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    Frozen North Shore of U.P. of Michigan

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  1. Hello, Okay, trying to diagnose this just from a note can be just be a guess.... First, if it is not moving at all, it may be the small air line is torn or not on completely. The MM needs that added air boost to move at all. (BTW- that air line can be replaced with silicone beer tubing, too). If you have two MM seats, are both failing? Try removing the filters, too and see if that helps....like I said, the MM needs the maximum pressure to operate smoothly. While I know others had said they just used a small zip tie on the ends with success (and that would be easier), I have not tried that. As I explained in my Nov 11, 2017 post, I used an additional piece of tubing slipped over the ends to increase the O.D. to the correct size. "However, since the O.D. of this thinner tubing was too small for the press on collars on each end, I slid a short (about 1/2" long) piece of this same tubing over each end of the tube, that effectively made it the same O.D. as the HS stuff. This allowed the press on fittings on each end to hold perfectly." Remember, the MM spine has to be totally free of any binds with totally equal movement in both directions, there is very little margin of error or room for any resistance....hence it fails as soon as the tubing gets a little less pliable. Hope this helps. On a different note, I just sold my home in the U.P. of Michigan where my beloved HS Vanguard resides, and it stays with the house. So I will be without a hot tub for a while, but not for long. I will be in the market for a replacement in my new residence in Florida soon. I have not kept up on the hot tub market much since I bought my Vanguard 14 years ago, so I will have to start fresh on what's out there. My HS still runs and looks like new after 14 tough U.P. winters, so I am thinking of another HS, however, I don't know if I need a full-foam tub in Florida, and new HS tubs are expensive, even though it's hard to ignore how well it served me since 2008. Since it was just myself most of the time, I would be prefer a smaller tub. I do want a lounger seat this time, while a circulation pump, ozone and powerful jets are still a must. My wife demands a good size cool down seat. The pre-2009 Vanguards had a massive cool down seat, that she just loved to lie out on, that also worked well as a safe step for entry/exit and for kids to sit on. HS cut the cool down seat in half in the updated 2009.5 version and added another tiny corner seat. While that may have added another seat (that marketing loves to brag about), to us, it was a major step backwards. Since a cool down seat takes up valuable space, seems fewer manufacturers have this handy and safe feature. Lots of choices out there, so any suggestions or advice would be welcome. Thanks, Randy
  2. Off hand, I can't think of anything else....but is it possible you have the hose just a bit too long, or even too short? This could cause the spine to not want to sit perfectly level at rest, which could prohibit easy initial movement. It does not take much to make a difference. I think I remember 9" is what I cut my hose to. If you have the old HS hose, you could compare it to make sure it is exactly the same. Just a thought.
  3. Hi, That's kind of a surprise, as mine usually last about 18-24 months before they start to slow down. Only thing I can think of is to try a different brand of tubing? You are using silicon beer making tubing, right? I tried to go through my receipts and was not able to locate my most recent purchase, (it's probably been 5 years now, as I ordered several feet of tubing so that much lasts forever). Perhaps your chemical mix or temp is harsher? I am not a fanatic on chem levels and such, basically use Dichlor and shock after the initial water balance and keep the temp at 100, which is very comfortable to us. Thanks, Randy
  4. Thank you for making this video. As the original poster of this procedure a few years ago on the Spa forum, I have wanted to make a video explaining this better than I could in the forums, but of course, never got around to it. Randy
  5. Thanks again. I was hoping that some other HS owners would chime in and let us know if they ever get similar air build up in their circulation filter, but so far no responses. Maybe I'll start a new thread on this and get some one's attention? Thanks, Randy
  6. Hello, and thanks again for your help. Sorry for the delay, I wanted to monitor and try a few things before writing back. First, to answer your questions. Water level is always well above the filter, so no air could possibly be entering that way. Also, I have tried having the filter cap loose or tight, and it really had no effect on it. I have been removing and checking for air inside the circulation pump cap periodically and have noticed, as before, (Note, I always turn the cap upside down before installing to release any air trapped) that after a day or two, I do have a small amount of air built up inside the cap. If I let it go a week or so, the amount of air continues to increase and the air bubble is larger than compared to when I check every few days. So air is building up inside the circulation filter, for sure. I do think this is my root cause, not a bad thermistor heater or pump. When this air restricts flow or an air bubble actually gets into the heater, it sets off the high limit thermistor and the blinking red light. I don't really remember this air build up in years past, but it's hard to say for sure. I know their are a LOT of HS owners out there that read this forum, so can any other HS owners PLEASE pipe in and let me know if they ever have any air inside their circulation filter cap when they remove it? That would be helpful. But did notice a key thing the other day that I think confirms this is definitely an air issue. While I was in the tub and playing around with the cap/filter, all of a sudden a large air bubble came up from the floor drain...everything seemed OK initially, as the circulation pump and ozonator bubbles continued to flow. However, the rest of the tub was dead (control panel, jet pumps, etc...) and the dreaded red light was flashing. Resetting power again brought it all back to normal. Sorry, so was unable to remove access panel to check circuit board LEDS at the time. So I guess were back to the original question, where is this air entering the system, and how could it be backflowing and collecting in the filter? I would think that since the inside of the filter is a vacuum, that any air should flow with the water, through the pump/heater and out the floor drain.... Any thoughts are appreciated. Randy
  7. Hello, I have a 2008 Hot Springs Vanguard that has served me well through the years, but I have been fighting a very intermittent issue recently that I would appreciate some help with. Starting about 2-3 years ago, sometimes the tub would just stop, no circulation pump, nothing on the control panel would light or buttons would operate, except for the red power light would just blink. Resetting the power to the tub would clear this every time. I would have no further issues until maybe months later it would occur again. Sometimes it would be 6-9 months between occurrences, sometimes it could just be a few weeks. It did not seem to follow any pattern either, sometimes it would happen while in use, other times it would occur just sitting unused. I was able to check the logic board once while in the error state, and I think (this was over a year ago and have not been able to check it lately due to weather) all lights were off except for a flashing red D17(?) LED that coincided with the blinking red power light on the front panel. I realize the flashing red led is the high limit thermistor and usually the sign of a dirty filter. I did replace all the filters (with both aftermarket then HS brand) but still the problem returned. Since all the components were still the originals, I went ahead and replaced the heater (with an OEM Watkins heater), the control and high limit thermistors and the circulation pump. It seemed to be OK after that for quite a while, but since it can go months without an issue, it's impossible to say for certain. To my surprise, a couple weeks ago, the problem did return. Again resetting power cleared the error and the tub has been operating fine since. However in checking things out before I reset power, I did discover one thing that may be significant. When I removed the cap that holds down the circulation pump filter, a massive air bubble was released. I checked the other filter caps, and a few tiny bubbles came out, but nothing like the air trapped in the circulation filter. So now the tub has been operating without problems since then, but I have been checking the air inside the circ. pump filter cap every few days, and have discovered that air seems to be slowly building up inside of it. I am wondering if this air bubble is building up inside the circ. filter, eventually getting large enough to create an air lock and actually starve the circulation pump for water, which could cause the high limit thermistor to trip? Very similar to a clogged filter. Note the filter was just replaced a few weeks ago (when I had the recent error), and when I reset power after the error, I do not get any type of air being released from the plumbing, and I do keep the waterfall feature on slightly which is suppose to allow any air buildup to be released. So my questions are: - Is this air build up possibly the root cause of my issue, or am I totally lost? - Is this type of air build up normal? (I don't remember noticing this in the past) - What can be causing this air to build up, as since there is vacuum inside the filter, it would seem any air would be drawn into the circulation pump. Thank you in advance for any suggestions on this. Randy
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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