Jump to content

Dream Maker Spa help


Ellisz
 Share

Recommended Posts

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?

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

How?

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.

Uh-oh.

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.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

2itg2ff.jpg  

Pump that is in there now

TEjJnD5.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I am back with some new results - I hope.  

I decided to replace the manifold.  I removed all of the 90's and used braided vinyl hose to connect the manifold and 1/2" flex spa. I filled the spa and plugged in.  Pump kicked on for about 30 seconds and then went off.  The panel is still lit, temp is adjustable and light button works.  Jet button is lit but will not turn off.  After unplugging and letting it sit for awhile, I plugged it back in.  I was checking the pump wires out of the board box and they were getting really hot as the pump was running.  afterwards, I loosened the fitting on the pump intake to make sure I had water and all looked good.

Any  suggestions on next step?  Can I make the leap and say it is the something on board?  Not sure how to go about testing relays, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

Pump kicked on for about 30 seconds and then went off. 

Sounds like the pump motor thermal cutout. Is the pump really loud, buzzing or humming, getting hot?

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

button is lit but will not turn off. 

Normal if trying to heat.

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

checking the pump wires out of the board box and they were getting really hot 

Could be a pump, wiring, or board issue.

3 hours ago, Ellisz said:

 something on board? 

If it is the board then power will be interrupted or fluctuate at the connection. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

6 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

Sounds like the pump motor thermal cutout. Is the pump really loud, buzzing or humming, getting hot?

Pump is pretty quiet.  It sounds like it is on a lower speed.  Could be considered a hum, I suppose.  The pump motor itself starts to get warm but the wires coming out of the board are a lot hotter than the pump.

6 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

If it is the board then power will be interrupted or fluctuate at the connection. 

Should I test for voltage at the pump connection on the board?  I guess at this point, I need to know what to replace or fix next.  I did not plan to go this far but I am here now.  I am not opposed to replacing the pump or the board just not sure what makes logical sense at this point.  Is there anything logical at this point? :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I could say yes.  I pulled the pump and looked at the wiring and the connections looked clean.  Are there multiple ways to wire it?  It did run previously as it heated the tub up twice - once when I tested it and after I moved it into place.  Not sure what would have happened to change it.  To that end though, I know it ran to heat up but we never did anything else other than turn the jets on and off a few times. 

The previous owner said the jets would stop when he turned on the "bubbles".  Which based on what you told me before, I don't see how the air controls would have an impact on the pump.  Should the hoses connected to the air valves have water in them?  I did notice this while changing out the manifold.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Ellisz said:

there multiple ways to wire it? 

Maybe. There are often other connections on the terminal board that could be accidentally connected to. 

8 hours ago, Ellisz said:

It did run previously as it heated the tub up twice -

I didn't re-read the whole thread, just skimmed over it. 

8 hours ago, Ellisz said:

Should the hoses connected to the air valves have water in them? 

They can when the jets are off, and will stay full if the air control is closed. This is usually a failed check valve flap in the air control. Other issues can pressurize the air lines, but would likely leak water out of the air intake.

Check voltage at the board going to the pump and see if it is shutting off or still on when the pump stops.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

Check voltage at the board going to the pump and see if it is shutting off or still on when the pump stops.

I checked the wiring coming into the box and based on the wiring diagram, the pump is wired correct on the board.  When I pug it in, I can see 120V at the black relay connection and I also see 120V at the plug connection on the outside of the box where the pump plugs into the box.

When the pump stops, I see 120V at both of these spots as well.  After about 5-10 minutes, I can hear a click, which I appears to be the pump, and 120V is present on the pump connections.

One note - there are 3 relays with open spade terminals(that is what they look like).  The black wire of the pump goes to one of the open connections - per the diagram.  The other two relays are not being used but I get 120v on one of the open terminals on these as well.  Here is a pic.  Assume the open spade connections are normal.

Is there anything else on the board that would cause the pump thermal protection to kick on?  Or is this really pointing to a bad pump?  The pump ran before so I am assuming the wiring on the pump itself is correct but I can check that too.

we73kBp.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That seems to be the only direction left.

I see I can get a pump(no impeller) just like what is in there now cheaper than buying a full pump.  Should this be a consideration?  Or do I look for the actual pump that came with the tub?  Not sure it is worth $350 to put a new pump in but I am in this far.  Any pump recommendations?

Also, I had to replace the threaded pump fitting on the outlet and I did not replace the red (hot stick) fitting.  Is this an issue with heating?   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Ellisz said:

pump recommendations?

Match the amp draw of the original as nearly as possible. This means a lower hp, so it needs a different impeller as well. 

How mechanically inclined are you? You might pull that motor apart and check the centrifugal switch and start switch contacts in the back of the motor. It sounds like a stuck switch to me, though that can damage the motor coils as well.

2 hours ago, Ellisz said:

and I did not replace the red (hot stick) fitting.  Is this an issue with heating? 

Only if you believe that a plastic baffle magically produces heat from nothing, defying all the laws of physics in the process. If it increases heat at all (doubtful) it is because the increased head (backpressure) causes the pump to work harder and therefore get hotter. Not the best way to do things...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

Match the amp draw of the original as nearly as possible. This means a lower hp, so it needs a different impeller as well. 

How mechanically inclined are you? You might pull that motor apart and check the centrifugal switch and start switch contacts in the back of the motor. It sounds like a stuck switch to me, though that can damage the motor coils as well.

I do see where most 9 amp pumps are only 3/4 HP.  Probably not a big deal as this is just something for the kids to use by the pool.  Would the lower HP take it longer to heat up? 

As for my mechanical inclination, that may be up for debate :)    I am not opposed to taking stuff apart.  I assume this will be a "free Spa" listing in a few years when my kids stop using it anyway.

Thanks for pointing me in directions along the way through this journey!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...