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Thread: Leaking spa heater fitting, Replacement parts or Repair?

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    Leaking spa heater fitting, Replacement parts or Repair?

    So I was filling the tub to do a decontamination and drain. I had the side panel off and when the water level/pressure got high enough I noticed water leaking at the black plastic fitting that houses what I figure is the temp sensor and connects to the silver metal pipe of the heater. (black piece on the end of the metal pipe left of the blue sticker in the pic below)


    I observed a black plastic ring that had seemed to have loosened,backed out/away from underneath the main black fitting. This black ring had a slit in it, so I attempted to take it off from the metal heater pipe. Upon closer inspection this slit was actually a brake in the plastic and probably not meant for a means of getting this piece on and off the metal pipe, but rather should have no slit at all and be placed on the metal pipe by being slipped over the end.

    I drained what water I had filled and disconnected the other tubing(plastic and yellow-ish, below the metal one tube int the pic below ) that went to the other nipple on this fitting. Then I was able to slip the leaking fitting off the end of the metal pipe.

    Inside I also found an O-ring that was damaged.(In the pic below you can also see the black plastic ring I have been referring to and other bits of plastic, likely from that ring that was found inside this fitting)


    So I called the Spa store where I found the previous tub owners had originally purchased the tub. I emailed them pics of the parts. They knew the spa and its heater model. I asked them for cost for these two parts(O-ring and black ring). They contacted me back later and said they're not available and that the whole heater needs to be replaced. $380 for the part and $100 labor.

    Well I could hardly believe what I was hearing, that this could not be fixed and that the whole heater would have to be replaced.

    Here is the model number from the heater. (Pic has been rotated 180 clockwise for easier reading)
    Model No:IHH-6000-NHCW
    Watkins Part No: 0927501
    Laing Pat No: 6759


    So I searched a bit and quickly found a replacement heater for less than what the spa store quoted me.
    Link for replacement heater for $300

    My first intention is not to replace the heater for less but to find these two simple parts.

    What resources should I look to for finding these two parts. O-ring and black pastic ring that fit this heater.

    If I can't find the parts my next soluton would be to connect the metal pipe and black fitting through a home made solution. This made me wonder -at what pressures would a home made solution have to with stand? What is the roughly the max pressure that would be at this junction?

    Any ideas/suggestions for a homemade connection? I want to keep the water flowing through the black fitting as I think it's housing the temp sensor.
    Note- the outside diameter of the metal pipe is smaller than the inside of the black plastic fitting as one would assume, but it's not a real close fit as that black plastic ring that is broken filled the diameter size difference between the two pieces. Also the end of the metal pipe is not a straight cut. In the earlier pic you can see the little pattern in the top of the metal pipe that probably allowed the black plastic ring to clip/snap into place. On the underside of the end of the metal pipe there is small semi-circular shape cut into the end. I'm wondering if a homemade connection could be made to be more reliable than the original. Perhaps some tubing and screw down clamps, with the repair tubing going over the outside of the black fitting with temp sensor rather than within as the metal tube with black plastic ring and O-ring originally did. Concerns for such a set up?


    Here's a slightly more zoomed out photo of the equipment area.


    Thanks for all your help
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking spa heater connector, Replacement parts or Repai

    What does the inside of the black fitting look like?

    You may be stuck with replacing the entire heater. There's one on Amazon for $50 less.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Leaking spa heater connector, Replacement parts or Repai

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    What does the inside of the black fitting look like?

    You may be stuck with replacing the entire heater. There's one on Amazon for $50 less.
    Thanks for the quick reply Rambler.
    There was some substance inside the black fitting white-ish/tan-ish, slightly flaky, most fell out. It did not seem securely attached to the sides.

    May I please have the link you speak of?

    It just seems nonsensical to replace an entire heater for what could be fixed by and O-ring and plastic ring, if I can find those parts, or some other solution of what they were to provide - a leak free connection to between a pipe and a fitting
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking spa heater connector, Replacement parts or Repai

    Sorry, the one on Amazon was a 4kw and I see yours is a 6kw. Here's one for $259 that's a 6kw.

    It would be nice to just replace those parts but they don't seem to be available. You might try calling Watkins or Laing and see if they have them.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Leaking spa heater connector, Replacement parts or Repai

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Sorry, the one on Amazon was a 4kw and I see yours is a 6kw. Here's one for $259 that's a 6kw.

    It would be nice to just replace those parts but they don't seem to be available. You might try calling Watkins or Laing and see if they have them.
    Thanks for the link and the idea for contact. I did not know I could contact them directly. I'll search for some numbers.

    You know what I found interesting while reading in the owners manual I discovered that the heater only runs at 1500 watts when the spa is wired for 115 volts, which this one is, and runs at 6000 watts when the spa is wired for 240 volts. So if I ever did replace the heater could I just buy one rated for 1500 watts instead that perhaps cost less?
    Spa - Tiger River Spas Sumatran, 2003(I think) 310 gallons, Filter - Cartridge, Type - Acrylic, Pump Motor - Silent Flo 5000 circulation pump & a Wavemaster jet pump, Other - Has a Ozonator. Owners Manual

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    Re: Leaking spa heater connector, Replacement parts or Repai

    So what was the resolution to your problem? I have a leak in the same location. My O-ring is intact and the black plastic ring has a break right down the middle. Were you able to obtain replacements, or did you have to replace the entire heater?

    Quote Originally Posted by pool2p View Post
    Thanks for the link and the idea for contact. I did not know I could contact them directly. I'll search for some numbers.

    You know what I found interesting while reading in the owners manual I discovered that the heater only runs at 1500 watts when the spa is wired for 115 volts, which this one is, and runs at 6000 watts when the spa is wired for 240 volts. So if I ever did replace the heater could I just buy one rated for 1500 watts instead that perhaps cost less?

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    Re: Leaking spa heater fitting, Replacement parts or Repair?

    I just found this same problem yesterday when the repair guy fired up the spa after replacing the motor/pump. I haven't taken it apart yet to see if its the same o-ring issue, or if the black plastic is cracked... its a small drip - about 1 drip every 5 seconds.
    MikePoolGuy - what did you do to resolve? I'm wondering if I can replace the o-ring (if broke), and/or add some water-resistant sealant in there and plug the metal heater part back in and hope it holds...
    Thanks!

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