Jump to content

Override 104' High Limit Hot Tub Is Luke Warm


J.J.
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 1 month later...
  • Replies 93
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I have had my Jacuzzi Spa for almost 2 years and live in the desert where it rarely gets below 45 degrees. This is the worst spa of three that I have owned. Despite the high initial cost and 30 amp set up, this units temperture control system really sucks. It can't be set higher than 104 and it is usually at 103. I initially complained of the low temperture and slow response time to heat and the dealer said he couldn't alter the system to repond faster or to go above 104 degrees. I guess it uses the same heater system as the 115 V -15 amp systems.

I have another spa up north where it gets below zero at night and I always look forward to getting in water that is 104 -106 and getting out feeling warm and relaxed. I have set up a thermosiphon / solar heating system with propane booster that works great.

While there are a few thought out suggestions listed in this forum it would be nice to have something that works correctly and will read the temperture accurately. There appears to be a problem with the law and the technology. Sounds like a law made by the same folks that put harmful chemicals in blankets to protect those people who smoke in bed. The max setting certainly shouldn't be at the low end of what most people enjoy and the industry should make efforts to get the 107 degree limit that is previously mentioned. If that isn't going to happen, I would hope that somebody would make something beyond a makeshift fix for this problem. Sorry I spent so much on a unit that fails to do the job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Could you elaborate on this? Which jumper is it and is it on their proprietory boards or the Balboa models?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Could you elaborate on this? Which jumper is it and is it on their proprietory boards or the Balboa models?

For the 850/850NT boards, jumper JP 9 #13 to overide 104 limit and allow temp to 108. These are the propietary boards pre 2006.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Adding a resistor in parallel to the temperature sensor will adjust the reading perceived by the panel, allowing you to adjust by any amount. To do this you need to guess the resistance of the sensor, lets say its 100 ohms or R1.

To calculate the new resistance you would use the formula:

R=1/(1/R1+1/R2)

where R1 is the current resistance, R2 is the Resistor to add in parallel, and R is the new effective resistance.

So if R2 is 1800 Ohms that you would add in parallel (ie: across the sensor, one to each lead of the sensor)

R=1/(1/R1+1/R2)

R=1/(1/100+1/1800)

R=94.74 Ohms

Then 104 would appear to the panel to be 104*R/R1 or 98.53 Degrees so if the panel read now read 104, the new max temperature would be 104*R1/R or 104*100/94.74 or 109.77 Degrees while the hottub would "think" thats its only 104 Degrees.

It is important not to use a resistor that is too small that will allow the hot tub to get too hot for safety reasons, in that the heater may melt down, fail, or cause a fire, or scald children if it is left too high by accident. I would suggest a new maximum of no more than 108 or 110 Degrees should be more than enough to overheat you in a short time, which is also a health danger. Be careful tampering with this safety feature designed to protect you and your family.

For those of you that are mathematically challenged, a simple trial and error method will work. Try a bunch of resistors starting with the higher number, if you touch it across the sensor, it should instantly change the panel reading to the new perceived temperature, the number of degrees it drops, will be the approximate number of degrees hotter that you can now set the hottub. Find a resistor that drops the temperature on the panel 4-6 degrees giving you a new max of 108-110 Degrees. The resistors should be in the range of 18 times the resistance of the sensor to give you about a 5 Degree increase.

If you send me your email, I can send you a spreadsheet that calculates the new resistance, and gives you a conversion chart that you can print out to interpret the new temperature reading.

Hope that helps clear all this up, let me know how it works out.

Regards, Greg - Calgary, Canada - Where we need HOT hottubs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

This may sound crazy.

My water heater puts out crazy hot water. I've got a slop slink in an off room that is about 20' from the spa and could easily run the garden hose from it. Could I just top off the tub with "hot" water for a quick spike in the water temp. Is that a more efficient way of bringing up the water temp?

I knew someone who would do this with a small swimming pool before they bought a hot tub. Not the whole pool....but just enough to warm it up.

Talk about hillbilly hot tubbin'. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Hi, I just bought a Jacuzzi J 315 and like other posts here am dissapointed in the 104 temp limit. Has anyone found a workaround that is sure and won't screw up the warranty? I have searched the intenet for export boards, grey market senors, etc. but can't fing anything. Sure would like to find a more elegant solution than playing around with resisters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read this section many times as have many others according to the log. I decided I wanted a hot tub instead of a warm tub. I left comments about a year ago while logged in as "azspausr". I was never quite sure how to proceed and I decided to go for it today. I have two Jacuzzi spas and both perform identically even though they are different madels made four years apart. I have watched the cycling carefully and observed that when the spa is set to 104 F. (maximum setting) the unit will call for heat when the temperture drops to 102 F. and heat until the temperature hits 105 F.. Therefore the spread is three degrees when set for 104. The spa I worked on at this house today is a Jacuzzi J-230. This unit is about five years old. The newer unit at my other residence seems to be quite similar, if not the same, as far as the temperature control part of the system. I noticed that the temperature probe was mounted somewhere close to the suction/filter portion of the plumbing. I don't have access to that part of the tub, so decided to go for the resistor modification instead of trying to pull the probe partially out as others have suggested. To do it this way, I noticed that the four pin plug on the upper right hand corner of the board has two wires (red and black) in a gray casing or cable that go to the probe. The two upper pins on the board are also marked "Temp Sensor". The other two pins are marked "high limit"on the board and are not used for this change. Turn the power off, if you haven't already and pull this small plug out. Cut a parralel slice through the outer casing of the upper wire (going to the sensor) and cut either the red or black (not both) wire and strip about a half inch of wire from each of the ends. Now put the resistor between these two ends, twist the wire around each end and solder the two connections. Resistors are not polarity sensitive so it makes no difference which way the bands are positioned. Wrap the exposed soldered portions with electrical tape and plug the four pin connector back into the board. I first tried a 1000 ohm resistor and got the three degree difference others have reported. To avoid the highest temperture of 108 F. I decided to go a bit more conservative and used a 560 Ohm 1/2 watt resistor that reduced the spread from 103.5 to 106.5. The same three degrees and the spa will start heating when it gets to that new low (103.5) instead of 102 when the thermostat is set to the 104F. high. Radio Shack had the 560 and 1000 ohm resistors in packages of five for $.99 so this fix doesn't break the bank. They also have a 680 ohm if you want your high limit above the 106.5 F. and below 108F. This will all depend on your starting point. I hope these extra details will help those that may be a bit more challenged in completing this procedure. Remember to read your unconnected thermometer so you know how much to add to the reading you get on your spa temperature read out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I have read this section many times as have many others according to the log. I decided I wanted a hot tub instead of a warm tub. I left comments about a year ago while logged in as "azspausr". I was never quite sure how to proceed and I decided to go for it today. I have two Jacuzzi spas and both perform identically even though they are different madels made four years apart. I have watched the cycling carefully and observed that when the spa is set to 104 F. (maximum setting) the unit will call for heat when the temperture drops to 102 F. and heat until the temperature hits 105 F.. Therefore the spread is three degrees when set for 104. The spa I worked on at this house today is a Jacuzzi J-230. This unit is about five years old. The newer unit at my other residence seems to be quite similar, if not the same, as far as the temperature control part of the system. I noticed that the temperature probe was mounted somewhere close to the suction/filter portion of the plumbing. I don't have access to that part of the tub, so decided to go for the resistor modification instead of trying to pull the probe partially out as others have suggested. To do it this way, I noticed that the four pin plug on the upper right hand corner of the board has two wires (red and black) in a gray casing or cable that go to the probe. The two upper pins on the board are also marked "Temp Sensor". The other two pins are marked "high limit"on the board and are not used for this change. Turn the power off, if you haven't already and pull this small plug out. Cut a parralel slice through the outer casing of the upper wire (going to the sensor) and cut either the red or black (not both) wire and strip about a half inch of wire from each of the ends. Now put the resistor between these two ends, twist the wire around each end and solder the two connections. Resistors are not polarity sensitive so it makes no difference which way the bands are positioned. Wrap the exposed soldered portions with electrical tape and plug the four pin connector back into the board. I first tried a 1000 ohm resistor and got the three degree difference others have reported. To avoid the highest temperture of 108 F. I decided to go a bit more conservative and used a 560 Ohm 1/2 watt resistor that reduced the spread from 103.5 to 106.5. The same three degrees and the spa will start heating when it gets to that new low (103.5) instead of 102 when the thermostat is set to the 104F. high. Radio Shack had the 560 and 1000 ohm resistors in packages of five for $.99 so this fix doesn't break the bank. They also have a 680 ohm if you want your high limit above the 106.5 F. and below 108F. This will all depend on your starting point. I hope these extra details will help those that may be a bit more challenged in completing this procedure. Remember to read your unconnected thermometer so you know how much to add to the reading you get on your spa temperature read out.

Also remember you will void your warranty for any heat related issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had my Jacuzzi Spa for almost 2 years and live in the desert where it rarely gets below 45 degrees. This is the worst spa of three that I have owned. Despite the high initial cost and 30 amp set up, this units temperture control system really sucks. It can't be set higher than 104 and it is usually at 103. I initially complained of the low temperture and slow response time to heat and the dealer said he couldn't alter the system to repond faster or to go above 104 degrees. I guess it uses the same heater system as the 115 V -15 amp systems.

I have another spa up north where it gets below zero at night and I always look forward to getting in water that is 104 -106 and getting out feeling warm and relaxed. I have set up a thermosiphon / solar heating system with propane booster that works great.

While there are a few thought out suggestions listed in this forum it would be nice to have something that works correctly and will read the temperture accurately. There appears to be a problem with the law and the technology. Sounds like a law made by the same folks that put harmful chemicals in blankets to protect those people who smoke in bed. The max setting certainly shouldn't be at the low end of what most people enjoy and the industry should make efforts to get the 107 degree limit that is previously mentioned. If that isn't going to happen, I would hope that somebody would make something beyond a makeshift fix for this problem. Sorry I spent so much on a unit that fails to do the job.

call out your JACUZZI tech and have him come out and override the settings i will not tell how its done yet it can be by just 2 buttons on the topside controler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

This Works!!! I bought a pack of 1k ohm resistors at Radioshack and then soldered one resistor inline to the black wire coming from the sensor. There are two sensors, and each black wire needs a resistor. I also protected it with a little heat shrink tubing and electrical tape. This has given me about a 3.5 to 4 degree bump. So now I am a able to get 107.5 or 108 when my reading is at 104. I keep it at 102, thus actual water temp of 105.5 to 106.

I have a Balboa VS501 pack on an Aquaterra Newporter from Costco. It is made by Thermospas and Watkins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

QUOTE(wireman @ Feb 6 2008, 11:43 PM)

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.

Has anyone else done this? Pictures ??

I need to do this living in MI. I wanted to make sure this worked before cutting up my wires. I plan on cutting into the wire leads that go to the probes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I also have a hot tub that's too cold. It's a lifesmart ls600, it uses a balboa board. The 104F / 40C is too cold when its really windy at night with the wind chill.

I found this great page...

http://www.spacare.com/balboasensorresistancevalues.aspx

It gives you resistance values for water temperature, from 52.0 to 119.9 in .1 degree intervals!

I ended up adding 2.1K resistors. It gives me a max of just on 110.5 Naturally you don't have to run it that hard, but the effort to modify it I prefer being able to hit 110 if I want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

A word or two of caution, spas melt at 120F, and brain damage occurs at 108.

Water transfers heat 27 times faster than air.

I have a customer who lives in a very cold area, and wanted plenty of heat, so I did it the correct way, I installed a supplementary 11KW Hayward CSPAXII (requires an additional 50 amp circuit) in addition to his existing spa pak, and wired it with an on-off air button, his pump activates the heater automatically thru it's pressure switch, so now when the spa heat drops off, he has 15,000 watts on hand, and that keeps it at 104F regardless of sub zero air temps. Your problem isn't so much that 104 isn't hot enough, it is that most spa heaters are merely 4KW and the temp drops immediately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I bought a home with a KeysBackyard spa... has a VS Spa Pack. I have two 2100 Ohm POTs so I can mod this to raise the temp.

Do I need to install the POTs on BOTH probes going into the heater tube? The probes plug into two separate 2-pin receivers on the control board.

thank you all for the help... I'm new and this forum has really helped educate me about owning a spa (my first one)!

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...