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A spa controller runs the spa's pump, blower, and heater. Most spa controllers have the heater built into them, so the spa controller is also the spa heater.
If your spa has heating problems, check your heater.
The brain of an electronic spa controller is a circuit board. The circuit board is the most expensive component in a spa controller. Replacement circuit boards are typically priced at hundreds of dollars, and sometimes exceed the cost of replacing the entire spa controller.
Unless your controller is under warranty or maybe just barely out of the warranty period, it's not a good bet to replace a bad circuit board. Circuit boards that have worked for a couple of years tend not to go bad just by themselves. Instead, something has caused them to go bad. And whatever that is, it's not being fixed by replacing the circuit board. Consequently, the life expectancy of a replaced circuit board is typically less than that of a new spa controller.
Spa circuit boards tend not to do well in environments of extreme changes in heat and humidity. If you are having repeated circuit board problems, consider switching to a pneumatic spa controller.
If you need to replace a circuit board, see our replacement spa circuit boards.
Unless something simple on your controller has broken - such as a mechanical switch or a timer - we recommend simply replacing the broken controller. And if the rest of your equipment is more than 8 years old, we recommend replacing the entire spa pack.
We carry both pneumatic (air-control) and electronic (digital) spa controllers. We carry our own Spa Guts brand of controllers, and several of the most common controllers that came originally installed, for customers who want the simplicity of a direct swap out.
Most older and budget spas came originally equipped with pneumatic controllers. If you're replacing the controller and having to get out of the tub and open up the equipment access panel to adjust the spa's temperature really bothers you, now is the time to switch to a more convenient electronic spa controller that comes with a digital topside panel.
Although electronic spa controllers are more convenient and they cost only slightly more than our pneumatic spa controllers, for most people the pneumatic spa controller is the better choice. Pneumatic spa controllers are simpler and less prone to problems. Internal parts within a Pneumatic spa controller can be individually removed and replaced. Electronic spa controllers are run by electronic circuit boards. The entire circuit board needs to be replaced if something fails. On the other hand, electronic spa controllers provide more features and full control with the digital topside panel.
Click here to view comparison chart between SpaGuts, Balboa and Gecko brand electronic spa controllers.