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I picked up a free 2006 Dream Maker X5H.  I was told that everything worked except it did not make bubbles.  I was not sure exactly what that meant but just wanted a cheap spa to put next to an above ground pool for teenagers to use.  I have an old Hot Springs Vanguard spa so I am not new to the hot tub world but this one is different than any I have had before.  I have never seen one where the main pump heats the water and you directly controlled the air mix to the jets.  When we got it home, I leveled it and filled it up for testing.  The pumped kicked on and everything seemed ok.  Water was heating up slowly and the jets were working - except for 3(more on that later).  The next day, the tub was at 104 and the pump was off so I assumed all was well.  I turned on the jets and all seemed ok but the it appeared to be pumping at a lower speed.  Then after a minute or so, the pump stopped but the light was still on.  I did notice that the pump was extremely hot to the touch.

Now the particulars:

Tub had all new jets put in by the previous owner.  He also ran new flexspa, replaced the manifold and the venturi valves.  He said he decided to not hook up the three jets farthest from the pump since flexspa was expensive.  I have never ran new tubing in a tub but it looks like he cut the old flexspa and then ran new lines to all of the jets except for 3.  Those he capped off at the jet.  The venturi valves were replaced and the vinyl lines appear to be going to the jets.  I can see the 2 closest to the pump.  When you turn them it does nothing.  The previous owner said it would kill the pump when you turned on the bubbles.  

Previous owner also replaced the pump.  I have the old pump but don't know if it went bad or not.  New pump is a BN25V1.  Looks similar to those being sold on Ebay for Dream Maker pump replacements.  While it was heating up, it seemed to be doing great.  Just after it has been continuously plugged, the problem starts.

I don't know if the pump is kicking itself off or if there may be something wrong elsewhere?  It will cycle back on after a few minutes and run for maybe a minute and kick off again.  I have to unplug it or put in StandBy mode to stop it from doing this.

Sorry for the long post.  Hoping for a DIY fix or should I start over?


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3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

free 2006 Dream Maker X5H.

No such thing as a free spa.

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

I leveled it


3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

to be pumping at a lower speed.  Then after a minute or so, the pump stopped but the light was still on.  I did notice that the pump was extremely hot to the touch.

Sounds like a bad pump or electrical issue.

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

all new jets put in by the previous owner.


3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

the manifold and the venturi valves.

I assume you mean the air controls?

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

previous owner said it would kill the pump when you turned on the bubbles.  

Again, assume you mean air controls?

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

Previous owner also replaced the pump.

Could be the wrong voltage or hp pump. Have you checked?

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

after it has been continuously plugged, the problem starts.

Please explain what this means.

For starters, check the hp and voltage of the pump and compare with the old. Then check that the board is switching it on and off as it should. A stuck low speed relay will run constantly in low and trip breakers, blow fuses, and burn up motors in high.

Post pics of circuit board, wiring diagram, and equipment area.

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8RwG5Au.jpgwe73kBp.jpg7G7LR2j.jpgTrue on the free.  I like projects but they don't always turn out.

When I brought the tub home, I propped one end up on a 2x6 and used a level to make sure I level on all sides.  Filled it up by inserting the hose into the filter tube and ran the jets once I was above all of them with the water level.  It ran for a few hours and I saw the temp on the rise so I shut it down and drained it.  I moved the spa to a level spot next to the pool that was level gravel on top of flat ground(sod removed).  Once in place, the tub was again leveled on all sides.  I then refilled it again via the filter tube.  This is a 110v spa so once it was full, I plugged it in.  The pump came on and everything sounded and looked good.

I thought the air controls were called Venturis - sorry about that.  There are 2 air control valves near the Balboa control board.    I was surprised by the jet replacement as I have had spas before that were over 20+ years old and never replace standard jets but these are adjustable at the jet so I moved on.  The full re-replumbing was an even bigger question mark but they did assure me it ran, did not leak, and heated up.  I took the gamble since it was free. 

Both pumps are 1 HP, 115v, 60 hz.  The new one is physically bigger and the impeller housing looks the same other than color.

As for the length of time being plugged in being a factor, it appears that may not be the case.  The pump ran fine during the heat up process.  It ran for around 15 hrs and I checked on it at night and in the morning.  Once it stopped due to being at temp, I turned the jets on and off a few times.  I then turned on the jets, and rotated one of the air valves - pump kicked off and the jets button would not turn off.  I unplugged it and did some research.  I went back out a few hrs later, pulled the board box out, tightened the ground wire on the pump as it was not tight.  Since the temp had dropped, the pump kicked on once I plugged it back in and then started heating up again.  I went out before bed, heating had stopped and turned the jets on for about a minute.  Then turned them off and on a few more times.  All appeared good.  Woke up the next morning, tub was still hot but the pump was running slower and only stays for 40-50 seconds.  

I do hear a click when I plug it in, when I turn the pump on or off via the control board but not when the pump stops and the board light is left on.  If I put it in standby mode, the pump light goes off and I hear the click.

Appreciate any advice.  Thanks



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1 hour ago, Ellisz said:

propped one end up on a 2x6

This will destroy your spa. Most of the weight falls in the footwell, and it is here that you must support. Support an edge but not the center and you will crack the tub.

If the pump shuts off but the indicator is still on it is almost certainly a pump issue. On the side of the pump motor will be a sticker listing the electrical specifications of the motor. Find volts and amps or fla (short for full load amps). If these are not the same let me know what they are.

The physical size of a pump wet end is not important, it is the size of the impeller (blades) inside that matters, but the wrong size impeller can cause motor overheat, especially in high speed.

But with extensive plumbing work and parts replacement there could be any number of issues that we could never hope to guess from here.

If I had to guess I'd say this spa was frozen and repaired by an amateur using second hand parts wherever possible.

Your pics are unavailable to me, likely because I am using my phone.

A venturi is a non-moving part that creates a vacuum on one line when water is forced through the venturi. It is comprised essentially of a cone shaped restriction that opens into a large void with the suction line attached. As the high pressure water flows through the restriction then encounters open space it causes a vacuum in the expansion chamber, much like an airplane wing creates lift, but the wing is inside a tube if that makes sense. The valve that you turn to control the air is just a valve on that vacuum line. The venturi is actually built in to the jet barrel.

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Thanks for the additional response.  The 2x6 was used for testing only.  Not ideal but I did not want to put it in place if it did not work.  It is now on a flat level surface.

It may have been frozen and repaired.  I think my Hot springs tub does not have the parts as visible but when I looked at this one, the manifold was a bit disturbing.  If you see the pic, I assume you will agree. 

When it was running and heating up, I did not see any leaks.  There is not as much insulation in this one due to the re-plumb.  I had hoped to drain it each winter when I winterize the pool.  Not sure what I will do at this point.  Adding a pump is doable but might be better to get something else.

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I am going to drain and pull the pump.  Is there a way to check anything on it?  I have seen some Dream Maker pump replacements (Gecko Aquaflo) with the same specs that are not too expensive.  How do you know if an impeller is the wrong type?  Is putting $250 in this tub crazy?  Any inexpensive pumps that I should look for? It will need a new cover too. 

Old Pump


Pump that is in there now


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I see several issues that will play a part.

First, your old pump draws 9 amps, your new pump draws 11.9. That is a 33% increase on the system. That alone is enough to overheat a pump.

And, second, you also have a hack-job plumbing repair. They used an inside fitting to connect the manifold to the elbow/ union (looks like a pipe extender to me) which reduces the inside diameter of the pipe, thereby increasing head (backpressure) on the pump. Then, they dropped a 90* elbow off of each manifold port, making it worse.

Also, as if that wasn't enough, there is on of those ridiculous "friction heater" doohickeys on the suction side of the pump (red) that just overwork the pump to produce heat.

If any of those jet a is off it will make matters even worse.

The easy fix is to try a 3/4hp pump. But I'd be doing some plumbing if it were me.

As for it shutting off when you turn the air control, I am stumped. I have to assume that was a fluke.

@CanadianSpaTech, your thoughts?

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I have never done any spa plumbing but when I saw that manifold, I did have some thoughts of running.  I was there with a trailer and it was free, so I gambled.  The pump looks brand new to me, if that is worth anything.  I could try to replace the manifold correctly and see where that goes.  Either way a drain and some weekend work is needed.  No hot tub for the kids anytime soon.  I always say my wife's ideas are usually cause work for me.

If anything, maybe that picture of the plumbing made you chuckle.  Appreciate the info and you told me a lot about spa plumbing I did not know.

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