Spa Not Heating

keatz85

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2017
76
Jacksonville, IL
Spa stopped heating a couple weeks ago (2005 HotSpring Jetsetter spa - 200 gal) Had the local pool company come look at it. They said heater circuit board was bad ($170) and the actual heater ($370) plus shipping and labor. I'm not sure if the actual heater doesn't heat but there's a definitely a small leak in it. They also said if that doesn't fix it then the main PCB could be causing the problem (350). Also, other parts could break while installing. Also, not sure if this is important but I noticed before calling them that I don't have a pressure switch which they confirmed. Also, the spa cover is bad, it was getting water logged and is 2 pieces (the hinge tore) My fix for this was a 70 dollar spa cover cover (basically a grill cover for spas) it doesn't get water logged and I haven't noticed heat loss or high electic bills (I just make sure to push the 2 pieces together tightly after using).

So my dilemma is - 1. do I want to spend that much money on a 15 year old spa? 2. go without one. 3. get a new one 4. try to find cheaper parts and fix it myself 5. is there some type of external heater that would work? something like this ...or something else I haven't thought of?

Also, I have a Hayward nat. gas heater. It has a spa mode. Anyway to tie it into that? It's a good 70 feet from the spa but I would consider moving the spa close to it, I think the new location would be better than where it is now anyway. How does a spa connected to a heater like this even work? And it apperas maybe this method is for in-ground spas? Based off a little research via google it appears you connect a suction line to existing plumbing where you can turn off/on the pool/spa suction and then do the same thing on the return side...so either the pool is running or the spa is running? We only use the heater in May for the pool but for the spa to remain a constant temp (as it does now or used to) wouldn't you have to run the pump 24/7? Or heat it up prior to using each time? I'm sure I'm missing something as I know everyone here loves their convenience.

What have others done in this situation?
 
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keatz85

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2017
76
Jacksonville, IL
I've determined I don't want to spend that type of money to fix an old spa...don't want to buy a new one anytime soon....i've came to the conclusion to move the spa, use the pool heater w/ spa feature, the spa would only be heating if pump running (either super inconvenient to heat before use or expensive to run it all the time) so don't want to go that route either...don't want to go w/out and have a non-working spa sitting here or deal w/ getting rid of it.

so with all that said that leaves me w/ try to fix myself w/ either 1. OEM parts (but the issue is they still quite expensive for an old spa) or 2. to try to build a diy spa heating system. Have done a little research on option 2 and have seen fire heated ones - don't want to mess w/ that...seen where they take an electric water heater element and put it in a pvc pipe but (and I could be wrong) that seems like a pretty good way to get shocked. seen solar - I wouldn't be opposed to this but this may be too technical for me and I would think the temp of the spa would be very inconsistent... electric spa heater seems like the route I was thinking of before doing any research - basically having a little heater and pump just for the spa (same concept as a pool heater but a smaller version for the spa) - the problem is - i've seen $2,000 spa heaters and $150 ones, I've seen pumps that look like they're for a huge pool and ones that look like their for a fish tank attached to spas. I've looked at repalcement heaters/pumps for portable spas as well. so what cheap pump and heater would work to get the job done? Also not entirely sure, at this point, how to go about adding in new heat and pump plumbing to existing plumbing?
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
224
Sunrise,FL
I had a similar situation a few years ago. I wound up purchasing a newer used one for a great price. Selling a used spa is very difficult, so you can get some great bargains! Find a spa mover who would be willing to help you move it, as that can be difficult as well (unless you have a spare trailer and everything is on ground level with no fences!).

My old spa practically fell apart when it was removed. It was also about 15 years old. And the new one I got had all the bells and whistles!
 
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homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
224
Sunrise,FL
Just look on Craigslist, OfferUp, or any local thing like that. Be a little careful in your area, as an unmaintained tub could have damage from frozen pipes (try to find something that is plugged in and full so you can be sure everything works. And still look for leaks, as they could top it off right before you get there!
 
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homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
224
Sunrise,FL
I think the spa I bought retailed for around $8000 and I was able to pick it up for $3000. I was a good buyer (cash) and had arrangements to pick it up and they had no other offers and the wife wanted it of their deck before they had her sister's wedding shower at their home. :) It was the perfect storm!
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,467
Northern NJ
Also not entirely sure, at this point, how to go about adding in new heat and pump plumbing to existing plumbing?
I think this would be your first step. Find where the pumps are and see what sort of plumbing connects to it.

This guy used a tankless water heater to heat his pool.

 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
17,146
Bedford, TX
85,

I also did the Craig's list thing and bought a used Caldera 3 person spa for $1,100 dollars and that included the power panel and the two GFCI circuit breakers.. I suspect it was a $7K or $8K machine when new.. Most people do not want to buy a used spas, so used ones do not sell unless really cheap.

The original owner had it set up and running when I to look at it.. I would not have bought it, had it not been running.

That said, I was pretty confident that if something did go bad, that I could repair it myself. It is not rocket science.

If I were in your shoes, I would run a couple of tests on your current spa and see what it would really cost to repair it. If you are comfortable working with electricity, then I would suggest that you measure the voltage going into the heater when the heater should be on.. If you have voltage and no heat, then the heater has to be bad. If you do not have any voltage then I would suspect the the relay that applies the voltage to the heater is bad... I would not buy any parts until you tell us the results of your tests.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

keatz85

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2017
76
Jacksonville, IL
If I were in your shoes, I would run a couple of tests on your current spa and see what it would really cost to repair it. If you are comfortable working with electricity, then I would suggest that you measure the voltage going into the heater when the heater should be on.. If you have voltage and no heat, then the heater has to be bad. If you do not have any voltage then I would suspect the the relay that applies the voltage to the heater is bad... I would not buy any parts until you tell us the results of your tests.

Thanks,

Jim R.
I'm comfortable w/ basic things when it comes to working w/ electricity (replacing light switches, outlets, pump timers, etc.) I definitely have voltage and no heat (it was tested...also everything else on the tub works except it heating).
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
17,146
Bedford, TX
85,

If you measured voltage between the two electrical inputs to the heater and it is not heating, then it sounds like a bad heater to me.. Everything else has to work or you won't get any voltage.. Note that this test must be done under load.. In other words the heater has to be connected to power at the same time you make the measurement.

Jim R.