Hello all - I'm trying to help some friends who have been plagued by a spa air switch that seems to self activate from time to time. I'm wondering if anyone has heard of that before. Their pool is a 10K gal IG gunite, spa alongside using the main 240V pool pump and 240V blower, controlled by an intermatic RC2343PT four position air controlled relay switch with timer, spa air switch installed on top ledge of spa, 30 ft of 1/8" flexible (aquarium style) clear tubing from switch to RC2343PT.
In order for the timer portion of rc2343 to properly control the pool pump when spa is not in use, the RC2343 must be in "Step 1" (of it's 4 possible steps - wherein subsequent presses of the air switch advances the internal RC2343 relays to create 4 possible combinations of pump and blower on and off). Again Step 1 leaves the pump controlled by the timer. This works fine for awhile, but something is causing the rc2343 to advance to other steps, sporadically, once or twice per week, as if something or someone pressed the spa-side air switch.
Going back 2 years, I believe they had a similar symptom and they had the RC2343 replaced. Then one year ago they had the tubing replaced. They have no kids, they're away and pool cage is locked, and the pool cleaning service swears they never touch the spa-side switch, yet it keeps happening. Each time I go over there I find the relays in a different step, and of course the timer cannot control the pump properly if the controller is in any of steps 2, 3 or 4. Today I went over and replaced the RC2343PT (again, which was probably stupid but I had observed the enclosure had issues anyway and the tubing compression nut was missing).
Now I have to go over there again because the new RC2343PT has new issues, so I'll return it for refund if possible (brand new and the blower relay is intermittent and somehow they assembled the timer tripper switch to go ON with red stepper and off with green, which is backwards - ugh). I'm tempted to re-install the last RC2343PT after fixing the enclosure and finding a compression nut for the air hose, but then I'll be back to where I was, with the original problem.
I don't have a good feel for the air switch model, have not tried to remove it - it's just a white covered rubber plunger at the top, no clicking or anything when depressed, but one hint is that it takes very little pressure to actuate the controller into the next "step". Perhaps about 1/2 inch of plunger travel causes it to actuate. I'm wondering if anyone has heard of the "heat of the day" adding enough pressure in the hose to actuate the switch. This is south florida. Another hint is that despite the fact the hose was a fairly snug (might say very snug) fit on the old RC2343, absent the compression nut the hose was found disconnected a couple times in the past year.
On the next trip over I'm going to try blowing out the hose to see if water / condensate might be in the hose. Or perhaps a wider hose that is less sensitive? Or a switch that is less sensitive? Perhaps a better controller? I'm looking at the Len Gordon FF1094TC-4 as one possibility if I can't trust the relays in the RC2343PT. Any advice on good controllers of this type (short of a $3K automation system)?
The friends are out of town for a few months, so in the interim I shut off the blower breaker so it can't come on when in the wrong step, and I'm monitoring the pump remotely using an old smartphone set to auto-answer video calls from my skype account - a clever little free "baby monitor" I though of and folks have posted about around the web - lol.
Thanks for any advice!