Spa Trouble

Every couple of years there is a major expensive problem with the exercise spa. And another chance for me to make mistakes. I was happy to finally get the new spa cover and we unpacked it and installed it. Dave cut apart the old broken cover and discarded it piece by piece in the trash. Then I started to fill the spa with water. It seemed to be taking a long time to fill and I found that it was leaking at the pump connection. Once I fixed that it started to fill again but still taking a long time.

Filling the spa
Filling the spa

Then overnight it leaked below the jet that had been leaking last year. I tried a new type of pipe goop and wrapped it with silicone tape. I took the jet out and sealed it again with silicone. I thought the seam in the pipe might be leaking. But it probably isn’t.

Tried a silicone sealer
Tried a silicone sealer

In the meantime the spa had filled at least temporarily and I tried to start the pump system. It started only briefly and then blew the circuit breaker. I went and checked the equipment and it all seemed hooked up OK but I tried it again and it instantly shut off. Then I could hear water running out somewhere. I took apart the whole front side and removed the wet insulation. There I saw the water was streaming from the spa pack itself.

Hole in spa heater container
Hole in spa heater container

I tried to close the gate valves as I took the spa pack out but the water poured out anyway. The rear of the heater container had burned right through. I can’t understand how that happened with just a few second of power. My guess is that the 50 amp fuse got turned on by accident while the spa was empty and the heater burned through. I should have disconnected the control. Next time.

I had the old spa heater from the last time the heater burned out the control board. I didn’t know if the old heater worked but I figured the new heater did since it seemed to burn the container. So I put the newer heater into the old container and put the spa pack back together. Then I installed it and of course had to fill the spa with water to test it.

New heater in old container
New heater in old container

The spa pack did nothing. It did not come on for even a few seconds. It was getting 240 volts to the contactor but nothing on the other side. I had replaced the contractor once before on the old pack when the issue actually was the board. But I ordered a new contractor anyway and of course the new one made no difference. I could have ordered a heater like last time and then found out that the board was bad and return that to buy a whole new spa pack. So even though the pack is just two years old, I just ordered a new spa pack.

Unfortunately despite sending the old specifications to the company and them giving me the quote, I had to fill out the order page and I made a mistake. I didn’t change the electrical connection type from L1, L2, Ground to L1, L2 Neutral, Ground. So when it came I asked why it was missing the neutral and they pointed out that is what I had ordered. Darn!

I did have it right in the written order but wrong in the actual order. So I had to pack up the new pack and send it back for repair before I even used it. At my expense and pay for the repair and return shipping. That is another $150 extra for the system for shipping both ways and the repair.

In the meantime I thought the remaining water needed to be circulated through a filter to keep it from turning green. I had shocked it with chlorine but that is never enough. So I hooked up the filter pump from the old pool. Not the sand filter but a cartridge filter that came with the pool but was too small to actually filter it. Of course it took me some time to put together the adapters and connectors required for this feat. I used the side pipes that send water through the purifier. They came with two 3/4″ outlets and the purifier only uses one. I will use these pipes to attach the thermal solar water system that I hope to set up one day.

Temporary pump set up
Temporary pump set up

The day after I refilled the spa even with my pipe repair the water leaked out to below the jet. So I took the jet apart again and tried a pool putty on the jet body where it meets the fiberglass both inside and on the outside. Then I tried to screw the jet back in and it would not go back in. I used a pipe wrench and the jet went in crooked and I could not straighten it. So I just took it back out and have contacted a company that sells spa parts and hope they can match the jet I need to replace.

Epoxy putty around the seam
Epoxy putty around the seam

Of course it is not a common type of spa jet. So far the closest I have seen is a Balboa, HydroAir assembly. I may have to change the entire piping system to install a new jet. I sent photos of the jet as they offer the service of trying to match older equipment. So I am waiting to hear from them.

Jet body with roughed up edge
Jet body with roughed up edge
Balboa/Hydrojet jet assembly
Balboa/HydroAir jet assembly

The next day the temporary pump stopped working. It had rained overnight and that triggered the GFCI in the outlet but apparently it broke the GFCI on the pump cord. I was able to order a new plug GFCI from Lowes and change the plugs. That repair worked so the pump started running again.

I am also running the fans in the spa cover. The water that is left in the spa has increased in temperature from 55 degrees to 71. But the days have been very hot too. It’s been over 90 for three days and almost 90 today. There is not enough water in the spa to have the cover thermostat in the water so it seems to run as long as there is heat from the sunshine on the cover. One problem with the spa cover though, the rubber button that is pressed to adjust the amount of heat going to the spa fell off and I can’t seem to get it reconnected. That is a disappointment. I should call the company tomorrow and ask about it.

In the meantime I just have to wait for parts and the repaired spa pack and hope the spa stays clean.

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