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Help troubleshoot blinking red light on HotSpring Landmark


mrcotton73
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Hi folks

Apologies for the *long* post - but could use some help.  I have been troubleshooting a blinking red-light problem with my Hotspring Landmark (2000 year model). I have always had a problem after refilling this spa (everytime after a refill if I flipped both breakers on - the blinking red light would turn-on) - the way I would resolve this is by turning the 20A breaker on, then running jets for at least 30 mins to an hour and then turning the 30A breaker on. Sometimes it would take 2 - 3 times of doing this - but it usually worked.

Then I refilled last month and noticed one of my jet-pumps leaking - I had a local service person come take it out - had to drain the freshly filled water :( and replace the wet seal and impeller on it. When he came back to re-install it, he accidentally broke the little black nozzle off the right-angle elbow attached to the circulation pump (that connects to the bleeder hose) - so he replaced the elbow and put a brass barbed fitting in it to connect to the hose.

After this I refilled the tub and had my blinking light problem again - and noticed that I wasn't seeing too many bubbles through the bottom drain (they have been low in general) - so did the following troubleshooting:

1) removed the filter and tried - didn't work

2) removed the venturi injector tubing from ozonator check valve -- water comes out of this unless I started Jet-pump-1 at which point the water gets sucked back into the injector.. 

3) removed the intake hose from the circulation pump and connected it back in to remove any airlock -- started the jets and 10 minutes later started the 30A breaker - did not trip this time.. However few hours later the red-light was flashing again..

4) This time I took out the circulation pump (thinking it might have scale deposits inside or something broken) - plugged the hoses with caps so I didn't have to drain and dismantled the pump wet-end (its a silentflo 5000) - pump looked great - no scale / no deposits / no broken parts.. I took it to my local store and the tech there did a dry test and said the circ-pump looked ok to him.

5) Since I had the circ. pump removed - I decided to check the watakins no-fault heater for clogs too, so I removed it; opened the end caps and it's clean as well; resistance was ~9 ohms.

6) So put everything back together - turned on the the 20A breaker and got a good-stream of bubbles initially but they trickled back to a low stream very quickly after that. This time around after disconnecting the injector tubing at the ozone check valve, water still leaked out even after turning on the jet pump - so something was different than before.

7) Turned on the 30A breaker - didn't get the blinking light - left it running -- of course few hours later the blinking red light was back!! 

So I am still thinking it's my circ. pump - just ordered a new Laing E5 repalcement - but in the meantime - I am wondering if something else is going on..  Any suggestions from anyone?

Thanks

mrcotton73..

 

 

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Blinking red light is a hi limit sensor trip.  It's caused when the temperature in the heater is above 118 degrees.  When the problem occurs, put your hand (carefully) on the heater tubes.  is it overheated?  If so, the issue is probably caused by bad flow.  If it's not hot, then the sensor itself is probably bad. 

If it's bad flow you're dealing with,  make sure you remove the filter that's connected to the circulation pump.  Leave it off and let the thing run until it fails, or until you're sure you found the problem.   Sometimes filters are clogged with minerals from water and look clean.  Sometimes filters are clogged with shampoo, conditioner and sunscreen and look clean but have a scummy film on them.

The bubbles from the lower drain are coming from the ozonator plumbing.  While they are an indicator of how much flow is in the lines, it's very conceivable the air lines could be clogged, but that wouldn't prevent the circ pump from doing it's job.  In other words, if you have bubbles, it's a sign the circ pump's working.  But if you don't have bubbles, it's not necessarily a sign that there's a problem with the circ pump.  Put your hand on the circ pump and feel if it's turned on.  Depending upon the age of the 3/4" tubing, you may be able to see water moving in the circulation hoses.

When you tried to bleed the circ pump by removing the intake hose, you may not have gotten the bubble out, depending upon what angle the circ pump is mounted at.  At minimum, you should also try bleeding the discharge side of the pump.  The air will migrate to the highest point which may not have been at the intake.

You said that when you removed the venturi tubing from the check valve water came out of it.  That means that either the check valve was put in backwards or it failed.  The purpose of the check vale is to NOT have water come out of it when the circ pump is not turned on.  If the valve was put in backwards when your tech fixed the broken elbow, that might explain the less amount of bubbles.  But that should not affect the water flow from the circ pump.

Your comments about having to run the spa without the heater for 30 minutes after refilling suggest that you're getting an airlock.  Are you putting your hose into the circulation pump filter?  That will push air out of the lines.  Filling by throwing your hose into the footwell of the tub will push air from that foot drain into the circ pump.

I have seen Laing pumps fail intermittently, but that's really a long shot.

As to your jet pump, I would never replace the impeller and seal on an 18 year old Hotsprings pump.   The pump is behind the spa pack, right?  That sounds like a lot of labor.  True, he saved you the cost of a new pump, but you've still got an 18 year old wet end and an 18 year old motor that is going to need just as much labor to remove and replace if they go.  If the motor's 18 years old, it's at its end of life.   That's my two cents anyway.

Dave

 

 

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Dan 

Thanks for the suggestions. I have ordered new thermistors in case that is the issue. 

I haven't tried letting the heater run with the filter removed - so will try that and see if it trips. 

Quote

The bubbles from the lower drain are coming from the ozonator plumbing.  While they are an indicator of how much flow is in the lines, it's very conceivable the air lines could be clogged, but that wouldn't prevent the circ pump from doing it's job.  In other words, if you have bubbles, it's a sign the circ pump's working.  But if you don't have bubbles, it's not necessarily a sign that there's a problem with the circ pump.  Put your hand on the circ pump and feel if it's turned on.  Depending upon the age of the 3/4" tubing, you may be able to see water moving in the circulation hoses.

The circulation pump does seem to be running - I do see water circulating out of the bottom drain (like waves in the water) - just low or very little bubbles. I feel the 3/4" tubes and I do feel water moving in them. Can't see the water though - they are all yellowed out. It was the low bubbles that led me to order the new circ. pump. If the hi-limit thermistor is to blame then it will be a cheaper fix.

 

3 hours ago, Jersey Hot Tub Repair said:

You said that when you removed the venturi tubing from the check valve water came out of it.  That means that either the check valve was put in backwards or it failed.  The purpose of the check vale is to NOT have water come out of it when the circ pump is not turned on.  If the valve was put in backwards when your tech fixed the broken elbow, that might explain the less amount of bubbles.  But that should not affect the water flow from the circ pump.

Sorry - wasn't clear on this. The check valve isn't leaking. I disconnected the tube connected to the T of the injector from the check valve - if the jet-pump is off then water leaks out of this tube (still connected to the injector). Turning on the jet-pump while leaving the check-valve unconnected pulls the water back into the injector. This last time when I put the circ-pump back in - this is not happening (even with the jet pump on, water still leaks out of the tube when disconnected from the check-valve and doesn't get sucked back in).

I haven't been able to check if the heater actually overheated since it has tripped a few hours after turning on (usually in the middle of the night) - but will try with the filter removed tonight and see if it still trips.

Thanks

Sam.

 

 

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Update -- it was the circulation pump!   Changed it out last night - and the hot-tub has not tripped -- and I have the Green ready light !!  Will see if this holds but so far so good.  The difference in bubbles between the new pump and the old is night and day -- I have a steady, strong stream of bubbles now.

I did change out the thermistors earlier to brand new ones - still keeping the old pump; hot tub tripped after about an hour after I switched it on. So I guess I didn't need new thermistors - but they were $40 bucks for the pair - so now they are all new!

Thanks for the help.

Sam

 

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