Troubleshooting your Spa – Control Panel Message

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If you are experiencing a problem with your spa, before you call Customer Service, you may be able to resolve it yourself by following these troubleshooting steps.

There are many problems spa owners can identify and resolve themselves. This troubleshooting guide will help you with many common problems and may save you a service call. We don’t expect spa owners to be technicians, so everything contained in this guide is non-technical and does not involve tools. You will never be asked to do something that will void your warranty. You may not be able to resolve every problem your spa may have. When that happens, you will be advised to call for service.


If your spa is under warranty, you must have all service performed by a qualified spa service tech or you will void your warranty.

Before you make repairs to your spa, check that it’s still under warranty. If it is, and it’s a part that’s covered by the warranty, you should call your spa dealer to schedule service. Some parts are not covered under the warranty, particularly wearable parts such as jet inserts and lights. For more information on what parts are covered by the warranty, refer to the spa warranties page on this site.

Control Panel Messages

If you have a message code on the control panel of your spa, such as the one shown at right, follow the steps below.


If you have a message code on the control panel of your spa, such as the one shown at right, follow the steps below.

Note: The message troubleshooting shown here applies to Cal Spa control panels built in 2013 and earlier. Beginning with the 2014 product line, Cal Spa control panels display different message codes. For a description of these message codes, see the owner’s manual. 

Control Panel Messages Table

Control Panel Messages

Problem Messages
(Requires action)
Information Messages
(No action required)
Operation ModesReminder Messages
No message oncontrol panelEcnrPH

Problem Messages Table

Use the problem message from the “Problem Messages” Column to diagnose problem Problem Messages

MessagesMeaningAction Required
drInsufficient water detected in heater. Spa will be shut down for 15 minutes.Check water level in spa. Refill if necessary. Make sure pumps are been primed and filter cartridges are clean. Press any button to reset or wait 15 minutes and spa will automatically reset. If message spa does not reset, call customer service.
drY, dYInsufficient water detected in heater. Spa is shut down. (Displays on third occurrence of dr message.)Follow directions for dr message and press any button to reset spa. Spa will not automatically reset when dry or dY is displayed.
HL, HFLA difference in readings between temperature sensors has been detected indicating a possible water flow problem.Make sure spa is filled to proper level and that pumps are primed and filter cartridges are clean. Press any button to reset spa. If message does not reset, call customer service.
1C, 1CEPotential freeze condition detected.No action required. The pumps and the blower will automatically activate regardless of spa status.
LF Persistent low flow problems. Heater is shut down, but other spa functions continue to run normally. Displays on the fifth occurrence of the HL or HFL message within 24 hours.Follow action required for HL or HFL message. Heating capacity of the spa will not reset automatically. Press any button to reset.
OH, OH5Overheat protection. The spa has shut down. One of the sensors has detected that the spa water is 110°F.DO NOT ENTER THE WATER. Remove the spa cover and allow water to cool. At 107°F, the spa should automatically reset. If spa does not reset, shut off the power to the spa and call customer service.
5FSpa is shut down. The sensor that is plugged into the sensor “A” or “B” jack is not working.If the problem persists, call customer service. (May appear temporarily in an overheat situation and disappear when the heater cools.)
5A, 5b, 5nA, 5nbSensors are out of balance. If this is alternating with the temperature, it may just be a temporary condition.If the display shows only this message (periodically blinking), the spa is shut down. Call customer service.

Information Messages Table

Information Messages

MessageMeaningAction Required
1. —
2. —
1. Water temperature is unknown.
2. Spa is in Economy or Sleep mode.
1. After pump has been running for 2 minutes temperature will be displayed.breadcrumb breadcrumb
2. In Economy or Sleep mode, the pump may be off for hours outside a filter cycle. If you wish to see the current spa temperature, either switch to Standard mode or turn Jets1 on for at least two minutes.
–FTemperature unknown After the pump has been running for 2 minutes, the temperature will be displayed.
PrWhen your spa is first actuated, it will go into priming mode.The priming mode will last for up to four minutes and then the spa will begin to heat and maintain the water temperature in the Standard mode.

Operation Modes Table

Operation Modes

MessageOperation Mode
Ecn Indicates heater is in Economy Mode
5LPIndicates heater is in Sleep Mode
5tdIndicates heater is in Standard Mode
5bYIndicates heater is in Stand-by Mode

Periodic Reminder Messages Table (applies to 9800 system only)

Press the “Mode” button to reset a displayed reminder. Periodic Reminder Messages

MessageFrequencyAction Required
rPH Every 7 days Test and adjust pH levels
r5A Every 7 days Test and adjust sanitizer levels
rCL Every 30 days Remove, clean, and reinstall filter
rt9 Every 30 days Test and reset GFCI per manufacturer’s instructions.
rdr Every 90 days Drain and refill spa
rC0 Every 180 days Clean and condition spa cover
rtr Every 180 days Treat wood panels
rCH Once a year Replace the filter

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