Tell Me I Should Open My Hot Tub

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
455
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Yep, I pretty much use those Pleatco filters all the time, easy to get, at a decent price. Yep get two and go on your way..
 
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RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,364
Cabool, Mo
B. There are only a few filter manufacturers, and everyone gets filters from one of them. Nobody makes their own, even specialty designs are made by someone else.
 
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Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Another consideration is the heater. Spas with salt should use a titanium element, which is simple to install in some spas, but not a Watkins (Hot Springs, Caldera, Tiger River, etc) with an IQ system.
According to the manual, this thing has a titanium heater. Any way I can confirm this?
 

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Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Electrical all up to snuff now. Good call again on replacing the outlet... it was toasty.

Nice find once I pulled it all apart: three 6ga cables and an 8ga ground. All set for 220v panel swap-in later on!
 

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RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,364
Cabool, Mo
Replacement heater also shows titanium:

Yep, the newer ones are, but I was under the impression that yours is almost 20 years old, and I have no clue what the old ones are made of. Did I confuse you with another thread? It happens sometimes.
Given the fact that a Balboa titanium replacement element is about $60 last I checked, a $415 watkins assembly is pricey.
 

Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Yep, the newer ones are, but I was under the impression that yours is almost 20 years old, and I have no clue what the old ones are made of. Did I confuse you with another thread? It happens sometimes.
Given the fact that a Balboa titanium replacement element is about $60 last I checked, a $415 watkins assembly is pricey.
Yeah. I thought the price was a bit excessive.

If I had to replace the heater, is there any reason I couldn't use a Balboa heater as long as the appropriate ports for limit switches/sensors were available? Seems a matched ratings heater would be same same... just a resistive electric water heating tube for all intents and purposes.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
1,364
Cabool, Mo
You cannot use a balboa heater on a low flow system. It will overheat inside the heater and cause OH errors, and spa shutdown, as a result. I've tried. And you cannot put watkins sensors into a balboa heater housing, or use balboa (or any other) sensors with an IQ pack. You are stuck with that heater, I'm sorry to say. Just one of the joys of proprietary parts that come with high end spas. But on the flip side, how old is that heater? Typical lifespan of a balboa heater is 3-5 years.
 
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Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
You cannot use a balboa heater on a low flow system. It will overheat inside the heater and cause OH errors, and spa shutdown, as a result. I've tried. And you cannot put watkins sensors into a balboa heater housing, or use balboa (or any other) sensors with an IQ pack. You are stuck with that heater, I'm sorry to say. Just one of the joys of proprietary parts that come with high end spas. But on the flip side, how old is that heater? Typical lifespan of a balboa heater is 3-5 years.
Jerks and their proprietary parts! I would have to assume the heater is as old as the tub... 2008-2012-ish
 

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Mike1162

Silver Supporter
Jun 13, 2015
992
N Tonawanda, NY
Glad to hear the outlet was part of the problem & not a waste of money. Once the heater has been running for a few minutes see if the power cord feels warm.
 

Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Yes. Thanks again for mentioning the plug.

Heater and circ pump has been running all day and cord is cool. I'm still a bit leary about a 14ga cord, but it's definitely the tub's original. I think I have some 12ga SJ-something cable around here I can swap it out with.

All seems to be running nicely. Now to drain and refill after the great purge.
 

Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Ya know, when I unplugged it to drain the tub, the GFCI was a bit warm. Not burning hot but definitely warm.
 

Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Filters came in today. Note: wipe end caps down with alcohol or something to remove mold release oils. I wiped it down and could still see a little sheen on surface of water when I put filter in.

Did Ahh-Some purge and refill last night. Temp is up to 90. Put a tsp of CYA and a couple tsps of calcium chloride after refilling then an ounce or so of 12.5% liquid chlorine. Will restest water once I get out... I couldn't resist.

Also, noticed I have a bit of a water leak at the jet control diverter. Looking at diagrams, it appears to just be an o-ring. Will poke at that later.

20210811_181227.jpg
 
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Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Oopsie... TA is at 110, and pH is 8, and calcium is about 20.

Dosed MA to bring pH down to 7 while aerating... added a few ounces of calcium and almost 2 ounces of 12.5% CL.

More work to do tomorrow!

Good news is water temp went from 55 to 98 in under 24 hours. Sure helps to have even the ratty old in-two-pieces cover on the tub.
 

A.O.

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2016
455
Kershaw, South Carolina
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Oopsie... TA is at 110, and pH is 8, and calcium is about 20.

Dosed MA to bring pH down to 7 while aerating... added a few ounces of calcium and almost 2 ounces of 12.5% CL.

More work to do tomorrow!

Good news is water temp went from 55 to 98 in under 24 hours. Sure helps to have even the ratty old in-two-pieces cover on the tub.
I add about 4 oz of 10% chlorine to my tub every day.

My TA is 50 and PH about 7.6

And not understanding the wiping down of your filters, mold release oils?? All the ones I ever got were dry and ready to put in.
 

Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I add about 4 oz of 10% chlorine to my tub every day.

My TA is 50 and PH about 7.6

And not understanding the wiping down of your filters, mold release oils?? All the ones I ever got were dry and ready to put in.
I did 2 MA doses and aerations to get the TA down but it was too late to do any more work on it. I'll pick it back up later today.

The blue end caps of the filters felt a bit oily. The only thing I could attribute that to would be mold release oils. I tried wiping them down with some general purpose cleaner and they still felt oily so I wiped them down with alcohol on a rag and that seemed to do the trick. Still a tiny bit of the oil remained and I could see a very slight oil sheen on the water around filter when I put it in. Nothing to worry about but it was visible.

I'm sure in a pool where the filter goes into a tank and there are tens of thousands of gallons of water, it would be unnoticeable.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
10,352
NY
I'm sure in a pool where the filter goes into a tank and there are tens of thousands of gallons of water, it would be unnoticeable
+1. Have a brand new filter waiting for my build. I cracked it open to verify I had all the parts and the plastic parts of the filters felt like somebody sprayed them with sunblock. I literally laughed and thought ‘ Meh, 35k gallons won’t care’ as i put it back together.
 
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Plettschner

Gold Supporter
Jun 4, 2019
253
Connecticut
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
5 rounds of dropping pH with MA and pH is a lot more stable. Still creeping up a bit but I don't want to go too far. Letting it run a little bit and will check levels in a bit.

Added a tad more CYA and CL as well. Temp is holding nicely at around 100.

And I wonder, why did I wait so long? Oh yeah, it seemed daunting and there is only so much time in a day... work, kids, dog, etc. But hey, you know me, I can't complain 😁
 
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