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Cal spa heater stopped working


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This hot tub sat for about a year, When I first plugged it in it worked and heated up well. The pump is two speed and now only turns on when the jets are activated and it won't heat or circulate on low speed. I had a spa place quote me $409 for a new heater and they believe that's the issue. Does anyone know of any cheaper alternatives? I can do the work myself I'm just not sure what heater I should be looking for.

 

Thanks!

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The "heater" in that relic is actually the control pack too, and is so old that they probably don't have anyone who can fix it. There aren't many of us old-timers left that can work on these. 

What exactly are they selling you? I'd recommend a new control system for it as well, just for the extra safety innovations that digital systems have. 

If you want to fix that one you'll need to open up that box and troubleshoot to find the issue (air switch, thermostat, relay, etc.). If you are not familiar with electrical troubleshooting you might want to just replace the controls.

 

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On 11/24/2021 at 11:35 AM, SteveR88 said:

This hot tub sat for about a year, When I first plugged it in it worked and heated up well. The pump is two speed and now only turns on when the jets are activated and it won't heat or circulate on low speed. I had a spa place quote me $409 for a new heater and they believe that's the issue. Does anyone know of any cheaper alternatives? I can do the work myself I'm just not sure what heater I should be looking for.

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Steve - you have a 1993 CalSpa, so yours is only 5 years newer than my own 1988 !!!

That said, some of your components looks similar to mine.  Mine (240 VAC) uses a simple 5500 watt water heater heating element, less than $20 at Ace Hardware or Home Depot.  Your stainless steel heater manifold looks relatively similar to mine, so I think you have to drain the spa and remove that white control box to access.  You can test the element itself for open condition or grounded-out condition with an inexpensive multimeter in ohms setting.  And I've had to clean/adjust the flow switch on my own spa, as too low of flow inhibits voltage getting to the heating element.

So $409 for a new heater - especially if it's just a heating element replacement - sounds very high.  I now on my own 1988 I can replace my element in less than 15 minutes.

I see yours has the same stoooopid filter canister that my 1988 had, had significant leak issues with that.  A clogged filter can impede the flow (see flow switch comment above).

If anything like my 198, the owner's manual for the 1993 will only be of minor help to you.

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