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Override 104' High Limit Hot Tub Is Luke Warm


J.J.
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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)!

Yes on both ?

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I accidentally plugged my ozonator in where the pump was supposed to be on my new balboa control board and was seeing temps. as high as 109 when set to 104. A 5 deg.difference! Consistantly. I needed a new pump after needing a new circuit board and realized my mistake when removing the failed pump. Yesterday i hooked up my new pump and correctly wired the circuit board and now find that 100 means 100 deg.

In my mistaken circuit board wiiring my topside control board only worked on High with the lights on.

I have a Viking 500 gal. Litel Leader. (17 to 20 years old)My neighbor gave it to me for free as long as i moved it out of his back yard. That "FREE" hot tub has now cost me, at least $1000.00 + 2000 for me to build a cedar deck and electrical connections.

However if i don't encounter anymore upgrades it will have been worth it!

Please let me know if my mistake is a repeatable non burnout workaround for achieving higher than standard temps.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We recently bought a Nordic Crown 2 hot tub and really want to override the temp limit. We previously had an Artic spa and could override it with a two button control process. Now we have this new tub and it is not hot enough (our air temps get down to the low 20s and 104 just doesn't work here especially in the winter). I see all the conversation about how to override but we don't feel confident in doing this ourselves. So here are my questions: Has anyone done the override process on a Nordic tub (ideally a Crown 2) and if so what are the specific directions for doing that?, Is there someone in the Seattle area who will do it for us? Has anyone tried to get the regulation changed to a more reasonable limit? I wrote to the US Consumer Protection Agency and they told me that it is not their regulation. From these posts I gather that it is a UL regulation. I haven't investigated that yet but wonder if anyone has tried to get that changed. Thanks!

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Dec 31, 1979, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CSPC) released advisory #79-071, which warned of heat strokes caused by 106 °F water. This advisory recommended 104°F as the maximum temperature for a spa.

Underwriters Laboratory (UL) adopted this advisory and lists it in their controlling document for home spas, #UL 1563 (Electric Spas, Equipment Assemblies, and Associated Equipment)

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Like many people here, I hate the 40C limit on hot tub water imposed on us by our nanny state. After reading this thread carefully I went and bought some 1k ohm resistors and spliced and soldered them into the black wires leading to both heat sensors on my Balboa vs501 unit. I thought it went well, except now the display panel is showing an Sb code, which means the sensor b isn't working. Did any of you come across this problem while trying this override method? Did I screw up my soldering job or is it something more sinister? :(

Edit -- ok never mind I figured it out. The "Sb" and then "SB" readings I saw were actually 56, 58. It's 59 now, it's increasing every time I check. The thing is in Fahrenheit degrees. Must be working then. :)

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  • 9 months later...

Hi folks,

Solution!

This problem has been plaguing me for 15 years. Three years ago, we moved homes into one which had a hottub already, probably from late 2000s. It has a Balboa controller, VS series, model VS501Z. As we use Metric outside of the U.S., I was looking into how to change the temperature unit. There is a dip switch #8 that goes from F to C. I don't recall how I discovered this, but ...

While the hottub is powered, I open the heater unit, switch the #8 switch to F, then adjust the temperature up and down a few times. Then I switch to C, and increase the temperature. It lets you get beyond the 40C/104F limit. Namely, I can increase it to 41 or 42, which I find more comfortable. This must be a bug in the firmware, or an intentional back door to someone who likes Celcius!

Unfortunately, you need to repeat the above procedure each time you have a power failure or if you change the temperature below 40C. When restarted in C, the limit of 40 applies. Over the past three years, I've done this on average twice a year.

I guess one could make this a more permanement solution by mounting a switch on the side of the tub. But it only takes a few minutes so I havent bothered.

I hope it is obvious to the reader that opening a live electrical panel with 240V is not recommended. You could die. But if you are successful, you will enjoy a hottub with an accurate reading (versus the resistor approach, which I've successfully employed on other tubs), and the much more pleasant hot water.

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  • 2 months later...

I have a hot springs tx- the small 2 person one so water starts to cool down quickl;y when in use-have been researching how to override temp limit of 104-but too technical for me to do-but read about putting a large glob of silicone caulk over the temp probe in the filter compartment to insulate the sensor a bit into thinking water cooler than it is--the caulk is waterproof so put it on while compartment fullof water and it stuck--well in 3hours the digital readout out is now 106 and the actual water temp is 105- have never gone over 104-yea~!!!! if it will go about 1 to 2 degrees higher- I hope- I will be a happy spa user-such a simple idea!!

12/09/2015 update-my tub water is now just over 106 using the silicone caulk glob on the sensor in the filter compartment-tryit --love the warmer water!!!!

to writerbelow- my tx -only 3-4 years old- bought it new

also leave the cover partially on =folded back in half- also helps delay water starting to cool down=

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

I just tested out the 1K ohm resistor mod on a balboa BP510 controller and it worked perfectly. Temp after mod is 3 degrees lower than what it reads normally. Also I'm not sure why no one ever posted that the best way to do this is to make a little extension cable (see attached picture) instead of cutting the wire on the hottub. It is just a 2 pin header with the 1K ohm resister on one lead and then that goes to a 2 pin female connector. This way you don't have to worry about voiding your warranty. Just plug the old connector into the 2 pin header, and the the female connector to the motherboard. If you ever need service remove this and no one would know.

DSC00042 (Small).JPG

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  • 1 year later...
  • 9 months later...
On 9/7/2015 at 3:29 PM, Lukasc said:

Hi folks,

Solution!

This problem has been plaguing me for 15 years. Three years ago, we moved homes into one which had a hottub already, probably from late 2000s. It has a Balboa controller, VS series, model VS501Z. As we use Metric outside of the U.S., I was looking into how to change the temperature unit. There is a dip switch #8 that goes from F to C. I don't recall how I discovered this, but ...

While the hottub is powered, I open the heater unit, switch the #8 switch to F, then adjust the temperature up and down a few times. Then I switch to C, and increase the temperature. It lets you get beyond the 40C/104F limit. Namely, I can increase it to 41 or 42, which I find more comfortable. This must be a bug in the firmware, or an intentional back door to someone who likes Celcius!

Unfortunately, you need to repeat the above procedure each time you have a power failure or if you change the temperature below 40C. When restarted in C, the limit of 40 applies. Over the past three years, I've done this on average twice a year.

I guess one could make this a more permanement solution by mounting a switch on the side of the tub. But it only takes a few minutes so I havent bothered.

I hope it is obvious to the reader that opening a live electrical panel with 240V is not recommended. You could die. But if you are successful, you will enjoy a hottub with an accurate reading (versus the resistor approach, which I've successfully employed on other tubs), and the much more pleasant hot water.

That works!  VSP-VS300FL4

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  • 11 months later...

Thank you very much, Spa_Guru.
I just replaced the thermostat/probe on my ancient Jacuzzi Vectra II model 8800000. The "official" replacement thermostat not only came with a shorter setting shaft (pain in the butt), but has limited my temperature to about 106°F. After just now learning of the Dec 31, 1979 Consumer Products Safety Commission advisory #79-071, I understand what has happened.
Now, thanks to you, I know exactly where the calibration screw is and how far to turn it.

It's folks like you that make the internet useful.

Thanks again.

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  • 1 year later...

I have been told and tried putting small stainless washers under the temp probes... This shins the probe out a bit...I got it to 105.. I guess less service area of the probe to touch the water??... don’t know but it worked.. I am going to try two... see if I get 106 where I want it..:)

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10 hours ago, Bentrotor said:

I have been told and tried putting small stainless washers under the temp probes... This shims the probe out a bit...I got it to 105.. I guess less service area of the probe to touch the water??... don’t know but it worked.. I am going to try two... see if I get 106 where I want it..:)

What about fiber washers, unless you spa temperature sender needs stainless steel washers to make a grounding connection???

On my 1988 CalSpa, I don't have such issue, as my heat control is simply a rotating dial, no readout of degrees either, I use a floating thermometer.  On mine, the heat sensor slips into a stainless steel tube, and I image that moving that farther away from the heater housing would make it "think"that the temperature is low and would signal to heat.

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I feel I have to point out the potential ramifications of tampering with the manufacturers safety features. Those safety features, including temperature limits, are there for a very good reason, and tampering with them leaves YOU legally and financially responsible for any resulting damage. So, if you make your spa heat higher than it should and, God forbid, someone gets hurt, you can be prosecuted and sued.

Again, I would STRONGLY recommend that you NOT DO THIS!

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