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Balboa Spa - Filter Pump Won't Stop Running


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We have a Balboa Spa with a "Lite Leader" control.

It runs properly, maintains temp properly, however the filter pump never cuts off.

It is supposed to shut off, as it always has before...until now.

It only has the 2 button top control...and is non-programable.

1 button is for either jets or filter, the other button is for temp and that's it!

Suggestions appreciated.

Is there a way to bypass the temp sensor and the over temp sensor. I could not tell on this model if they are normally open or normally closed, of if they work in some other way. :rolleyes:

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Dumb questions ahead...

Is the tiny "heat" light lit on the topside when it's chugging away on low speed? Does it ever come on? Does it ever go off?

What temp is it maintaining?

What's the ambient temp where you are?

Do you have a cover?

My first guess, a dirty filter or intermittent pressure switch is causing the heater not to energize 100% of the time it's calling for heat, so it's running much longer to maintain temp.

2nd guess- bad heater or bad heater wiring, or maybe even a bad circuitboard on the pressure switch or heater circuit.

Good luck

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Dumb questions ahead...

Is the tiny "heat" light lit on the topside when it's chugging away on low speed? Does it ever come on? Does it ever go off?

What temp is it maintaining?

What's the ambient temp where you are?

Do you have a cover?

My first guess, a dirty filter or intermittent pressure switch is causing the heater not to energize 100% of the time it's calling for heat, so it's running much longer to maintain temp.

2nd guess- bad heater or bad heater wiring, or maybe even a bad circuitboard on the pressure switch or heater circuit.

Good luck

Hey... there aren't any dumb questions.

Not sure this kind poster, attempting to help, fully understood our particular problem. -_-

We have no problem maintaining temp.

The problem is that the filter pump runs all them time. The heater properly cycles on and off as needed.

So my spa friends.....what could cause this filter pump to run all the time?

The Lite Leader by Balboa does not allow the user to program the filtration cycle except between 2 generic choices with a jumper position.

Anybody know if with this control, whether the filter cycle would start immediately upon powering up, or if it would wait the 12 hrs, etc?

Temp control, and indication of temp, seems fine, so would that rule out both sensors?

And yes, the little red light does come on when the heat is cycled on!

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Dumb questions ahead...

Is the tiny "heat" light lit on the topside when it's chugging away on low speed? Does it ever come on? Does it ever go off?

What temp is it maintaining?

What's the ambient temp where you are?

Do you have a cover?

My first guess, a dirty filter or intermittent pressure switch is causing the heater not to energize 100% of the time it's calling for heat, so it's running much longer to maintain temp.

2nd guess- bad heater or bad heater wiring, or maybe even a bad circuitboard on the pressure switch or heater circuit.

Good luck

Hey... there aren't any dumb questions.

Not sure this kind poster, attempting to help, fully understood our particular problem. -_-

We have no problem maintaining temp.

The problem is that the filter pump runs all them time. The heater properly cycles on and off as needed.

So my spa friends.....what could cause this filter pump to run all the time?

The Lite Leader by Balboa does not allow the user to program the filtration cycle except between 2 generic choices with a jumper position.

Anybody know if with this control, whether the filter cycle would start immediately upon powering up, or if it would wait the 12 hrs, etc?

Temp control, and indication of temp, seems fine, so would that rule out both sensors?

And yes, the little red light does come on when the heat is cycled on!

The filter cycle begins approx 1 minute after start up.

I understand your issue- but I try not to assume to know what "maintaining heat" means to you, so I asked for an approx temp. It would also help to know the ambient temp- as this spa is able to "maintain heat" in warm climates simply by running all the time- with the heater never being energized. It would rule out a few possibilities...

The spa suns just as you describe- it runs thermostatically, as well as 2 hours every 12 hours, with a purge cycle lasting a minute or so every 24 hours. Try pressing a temp button, then whie the "set" temp is flashing, press the pump or "jets" button just once. What do you see? If you see anything other than F 2, then keep hitting the temp button until you get to F 2. (you have F2, F4, F6, F8, and FC if memory serves correct) F2 is typically the default setting.

If it's running constantly, and still maintaining heat- it's going to be one of the issues I described initially- but if you want help diagnosing yourself, you're going to have to check that little heat indicator light on the topside, as well as take a mental note of if it's in a filtration cycle, or be handy with a meter.

If it's running too much (and set to F2)- you really need to observe the tiny heat indicator light, and see if it's on or off, the current temp, and the set temp, several times during the day.

For the record- your temp sensors are fine, the circuitboard is interpreting the readings from the temp sensors properly, and the low speed relay on the circuitboard is fine.

If you had a thermistor (temp sensor) issue, or thermostat issue, the spa would not be displaying an accurate temp. The simple fact that it's displaying an accurate temp tells us the sensors and thermostat are fine. If the low speed relay was sticky, then when you energized high speed, the pump would make a horrible sound, overheat, and shut down in seconds.

Your issue is most likely an intermittant pressure switch, or a bad harness, or just a dirty filter than slows down the flow just enough to cycle the heat on/off when it should be steadily on.

Assuming you don't live in a warm climate, that is.

Sorry if that wasn't clear in the first reply.

If the red heat light is on all the time when it's running, the heater is either bad, the wiring damaged, or the heater relay on the board is bad.

Is the spa wired for 120 or 240v?

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Dumb questions ahead...

Is the tiny "heat" light lit on the topside when it's chugging away on low speed? Does it ever come on? Does it ever go off?

What temp is it maintaining?

What's the ambient temp where you are?

Do you have a cover?

My first guess, a dirty filter or intermittent pressure switch is causing the heater not to energize 100% of the time it's calling for heat, so it's running much longer to maintain temp.

2nd guess- bad heater or bad heater wiring, or maybe even a bad circuitboard on the pressure switch or heater circuit.

Good luck

Hey... there aren't any dumb questions.

Not sure this kind poster, attempting to help, fully understood our particular problem. -_-

We have no problem maintaining temp.

The problem is that the filter pump runs all them time. The heater properly cycles on and off as needed.

So my spa friends.....what could cause this filter pump to run all the time?

The Lite Leader by Balboa does not allow the user to program the filtration cycle except between 2 generic choices with a jumper position.

Anybody know if with this control, whether the filter cycle would start immediately upon powering up, or if it would wait the 12 hrs, etc?

Temp control, and indication of temp, seems fine, so would that rule out both sensors?

And yes, the little red light does come on when the heat is cycled on!

The filter cycle begins approx 1 minute after start up.

I understand your issue- but I try not to assume to know what "maintaining heat" means to you, so I asked for an approx temp. It would also help to know the ambient temp- as this spa is able to "maintain heat" in warm climates simply by running all the time- with the heater never being energized. It would rule out a few possibilities...

The spa suns just as you describe- it runs thermostatically, as well as 2 hours every 12 hours, with a purge cycle lasting a minute or so every 24 hours. Try pressing a temp button, then whie the "set" temp is flashing, press the pump or "jets" button just once. What do you see? If you see anything other than F 2, then keep hitting the temp button until you get to F 2. (you have F2, F4, F6, F8, and FC if memory serves correct) F2 is typically the default setting.

If it's running constantly, and still maintaining heat- it's going to be one of the issues I described initially- but if you want help diagnosing yourself, you're going to have to check that little heat indicator light on the topside, as well as take a mental note of if it's in a filtration cycle, or be handy with a meter.

If it's running too much (and set to F2)- you really need to observe the tiny heat indicator light, and see if it's on or off, the current temp, and the set temp, several times during the day.

For the record- your temp sensors are fine, the circuitboard is interpreting the readings from the temp sensors properly, and the low speed relay on the circuitboard is fine.

If you had a thermistor (temp sensor) issue, or thermostat issue, the spa would not be displaying an accurate temp. The simple fact that it's displaying an accurate temp tells us the sensors and thermostat are fine. If the low speed relay was sticky, then when you energized high speed, the pump would make a horrible sound, overheat, and shut down in seconds.

Your issue is most likely an intermittant pressure switch, or a bad harness, or just a dirty filter than slows down the flow just enough to cycle the heat on/off when it should be steadily on.

Assuming you don't live in a warm climate, that is.

Sorry if that wasn't clear in the first reply.

If the red heat light is on all the time when it's running, the heater is either bad, the wiring damaged, or the heater relay on the board is bad.

Is the spa wired for 120 or 240v?

This unit is wired 240v.

The heat light only comes on when the heater is pulling 19 amps at 240v. Otherwise the heat light is off. The low speed current draw is 3 amps at 240 or about 600 watts. The heater is capable of increasing the water temp from 80 to 100 degrees with no problem, if you don;t mind waiting.

If the pressure switch was intermittent, the heater operation would be intermittent as aren't the two are interdependent? The heater runs steadily when called for,

A dirty filter might be possible, however the heating process seems flawless. Heater light is not on all the time. Heater relay pulls in and holds during even long heater cycles.

Not sure that this model has the F2, F4 etc settings, as it's just a two button control. I followed the suggestion about hitting the several buttons, but even if you got a different F setting, I don;t see that it would matter much. They tell me at Balboa that you only have two choices on filter duration and those are controlled by placement of a jumper.

My sole concern is figuring out how to get this unit to not run on low speed 24/7 !!!!!!

For what it's worth, the Balboa factory tech says it's either a bad board or a bad low speed relay which is stuck.

It makes no loud sound if you move from low speed to high speed. From the prior post, I gather that a loud sound might be made if the control is energizing both the low speed and the high speed windings in this single motor. If true, the Balboa tech guys then might be wrong.

I'm about a day away from trying a new board, but I really hate to do it on a 7 year old spa!

It still leaves me trying to figure out the problem! :huh:

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Dumb questions ahead...

Is the tiny "heat" light lit on the topside when it's chugging away on low speed? Does it ever come on? Does it ever go off?

What temp is it maintaining?

What's the ambient temp where you are?

Do you have a cover?

My first guess, a dirty filter or intermittent pressure switch is causing the heater not to energize 100% of the time it's calling for heat, so it's running much longer to maintain temp.

2nd guess- bad heater or bad heater wiring, or maybe even a bad circuitboard on the pressure switch or heater circuit.

Good luck

Hey... there aren't any dumb questions.

Not sure this kind poster, attempting to help, fully understood our particular problem. -_-

We have no problem maintaining temp.

The problem is that the filter pump runs all them time. The heater properly cycles on and off as needed.

So my spa friends.....what could cause this filter pump to run all the time?

The Lite Leader by Balboa does not allow the user to program the filtration cycle except between 2 generic choices with a jumper position.

Anybody know if with this control, whether the filter cycle would start immediately upon powering up, or if it would wait the 12 hrs, etc?

Temp control, and indication of temp, seems fine, so would that rule out both sensors?

And yes, the little red light does come on when the heat is cycled on!

The filter cycle begins approx 1 minute after start up.

I understand your issue- but I try not to assume to know what "maintaining heat" means to you, so I asked for an approx temp. It would also help to know the ambient temp- as this spa is able to "maintain heat" in warm climates simply by running all the time- with the heater never being energized. It would rule out a few possibilities...

The spa suns just as you describe- it runs thermostatically, as well as 2 hours every 12 hours, with a purge cycle lasting a minute or so every 24 hours. Try pressing a temp button, then whie the "set" temp is flashing, press the pump or "jets" button just once. What do you see? If you see anything other than F 2, then keep hitting the temp button until you get to F 2. (you have F2, F4, F6, F8, and FC if memory serves correct) F2 is typically the default setting.

If it's running constantly, and still maintaining heat- it's going to be one of the issues I described initially- but if you want help diagnosing yourself, you're going to have to check that little heat indicator light on the topside, as well as take a mental note of if it's in a filtration cycle, or be handy with a meter.

If it's running too much (and set to F2)- you really need to observe the tiny heat indicator light, and see if it's on or off, the current temp, and the set temp, several times during the day.

For the record- your temp sensors are fine, the circuitboard is interpreting the readings from the temp sensors properly, and the low speed relay on the circuitboard is fine.

If you had a thermistor (temp sensor) issue, or thermostat issue, the spa would not be displaying an accurate temp. The simple fact that it's displaying an accurate temp tells us the sensors and thermostat are fine. If the low speed relay was sticky, then when you energized high speed, the pump would make a horrible sound, overheat, and shut down in seconds.

Your issue is most likely an intermittant pressure switch, or a bad harness, or just a dirty filter than slows down the flow just enough to cycle the heat on/off when it should be steadily on.

Assuming you don't live in a warm climate, that is.

Sorry if that wasn't clear in the first reply.

If the red heat light is on all the time when it's running, the heater is either bad, the wiring damaged, or the heater relay on the board is bad.

Is the spa wired for 120 or 240v?

This unit is wired 240v.

The heat light only comes on when the heater is pulling 19 amps at 240v. Otherwise the heat light is off. The low speed current draw is 3 amps at 240 or about 600 watts. The heater is capable of increasing the water temp from 80 to 100 degrees with no problem, if you don;t mind waiting.

If the pressure switch was intermittent, the heater operation would be intermittent as aren't the two are interdependent? The heater runs steadily when called for,

A dirty filter might be possible, however the heating process seems flawless. Heater light is not on all the time. Heater relay pulls in and holds during even long heater cycles.

Not sure that this model has the F2, F4 etc settings, as it's just a two button control. I followed the suggestion about hitting the several buttons, but even if you got a different F setting, I don;t see that it would matter much. They tell me at Balboa that you only have two choices on filter duration and those are controlled by placement of a jumper.

My sole concern is figuring out how to get this unit to not run on low speed 24/7 !!!!!!

For what it's worth, the Balboa factory tech says it's either a bad board or a bad low speed relay which is stuck.

It makes no loud sound if you move from low speed to high speed. From the prior post, I gather that a loud sound might be made if the control is energizing both the low speed and the high speed windings in this single motor. If true, the Balboa tech guys then might be wrong.

I'm about a day away from trying a new board, but I really hate to do it on a 7 year old spa!

It still leaves me trying to figure out the problem! :huh:

Gotcha- the two button doesn't offer filter programming options, and you're spot on about the heater light, and pressure switch relationship. Since it heats rapidly from 80, to 100, forget about an intermittent pressure switch, or dirty filter. About the only other possibility is a bad board, or possibly a pressure switch that's *closed* 24/7.

I don't recall if the lite leader has this logic, but as a matter of last resort- the circuitbopard logic might close the low speed pump relay if it's detecting a closed pressure switch when it shouldn't be closed (when the pump is not running). Try disconecting the pressure switch harness once it's reached temp, is *NOT* in a filter cycle, then turn the heat down. If it turns off after about 10 seconds to one minute, adjust the pressure switch so it's an open circuit when the pump is off. If it won't hold that calibration, replace it.

If that doesn't do it, the board needs replacement.

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  • 11 months later...

Hi, it sounds like I have the same control panel that you do. Did you ever figure out how to get the tub to stop running 24/7? A technician told me that the motor/jets would have to be running for the tub to heat, but since it's a new to me tub I don't know the difference between the sound of the filter/motor/jets running. It just seems like there should be a way to keep the temp steady without paying for a motor running 24/7. Thanks!

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This is a common question for new spa owners. There are 2 unique ways for a spa to heat, and the control on the topside doesn't tell us which you have.

1) You could have a circulation pump which is a small pump that is designed to run 24/7 and move a very small amount of water constantly through your filter, heater, and back into the tub. You won't have any control over this pump, and it will operate almost silently.

2) You could have a 2 speed primary pump which runs at low speed when the spa calls for heat.

You have one or the other. Water must be moving through the heater to heat the spa. Therefore a pump must be running for the spa to heat. Compared to the cost of the heater element, the pump running is a miniscule expense.

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  • 3 years later...

Looks like this thread is a few years old - But the problem still rages on!!

I have a slightly different control panel. I've attached the image here:

IMG_3511_balboa.jpg

Note that this control panel is not the original control panel that came with the spa, it's a new board (well I say new, it's about 4 years old).

It has been working perfectly up until now.

It has two cycles, low speed (filtration / heating), and fast speed. Normal operation is that the low speed comes on and switches off automatically as needed (for example, when the spa needs to heat up or when it's on a filtration cycle) - My filtration cycle is set to F2, but you can set it to F4, F6, F8 and FC from memory.

My problem is that the filtration cycle stays on 24/7 - never goes off. When I press the jets button, the fast speed comes on as normal. When I toggle it again, it goes back into filtration cycle again.

The spa seems to maintain it's 38 degree setting as normal. It doesn't go hotter or colder - so the heater must be working and switching off/on as when required.

The spa does have a proper thermal cover and we live in UK, so the temperature is below that which is required to maintain the spa's without the heater being needed off and on!

The filter is pretty new and clean, so I don't think it's that.

I don't know how to reset the spa. Although I have tried switching it off at the mains, leaving it for 15 minutes and turning it back on again - no effect.

Any idea what might be keeping the filtration system on 24/7 ?

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 months later...

I was reading this to figure out if I could get mine to stop having the Circulation pump run continuous.

i figured it out as I was reading this:
I have a CalSpa Sap, but swapped out a Circulation pump, board and top end with parts from a Balboa Spa.

The Temp and heater work differently.
The Calspa had a single temp sensor in the main tub, and a Flow/pressure switch in  the line by the heater.
 

The Balboa Heater/board had two temp sensors, one on each end of the heater.
This Balboa system did not use the temp sensor inside the Tub.
It did not  use a Pressure sensor to detect proper flow through the heater, but rather it monitored the temp before and after the heater to ensure there was proper flow through the heater when it was heating.
So, since this system, could not know what the temp is of the main tub without flow through the heater via a constant circulation pump, it has to run constantly just to monitor the Tub Temp.

I just realized this yesterday, while I was in the tub and set mine to "SLP" Sleep mode, and temp down to min. which will shut off the circulation pump.
But then it would kick in every so often, when the heater pipe water got below the min. 80 degrees F. Since I live in a cold climate, it thought the tub was cold, since there was no flow.

So, I am out of luck, and have to have a constant flow with this setup.
and I assume yours has the same logic.
 
 

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  • 1 month later...

I changed out my Hotspot relay with a United Spas complete system circuit board heater and control panel, my pump runs on low Non-Stop nobody at United Spas knows why.  they even sent a new circuit board which did not fix the problem.  does anybody have any ideas why the pump would run on low non stop it is not calling for heat it heats up fine the heater shuts off fine

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Did anyone manage to figure this out, I am now having the same problem

Balboa VSC500z control board, it has been working as expected up until recently, now the recirculating pump stays on permanently.

In Prime mode the pump stays off, indicating the relay is fine. The heater seems to be working fine, it heats to the correct temperature, then the heater shuts off (led light on topside goes off, and temp remain stables). It makes no difference which filter program is set (F2 - F8). Pressing the Jets button only cycles through, low speed on the pump(recirculating) and high speed(massage), previously the pump would also switch off. I checked the wiring on the motor, if I reverse the the pump speed is reversed also (no surprise).

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Are there any errors on the topside?

In the heater are 2 sensors, one at each end. Check the temp display, turn off power, switch the two sensor plugs on the circuit board and turn on power. It should display the same temp as before. If it does not, replace both sensors.

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  • 3 months later...

I just bought a Viking Legend II spa with the Balboa 550z control. There is two jet buttons, a temp button and a light button. I orginally had the filter on F2 for 2 hours of filter. I then switched to F4. Now the filter runs constantly without the heat light on, similar situation to everyone's posts above. I shut off the tub power, turned it on after 10 hrs. Pump does not immediately run when in pR prime mode which means the controls work.

Any suggestions to how to know if the relays are stuck? I'm pretty handy, just need to know what and where I should be looking at. 

 

Overall pretty disappointed, if had the spa for 10 days and it already has problems...

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If the relays were stuck the pump would be on as soon as you turned on the breaker.

Does it show any error on the display?

Filter cycles are f2 through f8, and fc which is continuous. F2 is two 2 hour cycles each day, for a total of 4 hours per day, and f8 is 16 hours per day.

Heater modes are standard, economy, and sleep. If in sleep mode the heater is disabled, but pump can still run for heat call.

If your spa detects temperature extremes it can turn off the heater and run the pumps, but will display an error code. Many things could cause this.

If it's new it's under warranty. I would call the dealer.

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If you put the temp down 5 degrees below actual temp does the pump then shut off after 1 or 2 mins?

Post pics of the circuit board and the schematic on the inside cover. Make sure we can see the little red box along the bottom edge of the circuit board called "Dip Switches" in one of the photos

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I shut the spa off for a few hours and started it up again. After going through priming mode and reaching the heat in sT (standard) and F2. The pump shut off, like it was suppose to do. So I used the spa last night for about 30 minutes and got out right about 9:30pm. Everything seemed to be working fine. The spa pump turned itself off and I closed my cover

This morning at 7am, the pump was running, heater light was not on, and the spa maintained heat at 96 degrees. I left it over night on standard. (sT)

Even if the spa doesn't require heat, do the pump still kick on randomly? If its not in filtration mode, shouldn't the spa pump stop once the set heat temp is reached?

I know about econ and sleep mode but those haven't solved my issues either. I had the spa in sleep and econ mode previously in the week and the spa pump still constantly ran and the Balboa 500z flashed between the mode and the temp, which is something the spa never did before. Usually it should just showed the mode, and would not flash both. Might be time to call the dealer. I constantly have to flip my breaker to shut off the spa

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13 hours ago, CanadianSpaTech said:

If you put the temp down 5 degrees below actual temp does the pump then shut off after 1 or 2 mins?

 

No it did not. The spa flashes between the mode and the temp on the display. The temp would not go down even if I dropped it 10 degrees because the spa pump continued to run. It never shuts off 

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I realized that I accidentally set the pump to F4, which would mean the pump runs for a total of 4 hours. I then set tub to F2, turned the tub off off by reseting the breaker. When resettle, the pump then kicked on, ran for 2 hrs and then shut off. I set the tub to Economy mode and it has only runs heat when in filter mode, during the 2hr cycle.

It dawned to me that my pump may have been "running" all night because I had it set to F4 AND I had it set to Standard mode, which would heat the tub (run the filter) if the temps dropped (which the nights here in Chicago are finally) which would mean the filter cycle would kick on. 

PLUS not to mention that my power has gone off 3 times in the past 2 weeks for random reasons, which means the tub automatically starts the filter cycle once power is restored.

Overall I think there was a variety of different variables here for a new spa owner to feel a little overwhelmed! But thankfully the controls are working the way they should, however I'm still gonna keep an eye out for control failure now that people mentioned that it could happen. Thanks for all the help

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