At the end of a recent lightning storm I heard a buzzing from the indoor Compool 3400 control pad and when I went outside to hit the breaker there were disturbing electrical sounds coming from the pool equipment area. The one of the 3 pumps was buzzing so I quickly flipped the breakers on the Compool 3600 power box w/subpanel. I was pretty sure that it was the filter pump since it was the only one scheduled to run at that time. My initial troubleshooting was to break out the Compool manual and familiarize myself with the layout and basic equipment wiring scheme. I then verified the line power delivered to the Compool breakers was in spec (it was) and looked for obvious electrical damage in the guts of the power box (nothing visible). When I flipped the Compool breakers back on it went into service mode. So far so good.
I checked the spa and pool lights and they worked without incident. However, the 3 pumps (filter, cleaner, water feature) all would just pulse with energy as the relays would spark about once every second. I didn't leave them on but for a few seconds. Throwing the breakers to off, I disconnected the power lines at each motor. I then re-powered the box and hit each pump control to see what the relays would do. They stayed on (no pulsating clicks). The voltage being delivered to the load side of the relays measured 230V. I then hooked each motor up separately with no real change in behavior except the water feature motor would now sometimes pulse a few times then start running "normally" before I quickly turned it off.
As luck would have it I had a spare BRAND NEW motor for the filter pump and switched it out to no avail. It still pulsed in electrical agony when energized. Thinking the pump relay contactors may have been damaged I switched a working identical light relay with the filter pump relay to see what happened. No joy and still no joy when I changed the switch position on the circuit board to the working light spot.
Right about then, as I was contemplating chasing down a new Compool circuit $board$ my wife says from just inside the back door,"Is it supposed to be making this noise?"
My irritated reply, "Noise? What (&$@#@);} noise!? What's making noise?"
The response from my now similarly irritated lovely spouse of 30 years, "The pool controller thing here on the wall!"
Ever have one of those flashes of insight only to be overshadowed by how stupid you are? And rude to loved ones?
Anyway, wall controller plugged in -> Compool freaked out. Wall controller unplugged -> Compool functioning member of society. Since I was nowhere near the wall pad when troubleshooting I never heard it buzzing except for the night of the storm (doh!). I'll now be debugging if it's the connection or the wall pad controller by a direct plug in to the primary controller. All thanks to my wife who knows she saved the day.
As an ugly aside, each relay runs about $50 - $120 each when the word 'pool' is associated with it but when bought from an industrial supply they seem to run between $9 - $20 depending on quantity. I only found a single wholesaler apparently with stock.