Balboa Hot Tub Not Heating? Causes And Quick Fix


It’s common for your hot tub to not heat as much as you’d like. It’s also sometimes a quick fix. 

DIY Spa Repair – Balboa hot tub not heating?

If you have a hot tub from Balboa and it isn’t heating, there could be a few different problems. In this article we will go over the most common problems with the Balboa system and how to fix them fast.

Balboa Controls are one of the best ways to control your hot tub. They offer many great features but they can also give you some issues sometimes. The most common problem is that they stop working all together or they will flash an error code by turning on and off rapidly. If the display shows any sort of flashing then it’s time for a reset.

You can do a reset by simply switching off both breakers in your electrical panel for around 15 seconds. This should reset the panel. If this does not work, check all connections both at the panel and at the Balboa panel itself.

Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising

There are several things that could keep your Balboa hot tub from heating up, such as: dirty filters; incorrect water levels; dirty heater elements; faulty pressure switch, or a number of other issues. 

Balboa water temperature not rising – Filters

The Balboa filter system is made up of 2 main filters including the upper cleanable cartridge style filter plus an upper paper style filter element wrapped around the pump motor to protect it from debris. 

Typically each of these should be cleaned about every 2-3 months depending upon usage. The frequency may vary due to heavy bather load or unique water conditions in your area. Also always replace both filters at the same time even if only one is clogged.

Balboa water temperature not rising – Water Level

Low water level also keeps your Balboa hot tub from heating up. When the water gets too low it exposes the heater to air which will draw out the heat causing the spa to never reach proper operating temperatures. Always keep your spa filled to within 4″ of the top rails first things first, refill with fresh filtered water. 

The next step is to remove both filters and clean them along with any debris or sludge that has accumulated on the bottom of the filter well where they are located. After refilling with fresh filtered water, replace both filters and adjust each one so that it’s about 1/8″-1/4″ below flush with top edge of well opening then re-engage the filter retainer grooves. 

All Balboa spas have a low level cutoff switch that shuts down the heater when water falls below a certain level, so running out of water can also cause your hot tub to never heat up.


Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising – Heater Elements

These are typically in-line heating elements wrapped in a high temperature insulation sleeve and housed in a metal tube which is mounted on top of the hot tub cabinet directly behind the control panel. 

The standard 120 volt 50-60 Hz heater for most Balboa Spas is rated at 5000 watts, however if you’re using 240 volt power then you need to double this figure since both legs of higher voltage circuits are always wired in series (positive to negative). 

Now, if the heater element itself goes bad and no longer produces heat then you need to replace it. Testing your 120V heater for continuity (shorts and opens) is a simple matter of setting your multimeter on its ohms scale and touching one meter probe to either end of the heater’s metal tube while the other probe is moved back and forth along the length until you locate the spot where resistance no longer shows any reading. 

This is because at this point there is an open circuit or break in the winding which must be repaired before attempting to run the heater again since this will cause overheating and can cause damage or personal injury.

Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising – Pressure Switch

The pressure switch basically tells your Balboa hot tub how much water is in the filter/heater well to maintain proper water levels that keep your spa from running low on water or overheating.

When too much water gets into this well, the pressure switch shuts down the heater element to prevent it from going dry and blowing a fuse due to high heat build-up. 

If you have a problem with this switch then your Balboa hot tub will not heat up properly because of this safety feature working as designed to protect your equipment and bathers from possible injury.

For more information on how to test your pressure switch see How To Test And Adjust Pressure Switch On A Balboa Water Heater .

Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising – Other Issues

If all else fails after checking your filters, testing your water levels and pressure switch…then try resetting your electronic circuit board’s limit thermostats by cycling power off at the GFCI receptacle or breaker box followed by turning it back on.

This should force a reset of the limit thermostats allowing temporary heating until you can get out to service components as described so far in this article.

Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising – Flaky Limit Thermostat

If you have determined all other possible causes for not getting heat after checking everything else, then suspect your spa’s limit thermostat which is typically located behind the control panel over the hot tub heater itself. 

The way these work is that they continuously monitor ambient air temperature near heater elements using thermistors (small resistance temperature detectors), so if it senses too much temperature variation between incoming outside air and heat being produced then it turns off the heater to prevent overheating. 

Unfortunately, sometimes these thermistors go bad or get covered with dust which causes erratic operation of the spa’s heating system by turning on and off constantly.

Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising – Reverse Polarity

If you have Balboa hot tubs (or very old ones) you might also check the breaker panel where the power cord is plugged in. If this is a 120 volt circuit, make sure that both legs are wired for 110-120 volts AC (reverse polarity), not 220-240 volts AC.

Likewise if you have 240 volt service at home be certain that there is no incorrect wiring to your spa’s circuit other than what is mentioned here.

Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising – Ground Fault Interrupter Breaker Reset

It doesn’t happen often, but if you have a GFCI reset that pops then your heaters will not run until this breaker has been manually reset by rotating it all the way off followed by back on again.

This can be due to debris in the spa which causes false triggering of the GFCI especially after heavy use or while cleaning the filter since any water flowing through it cools down heating elements while the hot tub is otherwise idle. 

If you suspect this, check your Balboa overload protector for signs of overheating such as discolored components near wiring plugs where you see bad burn marks from contact with plastic housing.

To check this, you must turn off power to the spa and unplug the heater cord so that you can safely inspect wiring inside.

Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising – Disregard Unreliable Help From Internet Forums

Unfortunately some Balboa hot tub owners get misinformation from their buddies while trying to work on their own equipment.

This is a bad idea since not all of us have done electrical or plumbing work before, let alone certifications in these trades which takes years of experience working with high voltage electricity and pressurized hot water during apprenticeship training. 

Even if your friend claims to know what they are talking about, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious when doing anything with electricity or running water for safety reasons…if you don’t want anyone getting electrocuted, burned by hot water or having a flooded house.

Balboa Water Temperature Not Rising – How To Get Service Technician To Help Quickly

If you just want to get this fixed as quickly as possible then call around for prices of getting someone out to service your spa since if the technician doesn’t know what they are doing it can take longer than its worth…especially if there’s parts involved which may need to be ordered and installed onsite. 

But on average expect about a day or so turnaround without parts depending on how far away you live from where he is sent from. Another tip here is not to go with the cheapest bid since these could turn out to be guys who don’t know what they are doing. 

Instead, look for technicians who specialize in Balboa hot tubs if possible since these are the ones who know the most about these machines.


Here are some things to check and do if your Balboa series hot tub isn’t heating up or heating at all: 

1) Make sure that the circuit breaker is turned on and the air switch is turned up. The air switch turns on and off the blower fan motor which blows air through the heater located under one of the footwells in your hot tub. By default, it should be turned all the way clockwise (up). If there is no “click” when you turn on this switch, then it may need to be replaced. 

2) Look next to where your electrical cord enters your hot tub cabinet. Make sure that the insulation around the cord is in good shape and not chewed up or pulled apart. This can be a fire hazard and will also make your hot tub not heat properly. If you see any damage, replace the insulation with electrical tape wrapped tightly around it (but never cover over the wires). 

3) After checking all of these things, try turning on your circuit breaker only (while located in an area where no one will get shocked!). Then set your temperature to your hottest setting and turn it back on full blast touching nothing but metal with wet hands.

4) If the problem still exists after doing all of this, then call Balboa Water Group at 1-800-227-95 (1:30pm – 8:00pm EST) and ask for technical support. Their product experts will be able to help you figure out what may be causing this or send a replacement part right away if needed.

Balboa manual reset for error code flashing

If you are still having problems then call us or bring it into our store to have someone take a look. They can repair any Balboa hot tub controller quickly and easy with very little down time.

Balboa Pumps are another common problem especially if they are an older model. They often will only run at regular speed even though you may have changed them to high speed earlier on your control panel. You can test this by hand turning the pump spindle by hand while looking right at it. 

If it is running at a slow speed then you need to replace the pump. The pumps used to only be available to Balboa dealers but they have been able to get the parts from reliable sources to repair your hot tub. If you have any questions, call or email us and they can help you out.

Balboa Hot Tub Not Heating – Troubleshooting Steps

If your Balboa system is still not working properly, feel free to contact our office at (858) 292-5625, and they will send a tech over immediately for fast and affordable repair services.

They offer same-day service as well as 24/7 emergency coverage for all of our loyal customers throughout. Their same-day service ensures that you will be up and running faster than ever.

If your Balboa hot tub isn’t heating, here are some quick troubleshooting tips for you:

1. Make sure when you change the temperature on your control panel, it actually changes the speed of the pumps. If it doesn’t change speeds, there may be an electrical issue or faulty wire. Check all wiring to make sure there are no frayed wires or broken connections. Be certain that all wires are securely connected to the proper terminals at both panels (Balboa & Control)

2. You can also check to see if the circuit breaker has tripped in your home’s main panel box by pressing “reset.” To reset a circuit breaker, press down on the breaker while simultaneously pushing it in. This “forces” it back into place and should allow the pump to turn on once again. If you do not have a circuit breaker panel, then your only step would be to unplug the electrical cord from the wall outlet and wait at least 10 minutes before plugging it back in.

3. You can also check to see if the filter is dirty or clogged up by removing it, cleaning off any debris that may be present, then replacing it back into its proper location. At times, when filters are dirty they will prevent cold water from flowing through which prevents heaters from working properly.

Balboa Hot Tub Not Heating – Why You Need Us

Our company offers full service repairs for Balboa hot tubs which includes diagnostics, electrical work, replacement parts, etc.

If it is a broken controller or a faulty pump they can fix it. Give us a call right away if you need a fast solution to your heating issue so they can get your hot tub up and running as soon as possible.

They don’t want to hear any complaints from our customers now do they? This is why they are always available 24/7 with emergency coverage and same day services for all of our valued customers.

Balboa Controls Are One of Our Specialties

They also provide Balboa controls and parts to our customers as well so if you need a new controller, give them a call today.

All Balboa controllers are tested by hand before they ever leave our facility so they can guarantee their quality and performance.

This way they know that they’re providing you with nothing but the best hardware on the market. 

So you will always have peace of mind knowing that your hot tub is in good hands even though no one wants to hear about any issues it may be having.

They understand and want to help ease any stress possible which is why our main objective is to make sure your spa runs smoothly throughout its lifetime.