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Replacing a Hot Tub Heater

How to replace a hot tub heater?  Order the same type including the right wattage.  Typically hot tub heaters are either 1kw, 1.5kw, 3kw or 4.5kw. These electric, flow-through heaters hook up to either internal water sensors or external sensors.  The sensors are for monitoring temperature and also hi limit conditions. 

For example, newer Balboa heaters have the sensors inside the heater.  Older style heaters may use an external pressure switch and external sensors where the temperature sensor is in a thermowell and the hi limit sensor is attached to the heater.

Contact us with any questions about replacing your spa's heater.

Replace Old Style Heater with Pressure Switch

Replacing an old-style heater with a pressure switch means not only replacing the heater and hooking up the water temperature and overheat sensors, but also calibrating the pressure switch if needed to avoid that pesky FLO message.

Replacing an old heater with pressure switch

New style heaters such as those from Balboa have the sensors built into the heater and do not use an external pressure switch.  However, the old style heaters had a pressure switch either mounted to the bottom or back side of the heater manifold tube, or mounted separately near the heater.

Spa heaters can fail because of bad water chemistry.  If the pH level is left to go out of balance, calcium carbonate deposits may accumulate on the heater element.  This makes heating the spa less efficient and can cause damage.

The heater element inside the heater tube is connected to 2 electrodes.  The main cause of hot tub heater problems though, can be a broken epoxy seal at the terminal (where the electrodes are).  A small amount of oxide will connect the conductor to the heater manifold or ground.  This causes a short circuit. 

spaheater repairsReplacing the heater element on its own is not recommended because it will not be warranted if it fails again, and there are inherent problems with installing an element and getting the epoxy seal right without breaking the sensitive connection near the electrodes. 

So if the heater fails and needs to be replaced, switch it out with the same heater type complete flow through heater.

Did you know some older heaters actually have a reset button on them? Those are found on some no-fault heater types.  A sticker may show where the reset button is. Sometimes screws need to be removed to get at the switch. Most flow-through heaters like the one on the right do not have a seperate shutoff switch.

Need more details about the repair of spa heaters? See our page on hot tub heater repair or see our huge selection of spa heaters on sale in the store.

These tips are provided for informational purposes only.  Never attempt electrical repairs on any appliance or hot tub without the proper training and experience.