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Balboa VS pump doesn’t run when heater is on


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I have a TuffSpa that is 5 years old. It was ran low on water in Feb, and the seal started leaking. So, I pulled it out and took the motor and pump to a pool repair place. They replaced the seal, and said the solenoid was bad, so they replaced it too. Total cost was $30. 
 

i installed the pump and replaced my ozone generator, which quit a couple years ago. After I hooked it up, I got a sensor error, so I replaced the hi temp sensors, and that error is gone. 
 

So now, when I plug in the hot tub, the pump comes on and cycles and runs ‘normally’. However, when the pump motor is not on, and the heater comes on, the pump does not come on. I can hear a click from the VS control box, but no pump. After a minute out two, I get a low flow error, and if I don’t turn it off, it eventually becomes an overheat error after a couple attempts at cycling on. However, I can turn the pump on both high and low with no issues. 
 

Any suggestions on a solution?

thx. 

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I’ away from my house but will have my son photograph and post. I don’t get why it would be something like that though, I haven’t touched anything other than unplugging the ozone generator and plugging the new one in and it worked fine for years. 

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Requested pics. Thanks for helping.  A bit more info  this is a 110v unit with one pump.  The spa place told me the starter solenoid was undersized, because they said it wouldn’t start for them on the bench so they replaced it. Any chance it could be tied to that?

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If you mean capacitor, then yes, it could prevent it from starting in low, but then run in low after it starts in high. But it will usually hum or buzz while trying to start in low. 

23 hours ago, BillQ46 said:

pump comes on and cycles and runs ‘normally

This is why I assumed a dipswitch issue.

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34 minutes ago, RDspaguy said:

If you mean capacitor, then yes, it could prevent it from starting in low, but then run in low after it starts in high. But it will usually hum or buzz while trying to start in low. 

This is why I assumed a dipswitch issue.

Thx. So, to ensure clarity. My spa was 67 degrees.  If the spa has power, but isn’t running, I can turn turn the spa jets on, and they seem to function fine. However, if the spa starts the heat cycle while the jets are not on, I can hear a faint click noise but the spa pump motor doesn’t turn on. 
 

so, I think I see what your saying, because I had noticed the motor didn’t start in low, just high, but once it’s running, I can switch it to low and it will switch to low.  Hadn’t really thought about it until your comment above.  With that in mind, seems I need to take it back to the spa place and have them fix it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/13/2021 at 8:01 PM, RDspaguy said:

If you mean capacitor, then yes, it could prevent it from starting in low, but then run in low after it starts in high. But it will usually hum or buzz while trying to start in low. 

This is why I assumed a dipswitch issue.

So I have been tinkering with this since I have been home. What I have discovered:

1. Pump cycles off and on periodically on its own. 
2. Always flashes the ‘LF’ message afterward. 
3. I can start the pump and it works fine, ie, it starts in low on the first press and kicks to high with the second press of the jets button. 
3.  I can hear something ‘click’ down in the board when I have cleared the LF error, but the motor doesn’t turn on. The motor also is not having any power sent to it when this happens.  This is when the LF error code flashes a minute or so later. 
 

thoughts?

Thanks!

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It should cycle on and off on it's own for heating and filtration. I assume you mean something else? 

If it has power when it shuts off it is the pump overheating and tripping it's thermal cutout. This will reset itself once it cools.

If the power is turning off at the board then it is a board issue.

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Updating one more time, I’m pretty sure it’s the run capacitor. After a bunch more testing, I realized I had made a mistake when testing before and was not getting reliable info. 
 

so tonight, I got more aggressive in how I was inserting my volt meter probes into the motor connector on the motherboard.  I also found this motherboard online and learned key things to look for:

When LOW is active, the ozone generator should be on and the heater should cycle on. when HIGH is active, neither should be receiving power  

After a lot of on and off and cycling, my findings:

1. If on HIGH, the pump runs fine and shuts off after 15 min as it should. No power to heater or ozone. 
 

2. on LOW, the ozone generator comes on and heater cycles on and off. However, the motor comes on for maybe 30 seconds, and shuts off, it also feels really warm for running such a short time. The motherboard is still sending power to the motor, and the ozone generator continues to run. As well, the heating element stays powered for a very short time until it shuts off due to no water flow. 
 

After a few minutes, the motor kicks back on low and the cycle repeats. 
 

so, that leads me to the run capacitor, which the shop that replaced my seal also replaced, saying it was undersized and the motor wouldn’t start on the bench. But, the start capacitor is OEM, so what they claim doesn’t sound right to me. I don’t know what run capacitor to buy because Balboa won’t talk to me since I’m not an authorized repair place. 
 

help? Pics of my motor info and current capacitors are attached. 

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6 hours ago, cranbiz said:

What I’m unclear on. My run capacitor has 2 wires connected to it, the run capacitor is set up for 3 wires. How would I connect this?

thx. 

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On the back end of the motor shaft just in front of the rear plate and bearing or attached to the end of the shaft, depending on brand/year, is a centrifugal switch. This is a spring-loaded switch that spins to operate and physically actuates the start switch,, which switches voltage from the start coil to the run coil once the motor is turning. These can stick, which will overheat the motor in no time. Since it spins faster in high this could be overcoming the malfunction and letting it work in high speed. It may also cause it to work fine in low after switching down from high with no chance to stop.

While a bad start cap can still start in high, it would not start at all in low.

In my experience, a bad run cap will affect high speed. And, frankly, I can't tell you the last time I replaced a run cap.

I would get to the centrifugal switch and start switch and look for anything wonky, operate it by hand, squirt a little WD40 in there, etc.

Post a picture of the back of the motor with cover removed.

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22 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

On the back end of the motor shaft just in front of the rear plate and bearing or attached to the end of the shaft, depending on brand/year, is a centrifugal switch. This is a spring-loaded switch that spins to operate and physically actuates the start switch,, which switches voltage from the start coil to the run coil once the motor is turning. These can stick, which will overheat the motor in no time. Since it spins faster in high this could be overcoming the malfunction and letting it work in high speed. It may also cause it to work fine in low after switching down from high with no chance to stop.

While a bad start cap can still start in high, it would not start at all in low.

In my experience, a bad run cap will affect high speed. And, frankly, I can't tell you the last time I replaced a run cap.

I would get to the centrifugal switch and start switch and look for anything wonky, operate it by hand, squirt a little WD40 in there, etc.

Post a picture of the back of the motor with cover removed.

Will this work? Took it when i removed the motor to be fixed.  But it doesn’t have everything. One more thing... it always starts in low, then I switch it to high. I can switch back to low and it runs for that 30 sec or so before it shuts off, if I hit the pump button, the motor will start in high. I would give anything for them to have just left the damn thing alone!B2B329F3-DE17-4471-86AC-55732E2B8462.thumb.jpeg.b54042b075c80b977bffbf66946bbfe8.jpeg

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Easy. Yours is the end mounted centrifugal switch. The "v" shaped plastic and copper piece is the start switch, the spring loaded doohickey under it is the centrifugal switch. Operate it manually a few times and see how it works. It should push down easily. The start switch is held in by a single screw and is easily removed. You will then see the centrifugal switch on the end of the motor shaft. Check that the springs are both attached correctly and that the switch is centered on the shaft.

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On 5/5/2021 at 9:59 AM, RDspaguy said:

Easy. Yours is the end mounted centrifugal switch. The "v" shaped plastic and copper piece is the start switch, the spring loaded doohickey under it is the centrifugal switch. Operate it manually a few times and see how it works. It should push down easily. The start switch is held in by a single screw and is easily removed. You will then see the centrifugal switch on the end of the motor shaft. Check that the springs are both attached correctly and that the switch is centered on the shaft.

I took it apart, and everything looks good and moves easily. 
 

But I had a thought. It took the spa place multiple tries and 4 weeks to find the ‘right’ seal. Is it possible they put in a seal that is too tight on the shaft, and makes the pump motor overheat when running in low????

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