Balboa Pumps – Ultimax – Niagara
Balboa Pumps are manufactured by the Balboa Water Group USA who offer a limited but top quality selection of spa pumps. There are two main versions of this pump, the latest Niagara pump 2hp or 3hp. These come in single speed and two speed options. Both of these have been designed by Balboa to replace older & discontinued models such as the Ultimax, Vico Ultrajet & Sta-rite with an identical wet end & connections.
For more info and the full specifications please click on the links below:
How to identify your hot tub or spa pump.
First of all let’s start with the anatomy of the pump.
Your pump has two main parts the “wet” end and the “dry” end. The “wet” end houses the impeller which moves the water around the spa. Meanwhile the dry end houses the electric motor which moves the impeller.
As these two parts are separate it is possible to replace just the wet end or the motor. However if your entire pump is more than 2-3 years old we recommend replacing the entire thing. Moreover replacing the entire spa pump will save you headaches in the future.
Do you want to replace the whole pump?
Subsequently if you are going to replace the entire hot tub pump there are a few things you will need to know when looking for a new pump. For instance the place to start first will be a visual check on the pump itself. Labels are commonly found on top of the box on top of the motor. This houses the pump wiring and the capacitors. Similarly a metal plate should to attached on the side of the motor. This may tell you all you need, frame size, horse power and speeds.
What is the horsepower of the pump that you are replacing?
Although you can use a different horsepower pump than what was originally used. It would change the pressure of the water flow coming through your jets. When the manufacturers choose a pump they base the horse power on the number of jets being serviced. Consequently it is recommend that if you choose to use a different horsepower that you do not increase by more than one level. Therefore increasing from a 4 HP to 4.5 HP, or 2 HP to 3 HP, should be okay. For example you would not want to go from a 1 HP to a 4 HP. As this could cause you problems later on with your equipment.
What is the speed of the pump?
Generally your pump is either going to be a 1 speed or a 2 speed. If you cannot locate the speed on the pump you can tell by how the pump normally supplies water to your jets. If you push the button once do your jets come on low and then pushing it again takes them to a higher speed? If so this would be a 2 speed. Should you still not be sure check the AMPS listed on the pump. Similarly if only one number is listed chances are you have a 1 speed. Likewise if two numbers are listed, it most likely a 2 speed pump.
What is the frame of your pump?
The “frame” means where do the bolts fit that attach the wet end to the motor. Most of the time you can find the frame size listed on the label as either 48 or 56. Often with an F indicating that is the “frame” size. Whereas if you cannot find an indication of frame size you can measure between the thru-bolts on the pump. A 48 frame will be less than 4 inches between the bolts. Subsequently the 56 frame will be more than 4 inches between the bolts.
What is the size of the plumbing in your spa?
Furthermore you need to determine is what is the size of the plumbing in your spa? Both the plumbing that takes the water into the pump and the plumbing that takes the water out of the pump. Also it is common for people to get confused here and want to measure the size of the hole on their wet end—DO NOT do this! You need to look at the PVC pipe within your spa and see what the diameter of the pipe is. This is the size that you will want to use when finding a pump or pump fittings.
Whereas most spas will be the same size for both the intake and outtake pipe. Although be sure to double check just in case yours is one that is not. For example some pumps will a 2.5 inch intake and 2 inch discharge. Generally the plumbing will be either 1.5 inch or 2 inch.
Wet end intake and discharge positions?
Above all don’t get confused by the position of the discharge. Notably this could be at 9 o’ clock, 12 o’ clock or finally 3 o’ clock. Finally the new pump can easily but adjusted to suit any configuration. Usually the new pump will arrive adjusted to the 12 o’ clock position.