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4 Step Comprehensive Hot Spring Spa Wireless Remote Guide

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Everything You Need To Know About The HotSpring Spa Wireless Remote (78504)

If you have recently purchased a replacement Hot Spring Spa wireless remote there is a good chance you may be finding yourself at a roadblock. These remotes can be pretty confusing to work with and while the included instructions are helpful, sometimes they aren’t enough. In this post we are providing you with a Hot Spring Spa Wireless Remote Guide.

Buckle up! This post may get a little technical. But don’t worry, just read all the way till the end and all will be well!

1. Hot Spring Spa Wireless Remote Compatibility

One of the biggest roadblocks that we see customers running into is compatibility issues. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the issue is with software compatibility. Over the years, the makers of HotSpring made updates to the Remote/Dock/Control Box software versions that are not compatible with each other. This means if I buy a replacement Remote for my spa that comes programmed with the version 4 software, but my docking station still has the version 3 software, they won’t be able to communicate with each other.

In this case, you would have to either purchase a new dock with the correct version software on it, or use a usb drive (serv-FLSH-virtual) with the software files on it to program the docking station and the control box to match the remote software. Confused? Check out the graphic we created below that explains compatibility:

hot spring spa wireless remote guide

At the end of the day, the only thing you really need to know about the compatibility issue is this: THE CONTROL BOX, DOCKING STATION, AND WIRELESS REMOTE ALL NEED TO HAVE THE SAME SOFTWARE VERSION.

Backyardplus offers this service when you purchase the control box from us and select the “service flash” option. If you are wondering how you can install this software yourself, keep reading!

2. How To Install The Hot Spring Spa Wireless Remote Software

Now we will cover, step-by-step, how you can update/install the software for your wireless remote. We encourage you to not skip any steps as this can cause the installation or update to fail.

Getting The Software File

The first thing you are going to have to do is get the software file from your computer to a USB Thumb drive. We realize that some customers have purchased their new control box elsewhere and if that dealer did not offer to install the correct software, you will be unable to use the new control box. If this is you, please purchase the USB with the software that belongs to your spa or purchase the virtual service we offer where we walk you through how to format your usb and download the software file to your usb flash drive.

If you purchased a USB from with the correct software already on the flash drive (Option 1), click (HERE) for a printable PDF of the Control Box Software Update instructions or download and print from the below window and skip to Step 2: II. Control Box Software Update

If you selected Option 2: Tech support service + customer provided USB, you will need to have your own USB Flash drive less than 8 GB in capacity; the smaller the better. Add this item with your spa serial number to your shopping cart and checkout. You will receive an email with files to be downloaded that include:
1.) How to Format Your USB on Win PC 10
2.) Software file (.hex)
3.) Control Box Software Update instructions
4.) Configuration Instructions (these differ depending on the software file)
This service includes over-the-phone or via email/text support to help you during this process as there are many steps involved.

Installing The Control Box (WR) Software

  1. Make sure the power to the control box is off.
  2. Open the equipment compartment door and access the IQ2020 control box.
  3. Disconnect the docking station cord from the motherboard.
  4. Install flash drive containing the control box software (WRx.xx) into the USB port on the motherboard.
  5. Apply power to the control box with USB drive still in place.
  6. On the motherboard, you will see flashing LED lights. Once these lights have stopped flashing, power down the control box.
  7. Unplug the flash drive.

Installing The Docking Station (DK) Software

**Note: If your spa circuit board is a “REVISION A” you cannot update the dock software through the motherboard. You will need to purchase a new dock along with the remote.

  1. Take the flash drive you used to install the Control Box software and open it on your computer.
  2. Delete the current file. Make sure the flash drive is completely empty.
  3. Download the emailed dock software file to your computer
  4. Drag and drop the dock software file into the open flash drive window.
  5. Close and Eject the flash drive and then unplug it from your computer.
  6. Make sure the power to the control box is off.
  7. Install flash drive containing the docking station software into the USB port on the motherboard.
  8. Apply power to the control box.
  9. On the motherboard, you will see flashing LED lights. Once these lights have stopped flashing, power down the control box.
  10. Unplug the flash drive and return power to the spa

Installing The Wireless Remote (RM) Software

NOTE: For this task, you will need the Remote Programmer Tool (PN 77472)

For this task we recommend you download the official Watkins instructions. They include very detailed steps along with photos and a list of tools and parts needed to complete the update.

Download the Wireless Remote Software Update PDF Instruction Here

3. Common Symptoms of Part Failure in your Hot Spring Spa Wireless Remote

There are a handful of symptoms you can experience when your Wireless Remote goes bad. Here are the main symptoms:

Unresponsive Touchscreen – If you can clearly see the touchscreen display lit and showing the various buttons, but nothing happens when you press the buttons, there could be a chance that the remote has failed.

Touchscreen is Visually Damaged – This an obvious one. If your screen is cracked or areas of the display are blank/missing you will need to replace the remote.

Remote Will Not Turn On – If your remote will not turn on, even when mounted on the docking station, you will more than likely need to replace it.

Remote Will Not Pair with Dock – If your wireless remote will not pair with the docking station, there is a chance that either the Dock or the Remote could be the issue. In this case and because these two items tend to fail around the same time, we recommend replacing both the Dock and Remote.

4. What You’ll Need To Buy

When it comes to what replacement parts you will need to buy, this all depends on your specific situation. In most cases, we try to keep things simple and save our customers as much work as possible. This is why we offer the software update and pairing as an option when you purchase the control box from Our ultimate goal is always to help our customers get their tubs up and running again.

Recommendation for Most Customers With Pre 2019 Spas – For most customers who are replacing their Remote or Dock, we recommend they purchase the Wireless Remote and The Dock together because they often fail around the same time. When you buy your wireless remote 78504-BYP from us (, we include the software for the control box on a pre-loaded USB drive. That way you can simply install the software and then replace the dock and remote with little to no friction.

Wrapping Up on the Hot Spring Spa Wireless Remote

Hopefully, by this point, you have a better idea of what goes into replacing and setting up your new Hot Spring Spa wireless remote or docking station. Check out our Wireless Remote Dock Replacement blog for instructions on how to remove and replace the Wireless Remote Dock.

Thank you for reading “4 Step Comprehensive Hot Spring Spa Wireless Remote Guide.”

Backyard Plus is Here to Help You Be the Hero.

Questions about your spa? Contact us! We are the top Hotspring spa parts retailer on the web.

We offer:

  • Our Parts Finder which allows you to find exact-match replacements for your hot tub
  • Free technical support that will allow you to maintain and repair your own spa accordingly
  • Information regarding your products and their usage through our blog posts.
  • Tutorials and assistance through our videos
  • Follow us on our Facebook page

Our goal here at Backyard Plus is to help save you money by avoiding costly service calls for repairs that you can easily do yourself!

5 thoughts on “4 Step Comprehensive Hot Spring Spa Wireless Remote Guide

  1. Hi again-
    My technicians reached out to Watkins and here’s what they found out:
    Per Watkins, there is no way to dry out remote. Replacement is recommended. Trying to remove screens most likely would render remote inoperable.


  2. Hello Cassandra-
    I’ll open a help ticket for you and one of our technicians will respond shortly.

  3. My remote has a water bubble visible on the screen. I removed the screens on the back but haven’t figured out how to take it apart to let it dry. Any suggestions?

  4. Hi there, Alan-
    We’re so glad you were able to get the new remote and dock. The remote will come with a USB drive with version 4 software on it so that you can bring your control box unit up to date to match the software versions on the remote and dock. Here is a video that shows how to update your control box and program your new remote. Please reach out to our technical support department if you have any questions during your installation. 805-541-9000


  5. I found your website incredibly helpful. I am trying to replace a faulty remote on my Hot Spring spa days before family arrives for Thanksgiving. I bought a new dock and remote Version 4.x and discovered my control box is version 2.x. I can’t get a tech scheduled for two months. Just ordered the USB control panel upgrade from you folks. Hopefully when it arrives in a few days the control box upgrade will be all I needed.

    Thanks again for the information. Hopefully we will be hot tubbing on Thanksgiving!

    Kind regards


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