I’ve got a 2004 Hot Springs Jetsetter that has been relatively trouble free until recently. Last month, a few days after water changeout, the level had dropped about 9 inches and I saw water leaking from below the spa in the back right corner in the vicinity of the motomassage.
There was no water in the equipment compartment, so I scheduled a visit from a Hot Springs tech thinking it might be a quick diagnostic/ fix. No such luck. He came out, told me I had a leak and would have to drain the spa, move it away from the house, refill it, reheat it, and have him return.
I drained, moved, and refilled the spa. I didn’t replug it since I was heading out of town for a week. When I returned, I replugged it, but did not check the water level. I’m thinking this may have been my first critical mistake. Or not. Did low water cause what happened next?
The next day I glanced out to see if the spa had gotten to temp. There were no lights on the Control Panel. I checked the GFCI and it had tripped and would not reset. Checked the breaker in the house and it had tripped. Reset that and then reset the GFCI. The light on the GFCI glowed red so I assumed all was well. But there was no power getting to the spa from the 125v cord, so assumed the GFCI was toast. I replaced the GFCI, tested and confirmed it worked properly. There now is power getting to the main bus on the heater board in the equipment bay, but still no display on the Control Panel. No power from the main bus to the main board either. So I assume that the heater board & possibly Control Panel are toast.
But I still have the leak to trace. I’ve pulled off most of the back boards and a few of the side boards. Found some soggy foam and kept digging but all led to dry foam. I can see water pooling in the back corner, but have not yet been able to follow it to the source.
Tomorrow I will add some food coloring and be back to digging. The water is still leaking, however the level is dropping verrrrry slowly now- maybe 1 inch over the past 10 days. I’m assuming that’s because the circ pump is no longer working. But maybe not. If the food coloring doesn;t help to find the source, I'll likely drain and try to raise the tub so I can attack it from underneath.
My plan is to keep trying to find the leak(s) and get that repaired first. Assuming that’s successful, the next steps are a bit of a mystery. So here are my questions:
1. Any hints on how to better track down a leak or is it just tedious trial and error?
2. Is there a logical way to test the Heater & Main Boards to confirm either is fried or not?
3. Is there a way to test the Control panel to determine if it needs to be replaced?
4. Are there things to check prior to replacing either Board &/ or Panel to ensure they don’t self-destruct again? i.e. what might have caused one or both to fry?
5. Can I bypass the board and energize the circulation pump to get some pressure into the system to help track down the leak(s)
6. Is there a better way to try to salvage this tub than what has been outlined above?
It's been a great tub and I'd replace it with the same if we weren't planning to move in the next 2-3 years. Anyone want to weigh in with some suggestions and tell me I'm wasting my time?