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Jersey Hot Tub Repair

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About Jersey Hot Tub Repair

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    Hot Tub Aficionado

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    New Jersey
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    Hot Tub Repair & Scuba Diving
  1. Salt Chlorine Generators

    While I'm not a fan of chlorine generators, I do find them in tubs occasionally. If you install one, make sure you get a sacrificial anode. That's basically a zinc disc that you put in the tub that will attract the free electrons emitted from the salt generator. Over time, the zinc disintegrates, due to a chemical reaction with the zinc and the free electrons. If you don't install a sacrificial anode, a piece of metal already in the tub, usually the heater element, will begin to attract those free electrons and begin to disintegrate and fail prematurely. You do realize that a salt generator will not give you a salt water tub, right? It's just another way to introduce chlorine into the water, which is not the best type of disinfection for a hot tub. It will eliminate the need to put bromine or MPS into the tub to sanitize it. Of course, it introduces the need to put salt into the water. Some people swear by them. I just don't think they're the best method to keep your tub clean. Dave
  2. Tiger River-cuts out

    Just a few ideas: The circ pump shuts down after running for 30 seconds. Since you've jumpered the flow switch, is the heater hot to the touch when it shuts down? If so, you may be tripping the hi limit sensor because the circ pump may not be moving enough water with the jet pump disconnected. You said your GFCI trips with the pump & heater connected, but not when they're not connected. Which GFCI, the one built into the spa pack, or is it the GFCI in your outlet, or is it the GFCI in your main breaker panel? Will the GFCI trip with the pump disconnected, but the heater connected? How about with the heater disconnected but the pump disconnected. In other words, is it both components or only one causing the problem. With the heater and pump both disconnected, does the built in GFCI trip when you press the TEST button? Dave
  3. Tiger River-cuts out

    So, back to your original post, You never said why you replaced the circuit board or the control panel. Did you replace the circuit board because of a problem, or just because you got a new one (even though you said it's "prior used.") When I hear you say the problem started when you installed the new board, my first guess is that either's something's wrong with the board, or you installed it wrong. Dave
  4. Do I have to follow the manual to the letter?

    Your original post got me curious, so I did a google search to get a manual. You didn't say what year or model you had, so based on your question and the fact you were reading the manual, I figured it was probably a new hot tub so I went for a 2017 spa and picked Utopia because it was at the top of the list. That being said, I would guess that most of the Caldera hot tub manuals will be very similar. Anyhow, on page 11 of the manual, under the heating of "DON'T" it says "Don't use a floater type sanitization system as a low or no maintenance solution to your spa maintenance program." This statement follows 4 pages of detailed information about how to maintain your water quality. I think the point is more about they don't want you throwing a floater in with a couple of bromine tablets and thinking your hot tub will be taken care of. They expect you to measure, test and adjust your chemical levels as necessary. Of course, they'd also like you to buy their FROG chemicals and use their chemicals. If you were to get those big swimming pool chlorine tablets and put them in a floater, you'd get an unhealthy level of chlorine in the water which would deteriorate plastic parts like jets and couplings, and their warning is to let you know that wouldn't be covered under warranty. Dave
  5. Cabinet Defect in Sundance Select Series?

    I"m not sure I understand your post. You said the tub cracked in all 8 upper corners, but it's square, so it only has 4 corners. What exactly do you mean? If the corners are cracked, I would expect it might have had something to do with moving it, but the cracks would have been there when you had it delivered. Has someone removed the sides, and perhaps over-tightened the screws which cracked it? If there was a manufacturing defect, it would be quite a coincidence that it affected all the corners. Sundance is definitely a premium brand hot tub, and I'd expect good service for the money you paid. What does the dealer say? Does he say it's your fault? Does he say it's normal wear and tear? Does he say it's a manufacturing defect but he doesn't care and he doesn't want you to call him anymore? Dave
  6. Tiger River-cuts out

    By the top controller board, do you mean the Spaside? That is, the control panel with the temp knob and jets & light buttons? So, if you are talking about a 20 year old Tiger River hot tub, it probably has a mechanical thermostat attached to the back of the heat knob. If so, did you replace the thermostat or are you using the old one? Is it possible the capillary tube is shorting out against something, or is broken? That is not a ground wire, it's a hollow tube with liquid in it that moves a mechanical switch. If the tube gets folded, you will prevent the liquid inside from moving, which is what activates the heater. If the problem started when you replaced the circuit board and spaside, my guess is you may have installed them wrong or the parts are bad. Then there's the question of how do you know it's a brand new board? Did you buy it from a Watkins dealer? Craig's list? Especially with older parts, I'm skeptical of the use of the phrase "brand new," and I haven't found a lot of Craig's list sellers who are honest about parts. Sometimes you'll get a "worked fine when I removed it 5 years ago," which could be the same as "I threw out the tub 4-1/2 years ago because it wasn't working any more." Many on-line spa part places accept returns. When they sell a part, if the buyer either can't install it or finds it wasn't the problem they were trying to solve, the parts dealer will take it back and put it into stock as "new" without testing it. Then you buy it and end up with a part that someone returned a year ago that they damaged by hooking up 240 Volts to a 12VDC connector. I'm not saying that's the case here, I'm just asking if you're sure of the quality of the part you purchased. Dave
  7. Caldera Niagara Spa heater issue

    Normally the flashing TEMP indicates a water flow problem. It could be a clogged filter, bad pressure switch, air lock or bad temp sensor. You say you replaced the filter - did you try running the tub without a filter in place? Did the TEMP light blinking occur after the transformer flash? You may have blown a replaceable fuse on the circuit board, or one of the boards may be damaged. At least, it's worth a look. Look for burns or soot on the circuit boards, especially at wire connections. If your spa has one, a heater relay board furn up is a frequent source of heater failure, although the flashing TEMP light isn't a typical symptom. Dave
  8. Sundance Caprio Heat Button not working

    If all but one button is operating properly, chances are the button is bad. In the Sundance repair manuals, it usually says "replace the topside with one from your truck to see if that takes care of the issue." But unless you repair a lot of Sundance hot tubs, you're not likely to have a spare topside to check it with. One thing you can do is remove the side so you can hear the relay's activating, and see if pressing the button produces a "click" sound when the button is depressed. If it does, it means the topside is working and the problem is elsewhere. As long as you're inside the tub, carefully trace the wire that goes from the topside to the circuit board. Rodents like to chew on wires, and I've encountered quite a few chewed up wires over the years. Dave
  9. How do i get jet bodies off shell?

    It probably has a second piece that screws in from the front side. On the "pool" side, remove the jet internals and look for either two, three or four notches that you would grab with a special tool to turn the body. There are many different "special tools" so you'll probably need a little ingenuity. If you're going to throw out the old jet, you can just cut it out, but make sure you know how you're going to install the new one first. Installation example: www.balboawatergroup.com/getdoc.cfm?id=1748 Dave
  10. Caldera Kauai won't hold temperature

    Turn the screw, or knob, counter clockwise to reduce the amount of pressure needed to activate the switch. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about pressure switches: http://www.hottubworks.com/blog/hot-tub-pressure-switch-adjustments/ Dave
  11. Trying to save a Vanguard 2001 Hot Springs

    You can plug most bleed lines without affecting the operation of the tub. For the most part, the bleed lines prevent air-locks when filling empty pipes and pumps. Dave
  12. Caldera Kauai won't hold temperature

    Did you every try jumpering the pressure switch? I've seen older pressure switches stick open or closed. If your pressure switch is right at the edge of being properly set, vibrations could be causing it to open. For example, if your particular spa requires 3.4PSI to close the pressure switch and the switch is set for exactly 3.4PSI, the slightest amount of turbulence or vibration could prevent it from closing. Reduce the sensitivity of the pressure switch by an eight of a turn and see if that helps. If you reduce the sensitivity of the pressure switch, make sure that disconnecting the circ pump causes the pressure switch to open and the heater to turn off, otherwise you'll be defeating a major element in your overheat protection which can create massive damage if the heater overheats and starts burning things up. Dave
  13. Do I have to follow the manual to the letter?

    They are probably talking about the floating dispenser breaking and pieces of it getting sucked into plumbing. I've pulled stones, pieces of jets, toy soldiers, underwear and cigarette lighters out of pumps. Anything's possible, but I've never seen a floating dispenser break up and get sucked in. Not yet anyhow. As far as damaging the hot tub shell, if it's molded plastic, at most it would create a scuff which could be removed by heat. If it's fiberglass reinforced acrylic, a plastic floater won't damage it unless you throw it against the shell like a football, and even then you're talking scuffs, not cracks. And those can be buffed out. I'm curious, what manufacturer is telling you not to use floating dispensers? Dave
  14. Wire gauge for 32 amp spa pack

    In NJ, a homeowner can do his own wiring, but he/she still needs to get permits and inspections. But only a licensed electrician, not a handyman, general contractor, or a hot tub repairman, can do any wiring work. Funny thing about the electrical code. Many people act like it was created to make their life difficult. You probably wouldn't clean out the barrel of a gun with a round in the chamber, yet some people think nothing about running 20 or 50 AMPS to a pool of water containing their spouse, children and self without taking the proper care. Most hot tub horror stories include the phrase "improperly wired." I'm not criticizing you; you said you have wiring in conduit including a GFCI, which is what an licensed electrician should do. In answer to your original post, here's installation directions for a Balboa pac: http://www.hottubworks.com/SpaParts/VS_Control_Pack_Installation.pdf They call for 8 gauge solid wire (see page 4). The document covers spa packs up to 50 AMPS. Dave
  15. Jets flying out

    From my experience, the main reason that jets pop out is because the plastic gets brittle from too much chlorine. To lose one or two jets would be a warranty issue, but to lose them all is a systemic problem. Jets have little plastic tabs on the side of the jet body that snap into the housings. The tabs deteriorate over time, but all the jets in five years is a lot. Most pillows are held on by friction. The vinyl gets brittle, tears, and the mounts have nothing to hold to. That could be aggravated by chlorine, but the pillows themselves are pretty vulnerable, and depending how high you fill your tub, may be submerged continuously, which is not how they are designed to be used. The Divine tubs are good tubs. And internally they use the same pumps, electronics, jets and PVC as most of the other hot tubs on the market. I've never heard of a 5 year warranty on a Divine hot tub. Is that what Costco told you? I've serviced a few of the Costco tubs (they're made by Strong Spas) and found their manufacturer to be very flexible when it comes to keeping Costco customers happy. Dave