Hot Tub - No water pressure...

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I have recently been given 6 man outdoor hot tub...
After re-wiring most of the control panel, I finally have the pump running and the switch seems to work between low and high speed.
The pump sounds like it is running fine, all valves seem to be open, but there is no water pumping out of the jets.
Can anyone suggest some troubleshooting steps to find out why? Is there any way the pump is not working, even though it sounds like its running between the two speeds? The jets do not seem to have an on / off option.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks - Matt
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Zoner wrote:

Impeller froze once before and shaft is broken or setscrews on impeller stripped so only motor is running but pump isn't turning. Could also simply have a solid blockage in inlet.

Pull pump and see what it does on its own...
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GENERALLY, when the water isn't flowing through the pump, there is a message on the panel that says FLO or FLOW, or a light comes on.
What happens is .......
When the thing is drained, there is an air bubble in the pump. You have to find the bleeder, turn the pump on, open the bleeder, and let the air out, or at least until it catches prime.
On mine, I drain the spa into the pool, then refill the spa from the pool so I don't have to heat up as much water. Any time the spa is drained, the air bubble phenomenon occurs. On mine, I can turn the pump on and off, and sometimes it catches prime. Not always, and I have to take off the side panel and reach in there in all the spider webs and insects and open the bleeder.
DO NOT let the pump run for long with nothing coming out.
It is an easy fix unless you fry the pump, then you're talking serious.
No biggie once you've done it once.
Also, kill the juice to your spa. Take off the electrical access panel. There is usually fuses in there. Go get extras. When the thing just won't work, check the fuses, and change them. If that don't work, then you call the repairman. No sense calling them out for an $80 call that you can fix for a buck.
Enjoy your spa. We love ours.
Steve
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wrote:

My guess is a "spun" impeller. This just threads on the motor shaft and the threads can be stripped.
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Buddy, you need to get a girl in there!
Steve ;-)
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If it is air locked, another way to get the air out of the pump is to use a garden hose to force some water through the system under pressure. I can do this on mine through the filter housing, with the filter removed. Of course, you want to do this with the pump turned off.
Normally, a spa should self prime. I've drained mine many times over 15 years and only had it get air locked once. Why it happened that one time, I don't know.
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On 15 Aug 2005 14:55:57 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That's not normal on a large number of spas. Priming by bleeding is so fast and easy, it's not worth the effort to argue against doing it, needed or not.

Why it DIDN'T happen all the other times is a bigger mystery!
rusty redcloud
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Priming by bleeding is so fast and

On mine, I need a person with a tiny crooked arm. Using my big ham, I have to reach in there between pipes, do a ninety at the wrist, then turn the bleeder with the last 1/2" of my fingertips. One of the bleeders is right out there, and the other is in a bunch of pipes.
It all depends on your spa.
Steve
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Thanks for all the replies folks...
I will be off work in an hour, and anxious to give these things a try. I'll let you know how it works out...
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Try those bleeders first.
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wrote:

You can't loosen any of the unions easily?
rusty redcloud
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wrote

Rusty:
I just said there is barely enough room to get a hand in there. How in the world would I get a big pipewrench in there.
STeve
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"That's not normal on a large number of spas. Priming by bleeding is so fast and easy, it's not worth the effort to argue against doing it, needed or not. "
I'd beg to differ. Why anyone would want to remove screws and an access cover, then a plug in a pump, every time you change the water if it's not needed is beyond me. Plus now you have homeowners who may not even be comfortable with basic safety, inside the spa where you can get into trouble if you don't know what you're doing. Like letting water run into the power pack. These are supposed to be simple consumer friendly units by now. And the ones I've seen have been. There's no mention in my owners manual of the need to do this. This isn't rocket science, they should be able to make them so they self prime.
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On 15 Aug 2005 16:20:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

If you are commissioning a spa, you already have the access panel off. I have no idea what "pump" you are plugging in. The power is OFF to the entire unit while you are bleeding, which takes less than a minute. This is a matter of loosening and then tightening a couple of unions so that a little air escapes and water trickles in. You are correct it isn't rocket science. So why are you trying to make it sound as if it is?
rusty redcloud
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First question:
Do you own a spa?
If the answer is no, please do not go on to the second or subsequent questions.
How can you bleed a spa with the pump off? You need positive pressure to drive the air out.
Why would anyone in their right brain mind want to break apart a union that is sealed, and risk creating a problem?
How in the world would one get a pipe wrench into all that tangle of pipes and wires to break a union loose?
How big are the unions on your spa? Mine are about four inches across the nut.
How long is a pipe wrench that will loosen that big a nut? Or, even, how big a set of channel locks would that take?
Bleeding spa lines by breaking unions? Sounds as rational as swatting flies with a sledge hammer.
Steve
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On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 22:07:39 -0700, "SteveB"

You folks are describing a spa with a serious <plumbing> design flaw. There are no bleeders in my spa or my pool and I have never seen a need for one. If you have an "air trap" in your plumbing you should have hired a competant installer/designer
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That would be Catalina Spas, one of the top ten in the world. I believe if you have no bleeders in your spa, you must have a cheap0 Home Depot special.
Your filter on your pool does not have an air relief valve? How strange.
Steve
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On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 23:23:16 -0700, "SteveB"

My spa was field assembled and there are no air traps in the suction side plumbing. We did that on purpose. You statement about the filter is pure bullshit. That is on the pressure side of the pump and has nothing to do with priming problems.
If you have bleed screws in a properly designed spa, that is for DRAINING the spa, not priming it.
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Whatever you say. I guess that hose at the lowest point that has the ninety valve on it is for filling the dog dish. Thanks for straightening me out.
Steve
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On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 20:26:11 -0700, "SteveB"

Yep, and I suppose that bleed plug on top of my filter lid is so I can tip the tub over and drain it from there. I've been doing it all wrong all these years...

DJ
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