Spaform Spare parts and replacement alternatives.
If you are lucky enough to own a Spaforn spa this article is for you, however if you don't own one and are looking at buying a second hand Spaform - then this article is also good for you as it will give you confidence if something goes wrong with your spa.
First things first, Spaform made great spas, they where manufactured in Portsmouth to a high spec and sold by the thousand across the UK, i/we don't have the exact figures, but there is a hell of allot of them out there. Why are they great spas? because the components used are still available or at least in some situations you may have to use an alternative, but either way the parts exist and are not as expensive as allot of the other brands / OEM parts in the hot tub industry.
Spaforms are made predominantly with Balboa and Waterway components who are 2 of the biggest names/brands in hot tub parts. Balboa are well known for heaters, control systems and panels, and Waterway make a great range of plastic components like jets, plumbing and features. If you combine this with a wooden frame and a acrylic shell you have a good quality sensibly priced British made hot tub (or spa depending on how you describe them).
The following article might also help people that have a hot tub that needs repair and are considering upgrades to modern technology. Its true that if you look after your hot tub it will last many many years, however if something does go wrong its great that spares are available and you can get advice to help you fix it back up.
Here are a few examples of existing parts and there new alternatives.
Above shows an SF100 panel next to its modern equivalent an VL701S.
It's possible people don't know this but the SF100 panel is made by Balboa and as such can be replaced by just a standard Balboa panel, the only difference is the colour of the overlay, all the buttons, dimensions and connections are exactly the same.
One big difference between the old and the new panels is the screens are now led lit instead of small 3.5mm bulbs, so they make a great upgrade.
These 2 control box's are both Balboa left old - right new.
As technology moves on, its difficult to think why we didn't think of it first for example the old box plugs on the side the new straight onto the circuit board inside the box, a plastic box is better than a metal for electrical insulation a but the biggest difference is no pressure switch, the old box is called M3 technology and used a pressure switch where as the new box uses no pressure switch, instead it simply uses 2 x thermostats which are situated either side of the heating element and mounted to the same heater tube so no need for long cables with thermostats on the end. M7 simply put is the water flowing into the tube is the temperature and the thermostat after senses an increase in tempreture and becomes a high limit if the difference is to great. If there is no flow (like a pressure switch) both sensors will heat up, this tells the system it has no flow.
In many situations if your control box has died you dont need to do much more than replace the box as the panel will still be the same along with the cable ends to connect the pumps and such. The new box's fit straight in! Amazing for upgrades to the latest technology.
Above shows an old GC150 pump and its new replacement Hi-flo Waterway Pump
Sadly the GC150 pump was extinct many years ago and was replaced by the HA440, which is also now extinct, the answer is the waterway 48 frame pump which is available in 1 or 2 speeds. In the case of the GC150 you will need to do a little plumbing but in the case of the HA440 pumps the good news is a straight swop!
And the rest?
The above defines some of the expensive components in a hot tub, however the smaller things are mostly all the same, most of the jets are available except for a few that have alternatives, plumbing and plastic functional parts are also really easy to acquire.
This article doesn't go into replacing covers or repairing woodwork and acrylic surfaces, for these i would recommend reading other articles or looking on youtube.
Check out the following page of hot tub guides to help you buy the right part first time.Hot Tub Repair Videos and Guides
Hot Tub DIY
Please feel free to leave a comment below if this article helped you.