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TheHotTubGuy, Hot Tub Repairman
Category: Pool and Spa
Satisfied Customers: 448
Experience:  20yrs. experience repairing all brands of hot tubs.
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I have a hot springs solana rx that I just bought used. The

Customer Question

I have a hot springs solana rx that I just bought used. The heater is not heating just want to try to eliminate any switch issues before I order a new one.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pool and Spa
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have 110 to heater element but doesn't seem to be heating. What is weird is that even if I remove leads to limit switch or pressure switch I still have 110 at heater. Shouldn't either one of these open that ckt. Also on initial start up the circulation speed doesn't run it only starts to circulate several minutes later
Expert:  TheHotTubGuy replied 2 years ago.
I'll do my best to answer your question and resolve your issue.
The Solanas have a 10 min. heat delay upon start up or anytime the jets are switched to high speed and back to low speed/off. The spa will NOT heat while in high speed or unless the low speed jets are on.
After a delay the low pump will start and the heater will come soon after. This is also the start of 1 of 2 daily filter cycles and the pump will run until reaching the set temp or until the filter cycle is up if it has reached the set temp. 12hrs later the 2nd filter cycle will run and the tub should maintain the set temp 24/7. So the low pump runs for heating/filtering/and or when you activate it.
You did not mention the model yr of your tub, but this applies to all the Solanas basically.
Please power off the tub and restart it. Do not press any buttons, wait until the pump turns itself on. After the pump is circulating for several minutes, you should get a reading of approx. 120v ac when testing across both heater wires/terminals. Do not test from heater to neutral or ground, test across the 2 power wires/terminals to the heater.
The ready light will come on once the tub reaches the set temp. If the ready light is on when you are trying the heater voltage check, scroll the temp up until the ready light goes out.
If you get the 120v reading at the heater, now turn the jets to high speed. Check voltage at the heater once should have 0v. If you wired this tub to run on the optional 30amp circuit, it will heat in high speed as well. Most tubs are not wired this way and simply use a cord plugged into a 20amp outlet.
These models heat very slowly and can lead one to believe they are not heating when they are. It may take 24hrs to reach 100-104F if starting with cold hose water.
Here is a link to the only manual Watkins makes available. I do have most yr manuals if you have specific questions that apply to your model yr not covered in this manual.
If you have any further questions or concerns, just reply and I will be happy to continue.
Standing by,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am only reading continuity across the heater posts no 110 I get 110 from either post to ground or neutral but not across. Do you know if the pressure switch and high limit are NO or NC switches.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If it helps I tested limit and it is currently closed,bypassing it didn't give me voltage across heater so I doubt it is no switch. Pressure switch is open now ( tub not running) I am trying o bypass that now and see if I get voltage at heater.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just bypassed pressure switch and it closed the heater ckt. I hope it's just that and I can order tomorrow.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Quick question though. Shouldn't the water coming out of jets be at least a little warm if heater is running? I understand it is only 1000 watt heater but thee is no noticeable difference in temp of water out if Jett's either by touch or laser thermometer.
Expert:  TheHotTubGuy replied 2 years ago.
What is the model yr of the tub?
Okay...lets slow down and stay on the same page. I was not aware you were messing with the pres. switch. The hi limit is electronic, so I'm not sure how you are checking continuity.
Are you getting any error codes or ---- on the screen?
The pressure switch will be open when the pump is off, and closed when the pump is running hi or low speed. If you have been adjusting the pressure switch much, replace it.
Do not check continuity on the heater with the power on.
Once the system powers up, the pres. switch must be open. After the pump comes on, the switch will (should) close IF THE FLOW is sufficient through the heater. If you do NOT have working jets you may have an airlock in the pump. In this case, the pres. switch is NOT supposed to close.
So...once the jets are on, the switch should close. You can pull the wires off the switch to check continuity in each case:
no jets on=switch open
jets on low/hi=switch closed
This tub heats VERY slow and you will not feel the water getting warmer with your hand or on the heater body if the jets are flowing correctly. 1000kw is small and the water exchanging/flowing past the heater is so much the temp difference is almost impossible to feel.
If you power off the heater and remove either 1 of the 2 power connections from the board, the heater should always have continuity. If not, it is burned out.
If you are getting 120v ACROSS the 2 heater terminals, it is getting power. You will need a clamping amp meter to determine if it working or not. Voltage means it's getting power, amperage means it's using power and working.
If you are getting 0v across both heater terminals, the heater is NOT on.
To test the pres. switch:
Remove the wires from the switch
Power up the tub
Wait for the pump to begin running and make sure it's flowing.
Jump the 2 pres. switch wires shortly after the pump starts
The heater should come on soon afterwards.
The voltage across the heater terminals will be:
0v when the pressure switch is open in any instance or when not calling for heat.
120v across the terminals when the pressure switch is closed and calling for heat.
The pres. switch must be open when the pump is off and closed when the pump is on. The system will read each of these situations and find an error if the switch is opening and closing when it supposed to. If you have the switch jumped when the system knows it should be open, that can cause an --- error, also.
Bad pres.switches are very often the source of no heat. If the switch is opening and closing when it should and you are not getting any --- in the display, you probably do not have an issue with the switch.
If you are getting the --- in the display and/or the switch is not opening/closing as it should....replace it.
I cannot stress enough that this tub heats very slowly. You would not be the 1st to think it's not heating when it is. It will take about 24hrs to heat up to temp. under normal conditions when everything is working properly.
Try the pressure switch test or just reconnect it. If you are NOT getting any error in the display (---), then let it run overnight and check the water temp for any change in the morning.
Keep the cover closed and remember it does NOT heat in high speed and every time you reset it or activate the hi jets, takes another 10 mins before the heat will resume. This feature is annoying, especially for service people troubleshooting the heater because of the wait time.
I hope this info helps.