What is the best spa controller? (Prices, pros, cons and more)

Curious about how to understand the different types of spa pool controllers and how to choose the best one? In this article, we'll review the best spa controllers on the market and answer typical spa controller questions.

When it comes to maintaining your spa pool, a reliable and efficient controller is crucial. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one. In this guide, we'll take a closer look at some of the top spa controllers available, including their prices, pros, cons, and more.

We'll cover:

What is the best spa controller for Australian spas and swim spas?

One of the best spa controllers is the SpaNet® SV mini series. The SpaNet™ SV and SV mini controllers are used in most Vortex Spas® and Fisher Spas® - two of the most popular spa brands in Australia and New Zealand.

Read on for a detailed review of the SpaNet® SV series spa controllers and two other popular spa controllers - the Balboa® BP200 and the Davey SpaQuip® / SpaPower® SP601

SpaNet™ SV Mini Spa controller review

The SpaNet™ SV mini series controllers are extremely affordable and come packed full of features and expandability, making them suitable for almost all portable spas and swim spas. The SV mini controller comes with a touchpad, heater element and control cable.

The standalone heater unit that comes with the SV mini makes it perfect for retrofitting to a spa with limited space in the cabinet. They utilise a new technology called dynamic thermal tuning which optimises the times when the controller turns the heater unit on and off, to get you the best energy efficiency.

You can add the SmartLink™ or SmartStream™ WiFi module to the SV range enabling you to monitor and control all the settings on your spa remotely as well as access customer support if you need it.

The SV mini series is the smaller brother to the SpaNet™ SV series. (Reviewed below)

SpaNet™ SV Mini Spa controller Pros

  • Best value for money at around $1,000 to $1,200 depending on the model
  • Easy to connect a heat pump now or later (Spend over $2K in other systems)
  • Separate heater unit and control box - easy for retrofit installations
  • Easy to add wifi connectivity for monitoring and controlling your spa remotely
  • Australian designed specifically for Australian conditions
  • Smart Filtration Cycle saves money on electricity

SpaNet™ SV Mini Spa controller Cons

  • Requires existing component cables to be changed to AMP plugs
  • Only limited connections for 2 devices plus light (SV Mini 1) or 4 devices + light (SV Mini 2*)

If you need to run 2 or 3 pumps in the spa the SV Mini 2 has enough ports to enable you to do this. If you need to run more devices, you'll need to step up to the SV series (reviewed next!)

SpaNet™ SV2-VH series spa controller review

The SpaNet™ SV series spa controller is the big brother of the SV Mini series and is perfect for larger spas and swim spas as well as multiple zone spas. The SV series has been designed for optimising energy efficiency in your spa, saving you money on your daily spa running costs.

Like the SV mini controllers, the SV series utilises dynamic thermal tuning to heat your spa at optimal times only, reducing unnecessary cycling on and off of your pumps and filtration system in your spa, resulting in lower electricity costs.

The Smart Variable heater technology in the SV series automatically increases or decreases its heating power, depending on the available residual current, even when jet pumps and other accessories are running in the spa. In contrast to a standard spa heater which often will need to be switched off while the spa is in use to free up enough available current to run the pumps and blowers.

The result is that you will experience less heat loss while using the spa, for more long, warm, relaxing soak sessions!

The smart variable heater technology also provides load limiting settings, enabling you to specify a set limit on the current that the heater will draw.

The SV series is available in the SV2, SV3 and SV4 models. The higher-spec models have a larger heater element, support for multiple keypads and a higher maximum output current enabling capacity for additional pumps or other connected devices.


SV2VH (10A-20A)

SV3-VH (15A-45A)

SV4-VH (32-60A)

Input Voltage (Single Phase) 230-240V AC 230-240V AC 230-240V AC
Input Voltage (Three Phase) 400-415V AC 400-415V AC 400-415V AC
Max Total Current 20A45A60A
Max Current/Phase 16A25A25A
Heater Element size 3.0kW5.25kW5.25kW
Number of light ports 122
Number of pump ports 134
Touchpads supported 1 22
3 pin 230v power port 122
SmartLink wifi compatible YesYesYes

All the SV models can also be connected to the SmartLink™ or SmartStream™ wifi module, enabling remote control and monitoring of your spa using the mobile app on a smartphone or tablet.

SV SmartLINK™ WiFi Module (Optional)

Pros of the SpaNet™ SV series spa controller

Large current capacity and a large number of power ports for controlling multiple devices in large spas

  • Dynamic Thermal Turning optimises energy usage to maintain your spa temperature while reducing running costs
  • Smart Variable Heating helps keep your spa warmer longer while in use
  • Can be controlled and monitored remotely from smartphone or tablet (with add-on wifi module)
  • Heat pump Interface for adding an external PowerSmart heat pump
  • Solar & smart meter ready
  • SV3 and SV4 models can support 2 touchpads for larger spas and swim spas
  • Multi-phase ready
  • One-touch Sanitise and daily auto sanitise functions
  • Can be connected to the SmartTouch touch screen system for improved control

Cons of the SpaNet™ SV series spa controller

  • The heater assembly is built-in making the whole unit large, not always suitable for retrofitting to a smaller existing spa with limited space underneath.
  • Requires AMP connection for power. May mean existing pumps and components need to be re-wired.

Back to top

What is the difference between the SpaNet™ SV and SV Mini?

  • The SV series is designed for larger spas and swim spas 2500L +
  • SV Minis are designed for smaller bodies of water. (10-15A).
  • The SV series has Smart Variable heater technology
  • Multi-phase ready
  • Can be connected to a Solar and smart meter system
  • Current limiting, so it won’t trip your power or use excessive energy
  • The heater is built into the SV unit, while the SV mini has a standalone heater

Balboa® BP200 G2 Spa Controller Review

The Balboa® BP200 Spa controller is designed and manufactured by Balboa Water Group® in Costa Mesa, California. It is a suitable replacement for the GS501Z spa controller which was commonly used by many popular Australian spa manufacturers.

In addition, The BP200 is a suitable and affordable option for retrofitting to many older spas. It has a small footprint at only 205mm high, meaning it can fit into many small spaces to replace an existing controller system. The heater unit can be attached or remote,

If you want to add wireless functionality and control to your spa, the BP200 model interfaces with Balboa's ControlMySpa™ wifi module as well as Balboa Bluetooth Audio (bba™). It also works will the latest TP/SpaTouch™ Panels, bringing your spa right into the 21st century.

Heater element size options are 2.0kW and 3.0kW. Either of which are suitable for heating most small to medium-sized spas.

The Balboa® BP200 Spa controller can run the following equipment:

  • Pump 1 – 2spd pump(no circ) or a Single speed pump(with circ)
  • Pump 2 – Single speed pump
  • Pump 3 – Single speed pump
  • Blower
  • Ozone and 12volt light

Pros of the Balboa® BP200 spa controller

  • Compact size makes it easy to use for retrofitting to an older spa
  • Affordable price point
  • Wifi connectivity available with addon

Cons of the Balboa® BP200 spa controller

  • No heat pump interface
  • Limited number of devices can be connected
  • No smart filtration or energy-saving features

Davey SpaPower® SP601 Spa Controller Review

The Davey SpaPower® 601 is another Australian made spa controller. Davey® Water has been manufacturing water products for over 88 years and has a reputation for quality throughout the spa and pool industry worldwide.

The SP601 package comes with the controller unit, touchpad, titanium heater and 2 x 50mm unions. It is available with either a 1.5kW, 2.0kW or 3.0kW heater element. It doesn't have date/time functions built into the controller, but you can purchase a time clock add on which you can program to turn it off and on at certain times.

It is ideal for systems using a low flow circulation pump and heater but works well in many other spa systems.

The Davey SP601® can support the following configurations;

Configuration option 1

  • 1 X 2spd pump
  • 1 X Blower (has to be a Davey SPVSB blower NOT A STANDARD BLOWER)
  • 1 X Ozone
  • 1 X Circ Pump

Configuration option 2

  • 1 X Jet Pump
  • 1 X Blower (any type of blower) or a second jet pump
  • 1 X Ozone
  • 1 X Circ Pump

Davey SpaPower® SP601 Spa Controller Pros

  • Can run up to 5 devices
  • Available with 2kW or 3kW heater sizes to suit a range of spas
  • Australian made. Well supported and parts and accessories are readily available.

Davey SpaPower® SP601 Spa Controller Cons

  • Expensive to purchase
  • Requires existing component cables to be changed to AMP plugs if retrofitting
  • No wifi connectivity options
  • No heatpump connectivity
  • Large unit size makes it harder to retrofit in some spas
  • Timer function requires additional cost
  • Not compatible with all other accessories (If a 2speed pump is fitted you have to fit a Davey Variable speed blower.)

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the top spa controllers available for sale in Australia, we hope you have a better idea of which option will best suit your needs.

If you need some extra help or advice, you are welcome to contact one of our spa controller experts online using the live chat box in the bottom right corner of the screen or through our contact page.

Back to top

Got more questions?

Talk to us on live chat, or email us your spa controller questions and we'll be happy to help!

*Disclaimer: In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Spa Store™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd, the parent company of Spa Store™. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing (March 2022) and may change without notice. *

The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Spa Store™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd: SpaNet®, PowerSmart®, SmartLink®, SmartStream® are owned by Spa Net Pty Ltd. Balboa®, ControlMySpa™, Balboa Bluetooth Audio, bba™, TP/SpaTouch™ are owned by Balboa Water Group. Davey®, SpaPower® and SpaQuip® are owned by Davey Water Products Pty Ltd.

Affiliations: Spa Store®, Spa World®, Vortex Spas® and Fisher Spas® are trademarks owned by Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd.

Five Star Trust Pilot Rating

We are proud that Spa World customers have given us a Five Star Trustpilot rating.