Hot Tub Heater Elements

Hot tub heater elements are located inside the heater manifold or tube connected to the spa pack. Hot tub electrical heaters are basically a coil resistor that heats up when current is passed through it. A sheath around the coil protects the inside of the heater element.

NPT heater elements CanadaHeater elements can fail for many reasons. DId you know that improper water chemistry can hasten the failure of the element by coating it with calcium carbinate deposits and also making your electrical bill sky high.

Don't worry, replacing a heater element can solve the problem, many times without having to buy a completely new heater.

Ultimate Guide to Hot Tub SpasGet The Ultimate Guide to Spas and Hot Tubs: Troubleshooting and Tricks of the Trade Here

Finally the granddaddy of all hot tub accessories is the Canadian winter cover, a hard cover at least 4 inches thick that keeps the warm air in when the spa is not in use.

Enjoy your hot tub throughout the winter with a brand new hot tub filter that will tend to keep the spa water pure.

You can source hot tub heater elements in Canada online at Canada's TheHotTubSuperstore.com

Hot Tub Heater Element Resistance, Testing and Replacement

Bowtie heater element replacementHow do we know a hot tub heater element has failed? Some ways are to shut the spa off and turn off the breaker, then measure the resistance across the two heater terminals.

There should be some resistance around 10-20 ohms. If there is no resitance, that means there is a short circuit and if it is infinite resistance that means there is an open circuit. You can also test the resistance between the sheath and a terminal to see if there is any leakage to ground also causing a short. There should not be any conductivity between the terminal and the sheath/casing or the heater element is bad. Also note that if the heater element is allowed to touch the tube casing (manifold) that can also cause a short circuit.

If the heater is more than 3-5 years old, it may be better to just replace the whole heater manifold and the pressure switch if there is one.

A Beachcomber Hot Tub heater element replacement is as easy as finding the center mount 4.0 kw or 5.5kw replacement heater element at Canada's TheHotTubSuperstore.com. They offer the best prices and discounts on hot tub parts.

heaterelement hot tubModern electrical flow-through type hot tub heaters are available with external sensors and usually have a pressure switch mounted on the heater, or the newer style of hot tub heater has the overlimit and temperature sensor functionality built right into the heater casing. It is important to know if your system uses a pressure switch or has the sensors inside the heater tube in order to source the correct replacement heater or heater element.

Hot Tub Heater Replacement

In many cases, replacing the entire hot tub heater is the better solution. When the heater is over 3 years old, just replace the whole heater manifold. Not only is it easier to replace and there is no risk of breaking the epoxy at the 2 terminals, but it is not that expensive for a new heater when found online at discounted prices.

Replacing a flow-through heater is as easy as turning the power of the spa off, disconnecting the electrical leads and removing the 2 screws on the terminals, unmounting heater from spa pack, opening the 2 unions on either side of the heater (use the service valves if water is in the spa, or better yet, drain spa first, then work on heater).

Also replace the 2 o-rings/gaskets that seal the heater unions on either side of the new heater to assure no leaks.

Heater manifold tubeThe actual installation and replacement of the heater element involves unmounting the spa heater from the plumbing by opening the two unions left and right of the heater manifold taking care not to damage or loose the o-rings inside the unions. The spa should also be empty at this point or there will be a rather large flood in the spa cabinet. Some spas have service valves to the left and right of the heater, but even those can leak or not completely shut the water off, so it may be best to drain and refill before taking out the bad heater.

Once it has been removed, use two wrenches - one to hold the heater manifold in place while the other opens the top nut to loosen both terminals until the element drops down into the heater tube or manifold. Slide out the bad heater element, slip in the good one taking care not to damage the epoxy seal or other parts of the heater element, especially the section near both terminals. Reinstall the wires to the heater terminal by tightening the terminal nuts and install the heater manifold tube back into the spa plumbing taking care to plug back in any wires and sensor connections that were disconnected when the heater was removed.

To prevent heater element failure, maintain the pH level of the water between 7.2-7.6. High pH can cause precipiation and scale deposits which can lead to early failure of the heater element. Even if the heater element does not fail, scale and buildup can increase electrical consumption costs as the heater fights to heat the water past the insulated coating that scale can create. On the other hand low pH can create an acidic water condition which can quickly dissolve and eat away at metals including chrome jets and of course heater element sheaths.

Another more severe cause of heater failure is if the water level is not correctly maintained in the spa or an air pocket is allowed to exist after a refill. Usually, the heater will not even come on in this condition or if there is not enough flow due to a dirty filter or obstruction, but if the pressure switch or electronic sensors fail to keep the heater off, then the sheath temperature of the heater element may rise very fast in air until it actually melts and allows water inside the element causing a dangerous condition and hopefully the GFCI to trip. A dry condition in any heater is a recipe for disaster, so it is best to fill spas with a garden hose from the filter compartment rather than just putting the hose in the tub. This may help lessen the chance of an air pocket forming on a refill.

Heater with built in sensorsWhen sourcing a replacement heater or heater element, know the voltage of the heater (120v or 230v), whether it uses external sensors and a pressure switch or integrated electronic sensors for the hi-limit and water temperature sensors. Finally, know the kw rating or wattage of the heater element so it is replaced with the same wattage type of element.

You should also know how it mounts to the heater manifold in the case of just replacing the element. Some are bowtie style while others are edge mount or center mount. This will assure the replacement heater element lines right up in the existing stainless steel heater manifold.

Discount hot tub heater element only costs around $50.00 or so depending on model and type. Heater elements are available for Balboa heaters, Gecko spa packs and other pack types.

It is just important to isolate the problem to the heater. For example if the breaker keeps tripping, the problem could be with a short in the heater, but there could also be a problem with a shorted out ozonator or other spa component. Proper troubleshooting techniques will help isolate the component that is causing the problem and then fix it.

Whether you need a discount replacement heater element in Canada or a complete heater, find it at Canada's TheHotTubSuperstore, your best deal for online spa parts.