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Thread: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

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    Bigdog43's Avatar
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    HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Just finally got my spa in working order having the heater replaced and the electrical breaker. Things seem to fall like dominos on a spa when something goes wrong. I do want to mention i was suspicious that the circuit board itself needed to be replaced because it did some weird, inconsistent things while I was dealing with the heater/breaker issue. But since that was fixed, I've been enjoying my spa and it's been working great.

    A few nights ago I got in it and it was fine. I am still trying to get the hang of what all the knobs on the top do and some jets can be closed or opened. There are 64 jets and many of them can be closed/opened so I was fiddling with some of them. This did not feel relevant until I read low flow to the heater (HFL) can be caused by too many jets being off. Anyway....

    Last night, I go to get in it and it's just all kinda wrong:

    -Temp is reading 70 degrees (however, I reach in the water and can tell its more like 85-90)
    -I see an error code flash right at first- HFL (this is the one and I only time I saw this)
    -The lights don't work
    -Two jets buttons at lit up, however the jets associated with those buttons are not on and the buttons do not respond (lights do not go on/off with pushing the button)
    -The blower is the only thing that works (it turns on and off as expected)

    Mind=Blown over here. OK, so I start trying to figure out which jets are turned off which seems impossible to know when there's no water coming out of them. I went and opened the ones that I knew I closed and started fiddling with the top controller knobs (where you can direct more jet flow to one side of the tub or whatever).

    First of all, anyone got an ideas?

    Secondly, regardless of the jets and low flow to the heater, what in the world does this have to do with the lights?
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    The jets should be "on" when turned clockwise, check the jets for this position, then reset (turn off, then on) the electrical breaker for the spa.

    Go back to the spa, and the system should be going through its various startup functions, the topside control should display messages or unique symbols or codes related to the initial startup procedure and may included automatic turning on/off of spa accessories (blower,pumps,light,etc) this may last a few (2-3) minutes or so, if you have already tried this than more specific detailed info on controls, spa year, how many pumps, is one of the pumps a 2speed, does it have a heat/filter separate circulation pump, does it have balboa controls, more info will help.

    Also, verifying that you hear a pump turn on and run, will be the best way verify that jets should function, instead of hitting the jet button and looking for water flow from jets.

    What, if any, electrical diagnostic skills that you have will also determine how far you can get if it involves various circuit board level checks that may be necessary.

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    I'm now certain that my jets are "on" when they are turned counter clockwise. I visually verified this by letting the water get still and shining a flashlight in one. Also, when the blower is on, there are a few jets that come on with it. They are also on when in the counter clockwise position and off in the clockwise position.

    After making sure they were all on, I turned off the power, and turned it back on. I have a Jets 1, 2, 3, with one of them being the blower and a light button. One of the "Jets" buttons was lit up from the beginning as the display read "Pr". It stayed like this for several minutes until it went to "--F", which I think it was searching for a temperature.

    Then it showed 84 degrees and the blower kicked on and THE LIGHTS came on! All 4 of the buttons are lit up. I try to turn the lights off, they go off, but would not come back on. I'm basically back in the same spot. Two of the Jets buttons are lit up, but none of them are working. Blower works on demand. Lights do not work.

    Spa year is 2013. I have two pumps, not sure if they are two speed. Yes, it has Balboa controls, VS series. Also, not sure if it separate circulation pump for the heater.

    I do not hear a pump turn on. I'm no electrical engineer, but I have basic skills where I could follow directions and probably perform certain tests on the circuit board. I was able to troubleshoot the previous problem identifying the heater as the problem.

    I will get down there tomorrow and take some pics that may help answer some questions I couldn't. It is has a deck built around it, so it's not the easiest spot in the world to get to.
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    During "PR" (which means prime mode) was there any noticeable flow coming from any jets?
    What jet button lit up in "PR" mode, was it "JETS1"
    What "JETS" buttons stay lit, but don't run?

    Do you have a G.F.C.I. breaker combo, or is there a separate G.F.C.I. from the main spa circuit breaker, if separate then confirm G.F.C.I. test and reset,

    I will assume then you understand how to take electrical measurements with a multi meter, and used one to diagnose heater element failure you mentioned in your post, correct?

    Because if everything remains the same as it is now after verifying G.F.C.I. and breaker reset, then you will have to perform basic circuit board tests for voltage etc.

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    I heard zero noise during the priming mode startup. No flow coming from jets until later in the process after the temp was shown, but this was from the blower kicking on.

    Recently replaced the topside thinking that was the problem (and it was at least part of it, because the new topside worked great until now). I currently do not have an overlay on the topside. I was told by the manufacturer this was ok as the overlay is purely decorative. I have one on order, but this is what it looks like (altho not identical).

    Balboa Overlay VL700S | 11688 7 Button - 2 Pump + Blower

    I believe it was the Jets 2 button that was lit right from the start and nothing was coming out of the jets. Jets 1 and Jets 2 ended up just staying lit without anything coming out of them. Aux is the blower/waterfall which is the only thing currently working. It is kind of hard to tell because the Aux/Blower has some jets in the middle/bottom area of the tub and to the unfamiliar eye, it looks like the tub is working, yet 80% of the jets are not on.

    I have a separate electrical panel for my spa. It's a Square D 50 amp two pole breaker. The GFCI test was successful.

    I have a simple device that can be used to to check if an electrical connection is hot or not. It has two metal tips and when touched to a hot terminal, it will light up one side or another. (110 on one side and 220 on the other). Tell me what kind of device I need and I'll go buy it if that doesn't work.
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Mystery solved. Got up under the deck and took the cover off the spa pack. The circuit board is burned up where one of the heater terminals connected to it.

    At least this problem is clear.

    Can't upload a pic for some reason, it's telling me i'm over capacity.
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Here's the pic. Looks like there was a mini fire that started around the heater terminal and circuit board. Guess I should be thankful the whole dang thing didn't catch on fire. Couple of questions, this should/couldn't be caused by me closing too many jets inadvertently, right? Like I said, I was suspicious of the circuit board having some issues when the heater was being replaced. It just didn't always act right. Will the whole spa pack need replacing?



    Attachment 55008
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Tech came and replaced my whole spa pack. I had been running it periodically and trying to get the water chemistry back to where it needs to be. Everything seemed to be fine. I got in for the first time last night and noticed there is still a whole section where the jets were not on. There are 64 jets in this thing so it's hard to tell if some are not on unless you are in the spa. I was thinking that I may just have those top knobs diverting away from these jets, but there was no combination I could turn the knobs to that made these jets come on. I also tried turning the jet heads in case they were all off by chance. They all seem to be turned to the on the position and turning them one way or another doesn't do anything. As I'm fiddling with all of this, the whole spa shuts off with a "dr" message on the control panel. Sounds like this error code means the heater is not getting enough water.

    There are three buttons on the control for jets (Jets 1, 2, 3). One is the blower/waterfall and the other two control the rest of the jets in the tub. All of the buttons "work" meaning different jets come on when each button is pushed. Except maybe the 15 or so that are still not coming on. Just a couple minutes later, I was able to turn it back on and it worked fine until I got out (meaning no error code, those jets still weren't on)

    I turned it on this morning before I left for work and let it run for a minute. No error code be shown, but the same jets are still not working. Could this be an airlock or something?

    Note: water level is high enough
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Wife and i got in last night. Was working fine (other than the fact the few jets mentioned above still aren't working) and I turned all the jets off and then the lights cut off and it gave a "dr" message on the panel. That seems to be the common denominator. I turn off all the jets and then it cuts the power and tells me the heater isn't getting enough water flow.

    Can't help but think the jets not working are related. Could it be an air lock and there are enough of them not working to cause a flow problem?
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    My tub has a valve that turns off or meters flow to each half of the tub. I would not think that half of the jets being off would slow flow enough to cause an issue with the heater.

    Air lock can cause some weird problems, it might be worth draining and refilling to correct that.
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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Just got down and took off the panel, cracked open the union on the pump and heard a hiss. Sure enough, that was it. All jets flowing now. I'll monitor that I don't see that dr message anymore, but I sure hope it was related! Thanks for the help.
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Sweet! You're welcome.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Since I also fixed my suction leak on the pool pump yesterday...I was pretty excited about the hot tub and pool both being in complete, 100%, tip top working order...the first time I felt this way since we moved in early July.

    I had been in the hot for about 20 minutes with all the jets running (and working properly). My wife joins about the time the jets are timing out. We turn them back on and are relaxing. As we are enjoying the hot tub, I get out after a few minutes because i'd been in for about 30 minutes total. Next thing I know, the jets shut off, I knew it hadn't been long enough for them to time out. Look at the panel and it's reading "drY".

    Here is what the manufacturer says. I've put comments out to the side of each. Would it be ok for me to run the spa without the filters in for a while to see if maybe they are causing the problem? I keep a cover on the hot tub and the water is very clean so I wouldn't worry about any debris getting sucked into the the system.

    drY, dY, or HEATER DRY SERVICE REQD Message
    There is a Verified "Dry" (drY or dY) Condition in the Heater.

    The "dr" or "HEATER MAY BE DRY WILL RETEST SHORTLY" Fault has occurred 3 times in a row without a successful Heating Cycle and Spa Functions are Disabled. There is Not enough Water in the Heater to Start it. After the Problem has been Resolved, you Must Press Any Button to Reset and Restart Heater Start Up. Check for Water Level, Flow Restrictions, Closed Valves, Air Bubbles, and Pump Prime, or contact your Dealer or Service Organization.

    Check for All of the following Conditions:
    1. Low Water Level. (water level is up to headrests)
    2. Blocked Suction Fitting. (cannot feel or see anything blocking any of them)
    3. Blocked Skimmer. (nothing that I can feel or see is blocking skimmer)
    4. Dirty Filter. (replaced both filters a month ago)
    5. Too Many Closed Jets. (all jets open)
    6. Closed Slice Valve. (both slice valves are open all the way)
    7. Heat Related Pump Not Running.
    8. Heat Related Pump Not Primed.


    Additional note: The heater is working properly and keeping the desired temp. All jets are working. The whole spa pack was recently replaced. Once I hit any button on the panel, this error goes away and returns to normal operation.
    Last edited by Bigdog43; 11-14-2016 at 10:37 AM. Reason: addtl info
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: HFL Error flashed once...jets are not working

    Just wanted to give everyone an update in case anyone is experiencing a similar issue. I removed the filters and this problem stopped happening, so I replaced both filters and I have not see this error again. I find this weird because I replace these filters when I drained it and all of these problems started. So they were the culprits, but I'm just not sure why. Thanks all!
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Heyward Pump, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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