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Thread: Spa has white deposits, FLO error, and is overheating

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    PresidentSkroob's Avatar
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    Spa has white deposits, FLO error, and is overheating

    Story time.

    Last month we purchased this house that has an indoor pool and an outdoor spa. Pool seems to be going okay, but the spa is causing nothing but headaches.

    It's a Sundance Marin. I'm not sure when it was purchased, but it was probably a little more than five years ago or so if I had to estimate. The interior head pads and the exterior have some age-related deterioration.

    When we got the house, the spa water had a funny smell. It's treated with BaquaSpa, so after confirming with a local pool guy that it's not supposed to have a funny smell we drained it, my wife cleaned the interior with the cleaning kit, and we refilled it. We added the chemicals as recommended and things were okay for a couple weeks.

    We took a water sample into the local pool place (the place was recommended by the previous owners and has serviced the spa and pool for them). The guy there told us we were lacking in alkalinity and hardness, and told us to add I think two pounds of the alkalinity increaser and the hardness increaser. I did so. Things seemed okay.

    We didn't use it for a bit of time, but about a week or so later we got in and there was a white particulate stuck to all of the interior of the shell, resulting in a fairly unpleasant experience. I talked to the pool guy about it and he said it might be dirt or something, and I should just ignore it and keep the chemical levels normal and it would go away. It has not gone away. More recently, the pump has started showing a FLO error, which doesn't seem to affect the runnings but it certainly concerns me. More recently, about a week ago, the power started shutting off without explanation. The only way I could get it back on was to remove the fuses (apparently most of these should have a switch on the box that the fuses are in but ours doesn't; just the fuses) and put them back in. That starts it up and it runs okay, but if I come back tomorrow it's off again. This past weekend I camped out to see it at the moment the power cut, and then turned it back on immediately. It showed an OH error, which I believe is overheat.

    I talked to the pool expert again and he told me it's time to shop for a new spa because the expense in labor and materials makes it not worth fixing. I'm looking for a second opinion.

    So.

    #1: How should I be solving this particulate problem?
    #2: Are the three issues related?
    #3: Is the pump fixable?
    #4: Is my pool expert dependable?

    Any help would be appreciated, and if you need any additional information please let me know.
    40,000 gallon, 20'x40' in-ground (gunite) indoor pool built in 1976
    Filter: Hayward S-220T (sand)
    Heater: Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 200
    Pump: Hayward C48L2N134B1 two speed I think

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    Madison Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Spa has white deposits, FLO error, and is overheating

    Unreal. Replace the term "expert" with "jocky". Adding 2 pounds of alkalinity increaser would put your TA around 350 or so.

    Get yourself a taylor test kit pronto, and the fine folks on this forum will help you out. No need to buy a new tub, especially a Sundance tub.
    Jacuzzi J375 Spa, 415 gallons, Bromine Sanitizer

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    PresidentSkroob's Avatar
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    Re: Spa has white deposits, FLO error, and is overheating

    Unfortunately, there WAS a testing kit in the house when we bought it, but the pool guy told us that those are the "old way" and that strips would be all we'd need...

    So I threw it away.

    Awkward.

    Also, given that my spa is chemicaled with BaquaSpa, should I be investing in a separate testing kit for it that is specific to a unit running on those chemicals? Or does one just use the standard testing kit and only use the tests on it that apply?
    40,000 gallon, 20'x40' in-ground (gunite) indoor pool built in 1976
    Filter: Hayward S-220T (sand)
    Heater: Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 200
    Pump: Hayward C48L2N134B1 two speed I think

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    Re: Spa has white deposits, FLO error, and is overheating

    I used BaquaSpa in my spa for several years. I quit using it because it does clog up your filters causing the flow errors. You can never get the filters clean even using their cleaner. I just got used to buying new filters every season. My brother-in-law's froze during the winter due to clogged filters and did damage to his plumbing. Unless you have a good reason not to, just go to the bleach method taught here. Thats what I've been doing and water and spa look great. I never like the commercial chlorine sanitizers for some reason. Odor and water feel were not good. With bleach water smells fresh and feels great.

    I did use bromine for several years after the BaquaSpa experiment and its okay but it doesnt keep the spa as clean. You would still get mildew up around the control knobs and headrests that weren't underwater whereas the chlorine keeps everything under the cover clean.

    Edit: To more specifically answer your questions, yes, the BaquaSpa causes the particulate. The filters get clogged causing the flow error. The decreased water flow through the heater is causing the over heat error. No, your pool guy is not reliable, get a kit and test it yourself. I would not recommend BaquaSpa, use bromine or chlorine.
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

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    PresidentSkroob's Avatar
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    Re: Spa has white deposits, FLO error, and is overheating

    I tried running the spa without the filter inside, which is something that was recommended in the BaquaSpa handbook, and still had the FLO issue. Maybe I should try running it for a longer period of time without the filter installed...

    From looking around on here, and in the BaquaSpa forum here, it seems like all people want to do with it is get off of it.
    40,000 gallon, 20'x40' in-ground (gunite) indoor pool built in 1976
    Filter: Hayward S-220T (sand)
    Heater: Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 200
    Pump: Hayward C48L2N134B1 two speed I think

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    PresidentSkroob's Avatar
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    Re: Spa has white deposits, FLO error, and is overheating

    Just to update on this excitement.

    I drained the hot tub last weekend and scrubbed it all out with the shell cleaner stuff. My theory was that if I wanted the particulate stuff to dissolve in the water, I could help it along by removing as much of the particulate that I could reach as possible. When I filled it back up and started it again, the FLO error remained but it wouldn't overheat. Nevertheless, it was running constantly and wasn't actually heating.

    Today I took out the circulation pump and opened it up. The impeller mechanism was packed with deposits. I cleaned things up mostly by wiping it down, with a little scratching with my fingernail or a screwdriver for the really tenacious stuff. After I put it back together and reinstalled it, the FLO error is gone and the hot tub is heating up again. Up to 96 degrees now from where it started at 80, so I think everything has been restored to proper functionality.

    Hooray!
    40,000 gallon, 20'x40' in-ground (gunite) indoor pool built in 1976
    Filter: Hayward S-220T (sand)
    Heater: Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 200
    Pump: Hayward C48L2N134B1 two speed I think

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Spa has white deposits, FLO error, and is overheating

    Yea! Glad things are working better for you! Kind of makes you wonder what is in that Baqua-spa stuff.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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