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Spa & Hot Tub Error Codes - FL, FLO, FLOW, LF

Every digital spa control is designed with some diagnostic functions to self-diagnose problems with pumping and heating your spa or hot tub. Topside controls also give lots of information about your spa status, which are not to be confused with spa error codes.

There are three groups of error codes: flow codes (relating to water flow), heater codes and sensor codes. So let's start at the top. Today's post is about water flow trouble codes on your spa panel. These are usually presented as FL, FLO or FLOW on your display, although it may appear as LF (Low Flow) or PS (Pressure Switch).

balboa LF low flow error code

Low flow error codes are really a self-preservation exercise for your hot tub. When water isn't flowing fast enough through the heater, this error code shuts things down to avoid a total meltdown. Well, not really a melt-down, but this shutdown prevents major damage to your hot tub equipment.

Flow problems are the number one source of trouble for hot tub owners. When the water isn't flowing like it should, the heater stops working, equipment overheats and water quality quickly suffers. In short, flow is very important for the health of your hot tub.

Here's what to do if your digital spa control throws a FL, FLO, FLOW or similar "low flow" error code at you. This flow chart was created for Cal Spas systems, but the troubleshooting process is much the same for all other spas and hot tubs.

hot tub error codes FLO

For low flow spa error codes, check the filter, check the pump and check the valves to find if something is obstructing the water flow. Blockages could be caused by a dirty filter, clogged impeller, closed valve or a piece of plastic film covering the spa drain. Low flow can also mean a low water level. Sometimes, it's actually a just bad pressure switch or flow switch, or sometimes loose connections, damaged wires or wire connectors. Proceed step by step, and you should be able to find the cause of the FL, FLO, FLOW or LF error code.

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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.