Yes, there is. Dichloro-s-tri.... is dichlor which is almost 50% CYA.
    1 point
  12. Yes, it does help. Thanks for you efforts. I agree about the stupid diagnostics and the simple flashing red light. I wish they had something that gave you a bit more info, but this is old tech nowadays. I think when they updated this model mid-2009, they did add some real diagnostics and error codes. Reminds me of my furnace (hot water boiler) I just replaced in my home. The new one is the exact same model as the 30 year model it replaced. Even looks identical on the exterior. Only real difference is the new electronics board has a complete set of sequential lights for each step of the ignition process , and an LED screen for error codes. So much easier to diagnose. But that's progress. Thanks again, Randy
    1 point
  13. Here is a complete VS501 pack with topside. https://www.spaguts.com/balboa-vs501z-spa-controller-kit-w-topside-5-5kw-htr-54220-z-237?gclid=Cj0KCQiA_8OPBhDtARIsAKQu0gb5QgLACT1LdHAJ91b85SYJK00EFS7R9C4PSBuJX8RZrQlXI9uZr7YaAsxtEALw_wcB
    1 point
  14. Oke, after a evening on the web i think you have it right.🤔 This hotspring have only a 1500 watt heater and with the pumps it is about 3400 i think so that is enough for single 220 and 1 phase to do everything. A lot of jacuzzis(chinese) have a 3000 watt heater and the users set it on 3 phase to do everything at the same time. I am a quick learner, don't you think😄 Only dig in the specs and think logic but without your answers i don't think i investigate it🤓. So thanks for the help, case closed.
    1 point
  15. The blower will turn on from an overheat in an attempt to cool the water. This will show the "OH" overheat error. This error is triggered by high temp reading at the high limit sensor that should be on the heater. Low flow is the main cause of this, and filters are the main cause of that. This may disable the heater, but should not cause the blower to turn on or cause any OH error. If the OH occurs with the jets on high, and all the jets have good flow/pressure, it is not a flow issue. Check jet pressure. Otherwise, I'd replace the sensors.
    1 point
  16. @RDspaguyI think there was a spam post that has been deleted. @Cusser post pics...lol 😄
    1 point
  17. Thanks again, i was outside and i removed the monomassage panel and the hose was broken. The seller said that the mechanic set the stream softer for his back but i think he was lying. I ordered a new hose and fill the bad and i will look what it does with the new hose. maybe the stream is powerful enough and it was all a lie to mask the monomassage movement defect.
    1 point
  18. Those are an articulated sleeve (like a toy snake) with a tube up the middle and move the same way a hose will when turned on high and laying on the ground. Low pressure means it doesn't move as much if at all. The hose has a tendency to stiffen up over time, which will also interfere with movement. If this hose is cut so it no longer reaches the nozzle on the end of the sleeve it will decrease pressure at the nozzle and interfere with the movement. You would need to replace the tube.
    1 point
  19. 🤣 You couldn't afford those kind of pics of me anyway. 😆
    1 point
  20. That link you gave didn't seem to have US shipping. Anyway, I ended up ordering a titanium HydroQuip heater element with hopes it will last longer. https://hottubwarehouse.com/products/titanium-hot-tub-heater-element-25-4041-bi-ti I looked at a bunch of vids already and know what I'm getting into. Thanks for your help.
    1 point
  21. https://www.poolandhottubdepot.com/balboa-4-0-kw-heater-element/ When you install it make sure the element is not touching the sides of the tube. Lots of youtube vids out there I'm sure. You should have a local store that will have them in stock.
    1 point
  22. It will affect the jet performance, which you already knew. The only thing that I might be worried about would be enough flow for the flow switch. I don't think it's enough difference to have issues but it's something to watch.
    1 point
  23. I replaced the control board, termistor and limit check thermistor. The hot tub is working normally again. Thanks for your help RDspaguy and Hottub_Dave!
    1 point
  24. Yes but look on the back of the board to confirm the relay is burnt and the flash mark is not from a previous repair. There is a flash mark so it should be noticeable. Test heater for continuity using multi meter. Test the 2 screws for 240V coming off the board when the spa is calling for heat. I suspect heater is still good. Then how did they test the heater? They would have to remove and reattach the wires to test the heater. It looks like the spade connector on the black wire is metal and different than the other spade connectors and possibly replaced at some point. ??? I would 100% get a small space heater inside the cabinet ASAP! There could be one way check valves in the plumbing system and you might get anti freeze to one side of it but not the other if it is closed. Waterfalls are hard to get the water out of as well. If they did not blow out the lines and suck out each jet there will still be water that could freeze and then you are in for huge repairs.
    1 point
  25. Unplug the topside. The system should run automated functions (heat and filter) with not topside. If it stops it's the topside, if it continues it's the board. Most likely the topside. It may stop after it dries out some. The topside is held down with a 2-sided tape gasket or caulk, and can be removed by running a razor knife around under the edge and prying it up with a screwdriver. Put something under the screwdriver to avoid scratching the shell. Once out, you can use a hair dryer on low to dry it out. Re-install with clear silicone caulk.
    1 point
  26. Ok. That's not a "no-fault" heater, it's a standard flo-thru element. There is no reset in that heater. I assume you have removed the pressure switch bypass? You can't trick this system that way, as it checks that the switch is open before turning on the pump and checking that it closed. It will not heat with a bypass, unless you install the jumper after the pump is on, then it will heat until it reaches temp and turns off the pump but will have to be tricked again to get it to heat again. Also, bypassing the pressure switch long-term is a bad idea on that system. Test pressure switch to verify that it is open (infinity ohms) when pump is off and closed (0 ohms) when on. Since that is a little older than I thought it likely has the small display with red led numbers, not the black lcd display. That may not throw sn errors, I can't recall. Unplug the sensors and take an ohm reading on each in the 20k ohm range. Post results. Test voltage between the two yellow wires from the transformer (square-ish thing on the top right of the box). Remove circuit board and check the back for discoloration.
    1 point
  27. Are you sure it's not in a "Mode" setting like Economy mode. In economy mode it will only turn the heater on during the filter cycle and if you have a 2 hour filter cycle set for each 12 hour period it would likely only get to 85 and stop heating when the filter cycle ends.
    1 point
  28. You do not have the same anything except brand name as @Cusser. Nobody does, he's got the only Cal spa that old in existence today. 😉 Your spa has a balboa system, which cannot be fooled by a simple jumper, as it checks for both open and closed pressure switch. If the pressure switch is the issue you will get a flo error, either solid or flashing depending on the malfunction. Are there any errors on the display? Post pics of circuit board, wiring diagram, and equipment area. Some Cal spas have a manual reset on the heater, some have an automatic reset. Either can fail intermittently. Also, burned out connections can make contact from handling. That system, with the "no-fault" heater and pressure switch, is very prone to dry fire from an air lock, which will destroy your heater in under a minute. It is crucial that you use the bleeder on the pipe by the pump to bleed out the air after filling. Vac switches will give you a SS (safety suction) error, pressure switch gives a "flo" error. Sensors give sn1, sn3, oh, ice, or dashes. Heater relays burning out are a common failure. Remove board and check the back for burns/discoloration.
    1 point
  29. I know it doesn't make sense but that is what I was seeing. if the heater was not connected i could read 240V between the two legs on the board. As soon as I connected the heater the voltage between the connectors dropped to 0. Because they didn't make sense I double and triple checked the readings. It was definitely calling for heat. He broke down and bought a new motherboard and swapped it in. Yup, the main heater relay was fried and blown out on the back of the old board. He is up and running now and plans on getting a replacement relay and swapping it in just in case the new board dies at some point. Thanks for looking and the advice.
    1 point
  30. I still think it's wired wrong. Test each one of these 3 lugs individually, and let us know which are 120v and which is the neutral. You will not get any voltage reading from the neutral lug. Also, are you absolutely sure that's the correct wiring diagram for your hot tub? It's critical.
    1 point
  31. Likely Overseas shipping costs added to the Antigua if they don't have European MFG facilities.
    1 point
  32. Test thermistors with an ohm meter in the 20k ohm range. A difference of a few hundred ohms is a fault, replace both thermistors. Post pics of the circuit board, wiring diagram, and equipment area.
    1 point
  33. A faulty gfci can trip regardless of load. A gfci breaker is 2 things, a breaker, which regulates amp draw, and a gfci, which protects from ground faults (the loss of voltage to ground as occurs in most electrocution deaths). Either component of the gfci breaker can fail. If the heater has a fault, you can find it with an ohm meter. Disconnect heater and test for continuity (ohms) from either heater lead to the heater ground or metal housing. Continuity, or any ohm reading other than infinity, is a bad heater.
    1 point
  34. That's normal for an Artesian Island series. Tub is going into economy mode. When you wake up the tub (by touching the display), the display will display 3 dashes for about a minute then it will display the current temperature set point. If the temp is low, the circ pump will come on and heat the water. You should see the display with the flashing thermometer icon when the tub is calling for heat.
    1 point
  35. I'm waiting for them to confirm they'll cover the cost of repair of the pool, pool water and chemicals and the cost of testing the core sample at the Uni. of Qld. They're only just back from Xmas break.
    1 point
  36. The clicking sound is a relay, but does not show it is stuck, just that it is trying to turn something on and off. It should not be cycling like that. This could result from a number of things, including a faulty sensor and a wiring issue. Who wired that spa? Not a licensed electrician, I'm guessing. What is the exposed wire I see on the left? Are you sure it is wired correctly? Those packs are junk. They're for bathtubs and have no business in a spa. What brand is the spa? The way that is plumbed I seriously doubt it can handle 240v to the heater without getting errors. There's not enough flow through the heater to keep up with the heat produced. The jumper, j11, by the topside plug, is in the wrong position for 240v operation. And the board looks damaged just left of that over a large area, but that might be a reflection so check that for damage. I give it 3 years tops before that tub is junk from setting it on smooth gravel, and that's if it's fiberglass. If it's tupperware, I give it 6 months. You need to support that tub on 12x12 pavers at least. Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon. How much does it hold?
    1 point
  37. First... anytime you get an error code always remove the filter and run without until issue is fixed. New just cleaned or otherwise...remove it from the equation. The sensors are located along the chrome heater tube. One at each end and screw into the heater tube with the black nuts. They then connect to the circuit board. Try and disconnect them from the circuit board and make sure the connections are clean and then reconnect them but swap them around and see if there is any change. If there is no change you might want to remove them from the heater tube and again make sure they are clean and there is no debris or rust on them. Unfortunately you might have to drain the spa to do this. Now because it is a remote heater you might be able to remove them one at a time and put your (spouse) finger over the hole while you get a quick look without soaking the spa pack/circuit board just make sure there is nothing below that would cause damage if it got wet as water will squirt out. Remove it wipe it off and put back in. If you have a multi meter you could test the sensors but it can be difficult to do for a novice. You might also want to remove the heater tube and look down inside the tube to make sure there is nothing inside blocking the flow of water...but you would have to drain it if there are no gate/slice valves to section off the water. When the main pump is running is it moving water with good flow? Make sure all the jets are open and flowing water and none are sucking in instead of flowing out. If there are any sucking in then you have a blockage in behind the jet (pine needles are killers) Has the spa run for an extended period of time since you swapped over to 240V? Let us know results
    1 point
  38. Breakers protect WIRE, not equipment. A gfci breaker has the added benefit of detecting ground faults, which is what protects you from electrocution. But the amp rating of a breaker is determined by the size of the wire it's connected to. That wire size is in turn determined by the amp draw of the equipment. Simply putting a bigger breaker on ANY circuit is likely to cause a burned wire, which is likely to cause a house fire. DO NOT EVER UPSIZE A BREAKER WITHOUT FIRST UPSIZING THE WIRE. Bad advice, and even worse, dangerous advice, is much worse than no advice. If you don't know what you are talking about, you should not offer advice, as you could have been responsible for a house fire that killed the whole family. Your desire to help is admirable, but you need the knowledge as well, or you're a threat not a help.
    1 point
  39. That flow switch is rare, and you likely have a pressure switch attached to your heater. You'll need to get in there with a voltmeter and figure out where the power dies. This means working on it with the power on. If you are not comfortable with that, hire someone who is. These old school packs are dangerous, especially if not on a gfci breaker, which was not required back in the day. Typically these packs have a thermostat relay, that turns on low speed pump if the thermostat closes. Then the pressure switch and sometimes high-limit switch control one contactor and the thermostat controls the other, but these are independant components and can be wired in a number of ways. Contactor chattering is often a faulty thermostat or maybe pressure switch or coil resistor. Post those pics and I can walk you through testing.
    1 point
  40. Bullfrog XL7 review I bought a Vitaspa Prestige in August 2021, only to have to have it replaced with an XL7 a couple of months later because it was manufactured so badly. The chrome around the water feature jets rusted, the jets would not open, and those that did often popped off, which was very annoying. The LED lights were also faulty, with some only glowing red and no other color. While not a fault per se, the other thing I didn’t like was the headrests, which are held on by a single button and frequently came off. My dealer was very helpful and apologetic, and ordered a replacement Prestige, which the manufacturer promised would be delivered in a month. Three months came and went, and my dealer gave up with Vitaspa and offered to replace my tub with a Bullfrog XL7, even though this was $1,300 more than the Vitaspa. I looked at the tub and accepted his offer and barely a week later my new tub arrived, all expenses paid by my dealer to crane it onto my deck and remove the old one. So, a month later, how do I feel about the XL7? I think “Blah” sums it up. I think it’s a better-quality tub than the Vitaspa, the jets are screw-in rather than bayonet, the headrests have two buttons, so don’t pop off and the overall fit and finish of the tub seems better. My only complaint about the headrests is that they are as sculpted and as soft as a housebrick; they press on your neck, giving you a headache very quickly. Where the XL7 falls down is the design. I get the sense it was designed by an apprentice on his first day using SolidWorks design software, not by someone that actually knows anything about hot tubs. The control panel is absurdly located and at such a steep angle that it cannot be operated from inside the tub. What were they thinking? Did they think no-one turns the jets on while they are in the tub? There are very few jets, so that’s a bummer. The Prestige had 52 well-placed jets, the XL7 has only 38 and these aren’t well placed. Getting a foot massage requires the skills of a Tibetan yoga master. The forearm and hand jets are actually very welcome and give a hard, deep massage, although again, not well placed, and, bizarrely, cannot be turned off, so about half the power of the jets is lost through these outlets, leaving the rest of the jets to provide a pretty tepid massage. The neck jets are utterly useless and do nothing except make a loud and annoying slurping sound. They certainly don’t give a neck massage. The filter cabinet is made of two ill-fitting bits of plastic that rattle around loudly whenever a bather so much as wiggles a toe. I jammed a sponge in between them to stop this. The tub is loud. Really loud. The Vistaspa was almost silent, but the XL7 is like a military fighter jet on reheat. Damn this thing is loud. I’m so glad it’s 50ft from my window and I can hardly hear the noise or feel the vibration. I feel bad for my neighbors, but hey, their Air Conditioning unit is just as loud, so we’re even. It’s nice to soak in the tub but when the heat cycle kicks in, the vibration makes you nauseous. And the heat cycle kicks in a LOT. The Vitaspa never seemed to be reheating, it was just always at temperature. The XL7 cycles very, very frequently. I haven’t seen my electricity bill yet, but I’m expecting it to be high. Clearly insulation is not high on the XL7’s list of features. Finally, the lights are installed far too high. Instead of imparting a nice glow to the water, they are installed at eye level and burn out your retinas when you settle into the water. So, is it all bad? No, the quality is better than the Vitaspa, the jets are better quality and I think this tub will last 10 years. I’m not so sure the Vitaspa will last that long. Price is always a factor in buying a hot tub and this is a base model tub. If you buy a base model Ford you have to expect to do without wheels, and this analogy fits with the Bullfrog. If you’re looking for a tub to just sit in hot water, the XL7 does the trick, but that’s about all it does. I’m no hot hub expert and it may be that any base model tub is the same. Would I buy one again? Maybe. But I would look a lot harder at other offerings first. My rating: 4/10
    1 point
  41. I replied to your other post. On a fully insulated tub on the ground you can go days with no damage, and the first things to freeze will be in the equipment area. On a deck you lose a day or 2. Not full-foam and it can freeze pipes in hours. Gfci breakers trip for many reasons. Often it is the breaker itself, or loose connections on the breaker. Most things in the spa will trip it repeatedly, but not always. Nuisance tripping is the most difficult issue to troubleshoot in a spa.
    1 point
  42. Common. In Tahoe many spas are wired with an extra 20 amp plug, not fed by the gfci, under the cabinet and a small space heater with thermostat set low kept under there in case this happens. If the spa stops heating and it gets cold under the cabinet the space heater turns on. Incidentally, new spa warranties specifically exclude freeze damage from their warranty even if that damage results from a part failure that is itself covered.
    1 point
  43. Typically between 16 and 24 amps. Your heater should have a kw rating on the unit. This is kilowatts, so a 5.5kw heater is 5500 watts. Divide watts by volts to find amps. So a 5.5kw heater rated at 230v draws about 24 amps. Actual amps will vary slightly, as actual voltage varies slightly from location to location.
    1 point
  44. Hot springs designs have this in mind, and have drain points from all the plumbing low points, but even these still freeze and break pipes. And the plumbing drains are a source of leaks in the spa.
    1 point
  45. Hello all! Another Canadian here (Hi Luc @llamarche) and would like to thank this forum for all the help and great advice. I'm a new owner of a hot tub which came with our house (340 Gallon Master Spa). I've switched to @waterbear's 3 step Bromine method after discovering this forum. Before this, I drained and cleaned the tub and filters, started with sequestering product for scale, Bromine granules and Bromine tablet to build the bromide bank. Everyday after use or every 3 days, I followed what the hot tub stores told me and shocked with bromine granules. Then when I noticed the Bromine in the tub is high, I changed to shocking with MPS. Since reading the 3-step method, I've switched to shocking with bleach - first Great Value unscented non-laundry bleach which in Canada doesn't state the %, then liquid chlorine 10%. I'm using poolcalculator to balance the water. I struggled with high pH and here were my numbers: CH: 187 TA: 120 pH: 8.3 BR: 5.2 Borates: 25ppm After running calculations, added recommended volume of dry acid to bring down the pH to 7.0-7.2 and then aerate to increase pH. Here are my numbers now. (pH with calibrated pH meter, Bromine is high because of my weekly shock with bleach): CH: 166 TA: 70 pH: 7.6 BR: 10.95 Is this the right range and water balanced? According to pool calculator CSI is 0.64 (Scaling likely). I tried to play with TA and pH in the calculator but can't figure out how to get it to 0 (balanced) P.S. Do I stop listening to the hot tub stores who say the ideal range of TA is 120-150 and pH 7.2-7.6? According to them I need to add quite a bit of Alk up (baking soda) to bring the TA up and then small amount of pH decreaser (acid) to bring down the pH.
    1 point
  46. Nah, you'd have to go into the shell or before the heater, not enough heat loss between the heater and the tub in the plumbing. Even then it wouldn't noticeably overheat the spa. Early balboa systems had the temp sensor in the shell and the high limit on the heater, and you would find little difference when the pump/heater was on. Turn it off and the pipes cool faster than the tub, which is partly why they moved them both back to the heater. It helps avoid any frozen pipes/pumps from 10 hours with no filter cycle or call for heat. Actually, those few of us who answer all these questions everyday get to know each other, and we like to joke around. That was for me, not you, and I found it rather amusing.😉 The other thing you have to remember is that we aren't just talking to you, we are talking to every clown who reads this post for the rest of eternity, or until the internet breaks. And yes, we DO feel that we have to babysit most of them. DIYers are not known for doing things right, or safely. I have to tell people to be sure they turn the power off before they touch any wires in the spa. Sense is NOT common, whatever they may say. We have to keep that in mind or risk being responsible for any results. So we just assume that, someday, a total moron is going to read this. It's generally that guy we're talking to, not the person who raised the question. If we weren't industry pros we could give you any bad advice we cared to, but as we are professionals presented as experts in our field we have a greater responsibility than your average Joe. So we will continue to post things that discourage people from fiddling around with their safety devices, even though we are aware that you already got the hint. Some folks aren't so quick.
    1 point
  47. No worries. It seems that Softub is very secretive and proprietary in nature, much like Tesla or Apple. The service tech/owner was unwilling to give me back the old part. Only after assuring him that it would be used by me for parts did he finally let me have it back. Based on my experience with my local dealer here in Vermont I don't think I would buy another Softub.
    1 point
  48. Update. I took the circuit board out and removed the two relays that were connected to the heater. One of them was stuck closed. I ordered 2 new relays and will hopefully have them back in the board in a couple days. Thanks for everyone's help!
    1 point
  49. I'd say it's calcium leaching from the concrete coping and mortar. The uncaulked line is actually letting water out before it goes behind the spa. You can clean it off the tub with muriatic acid and water.
    1 point
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