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    Frozen North Shore of U.P. of Michigan

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  1. I guess by the lack of other responses, I suspect you are probably right, and their is not much out there in the way of basic documentation. While I realize HS does things a bit differently, I'm not asking for a complete electrical schematic of the system board, I would just like some theory and basic operational points. I know it's a very simple system that many other companies use. A small pump pump runs continuously, drawing water through a filter, then into a thermostatically controlled heating element, which then delivers the clean and heated water back into the tub itself. There are only a few sensors or switches that monitor this process, a high-limit thermistor, a control thermistor and a pressure switch ( their may be more?). If I knew what each of these actually does, and their role in the sequence of operation, that alone would be helpful. I know the high limit thermistor monitors the temperature of the heating element, and shuts off to protect it from overheating, but not sure what the other components role are in the big scheme of things. While their seems to not be much documentation on this, I am sure their are many knowledgeable and experienced people out there, (like yourself) that know this info very well. A few simple paragraphs would enlighten myself and many others. BTW- I may have diagnosed my intermittent issue I have been fighting and mentioned earlier, and am putting together a post on that soon. Thank you, Randy
  2. Hi, I have owned a relatively trouble free 2008 Hot Springs Vanguard since new, but now have been fighting a very intermittent problem for over a year now (I will address this actual issue in another post soon). While I know the basics of how a hot tub works, I do not know the specifics of what each component sensor does and the proper sequence of everything for proper operation. As a now retired mainframe computer tech, with all their attached peripherals (large production printers, check sorters, disk libraries, etc...) fixing complicated electro-mechanical monsters was my daily job. However, we were educated on how these things actually worked, so you could troubleshoot problems systematically. I truly felt, that if I understand how something is suppose to work, I can figure out the problem when it doesn't. My issue though, is I have not found some type of educational video or article that actually explains the detailed and exact process and role of each hot tub component or sensor, and what happens if their is a failure of each. Sure I have read some schematics and articles/videos that helps you troubleshoot the basics, or advice from forums on what component to replace, but nothing that explains the big picture and why this component is likely the fix. So, is their any type of educational article or video some one can suggest that would give me this basic education and understanding I need? While any suggestion is appreciated, something related to what HS uses, with the circulation pump would be best. Thank you in advance, Randy
  3. Thanks to all, I am just glad that my fumbling ended up being a success for so many others, besides fixing my MM issues. I better learn to start drinking more beer! Thanks, Randy M
  4. Hi, I am currently on a trip, and I'm not able to view a MM spine. It's been over a year since I replaced mine, but going by memory... I remember that one (or both ) ends have a collar that slides over the outside of the hose, locking it on the end fitting? Ij that's the case, just take a large screwdriver and pry it back. I do remember the original blue tubing can get stuck on the ends from time, but again, nothing that some serious (and careful) prying won't remove. remember, the old hosing will no longer be used, so if you damage it in removal, it's not a problem. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any success. I will be home next week and can view the actual part, if needed. Glad to know that my MM fix has been helping other HS owners! Randy
  5. If you have an air lock, (and it sounds like you do) I found the easiest way to purge the air is to take off the circulation pump filter and post. Then stick a hose down the hole, then wrap a small towel around the opening, hold the towel tightly to seal off around the hose, and turn on the water full. This will force any air locked in the system out. You will start to see large bubbles escaping the jets and floor drain. It may take several minutes to purge all the air, but this has worked for me every time. I just automatically do this every time I refill now just to make sure no air is trapped. Thanks, Randy
  6. Just an update - swapped heater and both sensors yesterday, and all went well, actually a pretty straightforward procedure. Only suggestion I can give others is when removing the hoses, I heated up the ends with a heat gun on low for a few minutes. Really made them come off easily. I was concerned that after 12 years they would be stuck on their connections, but that was not the case at all. Tub is working perfectly, but since my error was so intermittent, it's impossible to say for sure right now I fixed the problem.
  7. Just an update, I swapped the motor connections, and as I suspected, (and hoped) all worked fine. FYI - Hot Springs do not use a bypass valve (hence the 5 filters) so neither pump is unfiltered.
  8. Hi, When I built my base, over 12 years ago, I did something very similar. I just used 4x4's on a bed of gravel topped with 6' treated decking, (I would use Trex today) . Been absolutely fine with no issues or shifting at all. Still perfectly level today. I figure, as long as the wood is 100 percent supported underneath, the thickness should not make a difference. Be sure to space them no more than 12 inches apart, for support, and intensely pack the gravel before hand. I included a couple pics, too. Randy
  9. Hi, Have had a several incidents over the last six months on my 2008 HS Vanguard, where I get a flashing red light on the control panel. Circulation pump is still running, but rest of tub and control panel goes dead. I pulled the cover and saw a D17 led light on on the system board. Resetting the circuit breaker always brings it back, and it can go months before it happens again. Diagnostics on this tub are pretty crude, so I called several service people, and they all suggested it is the heater going bad. It is the original heater. Since we are leaving the area soon for an extended trip, and living in the frozen North, I decided to replace the heater. While an after market heater can be had for about half the price of a Watkins heater, I thought this may not be an area to skimp, so I purchased a new factory Watkins heater, part # 76227, along with both replacement thermistors and the two 3/4" hoses that connect to the heater, (in case I destroy them when removing them). Plan on doing the swap this week, but have a couple questions: Does this error sound most likely a heater issue, as I was told? Any hints on replacing this heater? I watched several videos on it, and it looks pretty straightforward, but you can always learn from others! Thank you, Randy
  10. Hi, Been a while since I posted here, but was wondering if, on a 2008 HS Vanguard, you can swap the connectors between pump motor 1 and 2? I am having no problems, but when you hit the clean button, it runs motor 1 for a few minutes. Motor 1 runs the neck jets of the two corner seats, and if the water is a bit low, it can send a big spray across the top of the water. Swapping these connectors would now run pump 2 when you hit the clean button instead, which has all of it's jets much lower in the water. I will be away for awhile and I'm having a neighbor check my tub periodically, and I'm just trying to not get her sprayed! From the schematics, it looks like it should be fine, but just checking if anyone has done this first. I realize that now the operation of the jet 1 and 2 buttons will be swapped, too. Thank you, Randy
  11. OK, no replies yet...I was hoping that some other reader has had this type of experience and could lend some advice.... I will update this post with what I find when I discover the cause.
  12. Hello, and Help! After 11 mostly trouble-free years, my 2008 Hot Springs Vanguard has a major problem I need some advice on. We are currently on a 6-week trip and have a neighbor checking on our house and tub weekly. Yesterday, when doing her weekly check, she said a red light was blinking on my tub and when she checked inside, there was no water in it all! Since I live in the frozen North, trying to minimize any damages I had a friend come over to check it out and drain any remaining water out. The neighbor said the tub was full just the week prior, and temps have been relatively warm the last week (above freezing during the day and just below at night) so I don’t think anything froze yet. When he opened the main drain (on the left, for the tub) virtually no water came out. When he opened the right drain for the equipment, about a full gallon or so emptied, so the leak doesn’t seem to be from this area, and it seems the lines in the equipment didn’t freeze. He said no visible water was anywhere around the outside of the tub, and the equipment area was dry. I had him blow out all the jets, all the lines feeding the pumps, the drain, and then pour RV antifreeze into each one, so I think it’s OK until I get home next week. Now, my dilemma, is that for me to diagnose where the leak is, I most likely will need to fill the tub, but we’re just starting our nasty winter, and the last thing you really want to do is to put water back in the lines in below freezing temps. I fear I may have to just let it sit until spring, when I no longer have concerns of freezing, unless, some knowledgeable reader can give me some advice on where to look or a method to correct this without adding water. Thank you in advance, any help will be appreciated, as I don’t want to go a whole winter without my tub! Thanks, Randy
  13. Keith, Thanks for your update and compliments. Glad to hear my effort helped others. FYI - My replacement tubing is still working well after almost 2 years now....also a couple pics of my setup. Randy
  14. Hmmm, mine is a 2008, but I would think they should be the same.....it's been a while so I can't remember exactly what it looks like now. However I did find this video that explains it better than I can in words. It may be slightly different than yours, but It verifies you need to remove that actual valve after removing the knob, too. You should then be able to see an opening in the plastic that runs below each knob. Each opening has several other holes that are actually fittings that have hoses (that you can't see, cuz they are within the shell) that run to the various air jets. I am not at my home currently that has the tub, or I would check for you. If you still have issues and can wait, I will be back there the end of next week and will investigate. Thanks, Randy
  15. Hi, I did find the issue, and it was a simple fix. I popped off the air adj. valve dials (on top of tub, they just pry off) that went to the problem Moto-Massage and using an air compressor with an air blower end, blew air into each one. Bubbles came out if each air jet except for the problem MM. Assuming it was plugged somehow, I then took the air hose off the MM, and stuck the air valve into the jet, holding a towel to help seal around the air hose. This would reverse the usual air flow, and hopefully clear the line. When I released the air, it took a few seconds, but a piece of fuzzy garbage blew out of the removed air valve on top. So somehow, something got sucked in the air line and plugged that line. So if you have access to an air compressor, it’s an easy fix. Hope this helps, Randy
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