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Ecosmart Smart 11 Electric Spa Heater

3.6 out of 5 stars 34 ratings

List Price: $515.00 Details
Price: $457.99 & FREE Returns
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Brand EcoSmart
Item Dimensions LxWxH 5 x 11 x 12 inches
Item Weight 14.25 Pounds

About this item

    This fits your .
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  • Reliable, efficient, convenient, on demand heating
  • Can replace your existing spa heater
  • Save energy, save space, save water
  • Digital thermostat control
  • Activation flow 10gpm
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Frequently bought together

  • Ecosmart Smart 11 Electric Spa Heater
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  • EcoSmart SMART POOL 27 Electric Tankless Pool Heater, 27kW, 240 Volt, 112.5 Amps with Self Modulating Technology
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What's in the box

  • Smart Spa Heater
  • Product description

    Product Description

    Eco Smart Spa Heaters operate by utilizing the latest flow sensor technology instead of the traditional pressure switch activation and contactors to reduce the risk of burned elements, which increases functionality and reliability. The Smart SPA Series comes with a digital thermostat control so you can set the temperature exactly where you want. Eco Smart Spa Heaters are compact and easy to install for a new system or to replace any existing spa heater.

    From the Manufacturer

    Ecosmart Spa Heaters operate by utilizing the latest flow sensor technology instead of the traditional pressure switch activation to reduce the risk of burned elements, which increases its reliability and longevity. The Smart SPA series comes with digital thermostat control so you can set the temperature exactly where you want it.

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    Warranty & Support

    Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.


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    Important information

    Bulb Voltage

    220 volts

    Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer reviews

    3.6 out of 5 stars
    3.6 out of 5
    34 global ratings
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    Top reviews from the United States

    Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2020
    Verified Purchase
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    3.0 out of 5 stars Product OK, buyer experience not so much.
    By Harmon20 on December 18, 2020
    This heater is getting the job done, but I've been confused and nervous the whole time getting it going. I'm using it as a hydronic heat source for a radiant floor. It replaced a Rheem RTE-13 that I originally installed for the purpose. This flows much better. Nearly silent around 20psi.

    First, there was no manual included and the online resources are scarce and inconsistent. If I wasn't fairly confident in my handyman skills I would have been lost. There were no included fittings, adapters, or accessories. Just the heater, a pre-installed electrical NM cable connector, and a mounting bracket.

    I think the device is supposed to be floor mounted, but without included manuals I don't know that for sure. But I needed a wall mount situation so I used the floor stand bracket and drilled holes in it to use as a wall mount. I put the mount across the back of the heater at about the vertical midway point. It hit 3 of the screws that secured the water box bracket to the inside of the case. I pulled those screws, marked their locations through the case on the bracket, drilled the bracket out, then replaced the 3 screws, coupling the water box bracket, case, and mounting bracket together, which I then mounted on the wall.

    The next problem is the power input. The device is supposed to get 6ga wire but the pre-installed cable connector is 1/2". It is doable, but just, and it is a royal pain. It really should be 3/4". I could have drilled it out, but by the time I'd realized it I had the thing mounted and plumbed in a space too tight to get a drill on it and I wasn't pulling it back down. <<READ THAT FIRST and save yourself a headache. Also, the terminal block is way too close to the case wall and connector. Trying to get 6ga NM through that little hole, get the conductors bent around to hit the terminal block correctly, and get it pulled back through the connector so you can shove it in the terminal block...impossible. The length of the bends required exceeds the distance between the case and the terminal block. I had to come into the case, make a tight loop, then into the terminal block. The 6ga doesn't like doing this and fights back, hard. Might have been not so bad with some fine stranded conductors but I was using standard 6/2 with ground NM cable.

    The next problem I ran into was that the wheel control does not return when pushed to click. Push in, it just stays there. I have to pull the knob off and use a pair of pliers to push and pull the stalk. That's really freaking annoying to have to deal with but not worth the hassle of a return.

    The next issue I had was not knowing if my pump would activate the flow sensor. The manual I found on the site of an orange big box store said 15GPM was the minimum, but the specs listed on the site of the company that is supposedly the official parts supplier for Ecosmart said 3GPM. My manifold does 15GPM but my Taco Bumblebee pump, with the 8' of head I've plumbed into the system, is only good for 7GPM at maximum. I took a chance and figured if it didn't trigger then I'd gut the electronics and just use the water box in this heater and stuff the case with my own thermostat controlled relays and switches. Well, turns out my pump does activate the flow sensor despite getting nowhere near the 15GPM the manual I found states is required.

    The next issue is the heater's control operation. I pulled one leg on each of the elements and ran my pump for a while till I was confident I'd purged all the air from the system. I then replaced the leads on the elements and fired it up. Nothing happened. I checked power everywhere and found power getting to everything but not getting through the triacs, which meant the control board wasn't calling for heat. I pulled up the manual I'd found and it said that there was a 3 min startup timer to allow for air purging and consistent flow before heating. OK, that explains it. So I let it run for 3 minutes. Nothing. Four minutes. Nothing. I turned it off, checked connections, turned it on, checked power...everything seemed fine. So I turned it on and just stared at it, mustering up all the patience I could. It finally started calling for heat after 5.5 minutes. Not 3.

    And now the final problem. The way I have things wired is I tap power for my pump off the terminal block in the heater and pass the power through a DPST switch. Hit the switch, pump starts, flow sensor is activated, heat starts. Kill the switch, pump stops, flow sensor drops out, heat stops. That would be fine except for one problem. I had the set temp at max, 105F. The next morning after the heater running fine the day prior it would not work. No amount of waiting or power cycling would get it going. The display came on as if it was calling for heat, but it never heated. Turns out the limit switch disks had popped. I reset them (dang, they're stiff and it takes quite a bit of force to reset them) and everything was fine then. So it appears that the limit of the cutoff disks is so close to the max of the heater that in the time it takes for the flow sensor to drop out the heaters they can take the water in the water box over the disk temps. So it looks like I'll have to follow a shutdown procedure and click the heater off a minute or two before killing the pump.

    I've now been running the heater uninterrupted for a day and everything appears fine.

    HEATER DESIGN for those looking for the details I wanted but couldn't find prior to purchase.

    The water box is a rectangular chamber with the 1-1/2" inlet/outlets welded to the side. The heaters screw into the top of the box. I didn't pull them out to verify, but based on the way they are screwed down flat to the face of the box I assume there is a relief cut in the box for the gasket between the NPS threads and the surface of the box. It does not appear that there are bosses welded into the face so I assume the upper face of the box is a beefy chunk of metal that has the relief and bosses machined in, but I can't prove it. The elements are of folded variety in my 11kW model. The interior of the water box was wet and the in/outlets had gasketed caps screwed on, so I assume they tested the system prior to packaging. There is no restriction in the in/outlets at the point of welding to the box; full flow. My residential water heaters have 1/2" in/outlets but when you look in them you can see they are welded to the side of the water jacket and there was a 1/4" hole drilled through the side of the water jacket; very restrictive. Not so with this pool heater. The water box doesn't have any flanges or mounting points. It just sits in the case and is held in place by a bracket that wraps around it (loosely) and is secured by pan head screws going through the case in the back. (Therefore the back of the case is not flat because of the screw heads.) As a result of this arrangement the water box isn't thermally coupled to the case much, if at all, and things move around quite a bit when dealing with the plumbing.

    Unlike what is shown in all the online pics and manuals I could find the flow sensor is on the outlet, not the inlet. The flow sensor consists of 3 parts slid into the outlet, sandwiched together, and retained by a fairly weak internal snap ring, plus one fixed part in the side of the outlet. The first part to slide in is essentially a spoked wheel of molded plastic. The 'rim' is a tight slip fit in the outlet, the 'spokes' are canted vanes that impart twist in the water flow going through the wheel, and the 'hub' is an 1/8" socket. The next component to go in the outlet is the turbine which is an 1/8" shaft with vanes of what appears to be magnetized AlNiCo radiating from it. The shaft sits loosely in the hub of the twist wheel. The final component is another spoked wheel with a socket hub, but there are only 4 spokes and they are straight. I'm sure they are anti-twist to some degree, but that appears to be incidental and the spokes are only there to support the hub. The two molded wheels interface with each other in a way that leaves the shaft of the turbine with plenty of freedom of movement both radially and longitudinally. Not so much that it moves out of its position relative to the speed sensor and not enough that any imbalance would beat up the hubs too badly, but loose enough that the turbine shaft doesn't sit straight in the hub when seated and it doesn't take much force at all to move the turbine. Next into the outlet is the snap ring which is very soft/weak and is easy removed with a screwdriver or needle nose pliers. The fixed component has 3 wires so I expect that it is a Hall sensor. My residential water heaters have a flow switch that is a magnet suspended in the inlet that is spring loaded longitudinally and the flow pushes the magnet with drag back to a point that closes a reed switch outside the inlet pipe. Easily bypassed. I'm not so sure the control on this heater would be so easily fooled if it uses a Hall sensor to measure turbine speed in the flow switch. The Hall sensor protrudes into the outlet pipe somewhat. The turbine isn't that large and the AlNiCo isn't that powerful so it has to get in there to get close enough.

    The in/outlets are 1-1/2" NPT steel in my 11kW model. Prior to my purchase there was some confusion to whether they were NPS or NPT, metric, or some pool/spa industry standard interface. Nope, just standard NPT.

    The outlet also has the thermistor on the outlet in a socket welded to the side. It doesn't appear to protrude to the interior of the outlet.

    There are two thermal limit disk switches screwed to the side of the water box, one for each element. They are double pole switches so both legs for the elements go through them. The triacs are bolted to the inlet.

    ***UPDATE*** Three months on and all is well. As long as I keep the set temp off of max I don't have any problem with overheating when simply killing the pump. If I have the set temp at max I then use the heater panel control to turn the heating off, allow a few minutes for water circulation to continue, then kill the pump. The only real major gripe with this unit, the front control wheel, has gotten worse. The return still doesn't work and I have to push/pull the stalk to get it to work, but in addition to that my spinning the stalk frequently does nothing. It feels like the stalk is slipping past something internally rather than engaging the part that should turn. If I hold my mouth just right I can get it to engage and then the control works as it should, but it is really annoying to have to mess with it like this. Just not enough to pull the whole thing apart and do a return.
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    Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2020
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