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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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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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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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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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