Troubleshooting Your Viking Spa Hot Tub – The Basics

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All hot tubs are different. Just like all computers or all phones are different. If you have a hot tub of a certain brand, usually their main operating systems and design are similar enough across all models for you to be able to troubleshoot some things based on those primary similarities. 

Nothing is a substitute for professional service when it comes to machinery we don’t understand. However, knowing basic controls and maintenance troubleshooting for your hot tub can help you keep it in good condition whether you hire professionals or not. 

If you want to – or need to – get familiar with your Viking Spa hot tub, reading this article can help. Even if you have a different brand of hot tub, there might be some good pointers in this that can get you on the correct path. 

Troubleshooting Your Viking Hot Tub

How Do You Reset a Viking Spa Hot Tub?

If you are experiencing your hot tub controls freezing up or lagging when you try to engage them, you may just need to reset your hot tub. If this is a recurring issue and your product is still under warranty, you should give the proper retailer or company a call – because these issues shouldn’t be happening constantly. We’ve had our hot tub for a year and we’ve only had to reset the control panel once.   

Earlier models had a GFCI reset for the controls, and sometimes each component had a manual reset button or switch. So, how do we do this on later models? It’s relatively easy and it will solve most of your hot tub problems. 

If you have a control panel that is frozen or lagging or you have an error message on it that won’t go away even after you’ve handled the issue, you may need to reset the control panel. This is done usually by holding two different buttons down at the same time. You may need to consult your owner’s manual or look the owner’s manual for your particular hot tub up online to see if there is a particular sequence to this reset. 

Hot tub control panels are really just tiny computers and they do have lag and crashes. This doesn’t mean the product is substandard. It’s just what happens to computers. Be patient and try that soft reboot using the panel controls. If that doesn’t work, a hard reboot should do it.  

To engage a hard reboot, go to your breaker panel and flip your breaker(s) off (usually the down position). Or disable the power via the GFCI. You literally just shut the power down to your hot tub. This is important – give it at least 30 seconds before flipping the switch to turn the power back on. This allows the hot tub controls to recalibrate. Sometimes you may need to wait a few hours for the recalibration. 

Most issues with a hot tub can be handled by doing this. So before you spend the money to get a professional out to your home, try this troubleshooting step. 

Electrical Breaker for the Hot Tub
Breaker for the Hot Tub

Help! My Hot Tub Is Stuck in a Mode!

Sometimes, when I’m typing or playing a game, I go too fast for the program to keep up. This could result in lag, or freezing up. Well, the same thing can happen to your hot tub controls. If you move too fast or press a control icon or button multiple times out of frustration, it can freeze your controls. You should try and wait a few seconds between each button press. Let’s get into what these controls mean or do and then, how you can get your hot tub out of those. 

What Does EC Mean on a Viking Spa Hot Tub? How to Get a Viking Spa Hot Tub Out of Economy Mode?

Ec/EC on a hot tub control panel means Economy Mode. When your spa is in economy mode, it will only heat during filtration cycles to save on energy. On older model spas with the digital readout and push buttons, you need to press the UP Temperature (or temperature) button first then press the Light button. This will change the mode. 

On the newer models, there isn’t an Economy Mode because they have digital timers in place to help with conserving energy and preventing your hot tub from running constantly.

What Does Sl Mean on a Viking Spa Hot Tub? How to Get a Viking Spa Hot Tub Out of Sleep Mode?

Sl/SL on a hot tub control panel is Sleep Mode. When your spa is in sleep mode, it will only heat the water to within 20°F/10°C of the set temperature but only during filtration. On older model spas with the digital readout and push buttons, you need to press the UP Temperature (or temperature) button first then press the Light button. This will change the mode. 

What Does ST Mean on a Viking Spa Hot Tub? How to Get a Viking Spa Hot Tub Out of Standard Mode?

St/ST on a hot tub control panel is Standard Mode. When your spa is in standard mode, it will keep the heat and filtration in the settings you want them to be. On older model spas with the digital readout and push buttons, you need to press the UP Temperature (or temperature) button first then press the Light button. This will change the mode. 

What Do the “F-Commands” Mean on My Viking Spa Hot Tub?

These are telling you how often your hot tub will turn on automatically to heat and cycle the water. F2 is the manufacturer’s default setting. It means the hot tub will cycle for 2 hours 2 times per day. This is for filtration and keeping the water heated to your set temperature.  F4 (4 hours x 2 times per day), F6 (6 hours x 2 times per day), F8 (8 hours x 2 times per day), or FC (runs continuously 24 hours).

These are just the modes. There are also full listings of diagnostic messages that you may see on your control panel. This is why keeping track of the owner’s manual is so important. You need to know what your spa is trying to tell you. 

How Do You Turn Off the Viking Spa Hot Tub?

Usually, the “JETS” button can be pressed once to turn down the power of the jets, pressed again to speed them up, and then a third time to cut them off. Most tubs do come with an auto shut-off for the jets. However, the circulation pumps will always run to keep the hot tub in good working order and the water circulating. If not, algae could become an issue.  

Most hot tubs are designed to run continuously because it takes more energy to reheat the water after you cut it off than to simply place the hot tub in economy or sleep mode while it’s not in use. But if you need to turn off the hot tub, it’s best to look for the actual switch or flip the breaker that it’s assigned to.  

What If the Water in My Hot Tub Does Not Get Hot? 

If you’ve checked everything else on your hot tub and it’s working fine, but your water won’t heat, it could be that the heater has stopped. It’s a safety feature that keeps the heater from overheating the water. But, if it gets a surge or for some reason does begin overheating, this switch will cut the heater off, just like a circuit breaker. 

Most hot tubs have a manual reset button for the heater, you just need to find it. Press the red button to reset the heater. Then, monitor your hot tub. If the heater is fine, it’ll begin working correctly. If the heater cuts off again or trips the circuit breaker, that means you’ve got a problem that needs to be repaired in the heating element. 

My Control Panel No Longer Works…Help!

If you’ve tried all of the troubleshooting we’ve explained here and still nothing happens, it’s time for professional help. Why? Because you may actually need to replace the control panel. There are times when water comes into contact with the wrong part of the control panel and that can lead to serious damage.  

SpaTouch Digital Control Panel
SpaTouch Digital Control Panel

In Conclusion…

Our Viking Spa is a 2021 Regal model but we’ve kept it in good condition and we handle our own maintenance. Right now, our hot tub is still covered by warranty, so if we have issues, before tearing anything apart, we would call the company. We don’t want to invalidate the warranty. However, for small things like resetting the control panel, we follow the troubleshooting methods we have here and things have been fine.

If you want to know about hot tub maintenance please read my article How Do You Clean and Maintain a Hot Tub?

If you are looking for the most up-to-date owner’s manuals and guides for Viking Spas be sure to download them from their official website.

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"Growing up a country-girl means you enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, and no matter where you go in life, the outdoors is always part of you. I began doing research on things I wanted to do to make my outdoor space my own, no matter where we moved. And that research led me to write this blog to share with you!"