Hot Spring Sovereign help


Old 09-21-15, 07:23 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Lightbulb Hot Spring Sovereign help

Hello everyone,

We have a hot tub that is throwing some error codes that I am hoping someone can help me diagnose. I just got done talking to the service center and they want to charge $50 to send someone else and then $100/hour so I would rather try to do some more testing before we take that pricey dive. So last year the hot tub had a slow leak which eventually triggered a water pressure fault. It was very late in the season so we just drained it all out and turned the power off for the past few months. Now we're trying to reopen it and have done the following.

Cleaned and scrubbed it out from all the filth.
Refilled it with a hose into the main shell (this turned out to possibly be a problem with air in the lines).
Turned the 20A circuit on and verified the pump and lights work
Let it run for 1 minute to make sure that it is primed
Turned on the 30A circuit breaker
Get a flashing Green and Red light

Reading through the manual this means either bad circulation due to air in the lines or dirty filters.

I went and loosened the main water lines to see if I could release any air. I didn't hear any hissing like there was air in the lines.
I went and bought a filter cleaner and washed the filters in the cleaner overnight.
I made sure the cartidges are tightened down and everything looks and feels good.

So I am reaching out to figure out where to go from here? I don't think it's the thermostat or temperature trip so I am still thinking that it's the filter somehow. The pump seems to work fine so I am not thinking it's a circulation issue.

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Old 09-21-15, 05:00 PM
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So I did some more troubleshooting and found the issue. The pressure switch is not working correctly for the heater. I believe the flow is good and there isn't a clog so I think the sensor just went bad. I jumpered the sensor to bypass it and the system is now working. I measured the sensor and it was somewhere around 4.4Mohms. I called the hot tub manufacturer to see if I can just get a pressure sensor but I am not thinking so since it's integrated into the heater. But we shall see.

Old 09-21-15, 10:13 PM
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You didn't post the year of manufacture so I couldn't look it up.

Many of those spas use a Watkins Mfg. Company heater with integrated pressure switch. The heater element has a limited lifetime warranty. I don't know if a defective pressure switch falls under that warranty but you can certainly ask about it.

From the general manual....
If the spa is not heating, the red and green lights are blinking, but the pump and light are operating, then the pressure switch may be open. Opening of the pressure switch is normally a result of one or a combination of these problems:
1) a clogged filter cartridge.
2) blockage within the system plumbing.
3) power was not disconnected to the spa before it was drained.
4) an air lock in the plumbing lines.

Once the problem has been identified and corrected the pressure switch will close which will energize the heater
Old 09-22-15, 07:38 AM
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You are correct that is it a Watkins 6000.
I went through and tried to trouble shoot those and found:
1.) Circulation pump still feels like water is being pumped. It could be pumping lower pressure or be running slow but I can't tell.
2.) Blockage (possible)
3.) I thought an air lock wouldn't even let the pump to turn on?

Any easy way to test an air lock or try to spring loose a blockage?
Old 09-22-15, 08:54 AM
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How is the pressure of the water returning back to the tub ?
Old 09-23-15, 09:45 AM
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Pressure is great, no noticeable issues. I am thinking the sensor is just bad from a bad winter and it shutting off and freezing (yes shame on me). At this point I would say either bad pressure through the circulation pump or that sensor. If it's that sensor then I am out $300 to buy a new one (I think). In the meantime, is there any huge risk of running without a pressure sensor? I have had it on for the last few days and have felt the heater with my hand and it's not hot at all (water is at 100F and ready to go). Thoughts?
Old 09-24-15, 03:13 PM
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Is there any risk driving your car without any brakes?
Old 09-24-15, 04:22 PM
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If the switch is in fact good and you bypass it and have a water flow problem.... you will, at the minimum, have a heater meltdown.

The pressure switch is there for a reason and we can't condone bypassing it for anything other than test purposes.
Old 09-28-15, 10:02 AM
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Thank you all the responses. I understand the risk more and think I should probably check to make sure there the circulation pump and pluming is not clogged and reconnect the pressure sensor. Any suggestions on how to do this? I would think I would have to:
1.) drain the spa
2.) remove the circulation pump
3.) check for debris and wear
4.) check pluming for blockage
5.) reconnect
6.) refill
7.) reapply heat

Can I do this with the spa full? Any tips or tricks on what to do or look for? Is the heater covered under warranty?

If that didn't work I would either have to call someone to come look at it or replace the heater.
Old 09-28-15, 10:42 AM
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Whether or not your heater or other parts are covered under warranty depends on when you purchased the spa. Their website shows their warranty coverage periods.

You can replace the circulation pump with the spa filled. First, get something to plug the tubing when you remove it from the pump. I happen to have a couple screwdrivers with handles that fit perfectly. Someone to help is also helpful.

Disconnect the power to the spa. Lay towels down because some water will leak. Loosen the clamps where the tubing meets the pump. Have your plug ready and pull the hose off the pump and shove your plug in the tubing. Water will also flow from the pump so your helper can put their hand over it to stop the flow. Then remove the other tube from the pump and shove in a plug. You can also consider installing ball valves in the lines to make future maintenance easier.

Since the circulate pump runs 24/7 they do wear out. Depending on what pump you have the impeller can be replaced without having to replace the entire pump.

Does your spa have a venturi for ozone injection? If so it's a choke point in the system and can catch debris. Also insure that the filters are clean. If you use a Natures2 cartridge in the filter center tube make sure it's properly spaced up. If too low it can restrict the flow.
Old 09-30-15, 11:06 AM
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Thank you for the response. I am thinking it could be the circulation pump so I am going to check that out. No ozone for this model. Thanks all for the help and chiming in.

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