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Override 104' High Limit Hot Tub Is Luke Warm


J.J.
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The latest date in that article is around 1979/1980. I know that in 2007 we started getting notices that HS tubs - in fact all Watkins tubs - would no longer go over 104. They published the serial numbers which would begin the new standard in all the various lines of tubs.

Basically, the UL standard was changed, and it has been a real hassle since then.

I now like my tub at 104, and I hope my new one will be warm enough for me. I used to like 102, but as I age, and lose weight I find I like it warmer. My wife is thrilled.

B)

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I spoke to a rep at Balboa about it, and the law as far as they are concerned has not changed. He said there was some talk about change, but it was more to do with manual/mechanical thermostats (the older style came to mind, but I didnt ask specifically) and not the new calibrated digital. It wasnt so much that the manual style were going to be allowed to be set for a max but simply that they would not go over the 107 when set at max due to the +/- tolerances most have. As of last week, Balboa showed no signs of changing nor indicated that UL had changed the reqs with regards to 99% of the traffic here. Sorry all.

As most of the older style easily went over 107 in many cases anyway, this seems more of a tightening of regulations rather then a loosening.

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I know that in 2007 we started getting notices that HS tubs - in fact all Watkins tubs - would no longer go over 104. They published the serial numbers which would begin the new standard in all the various lines of tubs.

Basically, the UL standard was changed, and it has been a real hassle since then.

B)

I don't beleve is was a change persay, but more of a tighter enforcement of the "rules". I know they used to allow for a lose tolerance of +/- 4 degrees (meaning the 104 could be as high as 107) and I do remember they were wanting to tighten this up to no tolerance. With mechanical t-states they felt the +/- 4 was needed. Now that everything is electronic, they felt there was no more need for this extra 4 degrees.

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Now that everything is electronic, they felt there was no more need for this extra 4 degrees.

That would certainly make sense.

B)

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Here is my take:

104˚F is OK if you live in California or similar.

Once you get below 32˚F, you need to maintain a higher temperature in the spa water to maintain a comfortable water feel.

I live where it regularly gets down to minus 30. (and yes I sit in the spa at this temp)

I enjoy 101 - 102˚ in the summer.

I enjoy 105˚ in the middle of winter.

And, yes, the water temp plunges the instant the cover is removed.

UL take note. How about 107˚ for a limit.

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I am in the same situation as hottubrepair above: very cold climate. My tub is set at 104, but when it is 0 degrees F outside, I open my tub, it reads 103, but within a minute it drops to 102 then 101. My old tub usually was at 106 to 107 in the winter and felt great.

Is there some way to sign a release, forget the warrentee, and get some one to increase my tub to 107?

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I have read on another forum that the boards could be modified but required a chip change and that Jacuzzi had taken the chips out of the market. My spa is a 2006 J-325. Does anyone know what chip was used as the replacement for the mod? Perhaps I could find one in the "grey market".

It has nothing to do with chips. Jacuzzi and Sundance spas built pre 2006 with the higher end controller could heat to 108 with a simple jumper change. There may be some early 2006 spas that can still do this but the J-325 does not have that particular controller.

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Has anyone tried the resistors in series idea?

I have a Balboa VS501 in my spa. My tub is an accurately measured 99deg. when the display shows 104. I'm going to do the resistor mod this weekend. Balboa confirmed that these are 10k thermistor temperature probes. Yes, both of them most be modified or it will throw the 'Sn' error.

Most sensors of this type decrease resistance as they get warmer. Adding resistance makes the CPU think that it is colder than it really is and lowers the observed temperature by the CPU. If you are correcting a system that is not calibrated correctly like I am rather than just trying to make it go hotter than the manufacture allows then you can add resistance until the displayed temperature matches your accurate thermometer.

I'll report my findings...

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Nice! It's to cold for me to do this but next summer fore sure. The next question is how much resistance to add and where to add it? Does it matter which wire you add it to on the thermistor?

Well my temperature probe hack was a success. In my case my system was reading 104 when it was only 99. I needed to correct the 5 deg. offset and add some overhead because 104 isn't always warm enough. I was shooting for a 8-9 deg gain overall. A little experimenting revealed that I could get a 1 deg. temp. gain for every 300-325 ohms. As someone else suggested a 1K resistor will get you close to 108 from 104. I added a 2700 ohm resistor in series with each temperature probe. I spliced into the red wire on the probe cable but it doesn't matter if you splice the black or red, the resistor is not polarity sensitive. If I had to do it over I would only use the 2200 ohm resistor because I found that it is plenty hot enough at 105-106 and I won't need the extra range to 108-109 deg.

Remember that this modification doesn't let your hot tub go higher like reprogramming it does. It fools the system by making it think that the water is colder than it really is. My system always displays a temperature that is 5 deg. cooler than the water really is. Don't get carried away with this modification. Any time you take the cover off of the control box make sure the power is disconnected. The 220v power to the heater is feed by bare copper straps and it is way too easy to touch these while working with the probe wires as one of them runs right past the connection lugs. If you remove the temp. probes to get better access to them while soldering them you will get water everywhere. If your not comfortable making these modifications get your spa technician or an electrician to make the changes for you.

KEEP IT SAFE!

DISCONNECT THE POWER!

DON'T END UP DEAD!

Balboa VS501Z

2.7K resistor (1/8 watt, 5% tolerance) added in series with each temperature probe.

5 deg. correction with 4 deg. range extension.

Recommend 1K resistor to just add the 3-4 degree extended range.

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MikeOnBike,

Thanks for the explanation. I have a Jaccuzi Model 335. How could I adjust this up 6 degrees? Would it involve the same kind of changes?

Thanks, RockyMtns

RockyMtns,

I'm not familiar with your spa model. I'm not a spa tech, I just used my electronics knowledge from building ham radios to solve my problem.

The basic premise with many temperature probes is that they are a variable resistor. Most that I'm familiar with decrease their resistance as they get warmer. Given that, higher resistance indicates cooler water. It is fairly easy to add resistance in circuit by putting the resistors in series. In the hot tub case we take the primary resistor which is the temp. probe and add and adjusting resistance in series. If we needed to reduce the resistance it is a bit more problematic to calculate the correct value. http://www.1728.com/resistrs.htm Check the link for the formula.

If we assume that you have the same kind of temp. probe or thermistor as I did then you will need to do some experimentation to determine the resistance you need. I cut one of the two wires going to the probe and bared a little copper to clip to. I then used two pieces of wire with alligator clips on each end to clip to the cut ends and clip to the resistor that I was testing. http://www.farnsworthelectronics.com/part%20images/test%20l60.gif I could then easily swap resistors until I found the correct value. In my case I had two temp. probes that I had to adjust concurrently. The VS501 uses two probes and they have to be within 1.5 degrees of each other or the system thinks that something is wrong.

The manual for your tub shows two temp sensors. http://www.jacuzzihottubs.com/request-brochure/brochures/2007_LED_Manual-J300.pdf The manual didn't really discuss the interplay between the two but I think you probably need to fool them both. Hopefully they are the same electrically and would need the same resistance adjustment.

Good luck...

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If you want a little more control, simply use a potentiometer in series with the thermistor (temperature probe). Get yourself a little digital cooking thermometer and a 5K pot, and you're good to go. I experimented with this a while back as a debugging tool, but since everything has been fixed, I no longer use it. 104 degrees is plenty for me! It's kinda fun, because you can watch the spas readout change temperatures as you adjust the pot. Keep in mind, you're only fooling the temperature gauge into thinking the water temperature is lower than it actually is. That's why you need the secondary thermometer, so you don't fool yourself as well.

Have fun and don't hurt yourself,

Eric

P.S. Just to cover my own bum, I'd suggest not doing anything I said above!

P.S.S. Here's what a potentiometer looks like for those who don't know:

pRS1C-2160265w345.jpg

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Oh yeah, forgot to mention: if you're really really cheap, you can just use a piece of paper with a really thick line of pencil lead (graphite) scribbled onto it and two alligator clips, one on each of the opposing ends. To adjust the resistance, simply slide the alligator clips closer or further together. I just figured I'd throw that out there, but seriously, spend $3.00 for a pot!

Eric

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This is actually more of a electronic upgrade than a electrical. Electricians for the most part are not competent solders or have much understanding of potentiometers. Not saying some don't but most don't where as a electronics guy would fully understand what is being done and how to solder the wires.

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  • 8 months later...
I own a new Jaccuzi 335, which is great, except that it is not hot enough. It is usually 102 or 103, and only occasionally hits 104. (I have confirmed the readings with a thermometer.) I like 106 to 107. My old tub pre-dated the 104 limit.

Can anyone suggest how I can override on this Jaccuzi Model 335? I realize that I will need to do it myself, and that it might void the warrantee, but I still want a hot tub, not a warm tub!

Thanks.

I have a new Hot Springs Solana that is also 104 and feels like bath water. I had a HS Prodigy for 14 years which was always hot. I would guess 106. Loved it!! I live in NY and 104 will never work for my arthritis. Anyone ever modify a Solana? I tried the dealer and sent a note to Hot Springs. They thanked me for my comments but that was all. Please help as it is starting to get cold here.

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GET YOUR SPA HOTTER FAST AND SIMPLE!!!

unless someone here can sell a reprogrammed chip for your controller for like $5, don't try to be the mad scientist with chips or soldering resistors. there's much easier the simplest solution is to . . . just (gently) pull out the heat sensor from the o ring insertion about a half to quarter inch. (my sensor was located just below the filter trap) well, doing that raised mine from 104 degrees to a perfect 110 degrees. make sure you follow the right sensor wire that comes off the control panel, there's a 2nd one going to the heater assembly (that one's your coil overheat cutoff, no need to touch that)

ok, so your panel will read a few degrees lower than what it actually is. who cares? . . throw a floating thermometer ($5) in your pool to get the (actual) temperature read, and you're done in 2 minutes. you just need the time for your spa to adjust to the new setting.

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GET YOUR SPA HOTTER FAST AND SIMPLE!!!

unless someone here can sell a reprogrammed chip for your controller for like $5, don't try to be the mad scientist with chips or soldering resistors. there's much easier the simplest solution is to . . . just (gently) pull out the heat sensor from the o ring insertion about a half to quarter inch. (my sensor was located just below the filter trap) well, doing that raised mine from 104 degrees to a perfect 110 degrees. make sure you follow the right sensor wire that comes off the control panel, there's a 2nd one going to the heater assembly (that one's your coil overheat cutoff, no need to touch that)

ok, so your panel will read a few degrees lower than what it actually is. who cares? . . throw a floating thermometer ($5) in your pool to get the (actual) temperature read, and you're done in 2 minutes. you just need the time for your spa to adjust to the new setting.

I think I am trying to do the same thing. I have 2 copper probes that slide into the heater tube (BTW, this is an older 10+ year old Sundance tub). If I pull them out of the tube, say an inch, shouldn't the heater keep on heating? I have no digital readout, just a knob to turn to turn up the heat.

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Actually working in the electronics field on equipment that has temp sensors in them I know that not all temp sensors are the same. I wouldn't arbitrarily put in a resistor based on what someone else has done. I would measure the resistance of the sensors at a couple different temperatures and then put in a resistor that would fake the board into thinking the water was that number of degrees colder than it actually is. That way you would pretty much always know the water temp was X number of degrees warmer than displayed. Also, there is the distinct possibility that to fake out the board you would need to decrease the resistance of the sensor in which case you would need to put the resistor in parallel with the sensor. formula follows:

1

__________________________

1 1

______ + ______

R(sensor) RX

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