"Why Does My Circulation Pump Not Move Enough Water?" or "Why Does My Circ Pump Fail So Fast?"
Problem One-Low Water Flow

You see water moving from the small circ pump but not enough. Sometimes you get occasional FL1 or FLO flashing error, sometimes not. OR you get those errors all the time.

First, DO you see water moving from the circ pump? If yes, try removing the filters. If that solves, go to Solution A.

If Solution A does solve, go to Solution B.

Problem Two-Circulation Pumps Fails Early

You have replaced several circ pumps early. Instead of getting about 5 years of life, you get 2 or even less.

First, the filters. If you don't keep them CORRECTLY cleaned, then you can be starving the circ pump. If you just spray the filters with a hose, that is not proper filter cleaning. If you soak in bleach, that is not proper cleaning. Go to Solution A.

Second, if filters are cleaned and OK, go to Solution B.

Solution A:

Your Filters:

You must "emulsify" the oil on the filter. To do so you need a chemical emulsifier. You can purchase a "filter cleaner" or use TSP or if in a pinch, many customers have used automatic dishwasher detergent. But whatever you use, its important to keep the filters clean. The most important filter is the one closest to the equipment area. The circ pump draws from that filter. If its not clean well and often, its like sucking a super thick shake through a straw. You can do it but you will tire out. So will your circ pump.

Filters also last about 2-3 years. Over time the filter medium fails so you also have to be concern that a clean filter still is not allowing complete water flow.

Solution B:

Flash Reactor Model FR-75-NK

From the beginning of production of the "J" series spas, for a couple years, the manufacturer put the above "flash reactors" on their spas. In principle, the item was suppose to break the ozone bubbles into smaller bubbles and make the ozone gas more effective. What happened in the field is over time on some spas it can actually slow water flow down. So what happens is the water is pulled from the filter, through the pump, through the heater and lastly, just before the water returned to the spa, it went through the above pictured flash reactor. Its about the size of your fist and usually gray.

UNFORTUNATELY, on some models, this reactor is deep in the foam. To see if this IS your problem, you can bypass the hose. What you do is buy a short 3/4" hose and a 3/4" plug. The hose has to be long enough to connect to the piping after the flow switch, swing around the hose and directly into the spa. The plug is used to plug the hose you disconnected. Now power up. The pump will start pumping water through the temporary hose.

Because it can slow down water flow, spa builders recommends just removing and discarding. To do so simply buy a 3/4" barb coupling at any hardware store and swap.


Above is a customer's picture of HIS flash reactor in place. Its the gray fitting with the arrow pointing to the left. First step is replacing that gray fitting with a 3/4" barb coupling.



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