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Thread: 2 speed spa pump won't switch to low power mode

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    71

    2 speed spa pump won't switch to low power mode

    I have a 485 gallon spa with 2 challenger Triton pumps. 1 is a 1 speed boost pump. The other is the primary 2 speed pump, which also pushes the water through the heater. It is always on, either in high speed mode when we use the spa or in low speed mode when it is just circulating. Today, we used the spa for about an hour with all the jets running. Then, when I went to shut it down, the boost pump shut down, but the main pump would not go into low speed mode. I kept pushing the button but it wouldn't switch. There's also a little switch on the back of the motor, but it did nothing when I switched it. I have 4 large round buttons on the side of the spa tub. They are high/low on the main pump, then on/off for the boost pump, on/off for the bubbles, and on/off for the spa light. Is this a problem with the motor or with the button? I am not sure how to remove and service the button if it is a problem with the button. The spa is mounted into a concrete fixture and only removing the shell will give access to what is underneath the spa. The motors are on the side of the house with the pool equipment. It's only pipes underneath the spa. I can post pictures of the buttons if it would help. They're large and round and you have to push down pretty hard to get them to work. The buttons travel about a half an inch or more when I push them down. They've all been working perfectly, until just today. Of course, it could also be an electrical problem somewhere else. I'm just not sure where to start.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    71
    I did some more research and now I know what a spa air button is. I suppose that is what I have. I guess a common problem is the air tube gets full of water, often because the air button leaks. The problem is the shell is sunk in the ground next to the pool. Clearly, they had to have it partially installed to hook up the pipes, so I have to think I could lift out the shell to service this part. I just don't know how heavy the shell is or if the edges will support me lifting out one corner of it. I think I would have to lift out the corner that is in the pool (because of the overhang of the edge of the deck) and then the opposite edge would have to support the weight of the spa while I brace it open. Is this something I could do or will I need to hire someone?
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Do this first.

    open up the air switch box. It's in your picture on the left and has the two air tubes on it. You'll need a pair of needle nose plies for this. Pop the tube you know is working onto the one you know is not. Go to the spa and see if it actuates the micro switch. This will tell you if the switch is bad or the tube is fouled.

    If the switch checks out ok, you can go to the bad button but keep in mind, this can be tricky if you are not patient. A great help at this point is a small pair of needle nose locking vise grips. The larger diameter of that button has a nut on the other end under the shell of the spa. You can carefully take a large pair of channel locks and grab what you can on the button while turning it. That should loosen the button to a point where you can continue to turn it while pulling upwards. The idea is to hold the nut against the shell while turning the button. The underside of the shell is pretty rough so it usually works. If you can begin to get that button up and can actually see the air tube still attached, be careful not to pull too hard or the tube may fall off into a place where you'll never see it. If you can see the tube, get those vice grips ready to clamp onto it so you can free your hands and not loose that tube. If you're lucky enough to get the button out and the tube secure for inspection, you can now further diagnose. Check the button for air ejection and with the other side of the tube off at the air switch, blow out the line with a compressor. Reconnect the button and the tube at the other side and see if it works. If it does, you can put the button back in but you will not be able to secure the nut. Most of the time, a bead of silicone under the button and a weight will secure it for the next time.
    Authorized IntelliFlo Installer

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    71

    Re: 2 speed spa pump won't switch to low power mode

    That is so cool, I had no idea. I'm totally going to check that out. Thanks for following up on this rather old post. It's still an intermittent problem. I'll let you know how it goes. I had know idea that box was the switch box.
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia.
    Pool: 15,000 gallon 32'x18', 3'-6' deep in-ground gunite pool, Sta-Rite 3 125 GPM 2-filter cartrige, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump, solar heater, Goldline SWG, Jandy controls, opaque automatic CoverStar solar pool cover, 3 waterfalls (not from spa).
    Spa: 485 gallon in-ground square acrylic over fiberglass suspended over gunite Sunset brand spa, isolated system, natural gas heater, 2-speed (4hp/11hp) main pump, 3hp booster pump, chlorine sanitized.

    To my pool store owner, nothing is more important than my pool and my money.

    Richard's PoolEquations Spreadsheet

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