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2005 Hot Springs Grandee Flashing Red Light


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This seems to be the most commong problem with Hot Springs spas, but I'm not finding the solution in any post I've read.

About two years ago I started having problems with the red temp light flashing. The first time it happened I called service and they came out to find a relay in the control box had burned (actually burned...turning the board black). They replaced the entire board under warranty and removed some of what was described as 'calcium" from somewhere. The tech left the debris on my patio...it appears to be white crust...shaped like the inside of tube...but wasn't substantial to cause a "flow problem".

About a month after the tech visit, the light started flashing again. My dealer is no help...they just want to send a tech out...won't give me any advice.

So...I have:

Replaced the filters with ceramic,

Replaced both thermisters twice.

Removed the filter at the grey standpipe.

Emptied and refilled placing the hose in the gray standpipe while filling.

When I replace the thermistors the spa works as advertised for about a month and stops again...flashing red light.

The little waterfall works all the time...even when the light is flashing.

if I reset the breakers, the spa will work for about 1/2 hour and stop....and the light will flash again.

I'm not stupid. I can fix this if someone will direct me. Most of what I read indicates this flashing light indicates a "flow" problem or a bad thermistor. The thermistors have been replaced....where should I check for a "flow" problem? As I said...the circulation pump/waterfall works all the time...the jets will work for 1/2 hour after breaker reset.

I'm stumped...HELP!!!!

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You probably have calcium builup in the heater, or heater return fitting. The water feature is plumbed to the circ pump before the water goes through the heater- so some blockage either in the heater, or heater return, will cause the heater to overheat due to inadequate flow, while the water feature will show great flow.

You can unscrew the heater return grill (drain grill in the footwell) and feel for the opening on the side of the fitting- it may be clogged.- it's a pretty small hole.

You can also try removing the heater- and just blow through it to see if there's some blockage (remember to cover the drain fitting on the bottom)- or buy some extra vinyl tubing, and temporarily run a seperate heater return to visually check flow while searching for the location of the blockage.

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Sounds like calcium buildup for sure. You can also adjust the water to be acidic so some of the calcium precipitates back into the water and then you dump the water but you're going to want to get any large crusty blockage out manually if you see any. Is your water very hard in your area? Talk to your dealer in person about how to adjust for this in the future, someone there must have some water chemistry knowledge hopefully.

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You seem to have a flow problem. Even if you put in a new filter, as you said, but then a month later the red light flashed, I would still think you have a dirty filter. Nothing more at this point. Such is life! :blink:

A month is plenty long enough for a new filter to be coated with oil - which is clear and doesn't make the filter look dirty. Two easy thing to check this:

1. remove the cap for the circ filter. Just the cap. Watch to see if the filter floats to the surface. If so, it is likely just a bit dirty and a rinse should get you going again. If it just stays down it needs to be chemically cleaned. And don't lift it up above the water level to check it: that fills it with air and voids the test.

2. remove the cap for the circ filter and reset the power to the spa. If it now runs (no flashing red light) then you need to clean the filter. You sound like you may have already tried this - so

3. open the valve to the waterfall - if it is flowing at all more water than when new, you have a clog in the return line from the heater to the tub. If you leave the fountain running all the time, or even a lot of the time, it slows the flow through the heating system and the return line, and that can and will allow slime to clog up the line. If you want to fix this yourself just to have it done with, or just to prove what is or isn't going on, you can.

Power off to the spa, then cap the heater. I have a short section of 3/4" vinyl tubing with a cap glued on - about 4" and nice an soft/new. I take the spring clamp off the outlet of the heater, wiggle the tubing in a circular fashion to get it off the barbed fitting, and cap it with that little tube. Anything similar which will cap that outlet is fine: a small cork will work. Water will come out of the heater as you cap it, and will hopefully begin to flow from the other line.

I use a fiberglass fish tape, but a long piece of wire, or smaller tubing will work - gently feed it into the tube and work it back and forth - carefully watching the water as it exits. With the power off to the spa, the water will only be coming at you with the force of gravity, not like a fire hose, but it should be enough to a). push out whatever you loosen up, and B). get you and your tools soaking wet.

You can also feed the tape in from the floor fitting in the spa - remove the safety cover and find the little hole. Feed it in there - be careful that you don't use a wire with a hook in the end, or anything which can go in and then snag on something and not come back out again... if you use a wire, for example, just leave the end blunt, not looped or folded over. The line from the equipment compartment to the bottom fitting is about 12' long. That's twelve feet, not a typo. I have fed in enough fish tape from the bottom fitting so that I saw it come out the other end, in the motor compartment. I used to have to do this a lot when we sold Baqua - not since we stopped.



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:) Thanks all!!!

Sorry it has taken so long to get back to this. I haven't had the time to mess with the spa lately.

I will try some of the suggestions, but sounds like calcium buildup. It shouldn't be oil in the filters as nobody has been in the spa.

I will try fishing for the blockage...cleaning it out.

I'll let you all know what happens.

Thanks again!!

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  • 3 years later...

Hi guys, sorry to bring up a old post but i've been having this exact same problem with my 2005 Sovereign.

I started to get a blinking red light over and over. I had replaced the circulation pump about a year ago and it has been working fine. I also notice the waterfall working well as well as flow coming from the drain grill in the footwell.

We have very hard water where we are and I thought it may be the calcium build up. (Spa was here when we bought the house and I'm not sure if the old owners took care of it). There was little calcium pieces all over! I spent a whole day just sucking them out with a wetvac. I thought it also got clogged in the heater so I took the heater apart and it was covered in calcium! I took some muriatic acid and dissolved it all away.

I bought NEW Trix filters. So now I refill the tub and its working well, no lights blinking.....then the next day, BOOM! Red flashing light again.

I now check the thermistors and they both are about 8 on the meter. I take the filters out and still, red flashing light after about 5-10 minutes of turning on the GFCI breaker to the heater.

If I leave the heater breaker off and just turn the tub breaker I get no issues. The jets work, but no heat. As soon as I turn on the heater breaker, BOOM! Red flashing light within a few minutes sometimes, but sometimes it works for a few hours.

Do you guys just think my heater is shot? Its got a good reading on the Ohm meter but i'm not sure if its just ruined from years of calcium build up. Has anyone successfully cleaned a no fault heater by taking it apart and soaking it in acid?

I don't want to spend $350 on a new heater for no reason if its something else.


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