American Spa Ownership – Start Up ( Balboa )

Congratulations on your purchase of an American Spa Hot tub, we are just as excited to get you in your hot tub. At this point we are sure your thinking, How do I turn on my hot tub? Well if your hot tub is a balboa topside like the one pictured below we have got you covered. Take a moment to read this manual carefully to understand how to use or decipher your hot tubs top side. Following the instructions in this manual will ensure the safe and smooth operation of your new spa. Here we will review hot tub operation from initial start up to the meaning of the various codes that can be displayed on your top side for a one pump and a two pump system. If you have additional questions please give us a call (909) 623-8781 EXT. 312 we are open 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Pacific time.

Initial Start- Up

When first powered up, your hot tub will perform a self-diagnostic check and go into priming mode. When the control panel displays PR, IMMEDIATELY do the following: 

1. Press the JETS 1 button to turn on the pump and let it run for 10 seconds. The pump should be running in low speed. 

2. Press the JETS 1 button again and let the pump run in high speed for 10 seconds. 

3. Press the JETS 1 button again to turn off the pump. The pump should be left in the off position for 10 to 15 seconds. 

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 until water is flowing through all the jets and all air is removed from the plumbing. 

When the hot tub has finished priming, the heater will be activated and the water temperature will be maintained in standard mode. The hot tub will heat to 100°F (37.5°C) at start up until the set temperature is changed as described below. 

Temperature Adjustment (Range 80°F to 104°F, 26°C to 40°C)

The electronic control panel displays the actual water temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. The displayed temperature will only be current after the pump has been running for at least two minutes. 

To display the temperature that the hot tub is set to: 

• Press the Temp button. The temperature setting will flash. 

• While the display is flashing, each time you press Temp button, the set temperature will change up or down one degree. 

• If the desired temperature is opposite of the direction each press of the button is making, release button, allow display to stop flashing and then press Temp button to change temperature the other direction. 

Standard, Economy and Sleep Heating Modes 

Your new hot tub is equipped with a heating feature that gives you complete control of the heating system. When the hot tub is powered up, it will automatically start in standard heating mode. 

• St will light briefly on the main display. In this mode, the heating system will automatically maintain the set temperature. In the economy-heating mode, the heating system will only activate during filtration times. 

• Ec will display solid if temperature is not current and will alternate with water temperature if measured temperature is current. 

• Economy mode will heat the water to the set temperature while Sleep mode, indicated by a SL on the main display, will also only activate the heater during the filtering cycles but will only heat the water to within 20°F (10°C) of the set temperature. Like Economy mode, SL will display solid when temperature is not current and will alternate with actual temperature when it is current. 

NOTE: Displayed temperature will only be current after the pump has been running for at least two minutes. 

Switching Modes 

• Press the Temp button followed by the Light button. 

• Press the same sequence to switch to the next mode. 

Activating the Jets 

Press the Jets 1 button: 

• Once to activate low speed pump. 

• Twice to activate high speed. 

• Three times to return to turn pump off. 

Jets 2 

Press the Jets 2 button to turn pump 2 on. Press it once again to turn the pump 2 off. 


Press the Light button to turn on the light. Press it once again to turn the light off. 

Automatic Time-outs 

These features will automatically turn themselves off during periods of continuous use: 

• Low speed pump After 4 hours 

• High speed pumps After 15 minutes 

• Hot tub light After 15 minutes 

Setting Filtration Cycles 

Your hot tub is programmed to filter twice a day. The first cycle will begin six minutes after the hot tub is turned on and the second cycle 12 hours later. The factory has programmed the cycle to last for one hour for single pump systems and two hours for two pump systems, but this can be changed to your preference. To change the filtration cycle, press the Temp button then the Jets button. Press Temp button again to change the filtering cycle duration. See the table below for filtration settings and duration. When desired duration is selected press the Jets button to exit. 

Note: Single pump systems do not have continuous filtration. 

To set the time of day you want filtration to begin, turn off the power to the hot tub at the time of day you would like one of the filtration cycles to begin, then turn it back on after 30 seconds. When power has been restored, set the filtration cycle as described above. During filtration, the water temperature will appear on the main display.

Electrical Power Efficiency & Diagnostic Messages

Your new spa comes equipped with an electric heater. Following the directions listed below will ensure the most efficient operation: 

NOTE: This method is only for spa usage under two hours a week. 

• Keep the spa’s operating temperature 5˚F below the desired usage temperature when not in use. One or two hours before use, set the temperature to the desired temperature. 

• If the spa usage exceeds two hours a week, the set temperature should remain at the desired usage temperature. 

• The air venturis should be used sparingly. When open, water temperature drops quite rapidly and can also dissipate chemicals. 

Allowing the water temperature to lower more than 10˚F below the desired usage temperature and reheating it prior to usage will cause the heater to operate longer than it normally would maintaining the desired temperature. Doing this will increase your operating cost and makes your heater work more than necessary. 

There you have it! Thank you for joining the American Spas Family, This portion of the blog has been dedicated to the balboa topside on the American spas models. If you have a NEO topside (Digital color Display) We will review how to start up your new hot tub in next weeks blog. Thinking about owning an American Spa?

Well What are you waiting for Buy Now!

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