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HotSpring 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 Wireless Remote for your HotSpring Spa, 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 going to take a deep dive into the installation and pairing of the HostSpring Spa Wireless Remote and Docking Station.

What We’ll cover:

  • Compatibility
  • Software Installation
  • Common Symptoms of Part Failure
  • What You Should Order

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!

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 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:

HotSpring Remote Infographic

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.

If you are wonder how you can install this software yourself, keep reading!

How To Install The HotSpring 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.

Click (HERE) for a printable PDF of the instructions.

  1. Contact Backyard Plus to get the proper software files emailed to you can call us at 805-541-9000 Monday-Friday from 6:30 am to 5 pm Pacific or reach out to us via our Help Desk. Please have your order number ready. **If you did not purchase your control panel from Backyardplus, please purchase our Software Flash service package and we will help you with your installation.**
  2. Once you have been emailed the files, download them to your computer.
  3. Plug in and open the USB drive’s folder on your computer. Then delete or move any files that may be already on the USB drive to ensure that the drive is completely empty. NOTE: THE USB DRIVE CAN ONLY HAVE ONE FILE ON IT AT A TIME. OTHERWISE, THE INSTALLATION WILL FAIL. YOU MUST INSTALL SOFTWARE FILES ONE AT A TIME.
  4. Locate and drag one of the software files into the empty USB drive folder.
  5. Safely eject the USB Drive from your computer.

NOTE: You may need to format your USB drive. If you do need to format your USB drive, you can follow the instructions (HERE)

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

  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

Common Symptoms of Part Failure

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.

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. Our ultimate goal is always to help our customers get their tubs up and running again.

That being said, we typically find ourselves encountering two types of buyers:
-People who aren’t too worried about the price and just want the easiest solution and fastest installation.
-People who are on a tight budget and aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty with some time and work.

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. When you buy 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/remote with little to no friction.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, by this point, you have a better idea of what goes into replacing and setting up your new wireless remote or docking station. As always, if you run into any issues with your spa, you can give us a call at 805-541-9000.

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