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Hot Tub Newsletter 

Lansing Spatech Hot Tub Service Newsletter

   Lansing Spatech services most major brands.
Lansing Spatech stocks one of the region's largest parts inventories. If we don't have your part in stock, we will get your spa running and priority ship the part.
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 No Heat Hot Tub No Heat 
 Heating problems are caused by a variety of problems. Check your hot tub control panel to see if one of these errors is present:
  • FLO error: FLO errors are most often caused by clogged filters. Turn off the power, remove the filter, floating sponges, toys, and any debris that can be sucked into the pump. Reset the breaker. If the FLO error returns, you likely are having pump or switch problems. If the FLO error doesn't return, clean your filter using a filter cleaning soak and a high pressure hose nozzle.
  • OH error: OH errors are using caused by sensor failure. Use a thermometer to determine if the hot tub is really over-temp. If the temp is cool, but there is an OH error present, you are likely having a sensor or relay issue. If the hot tub is really over temp, verify the duration of your filter cycles. Extended filter cycles (over 2 hours) can cause excess heat build-up via heat transfer from the motor. Verify that the pumps are cycling on their own. Pumps self-activating on high speed can cause excess heat to build very rapidly. This is most often caused by shorts in the control panel buttons.
  • Watchdog error (----) : Watchdog errors can be caused by a range of issues.The most common cause is interuptions in power supply. These need not be complete loss of power, but rather, brown-outs and rapid resets of feed power. Turn off the breaker and leave it off for a period of at least 15 minutes. If the watchdog error returns, you likely have a sensor, transformer, or component issue. If the watchdog error doesn't return, monitor the hot tub and watch for temp irregularities, FLO errors, or component problems.Provided that the hot tub stays on for 48-72 hours, the watchdog error was likelyt caused by the power feed. Frequent resettable watchdog errors do warrant having a technician check components for feedback problems. Failure to address these problems can result in critical failure of the mother board.
  • LF error: LF errors are most often caused by clogged filters. Turn off the power, remove the filter, floating sponges, toys, and any debris that can be sucked into the pump. Reset the breaker. If the LF error returns, you likely are having pump or switch problems. If the heat icon is on, no heat: If your heat icon is on and the tub isn't heating, there is very little you can do to solve this problem. The most common causes of this problem are element failure, wire failure, and relay failure. The heater is almost never fuse protected. If the icon is on, this indicates that the logic system is satisfied that there are no problems and is trying to heat the hot tub. Clogged filters, sensors, or switch problems are not the cause of this condition.
  • Heater boils, then stops: Newer logic systems such as the M7 from Balboa use an set of sensors, one at each end of the heater to determine whether or not water is flowing. If the sensors are close enough in temp reading, the heater will be activated. If you can hear the heater boil momentarily and stop, it is likely that your circulation pump has failed of you are having logic or relay issues.

     Jet Problems Hot Tub

    Jet Problems

    • Jets popping out: If your jets are constantly popping out you will need to check a couple of possible causes. The most common cause is kids turning the jets to the extreme where they are designed to pop out for servicing. The other likely cause is wear of the internal. There are two clips which hold the jet internal into the wall fitting in the tub. Check the condition of these clips. If they are thin, flexible, or chipped the jet won't stay in. Improper pH balance is the most common cause of jet internal failure.
    • Jets won't turn: Unfortunately, if your adjustable jets won't turn, they are probably seized in place with fine grit. Using a jar opener or a set of pliers with tape on the jaw to protect the jet face, remove the jet internal. Lightly sand the internal with fine grit emery cloth and use a clean, soap-free rag to wipe out the wall fitting in the tub. Use of lubricants should not be necessary. In extreme cases, it is advisable to call out a technician who has the experience of removing and cleaning hundreds or thousands of jets rather than risking destroying numerous jet internals.
    • Jets won't spin: The most likely cause is worn out jet bearings. Remove one of the affected jet internals. Is the spinning center flopping around? If so, it's time for some new internals. Take pictures of any jets that you will be requesting. Almost every tub manufacturer has its own jet face design. The only way to get a close match is to have pictures available for the company you're dealing with to review. If the bearing feel intact but tight, ther might be scaling built up in the bearings. This often the case with tubs that haven't received a regular dose of a sequestering agent like Stain & Scale Inhibitor. Remove alll of the affected jet internals and soak them is a diluted rpoduct such as CLR for several days and then wash out thoroughly. If scaling is the cause, this should remove enough mineral build-up for the bearings to begin to move again.

    No Display Hot Tub 

    No Display
    • No display, no button response: Verify that there is power going to the hot tub. Some tubs have a power indicator on the equipment pack. If not, go to your GFCI breaker. Hit the Test button on the breaker. If it turns off, wait 15 minutes, then turn the breaker all the way off and then on. If it fails to trip off when tested, it is already tripped. It must be turned completely off and then on to reset. If you push a GFCI breaker from its tripped position to on, it won't turn on even though it appears to be on. The easiest way to tell if you're resetting properly is to hit the test button. The breaker should trip when tested. If the breaker immediately trips to center when properly reset, call your service provider. This is almost never an issue with the breaker. There is likely a short in one of your hot tub's components. The main fuses in hot tubs are slow blow fuses that are fiber wrapped. They can't be tested without a conituity meter.
    • No display, buttons respond: This condition usually indicates a failure of the control panels display component. In some cases, it can be caused by logic issues. Turn off the breaker for 15 minutes, reset the breaker, and check the display. If the display returns, note the date and keep an eye on the display for issues. The other main cause for this condition is damage to the information ribbon that connects the control panel to the mother board. Usually this is caused by mice. Look for obvious chewing of the ribbon cable. If you're capable of repairing these fine wires, you can turn off the power, strip back the outer cable sheild and reapir the internal wires. This is very delicate work. Most technicians will opt to replace your entire panel rather than attempting to repair these wires.

    Pump Flow Issue Hot Tub 

     Pump and Jet Flow Issues

      • No flow through jets: The most common cause for this problem is a clogged filter. Turn off the power, remove the filter, floating sponges, toys, and any debris which could get sucked into the pump. Turn on the breaker. If the water is flowing, clean the filters using a filter soak solution and a strong hose nozzle. If there is still no flow, listen for the sound of the motor. If the motor is continuously humming, but water isn't flowing, the pump may be clogged or air bound. The only way for a pump to be clogged is for someone to have removed the filter with the pump running. So long as this hasn't happened, there's a good chance that the pump is air bound. Turn off the power, reomve the filter. push your hose into the filter post and stuff a clean, soap-free rag in to fill the remaining space. You should hear and/ or see air move out of the jets very shortly after turning on the hose. Let the hose run for a few minutes, turn off the hose, install the filter, wait 5-10 minutes for any remaining air to escape from the filter, and turn the power back on. The water should be flowing. If not, there is something further going on such as a broken impellar.
      • Motor hums and stops: If the motor hums loudly and stops it could have one of the following issues: The motor might be seized in place with rust. Was the tub shut down for several months? Try turning off the power and using a set of pliers to break the motor shaft free. If it doesn't budge after a couple of attemots, call in the pros. The start capacitor might have blown. In the majority of cases, a blown capacitor is a sign of a bigger issue going on in the motor. The multi-speed switch of the windings might have failed. The low quality of most modern pumps, which are almsot exclusively made in Mexico, makes them unworthy of rebuilding. Complete motor or pump and motor replacement is recommended in most cases of motor problems. Rusted motors can be freed up and minor shaft seal leaks and wet end issues can be repaired.
      • Some jets don't work: The first thing to determine is all of the pumps are running. If all pumps are running, check to see what positions the diverter valves are in. Provided that the pumps are running and the diverters are in the position that they ought to be, try turning the affected jets back and forth. Most jets can be individually turned on and off in newer tubs by rotating the face of the internal.

      Tripping Breaker Hot Tub 

      Tripping Hot Tub Breaker 

      • GFCI trips instantly: This is the sign of a dead short. If you have plug in components, you can try eliminating them until the breaker holds. This is only recommended if you have some experience with electricity. We don't recommend opening the load box for any reason. This is a high voltage bax and should only be approached by experienced professionals. There are times when the issue is in the breaker or the wiring, but it is a rarity. Your hot tub service provider should be your first call. He/ she will let you know if an electrician is needed.
      • GFCI trips intermittently: Intermittent breaker tripping can be a tougher to diagnose. Your technician will likely disconnect components based on experience. The diagnostic process is a little drawn out as the test cycles can take up to a week. This can be a symptom of a serious problem and the breaker should not be reset over and over without professional analysis by a technician. I opened a box at a home in Palmer, Massachsuetts one night to find that most of the homes wiring had been destroyed by the homeowner resetting the hot tub GFCI for months on end. The breaker, wires, and consequently all of the wiring around them had been melted. They were fortunate that the excess heat hadn't burned the house down. If you find your breaker tripping on a routine basis, have it checked out.

      Air Blower Issue Hot Tub 

       Air Blower Issues

      • Dead air blower: Air blowers are driven by vacuum motors. They take air from the equipment bay and force it through a series of lines or air pans. If the motor doesn't come on at all or runs for a few seconds and stops, the brushes are usually shot. The motors are pretty cheap and usually have suffered enough wear that brush replacement is senseless. Have the entire motor replaced. The blower is not essential for the hot tub, but the air lines back fill with water that becomes stagnant if it isn't flushed out on a routine basis. The wtaer in these lines becomes quite foul rather quickly and begin to seep toxins into the rest of the hot tub water if not addressed. Unfortunately, many blower motors are destroyed by rodents. The like to nest around the blower intakes and, depending on the intake style, inside of the intakes. Do your best to control the rodent population. Don't place bird feeders anywhere neafr your hot tub. Bounce fabric softener sheets seem to repel mice and chipmunks. Never use poison packs as these make the rodents thirsty and they will find the hot tub to die in. Traps are ideal. Find a place to keep a couple of baited traps and check them once in awhile. Catching mice when they first arrive is ideal. It doesn't take long take get four generations of rodents living inside a hot tub.
      • Clogged blower/ lines: Again, the reason for blower clogs is usually rodents. In most cases, the organic contaminants must rot away before full pressure will return to the affected area. Snaking out the blower lines with flexible weed-whacker cord might help speed up the process, but can be very tedious.
       
      Hot Tub Maintenance Spring Cleaning
       
      Spring is a great time to drain and clean your spa. After emptying the entire spa, suck all remaining water up with a wet-dry vac. Next, be certain to remove all of the water from the lines as well. Clean and polish the entire shell to bring back that factory new feel. Double check the equipment for leaks and make certain that your ozonator is working properly. You're ready for another great season of hot tub use!
      Hot Tub Repair and Spa Repair Service Massahusetts MA and Hot Tub Repair Connecticut CT.When was your last equipment check?
      Hot Tub Repair and Spa Repair Service Massachusetts MA and Hot Tub Repair Connecticut
      All too often minor issues go undiagnosed which lead to major repairs. Simple problems such as leaking pump seals can lead to complete pump and motor replacement if left too long.
       
      Is your ozonator working properly? The ozonator is the spa's on-board sanitation system. If your water appears cloudy or you're going through a considerably larger amount of chlorine, then your ozonator has likely failed. Ozone is a healthier and cleaner alternative to high doses of chlorine.
       
      Is your cover getting heavy? If so, it's absorbing water. As a cover takes on water it becomes less and less efficient. Although they are expensive to replace, the energy savings makes up for a good deal of that cost.
      .
       Northampton, Amherst, Greenfield, MA, CT
      Chemical Balance
      Hot Tub Repair and Spa Repair Service Massachusetts MA and Hot Tub Repair Connecticut CT.
      It is very important to balance hot tub chemicals at least once per week. Many equipment problems can be avoided simply be maintaining water quality. Alkalinity stabilizes the pH, which in turn, stabilizes the sanitizer. Water that is left with improper pH for extended periods becomes aggressive and ruins components. The seals on the pump, the seals on the heater, and the shell surface are all affected by water quality. Proper balance can be the difference between a heater that lasts for 10 years and a heater that only lasts 2 years.
       
       Winter Hot Tub Emergencies
      Winter emergencies
       
      From time to time, emergency conditions will occur in the winter months. The most frequent problem is a lack of power to the spa. This can be caused by bad breakers, components tripping the ground fault, or blown fuses and circuits in the controls. In the event that a service technician can't respond quickly enough to prevent the pipes from freezing or in the event that the spa is already iced up, the following action should be taken. Place a sump pump with a rating of at least 1/4 horsepower in the spa, without a hose attached, and plug it in. The circulating water will prevent freezing. In addition, the waste heat created by the sump pump will begin to add heat back in to the water. This also works great in a situation where power is out and the house is being run on a generator. If you don't already own a sump pump, call us for pricing and details.
       
      Defrosting Frozen Hot Tubs
      Hot Tub Repair and Spa Repair Service Massachusetts MA and Hot Tub Repair Connecticut .
      Due to a number of recent accidents, I find it necessary to address the topic of defrosting frozen hot tubs. Frozen hot tubs must be thawed slowly. Ideally, a sump pump is placed in the water without a hose, and allowed to circulate for a week or so to warm the water. This prevents additional damage from occuring due to expansion. The use of high heat sources can cause steam to build in a single location. The steam has nowhere to go due to the ice on the sides of it. The pipe is forced to explode in order to relieve the pressure. These explosions can be extremely dangerous, even fatal. If your spa is frozen, don't turn on the breaker. If the flow switch, which recognizes flow from the pump, is frozen in the closed position, the heater will be activated. If the heater is activated in a frozen line, it will explode just like a super heated section of pipe. The slow thaw method must be used to clear the ice from the lines and prevent any additional damage or injury from occuring.
      No Heat In The Hot Tub 
      No Heat In The Hot Tub
      Hot Tub Repair and Spa Repair Service Massachusetts MA and Hot Tub Repair Connecticut CT.
      You've just walked out to get in your spa and found that it has lost temperature. There are several things that you can check prior to having a technician come out. First, is the heat indicator on? If the heat indicator is on and the temperature is dropping, there is likely a condition ehich requires a technician. If the indicator is not on, the next thing to check is the flow from the pump that is responsible for pushing water through the heater. This might be a circulation pump or a two speed primary pump. If the flow appears to be good and there is no heat, a technician is likely needed. If the flow appears reduced, turn off the power and remove the filter and any floating debris. Turn the power back on without the filter in and check the flow. If the flow is better and the heat is on, clean the filter. If the flow is still low, check for proper water level. Low water level can cause pump cavitation which will prevent the spa from heating. In the end, if none of these check out, it is time to have a technician come out and look for blockage in the system, failure of a component, or issues with a sensor.
       
      Why a Full Foam Hot Tub?
       
      A full foam hot tub is essential for outdoor use in the Northeast. This is not to say that blanket-style insulation is not efficient. The thing to consider is what happens if the power goes out. The full foam insulates pipes and provides support. Blanket insulation uses the heat genrated by the running pumps to keep the pipes warm. Both systems can be very energy efficient when operating. If the power to the unit should go out, the differences become very evident. Full foamed spas have the ability to last for five to six days without power. Blanket insulated spas will begin losing their heat rapidly once the pumps shut off. The lack of insulation does make them easy to replumb, but replumbing a spa is very cost prohibitive. In the ever-changing New England environment, it is important to choose a spa with full foam insulation.
       
       Hot Tub Service Connecticut Massachusetts
      What Makes a Hot Tub Cover "Good"?
      Hot Tub Repair and Spa Repair Service Massachusetts MA and Hot Tub Repair Connecticut CT.
      A good hot tub cover will have a multitude of aspects that, when combined, make it ideal. Having one or two of these qualities is better than none, but having them all can make hot tub operation easier and less expensive. The first thing to look for is high density foam (at least 2 ponds). Next, the cover should have a full-length heat seal to reduce heat loss. Double wrapped cores are essential to prolong cover life. Proper fit is essential for energy efficiency. A cover can be slightly larger than the tub, but should never be smaller than the outer rim. Smaller cavers tend to sit up on the skirt which lifts them off of the shell and renders them virtually useless in terms of energy conservation. Finally, using the right lifter really makes a cover easier to manage and helps prolong the lifespan.
       
      Winterizing a Hot Tub
       
      Every spring we receive a large number of calls from customers who winterized their own spas and have freeze fractures as a result. Winterizing a spa is a very involved process, far more so than even a pool, and must be done properly to avoid the type of damage that can result in the disposal of the hot tub. The cost to winterize a hot tub is $199 plus state tax. This is fraction of the cost to repair even a minor freeze fracture. Please call us, regardless of your brand of hot tub, to winterize your spa instead of attempting it yourself.
       
      Hot tub breaker tripping in cold weather
      Hot Tub Repair and Spa Repair Service Massachsetts MA and Hot Tub Repair Connecticut CT.
      If your breaker is tripping in the winter it is very important to take immediate action. Place a call to our service line. Purchse a sump pump (1/4 horsepower) and place it in the spa without a hose attached and plug it in. Wait several hours and try to reset the breaker. Note that GFCI breakers require that you turn them completely off prior to resetting. If the breaker fails to reset, schedule a service call to resolve the issue.
       

      Spas and hot tubs with no power in cold weather

      If your spa or hot tub is not operating in cold weather (below 25F) it is important to take measures to protect the spa. The most important thing that you can do is to put a sump pump in the spa. Use a 1/4 horsepower or larger sump pump. Place the pump in the center of the spa. Do not attach a hose. Plug the pump in and allow the pump to recirculate the water within the spa. The efficiency of sump pumps causes them to radiate heat. By running the sump pump continuously, you will begin adding heat back into the spa water. This heat will radiate outward and keep the insulated pipes warm until a technician can get to the spa for repair.

      Hot Tub Tripping Breaker 

      Sequestering Agents

      Hot tub owners frequently ask if they really need to use products such as stain and metal controllers. The simple answer is yes. These agents are designed to protect the spa shell, the heater, and the additional components. Failure to use these products can result in heavy mineral deposits on the shell and heater. Although these deposits won't cause heater failure, they will cost increased energy use. The heater element is directly exposed to the water and transfers heat to the water as it passes over the element. If the element becomes coated with minerals, the heat transfer is greatly reduced and causes the heater to run for longer and longer cycles. We often replace heaters which have become ineffective due to heavy deposits of calcium, iron and other minerals. In general, four ounces of the product should be added at fill-up. Thereafter, two ounces per week should be added for maintenance. In cases of well water with heavy mineral content, an initial dose of up to twelve ounces can be added. After adding the stain inhibitor, run the filtration pump for at least one hour before balancing the pH and adding sanitizers or shock. This will allow the stain inhibitor to sequester the minerals and prevent the sanitizers from oxidizing them and causing discoloration of the water and heavy water lines on the shell.

      Don't wait until the issue becomes a permanent problem. If you are experiencing a repetitive FLO error, please report it. FLO errors shut down the heat system and can jeopordize the spa in the winter months.
       
      Is your hot tub cover becoming heavy?
      Over time, the moisture barrier around your cover's inserts will begin to break down due to UV exposure and/ or punctures. This is not a big problem during warmer months, but as the weather becomes cooler, that cover becomes a draw on the heat system. Due to the amount of water in the cover's foam, the cover will tend to reach outdoor air temperatures and cause excessive heat loss. Remember to replace you cover before winter!