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Cal Spa 2000 - Heat Light Is On Only When Jets On Are High

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Hello. I've got an older CalSpa 2000 and it runs well during the summer, heating to 100+ degrees as needed, but the outdoor temps tended to be from 75-95 degrees. It appeared to heat well simply by having the cover on, but I noticed if I had the temp set to 100, it would drop to mid-90s even during the summer. The pump would run constantly and the heat light would never come on unless I turned the pump to high speed with the "jets" button and that only lasts about 15 minutes each time. So, I'd have to wait around and hit the jets button every so often to get it to (and keep it at) the desired temperature.

During this last winter (I'm in Michigan), I could not get it to heat above 78 degrees, even while "activating" the heat with the jets on. My thought is it should heat to temperature regardless of whether the jets are on high or not.

I'm not getting any errors codes and it's certainly never overheated. Underheating is my issue.

How can I fix this?


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A gradually increasing blockage of flow from a dirty filter or a deteriorating pressure or flow switch would create the exact symptoms you are describing.

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Hmm. OK, here's what I know and what I don't know.

1- I know the filter is completely clean and the flow isn't being obtructed there, at least. It's a CalSpa QUEST 2000 with an Ozone cartridge that I've never replaced. I've not even looked inside the blue box that contains the cartridge. Could that be a factor here?

2- Pressure switch... I think I know where that is and I've adjusted it manually before. It's on the right side of the heater and has a button in the middle and a dial I can turn to adjust activation pressure. I forget the units but I believe the scale was from 1-5 or so. Should I simply adjust that setting? I notice the switch activates when I turn the jets to high, but I've not seen it do anything else at any time.

If the pressure switch is bad, how would I know? How do I test it?

3- Flow switch... not sure what it is or where it is or what it does. I'm pretty sure they are not the same thing as "safety suction switches" so I'll need some guidance concerning their nature, position, and testing/adjusting of flow switches.

4- I believe "safety suction switches" are different and I had to had to disconnect them last year because the tub would not turn on at all (error code SF or something) and I was told they are unnecessary. Worse, I accidently broke the right one off and had to seal it with a golf tee and plenty of clear silicon caulk. It was quite a trick with the tub full and water coming out, but I got it done. I wanted to do something I knew I could un-do if necessary and it's held up just fine.

But, if these are indeed flow switches, I would have to replace one or both and try to find out why I'm getting an error with them connected.

Whlie the following isn't the actual post I took advice from, it fits my error code problem:

"I got that error and was having a hell of a time with it. Called CalSpas and got zero help, other then giving me a number to a local dealer. Called the dealer and he was a great help and told me how to fix the problem in a flash. The SF safety system is useless and only required in California. This is what you have to do. If you look at your pump(s) you will see a blue cover over a switch on the pipe by the pump(s). Follow the wire(s) into the control box...make sure power is off! Unplug the connector the wires are connected to. Problem fixed...error gone! Now look at those blue covers and see if one of them is leaking. If one of them is simply unscrew it from the pipe and plug the hole with a towel and duct tape. Buy a plug at the hardware store...either plastic, brass or cooper. DO NOT USE GALVANIZED and remove the duct tape and screw in the plug. Your tub will now be as good as new and you will never get locked out with a SF error again."

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If you are adjusting the pressure switch to let the heater come on easier, turn the knob counter-clockwise, when the button in the middle of the adjustment knob can pop up and depress the micro switch above it, the heater should come on.

The diaphragm in the pressure switch is subject to changing in flexibility with exposure to caustic chemicals, so it can deteriorate over time, and if it will not adjust, replace it.

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  • 1 year later...

Sadly, I never did solve this particular problem and have had the spa run-but-never-heat for Winter 2012 and just drained it for Winter 2013. Unfortunately, some water managed to get in and I didn't discover until far too late that the cover was broken. It re-froze (ah, Michigan) and I have some leaks... well, somewhere. I tried looking for them manually but I didn't want to tear the foam out. I tried some goop that runs through the system and seals small holes. That worked, but not for long. The slightest pressure or just warmer water ended that. So, even though I bought a nice new cover, it remains unusable unless I'm willing to top off the last foot or two every few weeks. Of course, running it over the winter is just not going to happen until I can find and fix the leaks. All I know for certain is it is not around the pump area and it only leaks/drains to a certain point and stops (just below the level of about 6 jets). I'll try to keep it from being damaged further this winter and it'll be a project for me next spring.

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