How To Upgrade a Chinese Hot Tub Control System
Tuesday, 4 February 2020 | Jon Pennington
Converting a Chinese hot tub to run with an American control system is easy.
Upgrading the electrics on a Chinese hot tub or any hot tub isn't as difficult as people think, presuming the parts that are faulty are either the touch panel, control box or maybe the heater, then its as simple as changing just these parts and leaving all the pumps, air blowers and pipework alone.
However, sometimes you may have to change the plumbing that connects to the heater to fit a new heater if the overall length is different or the unions are a thread size.
A great example of an upgrade requirement is converting an old 'Spa Serve' hot tub, these where a really well made hot tub but the electronics let them down, the panels constantly broke and the control system (Circuit Boards) where un-reliable. The spa serve spa came with 3 pumps a circulation pump and an air blower which meant it was perfect for a balboa GS523DZ upgrade which could manage that amount of pumps as well as having a similar sized control panel. The upgrade consisted of changing the plumbing where the existing heater sat, changing the cable connections for the new circuit board and fitting the new panel, total cost around £900 and time to change around 4 hours. Which is loads easier than craning in a new hot tub.
Parts you require
In most situation you will require a complete new system because the control panel won't be compatible, the heater will probably come with the new control box and need replacing and the connections like cable ends.
In most situations a upgrade kit like this would be perfect:
Balboa make a fantastic range of reliable upgrade kits, each of the parts can be purchased easily and replaced easily on there own. You don't need to be a space engineer to fit and the manuals are easily available.
Size of the existing control panel
Fitting a different size panel is fairly straight forward, if the new panel is smaller you will need to make a bezel that fit over the existing hole and presents the new panel well. We recommend Stainless Steel 316 cut for you by someone like laser master www.lasermaster.co.uk Cost approx £15 to £20. And if Larger, simply make sure it fits the area of the old panel, make the hole bigger with a jigsaw or hand saw and fit the new panel inside.
A stainless bezel can also make an old odd shape in to a nice clean looking control area, especially if you need to add extra switches like air switches.
Air switches (Pneumatic Air Switches)
Sometimes you need a system that needs more switches because it has more pumps, for example a 5 pump system, in this situation you would add 'Air Switches', these are button that you can press independent to the control panel to manage extra pumps and look like this: Air Switches.
They work but sending air pressure to a micro switch that creates a circuit.
location of new heater
The location of the new heater is usually in the same place as the old heater, but in some situation it may need to be relocated due to being to large or to correct some bad engineering, but in all scenarios you would try to place it just after your circulation pump or 2 speed pump so it can be run economically.
Hot Tub Help
For more information or if you need some help to get the right upgrade kit for your Chinese Hot Tub please get in touch through our contact page.
Top Tip: Send us a photo of your existing system so we can see exactly what you have an what you need.