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Thread: Spa electrical question

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    Bigdog43's Avatar
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    Spa electrical question

    Just to give a little background on what's happened recently. We moved into this house about 6 weeks ago, the whole spa setup is only about 3 years old. Been maintaining the spa by just taking samples up to my local pool shop and having them tell me what to put in until I get my arms around everything. Water's been generally in good shape and I haven't added much other than just keeping a steady supply of bromine tabs in the floater.

    Two Saturdays ago, we had several people over and the spa got a lot of use. After the use, I made sure there were bromine tabs in the floater and covered it back up. On Tuesday we had a power outage that last approx 3-4 hours. I did not uncover the spa again until the following Saturday 7 days later. The water was murky and smelled like the lake (power is working at this time however). My working theory is that it didn't come back on after the power outage for whatever reason. I take a sample to my local shop. They say there is zero bromine present and that I add something else for PH/alkalinty and then baking soda.

    After reading a little bit about spas and that you're supposed to change out the water every so often anyway, I decided to drain it and clean it. It needed a good cleaning and there's no telling how long it's been since the water has been changed. It's 97 degrees here right now so not being able to use the spa for a little while isn't a big deal.

    Turned off the power at the breaker box, drained it, cleaned it, went and found new filters, etc. Left the power off at the breaker for a couple days while all this was ongoing. I fill it back up, flip on the breaker...nothing. No power whatsoever, nothing on the display, no motors running, etc. I do hear a "click" when I flip the breaker on and the display screen shows kinda like a flash of the LED for a split second.

    I get up under the deck and take off the control panel to the spa itself looking to see if maybe there is another breaker there that could've tripped but there isn't one that I could see. So I'm not an electrictian but I have a voltage tester and take off the panel to the breaker. I'm not sure of the correct terms, but the two main wires coming into the breaker, I test and get "220" to light up. So that tells me it's getting power. The wires coming out of the breaker going to the spa get nothing. There's another one in there for the deck lights and they light up as "110".

    Also, the "test" button on the breaker is supposed to make it flip to the middle "off" position, right? It doesn't do that. I think problem #1 is to replace this breaker. My question is does it sound like there could've been something happen during our power outage that caused some sort of electrical problem? Maybe the blown breaker is symptom of a bigger problem. Keep in mind, that Saturday when I discovered the murky water, the power worked then and never had a problem until I left it off a couple of days.

    Could I have done something when I drained it? Everything I read said to turn off the power when you drain it. Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading.
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Pump, Polaris 280, Doheny Discovery Dolphin, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Spa electrical question

    You have a fault in the spa. Does the breaker have 2 switches tied together? Does it have a test button?

    The breaker is not resetting correct? That's a GOOD THING!!

    It means there is some sort of electrical fault in the spa.

    I would call a spa service company to come out and look at it. The problem is with the spa not with the breaker.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Bigdog43's Avatar
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    Re: Spa electrical question

    I believe you are right. I replaced the breaker anyway because it would flip to the on position and the test button would not make it flip back to the middle/off position. The new breaker will not even allow me to flip it to the "ON" position. I'll flip it OFF and then attempt to flip it ON, and it'll just stay in the middle like its constantly tripped.

    So I think this just exceeded my DIY capacity. I'll find a spa company to call, thanks.
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Pump, Polaris 280, Doheny Discovery Dolphin, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Bigdog43's Avatar
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    Re: Spa electrical question

    Still waiting on the spa company to send someone. As I'm looking at the everything on my hot tub, I'm seeing that one of the "gate" valves (also called knife or slice valves) is shut, while one of them is open. The one this is open actually has a little plastic clip holding it in the open position. Could this valve have closed on its own when I drained it? Both of these should be open for normal operation, right?
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Pump, Polaris 280, Doheny Discovery Dolphin, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Spa electrical question

    Open the valve and see what happens. Then you'll know what it controls the flow to.
    TFP Moderator
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Bigdog43's Avatar
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    Re: Spa electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Open the valve and see to what happens. Then you'll know what it controls the flow to.
    I've been all over the place with this post. Turns out the valve was open, not sure what I was looking at.

    However, I've discovered the problem. Even with everything that draws power unplugged from the board, it was still tripping. I had an (inept) hot tub tech guy tell me it was a problem with the breaker and to call an electrician. I had the electrician tell me the breaker was working fine and everything was wired properly, but the bottom power lead out of the breaker to the spa was reading as going to "ground".

    He basically told me to start unplugging things from the circuit board and see when it doesn't trip anymore and to start with the heater. When I removed the two nuts from the circuit board that held on the connection to the bulkhead terminals of the heating element....that did it. I can even plug the power back into the heater and it doesn't trip. It was those connections to the bulkhead which i guess is a direct connection to the heating element.

    So my spa is at least circulating water now. Everything else is working except the heater. Just wanted to provide an update. Thanks for the replies.
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Pump, Polaris 280, Doheny Discovery Dolphin, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Spa electrical question

    Nice work! Thanks for the update.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Bigdog43's Avatar
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    Re: Spa electrical question

    As I'm looking into fixing the heater, seems like since the heating element is what specifically is causing the problem. I'm seeing some people suggesting that just replacing the element (and not the whole heater assembly) is the way to go. Looks like over $100 difference in parts price so I think i'm going to try just replacing the element first. Does this seem reasonable?
    Memphis, TN.
    Pool IG, 20K gallon, Gunite. Triton Sand filter, Pentair Pump, Polaris 280, Doheny Discovery Dolphin, Chlorinating Liquid, Rock Water Feature, New Plaster 2015
    Spa 450 gal, Tropic Seas Waikiki 864L, Bromine
    Taylor K-2006

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