Hot tub / Jacuzzi low flow pump problems....

Old 05-12-02, 11:24 PM
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Hot tub / Jacuzzi low flow pump problems....

Hi All,

I've got a 220V 50A Jacuzzi on my back porch, and everything was working GREAT on it until this evening when I went outside and found that the water coming out of the jets is barely a trickle.

I'm not sure what could be wrong, considering it was working just fine earlier.

When I look up in the troubleshooting guy from CAL SPA, it says that low flow problems could be caused by:

a). Dirty Filter (I checked, and it's clean as a whistle)
b). Closed gate valves or blocked lines (I verified all gate valves are open, but I'm not sure how to check for blocked lines?!)
c). Low voltage or incorrect voltage (I installed the wiring myself, and I'm not seeing a problem there. Like I said, it was working fine for about 2 months, and then all of the sudden splat. The only thing that I touched today regarding the electricity was the GFCI box on the side of the house... I moved it over about a foot or so, but the jacuzzi was working when I was done doing that... Also the pump sounds completely normal, so I think if I had low voltage probs the pump would sound about 1/2 speed, also the lights come on inside the jacuzzi, etc without a prob)

I'm convinced that maybe something is jammed in the lines or stuck in the jets, I don't know. We had a serious moth problem out here in Colorado Springs for the past 3 weeks and every day that I go out to my jacuzzi there are about 500 moths underneath the cover that come flying out.... So maybe I have moths jammed in the filter???

Until I can figure out what's going on, I'm going to add some extra bromine/chlorine and some spa "organic material breaker downer" solution that is supposed to help gunk and grime break down and biodegrade faster. Maybe it will have the effect of liquid drano on my spa?

Let me know if you guys have any other ideas!!!!!
Old 05-13-02, 07:12 AM
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You're going to add both chlorine and a biological agent? I think maybe the chlorine will kill the biological agent. Be sure to read the directions carefully.
Old 05-13-02, 10:47 AM
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Talking 2nd filter??

If motor is turning fine and every other electrical parts are working fine, it doesn't sound like an electrical problem. You said you checked a filter; depending on the make & model, there may be another filter(dual-filtration system). Make sure the one that you checked is the ONLY one that's installed in your system.
In my CAL SPA system, I have a dual-filtration system where there's a main filter located after pump and before heater, and there's a sub filter right after the main drain.
If indeed there's a 2nd filter, you may find few moths stuck in there, restricting the water flow.

If filter is not the problem, I suggest to check for airlock in either pump or filter housing. The other area to check for clog is entrance to heater element, but since it's located AFTER main filter, it's highly unlikely.

If clog is found, using a bio-degradable chemical can be an option; but I suggest using a snake thru drain hole to look for a clog between drain and main filter.
Old 05-13-02, 02:53 PM
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Yeh I've been trying all day to get the pump apart so that I can see the "impeller" to see if it's clogged or got something wrapped around it or whatever, but I can't get the darn thing open, so I think I'm going to have to commit a major DO IT YOURSELFER crime, and actually call in the experts.

Sucks... going to cost $68 for the first 30 minute diagnostic, plus $12 per 15 minutes after that. Hopefully it's nothing too difficult.

I've spent the whole day double checking for airlocks, and I've been unsuccessful in getting the output through the jets to change at all. I'm pretty sure it's not an airlock problem, because there is water filled all the way to the top of the pump (I have an air release there, and when I open it, tons of water comes out and no air)...

One of the guys I talked to over the phone said the pump sounds too loud, so I don't know... maybe I'll have to get the pump changed out. It doesn't sound too loud to me, but it's always been somewhat loud, because it's pretty old.

Thanks for all your suggestions... if you have any more, the pros don't show up for 3 days so let them fly!!!!
Old 05-13-02, 04:49 PM
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On a whim, I just pulled the filter completely out of the spa, and ran it without a filter in it... The thing runs almost at the full power it was running at when it was working before with the filter.... I cleaned the filter thoroughly, reinstalled it, and I did regain some power, but now all of it... I'm thinking I've got a problem in the area of the filter.

I noticed I've got a ton of air in the pipes now ever since I put the filter back in... I've tried bleeding it from all 3 different valves on the system, and I can't seem to get all of the air out of the system... I'm not sure what is going on at this point...

By the way, the guy on the phone was right, the motor was running loud... Like it is in overdrive or something.... Because when I bleed all of the air out of it, it runs much quieter for a couple of minutes, but then returns to loud when there is more air in the pipes. I can't figure out where the air is coming from!!!


Old 05-16-02, 09:10 AM
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Talking Try this before you pay $$$

First, replace your filter; it usually costs less than $50 and prevents much expensive damage to the motor.

Second, after filter is replaced, try following to bleed out trapped air in your system:

1. Close all the air vent valves(bleed plugs).
2. Run motor for about 10 sec
3. Open bleed plugs on pump housing and on filter.
4. Close the plugs when hissing stops and water comes out.
5. Run motor again for about 30 sec
6. Repeat steps 3 & 4.
7. Check outputs at the jets and sound of motor.
8. Repeat steps 3-7; increase interval of running the motor.

Air trapped in your system must be completely bled out; otherwise it puts too much strain on your motor.
However, bleeding must be a gradual process as I described.
One more thing, check the push-pull valves to make sure that every one of them is fully open; partially opened valve will restrict the proper flow as well.
Good Luck.
Old 05-27-02, 07:19 PM
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After much troubleshooting, the problem seems to be a bad or faulty ozonator. When I unplug it, all power returns to normal from all jets!!!!

Wierd huh?

I guess I'll have to replace a valve or the whole thing to get it back into action.

Thanks for all your helpfull advice!

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