Bad heater?

belgique

LifeTime Supporter
Used spa...2004 era. Just got it going a few days ago and all went well until today when the GFCI kept tripping. I'm seeing a small leak from around the heater. Heater is a tube like thingy under a Hydroquip 6230 controller). I'm guessing that the heater is causing the GFCI trip somehow (noted a chap on here said that was his problem on a tub in Mexico).

Think my diagnosis is correct and I should go ahead and get a heater? Thanks in advance, Steve
 

PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
Typically, it's the heater element that breaks down and leaks current to ground, tripping the GFCI. Verify it first. Other things can trip it too. Ozonators, motors, and accessories can do it too.

Remove power from the tub and disconnect the element's two power leads, keeping them positioned so as not to short against something.

Apply power. When you hear the relay for the heater click and it doesn't trip the GFCI, you found the culprit. Verify that power is on the two leads with a volt meter. It should be either 120VAC or 240, depending on what the tub's main power is.

If the heater element is bad, many tubs have valves to isolate the stainless heater tube the element is in. and at the pumps, enabling full tub repairs. Darned annoying when the valve is broken.

Scott
 

belgique

LifeTime Supporter
Scott: re "If the heater element is bad, many tubs have valves to isolate the stainless heater tube the element is in. and at the pumps, enabling full tub repairs. Darned annoying when the valve is broken."

  • Can you elaborate on this? Not sure what you mean.
    I'll do the electrical tests when it quits raining.
    I'm assuming that the stainless tube I see under the controller is a sealed unit and has to be replaced vs repaired? (It is dripping water)
    Is there a trick to removing the heater without dumping the water?

MANY thanks! Steve

On edit: Did the tests. Have 240V; Have 10.9 ohms between the 2 terminals on the heater; Tub works normal and no GFCI trip with the heater disconnected. There is water leaking around the the right most terminal (the black one).
 

PoolGuyNJ

TFP Expert
May 20, 2007
3,192
South Central NJ
It means you wouldn't have to drain the tub to do the repair. Saves time. If there are valves to shut the spa from the pumps and heater tube, you don't drain the tub.

Heater elements typically have a couple gaskets/insulators on the ends. It sounds like the gasket gave, water got at the insulator and shorted. Hence the leak and the tripping GFCI.

Scott
 

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