I have a swift river spa bought from lowes 6 years ago. it's been a great spa and i've read tons of great advice from this forum for many years. It's time i join the forum and ask for help!
My spa's topside is throwing a code: PS1. The owners manual says
"the system checks for a closed pressure/flow switch with the low speed pump or high speed pump active. if an error is detected the heater will be deactivated, this code with reset if fixed within 2 1/2 minutes, if not a manual restart is required. This may be caused by dirty filters, try cleaning filters before calling technician."
The filters were cleaned, no success
the flow switch was replaced, no success
the circ pump was replaced, no success
the manufacturer now says i need to buy a control pack ($400) but they're the ones that said I need a flow switch and then the circ pump. So I come to you.
Does anyone know of any reasons the system would detect a closed flow switch?
-the code pops up before i ever turn on a pump, and the manual says it detects "while the pump is active"
-after a manual reboot the circ pump comes on immediately and the code does not pop up until the circ pump stops.
-The code pops up after a minute without a pump ever being "active" but if I turn on a pump the code pops up faster.
-sometimes (rarely) the circ pump will never stop and the code will not pop up untill i turn a pump on.
I'm just trying to see if there's a little thing i'm missing before i spend 400 on a control pack (and hope it works)
There are two ways you can get a problem with your pressure / flow switch:
1. (Most Common) The circuit does not close when there is water flow.
2. The circuit remains closed all the time, even when there is no water flow.
The second sounds like what you're describing. This error will often show up as soon as you turn the tub on because there's usually a delay between startup and when the pump is turned on, and during that delay the logic will sense the closed switch circuit and throw the error. If the pump were to come on as soon as you started up the tub then you'd only get the error until the first time it turned off.
If that's the case then you need to determine where the circuit is closed. If it's the circuit board then there may be some corrosion across (possibly behind) the terminals for the flow switch plug, there could be a short in the wire or at the switch, or there could just be an issue somewhere else on the board that you can't see.
Also, you said flow switch but can you verify that it's a flow switch (has a paddle that goes down into the water and arrows for water flow direction up top) and not a pressure switch (just has a hole in the threaded part and a calibration screw or wheel on top).
I unplugged the flow switch and connected a jumper wire to the control board, simulating a closed flow switch, and the board runs perfectly. Then i plugged the flow switch back in but unscrewed it and put a plug in its place, I held the switch closed with my hand, and the tub ran perfectly.
so the switch is working right and the board is reading a closed switch, but for some reason when I turn my jets on (with the flow switch in place) it throws the code that the owner manual says "not detecting a closed switch"
Could the jet pumps be creating some negative pressure on the flow switch when they come on? i'm not thinking of any reasons why the switch would open right when the jets come on.
It is installed with the arrows correct.
Water goes from one of the filters to the circ pump through the heater through the flow switch. There is a 3/8 tube running from each jet pump to a T the runs into the circ pump plumbing just after the flow switch.
That tube sounds like air/ozone or maybe even something to prevent air locks on the jet pumps. It shouldn't cause a problem but you can temporarily crimp it to be sure.
Try filling your tub higher than usual. With suction side filters like yours, a low water level could cause the jet pump to take so much water in that the circ pump starts to pull air. Be sure your filters are totally submerged even when the jets are on, and if you've got a weir in front of them be sure it's moving up and down properly when the jets come on. If this were the issue you'd probably notice the jets surging rather than running continuously, but it's possible that the circ pump is just more sensitive.
Since you tested the flow switch (quite thoroughly, nice job!) then the only circuit issue that you might have is the circ pump not getting enough power when the jets come on. You can try to keep an eye on your circ pump return to be sure it's still putting out water when the jets are on, but depending on it's placement it may be hard to see once they're running. If you happen to have an amp meter handy you could test the current to the circ pump with the jets on/off.
I filled the tub to the brim the other day, no help.
I am trying to get my hands on an amp reader.
I unhooked one of the 3/8 tubing coming from a jet pump and it was pouring water, then I turned on the jet pump and it started shooting water. It might be possible that some of the water coming through those tubes is back flowing and pushing the flow switch open? If so I could put a check valve after the flow switch and before the inlet of the jet pump tubing, what are your thoughts?
I will test amps asap.
It may come to that, though I'm curious what the tube's purpose is and why it didn't cause a problem before. If it's only 3/8" try crimping it together with a hose clamp or something and see if that solves the problem. Usually 3/8" tubing is connected to an ozonator or air line so I wonder if you've got a clogged venturi or broken check valve somewhere that's causing the problem. How is this line connected to the jet plumbing? At the housing or in the plumbing itself?
There is 3/8 tubing from the ozonator as well but this tubing is separate. If I crimp it it throws a no flow code.
The tubing runs directly from the jet pump (a brass barb) the the T to the circ pump plumbing
here I took a picture and draw up a diagram to show you a basic plan of how its plumbed. i hope this helps.
when i turn on the jets, high pressure water comes up through that plastic T so i'm thinking that water could go up and right instead of up and left, which would push the flow switch open. either that or when i turn the jets on, the circ pump doesn't get enough power to pump hard enough to close the flow switch.
I felt with my hand where the circ pump shoots into the tub and it doesn't feel like that water pressure lessens when i turn the jets on though.
If crimping it creates a no-flow error then that means the circ pump isn't pushing water all the way through to where it's supposed to go. It's stopping somewhere to the left of the assembly and pushing water through the jet pumps instead. Once those come on that path is blocked and you get the flow error again.
Examine everything to the left of the 'T' where the 3/8" line intersects and see if you notice any obvious spots where there could be a blockage. You could also keep the line crimped, remove the circ pump filter and try to use a garden hose to clear the line.
This could have been caused by some debris getting past the filter, pump, and heater and getting lodged behind the jet or somewhere else in the plumbing.
I fixed it!
I checked for clogs anywhere couldn't find any.
I replaced all of the 3/8 tubing in case there was a pin hole letting air in. didn't fix it.
So I plumbed in a check valve or "backflow valve" just after the flow switch so no backflow could push the switch open. FIXED! It was backflow the whole time. No idea why it started now, but I'm glad it's done with.
Thanks a lot for your ideas, thoughts, and knowledge, you definitely helped kick this things butt.