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Raypack versa 20 year old propane heater used for hot tub pump has two speeds heater not turning on with low speed pressure turns on, but quickly cycles off then on and off repeatedly at high speed pump pressure water filter has been cleaned

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  • snsj Nov 16, 2009

    no water hammer noises

  • Dale Cobb May 11, 2010

    a weak pilot generator can also cause the heater to cycle. a millivolt heater is sensitive to power loss/fluctuation. Since they operate at 500-800mv, any power loss through a single component is bad. If you have the means, check for voltage going through the high limits, pressure switch, rollout sensor (may not have a rollout sensor on a heater that old). You should not have more than a 10mv loss through any component. You should have at least 500mv at the gas valve.

  • Dale Cobb May 11, 2010

    sounds like when it's running on low speed, the pressure switch will not allow the heater to turn on, but on high speed, the heater will turn on and cycle on and off. If the heater cycles on and off on high speed and the pressure switch is good. Your heat exchanger might be scaled up. Do you hear any water hammer noises when it's running?

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It is very hard to trll what is going on the way you describe it. It sounds like you have nothing at low speed on the pump but when you kick it up to high speed you get a cycling on and off of the heater.
You can try your pressure switch to see if it has a problem.
With the heater and pump off you will find the pre sw on your water manifold on the side of the heater. You will need to remove the side panels from the heater they are above and below the pipes coming into the heater. The pre sw will be a mushroom shaped piece that screws in to the manifold with two wires comeing out of it. It will take a small wrench (I think 7/16") unscrew this and make sure their is no rust or calcium build-up under it in the water chamber. If their is clear with a screw driver or the like and start the pump for a second to flush this out. (Careful or you will get wet) screw switch back in and run to check. If you find no problem here than it may be in the switch itself. If you bridg the sw with a jumper wire and it starts this is your problem, but you have to ck the other stuff first. Or you may be spending money on a pre sw for nothing. Do Not Just Jump Switch and Leave It At That!!!! This could ruin your heater at least or burn down your house. Of course if the filter, pump or pump baskets are dirty this will be the problem. But you say you checked those. Good luck and I hope this helped.

Posted on Nov 21, 2009

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My pump will only work on speed 2, however ...it will only heat up on speed 1, so the hot tub is cold. Any idea??


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by the description of your question, I would venture a guess, that the relay for low-speed, located on the circuitboard, has failed.
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So I would bring in an alternate source of power, and test each speed individually, confirming whether or not low-speed actually does work?If it does not, then you know it is the low-speed side of the pump motor that has failed. But if low speed does work with alternate power, then you know it is in the controlling circuit.

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have you cleaned your filter recently. Sound like there may be a low flow error in low speed
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Hello,I have an old jacuzzi vectra II hot tub (1988) 120 volt.the gfci on the unit trips every time the pump is on low speed with the thermostat calling for heat. there is no trip when there is no demand...


hi,

ok so when the pump is on high and the heater is running it doesent trip? you didnt say if it did. undo the heater leads so the pump is isolated completely. run the pump on the control centers gfci and see if it trips. if it does then try wiring directly - with an extension cord to a plug with a gfci in your house and see if it trips the gfci in your bathroom. if no trip inside house then bypass tubs gfci and run it with heater and pump through your bathroom gfci. if no trip then try and replace the tubs gfci, it gets pretty humid in the control center and gfci's have a semiconductor which which do fail after years of rough duty like that. if it trips the gfci in your house with the heater again it has a cracked heater element. craigslist always has old hot tubs and parts. you might have to buy a whole used old hot tub but that may be cheaper than a new heater box.

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I have a 2004 great lakes hot tub with a balboa controler. My hot tub heats up fine when the pump runs on high but the temp light never comes on when the pump runs in low.


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I just looked at the exploded drawing for the Manatee. It looks like a very simple heater. The heater will simply come on whenever the pump is running and the thermostat says that the tub is not hot enough. So, for the heater, set it and forget it.

The adjustment you can make is by setting the low-speed pump timer. There should be a timer on the control box, somewhere. Generally, you set the timer to come on for a couple of hours, twice a day. During those times, the pump will come on low-speed and the heater will come on as needed.
Keep in mind that the tub will only heat when the pump is running so you will want to set the timer so that the tub has been running for at least an hour when you will be ready to use it.

Most controls will also allow you to put the pump on thermostat control, usually with a switch (timer/ t-stat). By running on t-stat control, the low-speed pump and heater will turn on whenever the temperature drops a couple of degrees.

Timer control is usually more efficient for two reasons:
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Tip: If you want to soak when the tub isn't hot, just turn the pump on for 10 minutes or so before you get in. That is a pretty big heater, and unless you have very poor insulation or a worn-out cover, the temp shouldn't drop too fast.

Another tip: The best way to save money on a tub is to maintain your pH. Check it EVERY WEEK! Incorrect pH will shorten the life of your heater and seals. One service call would have paid for a lot of electricity.

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