Every year, many hot tubs are discarded because of
worn-out or obsolete spa control systems. Often times
these spas are in otherwise serviceable condition, and could be brought
back to life by simple replacement of the old control system... saving thousands of dollars, compared to
the expense of buying a new spa! Replacement is not too difficult-- we'll show you what's involved.
For a basic understanding of spa plumbing and hookup, refer to the links above.
repairs can be dangerous, especially around water. Repairs
must be made by a qualified
electrician or spa technician. Regardless of who performs
the work, make certain that all electrical power to the hot
tub or spa is disconnected prior to making any inspections
Shut the power off at the service panel,
and as a secondary precaution, disconnect the power to the spa as
well. Do not attempt to perform electrical repairs unless you are
Spa Control System Function
These systems (sometimes referred to as spa packs) are the brain of any hot tub. Contained in a housing, they control the
functions of the spa's components as equipped, including: jet pumps, continuous circulating pump, blower, light, ozonator.
The control system also includes a heater, with pressure sensor or flow switch and hi-limit switch to protect it, as well as
a thermostat and temperature sensor for regulating the water heating. The control system must be provided with GFCI protection for safety, either via the electrical service, or on board built-in. Refer to the links above for a general understanding of how a spa control system works and how it is wired.
The Two Types of Spa Controls: Air & Digital
Your spa will be equipped with either a digital electronic control system, or an air control electro-mechanical system. It's easy to identify which type you have by looking at your topside (spaside) controls. Then you can decide which type is your best replacement choice.
• Air Systems
If your topside has large push-buttons like these, either standalone or grouped in a panel with a thermostat knob, you have an air control system.
Air systems (also called pneumatic) were used in the first home spas, and are seen in many older spas. Electro-mechanical time clocks are used for controlling the filtration and heating cycles. Quality replacement air control systems are very reliable, and somewhat less expensive than digital controls, but their functionality is limited. If your area is subject to brownouts or power spikes, be aware that electromechanical air systems are less susceptible to damage from these conditions than digital systems.
They're called air systems because the switching functions of components such as: pumps, blower, light, etc. are safely controlled from the topside with buttons containing miniature air bellows.
The buttons connect with vinyl air tubing to the control system's air switches.
EasyPak air control systems include individual air buttons and tubing for each controlled circuit.
• Digital Systems
If your topside has an electronic keypad with touch-buttons like this, you have a digital control system. Old air systems can be replaced with digital controls.
Digital spa control systems are used on virtually all newer spas. These systems have a circuit board which controls all hot tub functions. Although a little more expensive, digital systems have much greater functionality than air systems, and are fully programmable from the topside keypad.
They're called digital systems because microprocessors in the topside panel and circuit board control the functions of the installed components including: jet and circulating pumps, blower, light, etc.
Digital controls offer versatile programming and system diagnostics. Features may include: multiple filtration cycles, total control of components, winter freeze protection and other features.
EasyPak digital control systems include the topside keypad at no extra charge.
Most EasyPak models feature color-coded Smart Cords for each switched component! When energized, the plugs glow to indicate power to pumps, ozonator, blower, etc. You'll spot service issues like a pro, without expensive test gear. Most models have individually keyed plugs, to prevent hookup errors.
EasyPak's Revolutionary Flex-Fit Heater Assembly
Most EasyPak replacement spa controls feature Flex-Fit heater mounts, making alignment to your spa pump and plumbing exceptionally easy.*
Flex-Fit means that you can mount the heater assembly on the bottom, on top, or virtually any position in between!
Flex Fit heater manifolds are corded, and so can even be unbolted from the control box for total plumbing flexibility!
Direct-to-Pump Mounting Rite-Angle Heater
Our exclusive Rite-Angle™ heater versions offer another great installation option. These EasyPak models have a 90° heater elbow for easy direct-to-pump mounting. This feature not only makes replacement simple by reducing the number of PVC fittings required, it saves a lot of space.
Don't waste your valuable time (and money) on a replacement system without the features that EasyPak spa controls offer!
*Flex-Fit not available on EP500 or EP0600
Special Ozone Purification Offer! Why pay $100 or more for ozonators elsewhere? Add the Clarathon XL Ozonator with the purchase of your new EasyPak and save a bundle!
Selecting a Replacement System
After deciding on your preference for either an Air or Digital system, the next step is to pick the replacement system that will meet your equipment needs with regard to number of jet pumps, and whether you also need circuits for a continuous circulating pump and blower. All EasyPak spa systems have circuits for spa light and ozonator.
All EasyPak models are available for 120V or 240V (4-wire) power service. Most are universal, allowing convertible voltage selection for power service and for the other components, should needs change in the future. Most of our systems are also available in a choice of wattage. Remember: systems with 240V power service heat much faster than 120V heater systems.
A complete drop-in equipment system kit is another option, if your hot tub also needs a new pump and/or air blower.
These equipment packs are available in both air switch and digital models and come complete with a mounting base.
Most spas have either 2.0" or 1.5" main plumbing. Rigid or flex PVC pipe size is determined by its inside diameter (ID) which you should verify with a tape measure if not sure. Another way to tell is by the circumference rule-of-thumb: 1.5" pipe will have a circumference of less than six inches; 2" pipe will have a circumference of more than 7 inches.
All EasyPak spa systems have adapter kits available to match your plumbing requirements.
EasyPak air control systems are supplied with individual air buttons and vinyl air tubing for each controlled component (pumps, blower, light). Digital systems come with a keypad with oversized faceplate adapter (optional use) which provides for a neat retro-fit appearance. Seal topside keypads with silicone sealant.
All spas must be GFCI-protected for electrical safety. The GFCI may be located in your service panel, manual disconnect box, or in the spa control system itself.
Many EasyPak models have the available option of an integrated GFCI, at an unbeatable price.
Replacement and Hookup
Make absolutely certain that the electric service is disconnected prior to proceeding with removal of your old equipment. Determine if the pump(s) or other equipment will be reused or also need replacement. Read and follow all instructions in your equipment owner's manual. Pump Replacement Information
Disconnect all power to the spa.
Drain the hot tub.
Disconnect the electrical cables and component cables: pump(s), blower, light, ozonator, etc.
Remove the topside controls.
Disconnect the heater plumbing unions.
Remove the old control system unit.
Identify and connect the suction side of the pump to the suction line from your spa. These lines originate from the floor drain and skimmer/filter, and typically tee together, before entering the pump suction.
Identify and connect the discharge side of the heater manifold to the return line. The return line leads directly to the jets in series, or to plumbing manifold(s) which feed the jets with smaller lines.
If you have an electric air blower, identify and connect the blower to your existing blower tube. Install a new check valve for safety. Sheet metal screws can be used to permanently connect the blower components. Never use solvent cement to connect your blower, as fumes can explode. Blower Installation Information
Install new topside control pad, or individual air buttons, as appropriate.
Reconnect topside and all of the equipment components to the control system. Pump Replacement
Bleed air at pump unions by slightly loosening, then hand-tighten after trapped air is released. This will help prevent air-locks and dry-fire heater damage.
Program spaside keypad (digital systems only).
Run system and inspect for leaks.
EasyPak Spa Controls come with complete documentation to make the installation project as easy as possible.
Installation and Operation Instructions
Schematic Wiring Diagram
Topside Programming Guide (digital systems)
Plumbing: EasyPak and most other control systems require that the heater be mounted on the pressure side (output) of the pump. Most heaters will not function correctly if installed prior to the pump (suction side) because they use pressure switch sensors.
Heater assemblies with flow sensors (such as the Balboa M-7) can typically be plumbed for either suction or pressure. Contact our tech support if you have any questions.
Wiring: Electrical hookup must be done by a qualified electrician, in accordance with local codes. All EasyPak 240V control systems are to be connected to a 4-wire electrical service: L1 Hot, L2 Hot, Neutral, and Ground. 120V systems require Hot, Neutral, and Ground. Read and follow instructions provided with your new system.
Some control systems utilize terminal blocks for electrical service connections, others require attachment to the power supply wires with wire nuts. In either case, it is essential that power connections be tight. All systems must be properly bonded and GFCI protected.
Electrical: Systems are nominally designed for 120VAC or 240VAC. Actual line votlage in most parts of the U.S. varies from about 110 to 120 volts, with two legs providing about 220 to 240 volts.
One of the primary reasons for 240V spa systems is to provide for faster heating. For example, a heater rated 1000 watts @ 120V produces 4000 watts @ 240V. (1 killowat (kW) = 1000 watts).
240 Volt Electrical Service: Heater operates at 240V. Pump(s), blower, ozonator circuits may be individually configured for 240V or 120V in most cases. Check your owner's manual for details.
120 Volt Electrical Service: Heater and all other circuits must be configured for 120V.
Special Ozone Purification Offer! You could spend $100 or more for ozonators elsewhere. Add the Clarathon XL Ozonator with the purchase of your new EasyPak and save a bundle! Complete kit includes: 120V ozone generator, tubing, check valve, mounting screws and easy instructions.
10 Reasons Why EasyPak is your Best Value
Overbuilt using the best heavy-duty components available: UL or ETL listed.
Universal voltage: configurable/convertible for 120v or 240v.*
Iron-clad factory parts warranty for peace of mind.
Backed by The Spa Depot, America's replacement hot tub parts leader.
*EP500 not convertible; **VDS not available for EP0600, EP1500 or EP500
***EP500; EP0600 & Equipment Systems have fixed heater
Specifications subject to change without notice. EasyPak is a trademark of The Spa Depot.
Great price and features aside, buying from The Spa Depot provides access to one thing you can't get anywhere else: our expert technical support. Installation questions or need assistance? We're here to help!
(800) 823-3638 Support hours: Weekdays, 8 am - 5 pm, Pacific Time
Electrical work and repairs can be dangerous, especially
around water. There is a risk of shock or electrocution, which
could result in serious injury or death. We strongly advise that
hot tub electrical wiring be referred to a licensed electrician. Local
code requirements for wiring vary and may differ from the
educational examples on this web site. The local code regulations
must be followed, with permits and inspections obtained. The
installer should read and follow the hot tub owner's manual and
associated electrical component owner's manuals and
instructions. Regardless of who performs the work, be sure that
power to the spa circuit is switched off at the house service
panel prior to inspections, wiring, or repairs. Improper wiring
may damage equipment and void the manufacturer's warranty.
EasyPak Spa Controls "The new digital EasyPak was
a quick install and cost about $300 less than the local price so we replaced the old spa cover with the money we saved! The old Jacuzzi is up and running again just like it was new, actually more like better than new! Your support and delivery time was second to none."