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I have an 2006 artesian spa (grand Bahama) that I’m fairly…

Hello Pearl, Contractor's Assistant:...

Hello Pearl,

Contractor's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?

I have an 2006 artesian spa (grand Bahama) that I’m fairly certain the control board may be going out on. It constantly shows an FLO error and I can not clear it even after jumpering out . I have ordered a new flow switch which should arrive soon. I can keep the tub heated but only by running the pumps each morning and night. It will not heat on its own.

Contractor's Assistant: Who manufactured the spa?

Control box states spa builders (gecko board) ID # 3-72-7128 which I cannot find or appears is not available says to contact Artesian

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

I have been doing all the troubleshooting since 12-27-17

Contractor's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

The board actually looks good, no obvious damage. But I’m doing all I can to keep it heated in subzero temperatures. Like I stated , been running the jet pumps 3-4 times every morning and night to get the temps back up to 104. One more thing I noticed is it will heat beyond 104 if I continue to run the pumps , I will get the HL code. So I kill the power, repeat the process of running the pumps but make sure not to run the once I see 103 on the temp display. Any help or thoughts is much appreciated

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Answered in 1 day by:
1/19/2018
TheHotTubGuy
TheHotTubGuy, Hot tub service and repair.
Category: Pool and Spa
Satisfied Customers: 483
Experience: I have 20+yrs experience manufacturing, repairing, and field servicing most brands of hot tubs.
Verified

Hello.

You may be getting a flo error due to a stuck closed flow switch and jumping in will not help.

If you have been adjusting the switch (if adjustable) very much, it may not work properly now no matter what.

To test this theory:

Power of the tub.

Disconnect 1 wire from the flow switch

Turn power on

Do you now get an immediate flow error?

After pump 1 has started low speed, jump the flow switch wires. Does it now heat?

Standing by.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
It’s a 3 wire switch, one side was always stuck open , the other always stuck closed , even though you could see the paddle moving. Switch is not adjustable and in a 3 wire plug going into the circuit board.Yes get a “blinking” flo error. Press any button and “flo” stays in solid.We tried jumping wires within 5 seconds on pump 1 starting and no change in error code.I believe it is heating, but only when I cycle the pumps, not on it’s own. Have to run run pumps 3-4 times at night and each morning to keep temps up. Every time I push the buttons to cycle pumps, seems to gain 2 degrees on temp

Please send pics of the switch you are jumping, circuit board, and wires. Any other pics you may feel helpful, please include them. Pressure switches are 2 wire connections. Some switches have 3 tabs, but I have never encountered a 3 wire pressure switch in 20+yrs. Is is possible you have a flow switch or vacuum switch you are messing with? IDK...I will need pics to see what I am advising you on from this point. They will be extremely helpful.

Thank you.

Standing by.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Clear Tee style flow switch (Sundance style) on the board it’s the red plug with 3 wires on it. Sent info on control box too
9D62C428-3589-45D2-AE3D...jpeg9D62C4...jpegF8346143-2C5E-4CDC-B09D...jpegF83461...jpeg40788DE2-992B-429A-8692...jpeg40788D...jpeg401F8339-C9CD-4580-A8D0...jpeg401F83...jpeg4ADDA04A-F0C8-4968-A685...jpeg4ADDA0...jpeg

Okay thank you.

This tells me your model uses a dedicated circulation pump/flow switch rather than a jet pump/pressure switch configuration.

With the tub power off the paddle should be apart from the post as the pic you sent. With the power on, the tab should be pressed against the post...if not, you have an issue with your circulation pump.

Is the paddle pressing against the post with the power on?

Standing by.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Pump is good, switch paddle changes position but does not change state (bad switch) and one is on order but has not arrived yet. However ,I figured jumpering the switch would have satisfied the control system and cleared the “FLO” error but has not.It’s a 3 wire flow switch Sundance see thru style Model Q12DSC2MAY2771
Those pins on the board with plug removed is what I was jumpering .The other thing that’s odd, is it should be heating, the FLO should prevent that to protect the heater. However, it heats when I run the Jet pumps, the Circ pump does not stay on. Circ pump comes on with jet pump #1. Every time I run both The tub gains 2 degrees (even with the FLO error) so I have been running the pumps 3-4 times in the morning and 3-4 times in the evening to keep temp up.Actually if I continue to run jet pumps when temp is at 104 degrees, it will go to 106 degrees and then I ultimately get the HL code and cycle the power to start over and not run the pumps if temp has it 104.I’m leaning towards a board issue.
One of the 3 pins that mate with the flow switch does supply 10.5 vDC. But does not make any difference when I jumper.At a loss, just want to make sure I have checked everything before going after a board.

If the paddle is pressing against the post then the circ pump is working. Since the circ pump is working and the flo error is there in spite of the flow switch closing, you probably have a bad flow switch and changing it should solve the problem. It appears to be installed straight with the arrow on the body and there is no debris inside so probably just defective.

The tub is heating because you are running the large pumps. The flow of water through the plumbing is creating friction and heating the water. Because this heating is unrelated to the the heater, which is disabled in a flo error, it will continue to heat as long as the jets are running high speed. It will heat to a point and the hi limit circuit will detect that it has heated too much and shut it down in the HL error you have seen.

Just continue keeping it warm so not to freeze until the switch arrives. Placing a small electric heater under the cabinet will be very helpful and not require you to run the pumps as frequently.

The good news in the circ pump is working...they are much more pricey.

The flow switch puts out a voltage and is either sending it back (closed) or not (open). I believe the 3rd wire is a ground.

Install the new switch exactly as the old one in the direction of flow. Match up the arrow on the body with the arrow on the switch.

I hope this explains what is happening and not happening. At this point I would just wait until replacing the flow switch until worrying about a bad circuit board. Flow switches go bad.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
10-4,
Switch should arrive any day.
I will let you know if it does not solve problem.I do have a small under desk type heater in the cabinet.Is there a specific type of PVC glue used on the flow switch to install, even though it’s barbed with a clamp, it’s got some sort of blue glue on the hose to barb connection.Thanks again
No glue. Just slide the new one on and reuse the self tensioning clamps you'll be all set.
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After looking at your picture again, it may be easier to just change the flow switch and leave the T installed. It does appear to be glued at the small hose.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Got new 3 wire flow switch, appears to be an exact match just installed it and same issues.When switch paddle is open (no flow) red to white is closed at .0003 ohm. Red to black is open.Start to pumps and paddle is visually closed . Red to white continues to read closed at .0003 ohm and now so does red to black.
I’m not sure if that correct or not.Tried unplugging while running and then reinstalling. Tried unplugging when running and cycling power and then reinstalling.
No matter what I did there was no chance in the flow error code, the switch reading constantly closed on one side does have me wondering if it’s correct or not though.
Unplug your flow switch from the board. With the Circ pump running and the flow switch closed and the paddle touching the post check for continuity for whichever two wires have continuity in that circumstance. Try jumping those two pins with it running like described the flow error should go away.
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I don't have a 3 wire flow switch to give you more information than that all of mine are two wire that I have here now. the circuit either open or closed I believe the third wire is just a ground.
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Only concern yourself with the two wires that have continuity with the switch closed and no continuity with the switch open.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That’s the red and black wires.
I will jump those pins on the board when Circ pump only is runningWill try and let you know in minutes.
Okay.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Cut wires off old bad switch with plug, twisted red and black together. Disconnected existing switch while Circ pump only is running and plugged in my homemade jumper from old switch. No change.Turned tub off, left existing switch unplugged, waited until jet pumps shut off and Circ pump only was on and plugged in the home made jumper , no change. FLO error.
turn the power off to the tub for a minute. unplug the flow switch completely. turn the power back on wait till you see the paddle touch the post do not turn on any Jets after about 10 seconds plug your new jumper into the board update me on what you find
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
When power cycles back on, all pumps run. Not just Circ pump.
Waited 10 seconds, plugged in jumper got a blinking FLO code
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Now Circ pump only on and jumper in, blinking FLO code
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Press any button and goes to a solid FLO error, not blinking (same as it has been doing all along)
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Getting dark,
Going to start closing it up for the night

I am sorry the new flow switch didn't solve the issue. I have never replaced a circuit board for this issue, it has always been an issue with the flow switch or flow. It's hard to say whether or not jumping the pins and possibly sending voltage to the wrong pin/pins had any conconquence or not.

The flow switch must be open when supposed to be and closed when supposed to be or you will get 1 or both flo errors. The circ pump will often cycle on/off during start up or if the flow switch doesn't close in a set amount of time. During this, the switch must open/close in sync with that.

I don't know what else to advise you on the flow switch other than to make certain the new one is installed correctly and the flow from the circ pump is adequate (remove filters). If you are still getting the flow error I can only guess that you may or may not have a bad circuit board.

If the new switch is not working and the flow is steady and strong enough to keep the flow switch firmly and consistently closed when should be, then a board issue may be the reason.

Standing by.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have another 3 wire flow switch coming.Since there are 3 wires, I would guess that with the paddle visually open that 2 wires would/should read a closed circuit (red and white are telling board switch is open or no flow).The other 2 wires simulate flow (red and black read a closed circuit when the switch is visually closed).I can’t understand why white and red read closed circuit in both the open and closed positions. But I believe switches normally fail open rather than closed.I’m out of ideas though. I Want to read the new switch when it arrives to see if it mimics what the new one I installed yesterday is doing.It’s definitley installed correctly and the Circ pump is definitely running because I see bubbles from the bottom of the tub when it runs.We used it last night , actually got up to 106 degrees. Had a HL code this morning and had to cycle the power on it.Anyhow, if you come up with any other ideas, please let me know. If the new switch reads the exactly the same as the one I installed yesterday, I can only assume a bad board.Thanks again for your help and thoughts on this.
Have a great one
Bryan

This is what I know: Most flow switches are 2 wire...open or closed circuit. This is normally the case with temp sensors, also...but Gecko for some reason use sensors and now flow switches with 3 wires when really only 2 are necessary.

I have always assumed the 3rd wire was unnecessary or some sort of ground since temp sensors only read a resistance between output and input and flow switches only need to read an open or closed circuit reading. I have never tested whether or not the 3 wire flow switch has a normally open vs. normally closed function requiring a 3rd wire. I don't believe they are and don't believe it is necessary. So what I'm saying is basically the flow switch should either read open (no return voltage) or closed (return voltage) to the board. The 3rd wire being unnecessary for this information...so I assume it's a ground of some sort or simply unused. IDK

If the switch should be open (board not enabling the circ for any reason) it will tell the board the circuit is open as should be. If the switch is supposed to be open but is malfunctioning or stuck closed due to debris clogging it, it will give 1 type of flo error. This is the same as in a pressure switch setup. If the switch should be closed because the board has turned on the circ pump, the switch should be closed and sending power back completing the circuit and telling the board the flow is good and enable the heater. If not closing when should, you will get another type of flo error. Both disable the heater, same as a pressure switch setup. Each situation only requiring 2 wires to message the board.

It is possible, but I have never tested a 3 wire flow switch, that it is a normally open OR normally closed switch and send power back on 1 wire when open and power back on the other wire when open. You can check for continuity in both circumstances on the switch unplugged open and closed, but I don't believe that is the case as I explained because it is unnecessary.

Almost all flo errors are a flow issue from the circ pump or clogged filters. The rest are bad/clogged switches. I wouldn't say it's impossible to have a bad flow circuit in the board, just that I have never in 20 yrs seen one. I don't know if there is some damage that may be done to the board if you were to say jump the power pin to the 3rd pin I assume is ground.

Flow switches are much more delicate than a rugged pressure switch. They have a picky paddle that cant be bent or damaged and inside the post is a more delicate reed switch. It works on small magnet.

Now..

The switch must always be open when the board knows it should be, and closed when the board knows it should be. This isn't always as simple as on/off because often these systems will stop/start the circ pump on startup to help relieve any airlock situation or because that's just how they are programmed.

The switch must not flicker on/off during operation or you will get a error. This can be from an almost good enough...but not quite good enough flow condition. So it is very important to rule out a flow problem that may not be easily apparent.

I obviously can't test this in person so this is the best I can do to help you. Be sure you don't have a flow issue or bad switch before buying a board. Nothing will suck more than replacing a okay board.

But if all else fails to resolve the flo error, that may be the solution. I just want you to be sure first, too many techs jump to the bad board conclusion too soon and I am not one of those.

So, that's about all I can do in this format to service or troubleshoot for you. You have been very helpful in your info and pics and I thank you. I know you must be very frustrated at this point and I truly understand. Just keep the tub from freezing in the meantime and good luck. If the flow or switch is not your issue, replace the board.

I wish I was more helpful, most of the time your issue would have been resolved with these steps and parts.

If you feel I have tried very hard and provided the best help under the circumstances, please leave a kind rating so I will be compensated for my time.

You may return and continue if you need to. I wish you the best of luck. Thank you.

Standing by.

TheHotTubGuy
TheHotTubGuy, Hot tub service and repair.
Category: Pool and Spa
Satisfied Customers: 483
Experience: I have 20+yrs experience manufacturing, repairing, and field servicing most brands of hot tubs.
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