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Thread: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pics)

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    RazorbackFan78's Avatar
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    Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pics)

    I'll cut right to it. My wife and I bought a house in December. It came with a "non-functioning" hot tub which the PO had installed into concrete.
    The house has a pool which is what we were really after but I thought it would be icing on the cake if I could revive the spa before Fall/Winter.

    I've attached some pics. It's a Cal Spa and it looks to be in pretty good shape. But I can't tell if everything is hooked up correctly. There are a couple of pipes that don't connect to anything. I'm assuming it's similar to our pool and one of them is possibly Waste. Anyway, it was 3/4 full when I pulled off the top so it appears to be holding water. The water was clear but soot and a family of dead lizards had settled at the bottom. Got it drained for the most part. And now I'm wondering what the smartest and safest approach is to troubleshooting the equipment.

    NOTE: There is literally zero-access to the exterior of the tub. It is surrounded by concrete. On one side is a 4ft drop off leading to the swimming pool below. The pumping/heating station is on the opposite side under our deck and if I had to guess it hasn't been ran in 1-2 years. Unfortunately we didn't get any details from the PO. For all I know the PO called it broken because it doesn't heat the water. Or for all I know, there are cracked/leaking lines around the tub that I can't get to without busting up concrete slab.

    Anyways, sorry for the long post. I was just hoping to get some guidance or "whatever you do don't...." comments from the Spa forum. Thanks guys, enjoy the pics





    IG 36x17 Vinyl w/ a 7ft Slide, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, 1HP Pump, Barracuda G3, Pentair 300 Chlorinator (not in use), and a Rheem P-M266A Heater

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pi

    I'd bet it is sitting in a hole rather than concreted in place. Can you lift it out?
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pi

    Well...fill 'er up and see if the pump runs! That's the first thing...if it leaks badly, it may be a lost cause, or at least an expensive repair. If it doesn't leak, you can see what works, what doesn't and go from there!
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    RazorbackFan78's Avatar
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    Re: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pi

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    I'd bet it is sitting in a hole rather than concreted in place. Can you lift it out?
    JohnT, Yes its probably set in a hole but the concrete stops short about 1/4" from the edge of the spa all the way around. I don't see how anyone or any crane could "grab" it to lift it out at this point. There's not even enough room to feed straps down and underneath it. Maybe their original thought was "Hey we can always demo this brick retaining wall if we ever need to lift it"

    Is it possible there are concealed hooks somewhere inside the shell? I'm new to the world of spas if you can't tell

    Hopefully lifting it out wont be necessary.
    IG 36x17 Vinyl w/ a 7ft Slide, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, 1HP Pump, Barracuda G3, Pentair 300 Chlorinator (not in use), and a Rheem P-M266A Heater

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    RazorbackFan78's Avatar
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    Re: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pi

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    Well...fill 'er up and see if the pump runs! That's the first thing...if it leaks badly, it may be a lost cause, or at least an expensive repair. If it doesn't leak, you can see what works, what doesn't and go from there!
    Melt In The Sun,
    I'm filling it up as we speak. I'll let ya know if the pump fires up a-ok. At this point, I think my biggest concern is that pipes leak so bad that it drains through the retaining wall and into our swimming pool below. That's kinda why I've been hesitant to run the equipment until closer to fall But no guts no glory. Here we go!!!
    IG 36x17 Vinyl w/ a 7ft Slide, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, 1HP Pump, Barracuda G3, Pentair 300 Chlorinator (not in use), and a Rheem P-M266A Heater

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    RazorbackFan78's Avatar
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    Re: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pi

    Okie doke. Filled it up. Flipped the breaker. Pump started imediately. After about a minute of the pump running, suddenly the jets came on and stayed on for about 20-30 seconds. Then they shut off, never to turn on again. I went to the control panel (see new photo) and pressed the JETS button and immediately heard the sound from the pump station changed. The additional sound came from the large square box on the left (I assume it's the heater). But no jets came on after a couple of minutes waiting, so I pushed the JETS button again to turn off whatever I had turned on. Out of curiosity I flipped the breaker off, waited a few minutes and flipped it back on. Same results as the first time: after a couple of minutes the jets came on, ran for 30-ish seconds and jets turned off. Pump continues to run.

    I noticed the control panel is flashing the # 388 (can't capture it in a pic). But I'm sure this is some kind of diagnostic or error code. Unfortunately I don't have the operators manual nor do I know which model it is so I can go download a manual.

    Any thoughts?



    IG 36x17 Vinyl w/ a 7ft Slide, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, 1HP Pump, Barracuda G3, Pentair 300 Chlorinator (not in use), and a Rheem P-M266A Heater

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    RazorbackFan78's Avatar
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    Re: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pi

    INSERT FAVORITE CURSE WORD!!! My worst fear confirmed....here is a picture of the hot tub leaking through the retaining wall down onto the pool deck. I guess the only good news at this point is that it only leaks when the jets are on, so I'd guess a leak in my return line or any one of the jet assemblies.

    I'm thinking some kind of "fix a leak" product is my only hope of stopping the leak without pulling up the tub or smashing through the surrounding concrete. Again, way out of my league here. I'll probably call a "pro" to come bend me over.

    IG 36x17 Vinyl w/ a 7ft Slide, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, 1HP Pump, Barracuda G3, Pentair 300 Chlorinator (not in use), and a Rheem P-M266A Heater

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    RazorbackFan78's Avatar
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    Skimmer looks pulled away from shell, silicone everywhere (p

    So here's the latest and greatest....After seeing the leak yesterday evening. I noticed the hot tub stopped leaking water when water level dropped below the skimmer (or whatever you call it in spa terminology). I took a closer look at the skimmer and noticed it looks "lifted" away from the shell and I also noticed generous amounts of silicone all over the collar. I've never owned a spa in my life but my gut tells me this isn't right.

    Should this skimmer be raised away from the shell like it is (see pic)? And if not, is there any way for me to re-attach it or seal it without pulling the hot tub out of the ground?

    IG 36x17 Vinyl w/ a 7ft Slide, Hayward S244T Sand Filter, 1HP Pump, Barracuda G3, Pentair 300 Chlorinator (not in use), and a Rheem P-M266A Heater

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pi

    It definitely shouldn't be away from the shell.

    If you want to try and lift it out of the hole. Drain it and rent a couple (or 4), glass handles (vacuum suction cups) for lifting glass, stone, etc. panels and attach them to the smoothest, flatest places you can find. That should allow you to get it up enough to get some slings, etc under it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Laenini's Avatar
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    Re: Installed in concrete, doesn't work, lost cause? (see pi

    My Cal Spas tub has a similar looking control panel. I know too that when I first re-power my tub it goes through a self priming process that has to finish before the heater and jets will run. It takes about 5 minutes in my tub. No idea if this is helpful or not, but figured I would share.
    I'm also curious, is there a way in under your tub through the retaining wall? Have you tried unstacking some of those blocks? Its hard to believe someone would encase a tub so completely that you have no way to get at it. Do you have any way to contact the former owner of the property? I talk to the former owner of my house via email all the time, seriously. We've gotten quite friendly! Finally, the realtor when we bought our house last year gave us as a bonus a 1 year warranty on the property through a company called HSA. Any chance you got an add on like that from the real estate company? I think its not uncommon.
    I love Dave's idea about the glass handles! If you do that, take pics for us, will you? Very clever solution that I know I never would have thought of! I've seen more than a few good ideas come out of Dave though!
    Leanne
    Pool: 24' round by 48" deep AGP
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed pump, H100 Heater, sand filter, skimmer, using BBB (love it!)
    Hot tub: 2008 CalSpas, 8x8, 8 seats, 60+ jets, ozonator
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