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Tiger River Spa Bengal - Heater not working

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Hi there! We recently bought a house that came with a 14-year-old Tiger River Spa Bengal that appeared to be in excellent condition. It was set to 97 and the system panel showed "READY". And putting my hand in the water, the water did feel heated.

I never had a hot tub before so I went to a local Hot Springs Spas dealer and they gave me a great run down of what I had to do. First step was draining and refilling. I shut down the power and drained it and removed the filter etc. I refilled the tub through the filter compartment. Once that was done, I put the filter back in and fired up the power. Control panel, jets, light came on fine but the heater didn't seem to kick in. The water remained at 78 even after hours of waiting.

So I start googling. I tried removing the filter. I rebooted a few times. I removed the panelling and checked under the hood. There was a "Heater Reset Switch". I punched it and I did feel a click. I thought I figured it out but alas, the heater still wouldn't kick in. The switch didn't trip, though. I'm unable to reset it again at this point. 

Anyway, I opened up the box containing the board. Something called a "D9" is blinking RED. A "D10" is solid green. "LIM OK" is solid green. And "HTR ON" is solid red. I kinda assume that that guy means "heater on" and should be solid green... 

I took some photos: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0gGVfZ2vG3CaDy

I have a service guy come on Tuesday, but I'd love to fix it myself and cancel the appointment. The question is, can I fix it myself or does this require some advanced skills. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!!

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Was the Ready light on the control panel solid green?   That would mean the temperature is within 2 degrees or what it's set to be, which usually means the heater is working.

It could be you have air bubbles stuck in the heater.  Remove the output hose from the heater and allow some water to flow out, hopefully removing any air trapped inside.

Just because the water "felt heated" doesn't mean the heater was working.  Hot summer temperatures, combined with friction from the pumps, can get the water up to 90 degrees.  You really need a decent thermometer to know what you're actually dealing with.




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Thanks for the reply, Dave! The "READY" was displayed on the digital control panel as a solid, not blinking. The temperature was at 97. Do you think it could go up as high without the heater? I do have a thermometer floating in the spa. When I refilled it it was 78. It has since crawled up to 81 over several hot summer days.

Could you please point out to me what the "output hose from the heater" is? Do you mean the main drain valve? Or something directly connected to the no fault heater (can you see it in the pictures I posted)?

Thanks for the help!


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Are you saying your floating thermometer says 81 and the control panel says 97?  Assuming the floating thermometer is correct, your temp sensor is probably bad.

Water flow goes from a small pump Into the heater via a 3/4" hose.  On the other side of the heater, heated water goes out. That's the hose I meant when I said "output."

The green light on the control panel  (not the red one) comes on when the heater is within 2 degrees of it's set point.  If the light's on and the spa isn't the right temperature, I'd suspect the temp sensor as the issue.  If the light isn't on, the circuit board realizes it isn't heated up, and the heater or heater circuitry would be suspect.

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Sorry, I wasn't being clear. The Thermometer said 97 before draining and now it says 81. Before draining, the spa was set to 97 and READY appeared on the control panel display. After draining, it is still set to 97 but READY is not appearing - which makes sense since the water is only 81.

Thanks for the clarification about the heater output hose. I'll try that! 

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It was a defect heater relay board. This video would have shown me how to fix it. But I didn’t know what I was looking for. I had a service guy come and fix the issue. Cost a little over $300 (parts & labor). Found this video on YouTube afterwards that shows how to fix it. Next time... 


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