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Thread: Spa Heater question

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    Spa Heater question

    I have a defective heater element and am getting ready to order a replacement element. My spa pack is a balboa m7 and the heater is a 4K @240V.

    Question is can I replace with 5.5K element? Would I gain anything? Lose anything? Break anything?

    Thanks in advance for your help
    12,500 Gallon Fiberglas spool
    Hayward S210 Sand filter
    Hayward Superpump

    Tulsa OK
    been using BBB since April 2008

    Guess What?????
    BEEN ALGAE FREE SINCE APRIL 2008

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    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Heater question

    Changing the resistance of an heater changes the current draw, going up in resistance actually LOWERS the current (flow). Thus less electricity "flows" through your heater element. Thus if everything else is the same you would put out a little less heat but it is close enough to where you will be able to heat the water up at a slightly slower rate. If you want more heat flow go down in resistance. Going up is okay as the results of slower heating but you can't safely go majorly lower. Going extremely lower raises current and risks with overheating where its at in your system. You would have to go extremly low though for this to start to be a concern.

    I = Current (think of it as flow, in Amps)
    V= Voltage (in Volts)
    R= Resistance (in Ohms)

    I=V/R.....I = 240/4000 = 0.06A

    I=V/R.....I = 240/5500 = 0.04A
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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    Re: Spa Heater question

    Changing the resistance of an heater changes the current draw, going up in resistance actually LOWERS the current draw. Thus less electricity "flows" through your heater element. Thus if everything else is the same you would put out a little less heat but it is close enough to where you will be able to heat the water up but will be at a slightly slower rate. Larger Coils/Heaters (LOWER resistance) draw at higher Currents (Amps).

    I = Current (think of it as flow)
    V= Voltage
    R= Resistance

    I=V/R I = 240/4000 = 0.06A

    I=V/R I = 240/5500 = 0.04A
    I wish the hot tub only pulled .06 amps, but the 4K stands for kw and when you divide by the voltage you get 16.66 amps for the 4kw element and 22.9 for the 5.5kw element, But thanks anyways, I didnt think of Ohms law when I asked the question. Given these new calculation I would think the opposite of your answer is true and that the 5.5kw heater would actually heat faster but at a higher cost
    12,500 Gallon Fiberglas spool
    Hayward S210 Sand filter
    Hayward Superpump

    Tulsa OK
    been using BBB since April 2008

    Guess What?????
    BEEN ALGAE FREE SINCE APRIL 2008

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    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Heater question

    Sorry did not know you were quoting in "kw" thought you had ohmed out your heaters and that was your reading. Your post did not have the "w"..Your right big difference!!!!!!!!!! Well at least we jointly solved it. Be carefull you are not exceeding your wire sizes!

    16.7A vs 22.9A (could mean a wire size change for the new flow, any fuses in the system?)

    Depending on stranded or not and which "code" but for AWG standards
    14 gauge 32A
    16 gauge 22A
    18 gauge 16A

    FYI for others reading this thread Convert Watts to AMPS:
    AMPS = Watts / Voltage
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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    Re: Spa Heater question

    I ran solid 6 gauge wire( I had a free source) in liquidtite conduit. No concerns regarding ampacity or voltage drop.
    12,500 Gallon Fiberglas spool
    Hayward S210 Sand filter
    Hayward Superpump

    Tulsa OK
    been using BBB since April 2008

    Guess What?????
    BEEN ALGAE FREE SINCE APRIL 2008

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    H2O_Keeper's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Heater question

    Service is okay, also you need to check the heater circuit within your spa. Probably okay but some spa makers cut corners and use minimum gauge wires for what they are doing, no extra capacity within the HEATER circuit wires/relays/fuses (for example 16AWG was enough, now you need 14AWG) could be an issue. Sometimes upgrades that change a lot in current causes the infrastructure to change, sometimes not.
    21K Gal, IG, Vinyl, Bleach-Borax-Baking Soda, 3/4HP Hayward pump, Hayward sand filter, 200,000BTU Heater, TF100 Testkit
    "All that we are arises with our thoughts." - Buddha
    “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” - Dale Carnegie

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: Spa Heater question

    A standard 5.5kw element will work fine for you. Balboa usually uses either 10AWG or solid copper connectors for the heater terminals. Either one can take it.

    When you order just be sure to check the overall length of the element and the spacing between the terminals.

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