Swimming Pool Guides & Reviews by Certified Pool & Spa Operators

How Do You Operate the Control Panel of a Hot Tub?

Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Every hot tub has a control panel of some kind. The control panel allows you to manage all the functions of your hot tub. Some hot tubs have more functions than others. You can tell how many functions there are simply by looking at the number of buttons on the control panel. You might see anywhere from 1 button to 8 buttons on the panel.

Each make and model has a unique control panel. However, there are basic commands which you should find on practically any control panel. Let’s explore those commands and the best way to troubleshoot your control panel if a problem occurs with it.

Panel
Main Menu

Hot tub control panels have a main menu where you can normally choose from a lot of different options. 

Blower Button
The blower mechanism sends a flow of air into the water. Blowers are not the same as jets because they only generate minor amounts of bubbling in the spa. 

Light Button
Some hot tubs come with a light feature which allows you to see the spa at night or in the dark. If you have a light button on your control panel, this will activate or deactivate the light on the spa. It may also allow you to adjust the color and/or brightness of the light as well. 

Jets Button
Jets shoot air into the water at a much faster rate than blowers. Bigger spas can have as many as 3 jet buttons available. One button turns on the jets while the others may let you control the strength and speed of the jets too. The default setting for them is low, which is what happens when you push the button one time. If you push the button again, then it will cause the speed to change.

Temperature Button
You can change the water temperature by using the button to make the water hotter or colder. A lot of the newest hot tubs have preprogrammed temperature settings in place already, so you don’t need to make any adjustments. Of course, you can still make temperature adjustments if you’d like. It won’t let you go past 104°F, though.

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Control Panel Troubleshooting

The control panel of your hot tub can suffer problems just like any other component of your spa. To figure out what is causing these problems so that you can fix them, you need to troubleshoot the control panel. Let’s go deeper into that now.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Problem
If there is a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI or GFI) problem, then the LCD display screen of your control panel let you know. It might be wise to have a professional technician fix this issue, especially if the breaker is tripped. Don’t take any chances whenever you’re dealing with electricity and water simultaneously. 

Overheating
If your control panel has messages like OHH, OH, LMT, TEMP, HTR, or HH, this could indicate an overheating problem is present. No one should be in the water under these conditions, or else they might get burned. To resolve the issue, take off the cover to the spa and shut down the power of the system. Wait until the water temperature decreases and then use your control panel to reset the system. 

Lack of Messages
There could be a disconnection between your control panel and the hot tub if you don’t see any lights or messages on the display screen. Inspect your connections and see if they’re securely in place where they should be. If they are, then one of your wires might be bad. Turn off the system and replace the faulty wire immediately. 

Dimmed Backlight
The backlighting of the control panel allows you to see the display screen in the dark. But if you have trouble seeing the screen in the dark, then it means the backlight is probably burned out. In this case, the backlight must be replaced to resolve the issue. 

Flickering Control Panel
If you see flickering on the control panel, then a voltage problem might exist in its electrical wiring. Check the wiring connections to see if any of them are loose. If you have a new control panel that you installed, then its voltage might not be compatible with your particular spa unit. Consider both possibilities. 

Control Panel Replacement

If all else fails, replace the control panel entirely. Don’t worry because it is not as hard as you might think. Just purchase a compatible control panel for your spa. The replacement process is simple after that. Shut down the power of the system. Disconnect the wires from the control panel unit and then remove it. Insert the new control panel unit in the empty control box and reconnect the wires to it. Turn on the power to the system and see if the control panel comes on.

Conclusion

The control panel is everything for your hot tub. It gives you the ability to control every function of the spa so that you can have a good and relaxing experience. Now that you have a better idea of how to use the control panel, you should have no problems getting started.

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