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Does this pump heat the water?

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I just got a used "plug-n-play" tub. It uses Balboa components. I do not see a heater anywhere and the board does not have an output for one. I assume the pump doubles as a heater, but looking at it I don't understand how it works? The impeller housing is either plastic or fiberglass, no evidence of wires leading to a heating element. The motor itself gets pretty warm. Does it just transfer heat though the shaft and impeller? That doesn't seem like it would work good or be efficient. I filled it up today and just ran it for 2 hours to run some cleaner through the tubing, then drained. During that time it showed a 2 degree Fahrenheit increase. 😕

Here's a link to the pump I have, and attached a few actual photos.





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Sorry I would have to say you are not going to be able to "upgrade" to a heater set up for under $500. It would require a different spa pack/topside and you would have to do a lot of plumbing changes. Space to do all this inside that cabinet is so limited I doubt you could get it all to fit. 

As for running it the way it is I suggest you fill it with hot water when filling if possible to shorten the heat up time. Filling using cold water can take up to 36 + hours to get up to temp. I would suggest packing the inside of the spa with ""rockwool" insulation to try and retain as much heat as possible. None around the pump as it needs to breath. It is likely to do that you would have to cut openings in the bottom to get it in there and then patch the openings you created. Turn off any air injection when you are not using the spa as it takes cooler air from inside the cabinet to inject into the stream of water and if left on when not in use it will have a cooling effect.

It might be possible to change out the pump to one that uses a heat jacket. but you would need to find one that is a center discharge wet end like you currently have. The first one posted below is side discharge and for example only: Photos 2 and 3 might work together and you would need to buy fittings to go into the face of the wet end for the 2- 3/8" lines to connect to. Even with this set up heat recovery is not great but slightly better than "friction"  

Hydro Thermix Hot Tub Bathtub Pumps | eBay StoresHeat Recovery Jacket Hydrothermix 53S Thermal Wrap For PumpAmazon.com : Waterway Plastics 3410310-15 3/4 Horsepower 115 Volts 1-Speed  Spa Pump 1 2 Inch Center Discharge : Patio, Lawn & Garden

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Thanks for taking the time to respond/help. Looks like I can install a new pump and heater spa pack for $650 after taxes and some fittings. I believe I have the room to install it on the suction side. This tub has molded in steps which provides space underneath (see photos). I only paid $500 for this tub which was purchased new May 2020 for $3000. So a total investment of $1150 wouldn't be too bad. This particular spa controller uses the exact same top panel I already have, so I wouldn't have to swap that out (would end up with new spare). The replacement pump will be a 2 speed, heat only on low speed. My question... Would this be a smart investment? It still is only a 110v setup with the limitations of only heating on low speed with 1.4kw heat. I would still have the same temp drop during use. I do like that the pump can run at a lower speed while heating, because the spa is in our attached garage (less noise). Think there would be any energy consumption difference?

We used an inflatable spa last year, so we're used to heat limitations. I'd be lying if I said we weren't hoping for a little better performance out of this plug-n-play model though.

Links to the parts I'm referencing to (if not allowed let me know)... 





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Ok more room there than I thought. Any way you can add 240V then all your problems are solved

4 hours ago, slick-rides said:

Would this be a smart investment?

You won't loose money on it I'm sure you could get your investment back if you wanted out...or upgrade. Interesting spa I have not seen one before

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If you will be redoing plumbing anyway I would add in gate valves. One before the pack and one after the pump so that if you ever need to work on it in the future you don't have to loose your hot water and start over.

What size is the plumbing? To me it looks like 2" and the pump you referenced is 1.5". Also the pack has 2 options for 1.5 and 2". Make sure it's all going to fit together with the plumbing you currently have in the spa. 

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