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kheisler

Balboa spa circulation pump shuts down

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Hi,

I have a 2009 Clearwater spa with Balboa M7 controller... everything had been working fine.  After draining, cleaning, and refill, the spa starts up fine... goes through the priming process then turns on the heater and works just fine for some period of time sometimes a few minutes sometimes hours. Then the circulation pump just shuts down, the heater then overheats and gives an HH error message.

I've watched this process and the flow is just fine no drop in pump speed or flow... it just shuts off.  I can hear the relay shutting the pump off and the temperature display shows under the set temp then you can hear the heater boiling the water and the temperature display rises until it reaches the high temp limit and then it all shuts down (HH now on the display).

I tested the sensors, both A and B are exactly the same ohm value... could this be one of them intermittently failing?  That seems unlikely.    I've put it in 'test mode' via the dip switch and check the sensors and they give the same A & B values.  Could it be the control board?

Any help would be appreciated!

Kevin

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If you're positive that the relay is opening up and the pump is stopping, than the problem is in the circuit board.  Have you messed with the programming at all?  You mentioned circ pump, so I'm assuming you have a separate pump for the heater.  Have you possibly swapped the wire harnesses for pump 1 and the circ pump?

Since the problem started, has the hot tub reached the temperature you've got it programmed for?

Dave

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Hi Dave,

Thanks for the reply.  I've not messed around with the programming... there isn't much to change unless I change the mode that it's set to.  Currently it is in the 'Standard Mode' where the Circulation Pump (which is separate from the jet pumps) runs 24/7.  The heater only comes on as needed to maintain the set temperature.

The spa starts up just fine when power is turned on... goes through the priming stages perfect and the it will run for some period of time, sometimes a few hours sometimes less.

There is no error code given when the relay for the circulation pump shuts off... I hear it click, the pump stops, then the heater starts to overheat the water that is in it... the temp displayed rises until it hits the HH limit and then it all shuts down.

If I let it cool then hit the temp button it will restart the system and again work fine for some period of time until it goes through the above steps again.  It has reached the set temp but it still eventually shuts down.

It has worked fine for years and I just think the relay has had it or something else is messed up with the circuit board.

Your thoughts?

Thanks,

Kevin

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After you changed the dip switch settings, did you reset the persistent memory?  You need to power down, jumper across J43, then remove the jumper after going into the priming mode.

If you disconnect the heater, then turn on the spa again, will it run continuously or will it still shut off the circ pump after some random amount of time?  I would give that a try, just to see if heat is an issue for the pump.  Some pumps have a thermal overload that cause them to shut down if they get too hot.  (I know you said you hear the relay shut off the pump, but just figured I'd mention that before you go any buy a new circuit board.)  You could also stick your multimeter probes in the back of the circ pump connector on the circuit board to see if it's sending voltage to the pump, in which case it's the pump, not the board.

It could very well be the circuit board, but it would be a shame if you had a bad temp sensor and you replaced the circuit board instead.

Dave

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Hi Dave,

I do reset the memory... but I only changed the dip switches after this issue started, and then only to put it in test mode to see if there was anything additional I could see or info to get... there was nothing.

Disconnecting the heater... ok I could do that, but I've sat there for hours waiting and watching to see what was going on.  I did think of the overheated or clogged circulation pump but it ran fine the whole time... water coming out was a good steady stream warm but not hot (same flow with or without the filter).  There was no warning from the pump... no humming or whining... just the click from the circuit board and then no flow, then the heater boiling the water.

I did check the sensors, first thing, all good resistance readings and flipped them A to B, B to A, with no change in behavior.  If it was a sensor I would expect an error prior to the pump shutdown... and there isn't one.

I did hook up the circulation pump to an external power source and it ran for hours... that's what lead me to believe it was the circuit board shutting it down not the other way around.

I'll try the heater disconnect and let you know.

Kevin 

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Plus, I just thought of this... the circulation pump pulls from the filter/tub and pushes clean water through the heater and then the heated water flows into the tub.  So the heater would have no effect on the pump temp... only the temp of the water in the tub, and that's not seemed to be an issue... this happens at all temps cold fresh water all the way up to heated water to 103 degrees.

 

Kevin

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It sounds like you've trouble - shot it down to the circuit board.  Maybe you'll find that with the heater disconnected the circ pump runs non-stop like it's supposed to, although I doubt it since you already ran it independently of the tub.

 

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Hi Dave,

Well, I replaced the circuit board and it acts exactly the same... primes, heats and runs normal for hours and then the circulation pump just shuts down... heater stays on and boils the water in it till it hits the high temp limit then it all shuts down.

The only thing that has input to the circuit board, correct me if I'm wrong, is the 2 temp sensors.  The circulation pump does not have a thermal switch or pressure switch that I can see... its a 2009 spa and the info I have does not show any other inputs.  So now I'm thinking that it has to be the temp sensors.  I've tested them with an ohm meter and in test mode and they always come back as being ok.  Could it be one of them is intermittent?

Kevin

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Are you sure the "clicK" you hear before the pump turns off is from the circuit board and not the pump?  If the "click" is coming from the pump, not the circuit board, then I would look to the pump.

What kind of circ pump does your tub have?  Is it a 48 frame CMHP/CMVP pump, or is it a miniature Laing pump?  The 48 frame pumps have thermal overloads.  If the pump is too hot to touch, then it's the thermal overload in the pump turning it off, which would lead to overheating in the heater can.  A normal pump should be warm, but the temp would be around 120 degrees F.  I've had overheating pumps that were painful to touch that showed a surface temp of 160 degrees.

If the click is definitely from the circuit board, then a new set of temp sensors would be my next guess.  Make sure you replace them both.

Dave

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Hey Dave,

The click sounds like it is coming from the circuit board... sounds just like the other relays when they are turning on or off, but I'm not 100%.  When it does shut off I've not had my head under the spa... it's pretty random and can take hours for the pump to shut down.

I can't get to the circulation pump its on the wall side of the spa... I can see it and it's very small... I might be able to get a picture of it but it looks like a small Waterway pump, no topside capacitor, threaded 2" connections.

I have a remote thermal probe and I'll attempt to get a temp reading on the housing at time of shut down and let you know that that is... I'm leaning towards the sensors... easier to replace ;)

Kevin

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It is the Laing small pump... just like this one:

Laing_E14_Amp_M.png

It is reading 80 degrees with the air at 74 after 10min of operation and holding steady... I'll check it every 10min or so until it shuts down.

Kevin

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Well you were right... bummer.

After an hour I checked it and it was 120 degrees... and climbing.  I watch for awhile and pulled the filter but that made no difference... it was still going up at about 1 degree every couple of minutes.  I waited until it got close to it's max operating temp of 140 and it stopped.

It seems strange to me that it would work just fine and then start doing this... any ideas what causes it?  I'm figuring it's just the age of the pump but I would think it would just stop working not slowly overheat... that's the strange part to me.

Thanks for your help!

Kevin

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I have no idea what causes a pump to fail, but those little Laing pumps run 24 hrs a day  -  they have to get tired after a few years.  Usually they just outright fail.  Your situation is a good one for the books, I've never seen an intermittent failure with one of those.  When you first said the relay on the circuit board was clicking, that had us looking in the wrong direction.

For anyone following this thread, when you're looking at a 10 year old spa, it's often a good idea to replace the entire pack instead of a circuit board.  You get a new heater, new sensors and a new topside, and those are all nearing end of life when they're approaching 10 years.  If you add up the cost of all those parts, a retrofit pack is often a better value.

Dave

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Yep... there was still a "click" from the circuit board but it happened after the pump stopped.  Maybe a couple of seconds later.

This time I was there with my head in the spa watching the temp probe on the casing of the circ pump... sure enough when it reached it's max temp rating of 140 it stopped.  Maybe the click is from the relay shutting off from an over current draw or something else sensing that the pump had stopped working.

I'm going to drain it and then move it out from the wall so that I can get to the pump.  Then do a little investigation on it to make sure there isn't something in there causing the pump to have to work extra hard and overheat.  Then go from there.

Thanks again,

Kevin

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Hi,

Yes that did the trick... it was pretty easy to replace and has been working fine for several days now.

It's an XS series tub... got if for next to nothing and it's worked great for several years with no issues.

Kevin

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Just found this thread. I am having the same issue with my Jacuzzi model       J-365 with a Laing pump. One difference is that mine will turn off the heater when the pump stops. This confirms my suspicion. Going to order a new one now. Thanks.

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On 11/16/2017 at 8:46 PM, kheisler said:

Hi,

Yes that did the trick... it was pretty easy to replace and has been working fine for several days now.

It's an XS series tub... got if for next to nothing and it's worked great for several years with no issues.

Kevin

What "did the trick"? Replacing temp sensors or whole pack or other?  I bought a used Endless Pool spa, just got the power to it on Friday, and the E14 Laing pump keeps shutting down much like you described sometimes after a few minutes, sometimes longer. My research indicates it could be one of about 17 things. Not sure EP offers a retrofit pack and even if they did, they'll charge me $500 to transfer ownership to me. Would be good to isolate root cause and fix that at this point if I can. TIA.

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1 hour ago, Ldp said:

What "did the trick"? Replacing temp sensors or whole pack or other?  I bought a used Endless Pool spa, just got the power to it on Friday, and the E14 Laing pump keeps shutting down much like you described sometimes after a few minutes, sometimes longer. My research indicates it could be one of about 17 things. Not sure EP offers a retrofit pack and even if they did, they'll charge me $500 to transfer ownership to me. Would be good to isolate root cause and fix that at this point if I can. TIA.

Start a new post describing your issue

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I was looking for an answer to what kheisler did to solve his/her problem, which a new post wouldn't answer.  I may have been too verbose in my question; was just making a comparison to that original problem. I'm still troubleshooting but may come back for help at a later time.  Thanks. 

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