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Advice and Troubleshooting

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Troubleshooting  & Fault Finding Tips

Where we can, we are more than happy to save our customers a visit. Please find some of the more common issues below, with tips on how to identify or correct them.

Flow Issues

Symptoms - not heating, FLO message, 3 flashing dots

Flow issues are common. These faults often are displayed as a message like FL, FLO, 3 flashing dots on the keypad display or the spa stops heating all together. Simple actions to try before a call out...

FLO Error
  • Water Level - Make sure your water level is topped up to the maximum level

  • Filter - Ensure the filter is clean, or try running it without the filter to test. This will increase the flow throughout the spa. Make sure there is nothing in the spa water like kids toys that can get sucked down the filter hole, if the filter area is left open.

  • Jets Open - Check all the jets on the spa are open. Spas which use the jet pumps to filter and heat, often this can be a common issue and cause.

  • Reset - Sometimes a simple on/off at the isolater switch can correct this.

Other than the above, this could result in a genuine issue such as pressure switch, flow switch, problem with pump, problem with heater or even problem with PCB. If you have carried out the above actions and the fault remains, it could be time for a call out.

Tripping Electrics Issues

Symptoms - Tripping at power on, tripping after a few minutes

When your spa starts to trip the electrics, then the answer would be to get it checked out by a professional. You can never be too careful with water and electrics. The more common parts to cause tripping can be found below...

Hot Tub No Power

 

  • Heater - If the spa powers on fine and remains on whilst you press JET (pump) and AIR (blower) buttons, but trips after a few minutes, then it could very well be your in-line heater that is causing the trip. In the start-up process for most hot tubs, the heater will come on last, so the trip tends to be delayed until the stage it calls for any power. This is for the majority of hot tubs and spas.

  • Pump - Should the spa power on fine, but trips as soon as you press JETS 1 or 2 button/s, then it would indicate more than likely a pump is causing the issue. Usually, this will result in replacing the pump.

  • Air Blower - This can be a high failure item, and not a common feature on most new hot tubs. If the spa fires on, then trips when you hit the AIR button, then your blower needs disconnecting or replacing.

  • Ozone - The ozone unit can also cause tripping on a hot tub. Nothing short of disconnecting the power from the spa PCB to the ozone unit, to identify for sure.

  • PCB - Other than the above parts, there could be an issue with the main control board (PCB) on the hot tub. Most spa companies wont go to component level on the spa PCBs, so unless there is an obvious wiring issue that can be easily resolved, this could result in the spa PCB being replaced.

Due to the nature of the works involved and even testing tripping issues, we recommend an engineer visit. Hot tubs and swim spas are notoriously heavy on power supply and safety is paramount. 

Heating Issues

Symptoms - not reaching set point or not heating at all.

Be sure there is no error which indicates FLOW issues (refer to flow issues). If the spa heats up to around mid 20's but no higher, then this could just be heat generated from the pumps & friction.

Hot Tub Not Heating

  • Heater - Most of the time its the heater element itself which has failed. You wouldn't expect to see an error code in this example.

  • Pump - Depending on if your spa uses the jet pump for heating or has a dedicated circulation pump, both can be common issues if the spa is heating irregularly or not at all. If the pump, which controls your heating, doesn't run as it should, then the spa wont heat as it should. As pumps get old and tired, it is common for them to overheat, which means from one day to the next the water may reach set point, then cool down again as the pump can fail to kick back in when it should. This is usually caused by the pump overheating or it could just be a capacitor (start up battery), located on the top of the pump. This can be replaced for fairly low cost, but is usually a sign of things to come.

  • PCB - If a relay on the main control board (PCB) sticks, then this could also result in some strange heating patterns. You may hear lots of clicking coming from the spa in this instance, or none at all. In normal operation, just before the heater comes on, you should hear a small click from the PCB. This is the relay switching to give the heater the signal to power.

After carrying out the basic tests, referring to the Flow Issue guide, if the problem persists, then is advised to book a call out to investigate further.

Leaking

Symptoms - loss of water, topping the spa up frequently

When you experience a leak, you can only hope that it's an easy fix. When you consider a hot tub or swim spa is made up of hundreds of glued joints, then anything's possible. As hot tubs get older, they are more prone to leaks on pipework as the plastic can become brittle and seals corrode.

Hot Tub Leaking

  • Access Inspection - Most spas will contain the running kit such as pumps and heater in one area, known as your access panel. This is always a wise place to start looking for leaks due to threaded joints and maximum pressure. If the spa is leaking on Pump 2 for example, then such methods as simply not using the pump should slow the leak down as it will leak faster under pressure.

  • Topside Controls - Always check the larger controls on the spa topside, known as Diverters. If one of these looks to be leaking, spraying or even seeping then this could quite easily be the problem. Even if it appears to be running back into the spa water. This should come to a stop when the pump that operates the Diverter stops running. If the Diverter runs on the same pump line as the heating pump, for example JET 1, then it would be advised to turn the spa off until the offending part can be replaced.

  • Filter Tops - Coast Spas & Hydropool hot tubs use a pressurised filtration system. If the filter canister top splits under pressure, or the seal wears, then turn the spa off. These areas build up with a lot of pressure and the issue will more than likely get worse, very quickly. In some cases this can even damage the filter canister itself if left unchecked, which can result in expensive repairs.

  • Drains - Always make sure your drain on the spa is fully closed. Sounds a bit obvious, but even a drip will cause you noticeable water loss over time and more expense in running the spa if you're topping it up and heating it more often than you should be.

  • Further Testing - If the spa continues to leak after visually inspecting the access area, then you could turn the spa off and see where the water finally settles, though this could take a while if it's a very slow leak. This should indicate the area/s to check next, as it could be one of many jets, lights or controls found at the level the water level rests.

  • Call Out - Should you call out an engineer, then it is advised to fill the spa up prior to the engineers arrival, where possible. Its much easier to find a leak with water coming out and you could save yourself some money on time saved. If the spa leaks as fast as it fills, or should the spa be indoors and you are concerned of further flood damage, then maybe best to leave it to the engineer.

After most plumbing fixes, we recommend not to refill the spa for a period of 24 hours to ensure the repair and glue has properly set.

Pump Issues

Symptoms - Occasional running or won't start in first speed (low)

As your pump gets older it could start to suffer with overheating issues. This is when the thermal cut-out on the pump prevents it from running until the motor cools down. Other issues you could experience is the pump losing one of its speeds, or excessive noise coming from the pump.

Hot Tub Pump Failure

  • Overheating - Should the pump start to action infrequently, then the only solution is to replace it. You will know this if the pump motor becomes extremely warm/hot when touching it.

  • Missing Low/High Speed - If your two speed pump starts to miss a speed, for example if you press it once from off, and the slow speed doesn't start, press it again and it powers in to second speed, then it's probably a capacitor which needs replacing which is fairly low cost. A capacitor gives the pump a start up voltage to get it going, like a battery. You will have two capacitors if you have a two speed pump. Although a cheaper fix to replace the capacitor on your pump, there is usually a reason for this to go, so it could be a sign that the pump needs replacing ultimately.

  • Excessive Noise - If your pump is becoming noisy, from growly to high pitch squealing, then this is a sign it needs replacing most of the time, unless a foreign object has managed to make its way down the pipework and lodged itself in the wet end of the pump. Though you may learn to live with it, chances are shortly after it will stop working all together.

If you depend on your hot tub as an income, whether you run a holiday let or Air BnB, we recommend not to ignore any noise. 95% of the time, this is a warning that something is failing, and typically it will fail completely at the worst time.

Other Common Problems & Advice

Over the past 15 years in the industry, we have seen it all. Above, we have covered common or typical issues which we see more regularly but there could be many issues we haven't covered, that you still could experience. Below is a few other common issues we see, which should always require attention.

Hot Tub Cover Dead
  • Chemicals - Learning the right way to manage healthy spa water is always advised, though we appreciate in the real world, people tend to find what works for them. In short, sanitiser is key, this will not only help keep the water clear and inviting but also safe for bathers, whether you opt for Chlorine, Bromine or Salt Systems. Little and often is the key, but if you learn to stay on top of it, it doesn't have to be a chore. Balancers such as Ph adjusters are important for controlling potential issues you might not see, such as the prevention of scale formation which could cause big issues on your running parts by shortening the life of them significantly. A well balanced spa will always feel nicer to bath in also. Test and test again...you can never test too much, just remember accurate results aren't instant, so when balancing the spa water, give longer periods between testing for a more accurate result.

  • Pillows - Headrests or pillows are notoriously common for breaking down, and are not cheap to replace. They are deemed as a consumable and will require replacing every so often. By keeping a well balanced spa, which has the opportunity to breath (being used more regularly for example), this will help prevent the pillows from breaking down. You can remove the pillows easily enough on most models, if you go for long periods between not using the spa, this will prevent the life of the pillows. Once a pillow starts to break down, it is common to start finding flakes in the spa water, which in time, and left unchecked, can cause bigger issues down the line. If you are experiencing these issue, but don't want to pay for a new set of pillows, then simply remove them. They are only cosmetic most of the time, and only on a few models do they make all the difference when using the spa.

  • Covers - Like pillows, hot tub covers have a life. You will be expected to replace it after several years due to excessive weight and poor functionality. It is important to replace your cover when it starts to break down as they can go downhill fast, and should the seam ever damage beyond simple repair, then the cover will start costing you a lot more due to increased heating costs, which is the same result should the cover become very heavy, as the foam inserts become waterlogged, s your overall efficiency is compromised. This aside, its also worth considering the accidental damage you could cause yourself removing or re-installing the lid, before and after use of the spa. We have personally experienced covers which had to be cut up into sections of four, just to be removed from the property due to excessive weight.

  • Cover Lifters - If yours is becoming buckled or bent, then more than likely this is due to the weight of your cover when the cover is resting on it when the spa is in use. There are many different options of cover-lifters that work in many different ways. Although they may appear to be part of your cover, 95% of the time, they are an independent fitting and part. Should a cover-lift fail, this could quite easily result in damage to your hot tub sides as well as cover, so always be aware of how this functions and check the shape appears strong and in form.

How Spas & Swim Spas are Moved...

Check out our helpful guides to hot tub relocation, which detail how we relocate hot tubs and swim spas.

Moving Hot Tubs

A manual hot tub relocation can be tricky. Your empty hot tub will typically weigh anywhere from 270kg (2 seater) to 900kg (8 seater). Most family hot tubs will weigh around 400kg. Although this may sound possible with enough people, quite often this doesn't help as you need adequate space to handle the spa. Relocations require specialist moving kit and people with experience operating the kit.

Tub Move

  1. Meaurements - The height of the hot tub sat on your patio/deck, becomes the width when its stood upright. It's vital to walk out the perceived best route for exiting the property with the hot tub, looking out for any protruding air vents, window ledges, door handles, as an example. Should the movers use the trolley as pictured above, then this will add a further 100cm+ on each end as well as a further 20cm on head height.There are other methods of moving the hot tubs such as using a skid, which will make this shorter, but this is depending on ground conditions at the property. 

  2. Protection - We always insist to wrap the spa for a hot tub relocation, for protection. Even with the most simple of moves, it can be a rough journey for the hot tub. 

  3. Condition - It is vital you understand the risks of a hot tub relocation with an old hot tub. If the spa has been sat in the same spot for many years, or the spa has been semi sunk or sunk in decking, then it's worth noting the condition of the spa paneling and base the best you can. We will point out the dangers before committing to the job and can refuse to proceed with the job if it could be dangerous for our team. 

Moving Swim Spas

Your empty swim spa will typically weigh anywhere from 900kg+ and are more limited than a hot tub relocation due to the length and depth. Rarely, could you stand a swim spa on its side so the unit how it is when installed, has to be kept flat for moving purposes. Relocations require specialist moving kit and people with experience operating the kit.

Swim Spa Move

  1. Meaurements - The overall size and orientation of the swim spa is the final measurement of it. Due to the size and weight, there is usually no option to stand the swim spa up on its side like a hot tub relocation, it has to remain flat on its base. It's vital to walk out the perceived best route for exiting the property with the swim spa. Should the movers use the trolley as pictured above, then this will add a further 100cm+ on each end of the swim spa and can only be used with extension bars, with the swim spa flat on its base. 

  2. Protection - The need for wrap isn't as crucial as it is for a hot tub, as you are a lot more restricted with how you can move a swim spa. We would always recommend wrapping the shell at the very least.

  3. Condition - Like a hot tub, it is vital you understand the risks of moving an old swim spa. If the swim spa has been sat in the same spot for many years, or the spa has been semi sunk or sunk in decking, then it's worth noting the condition of the spa paneling and base, the best you can. If the base of the swim spa or cabinet is made out of timber and is spongy or rotten in areas, then we can refuse to proceed with the job as it can result in damage to the swim spa as well as be dangerous for our team. 

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