help with hot tub heater test and other random circuitry : leisure bay s2

kbjorn

Member
Jan 8, 2019
7
san mateo , fl
I got a free tub..I know let the jokes begin... I've done this once before and it worked out mostly well ( I used it a lot and it didn't cost much) . For whats its worth this one is in better shape and better sized and better maintained than the last one.

its a leisure bay s2--. serial number seems to indicate 00 but heater manufacture date is 02. Previous owner said it worked and said it was connected to 220. ( I dont know po well at all) I wanted to convert it back to 120 to check actual operation before buying heavy wire , a gfci breaker and an outdoor box.

So present problem is of course (in addition to a small leak) ..no heat.. The heater light comes on at start up. I hear some sort of heater relay kick in (can see it too but its very minimal). This may also be a hi limit relay I hear. I tested the pressure switch/sensor. It is open when powered off and shows continuity when the pump comes on (closed). There is good circulation in the spa. I operated the spa with the air on and off thinking the tub may not heat with the air on. The pump is on low generally according to program but also works on high. I have adjusted the heat. I have left the heat alone (manual says it should heat to 100 at start up) nothing happens. I took the thing apart looking for a hi limit reset even though there are no error codes on the control. Did not find one. I know 110 is slow, but I leave the thing on for 20 minutes and have no increase in temp on heater, hear no noises, see no voltage.

I tested the element: Got 14 ohms on the heater unit. I also test for continuity (audible beep) it says it has continuity==I think thats good? Heater doesn't look bad considering its age. I have no voltage at the wires to the heater......which seems to be the issue.

anyone have some test to add? it has sensors..I don't really see a thermostat. The reading on the topside panel looks accurate.

My concern is that I maybe did something stupid on the conversion back to 110 from 220 . Like maybe I didn't put the wires back properly or the previous owner took something off at uninstall (it was out in the back yard) and didn't put it back (it is missing the cover to the circuit board. I am basically following the reverse order of what the manual lists for conversion to 220, but it does leave me a little confused. If it is wired correctly, im hoping this is not a control board issue.

There are three relays at the top of the panel (5 total). Two are clearly to the heater )heater wires connect to terminals) Im assuming the one to the right is the hi limit relay of some sort but I see no reset button. it looks like the other relays. it comes on almost right away. Im guessing it is some sort of hi limit relay, because it says hi limit on the board close to it. but honestly i cant tell if there is much sense to the labels: do they refer to a switch above, below, to the right etc or a terminal adjacent.... It does close at power on. honestly, I dont know what it is as I can't find a diagram of the circuit board. But I am suspecting this may be the issue.

Theres an onboard fuse that is missing. my reading /research says its doesn't need the on board fuse. Everything seems to be functioning except the heat but as I said, the heat indicator light is on. and there are no errors on the top side panel.

Im unclear about the correct position of the red wires. In the conversion to 220, it says move the red wires from terminal post 4 to 1. SO I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE RED WIRES DID WHEN IN 110 MODE at post 4 BEFORE BEING MOVED TO POST 1 AS I NEVER SAW THE TUB IN 110 MODE. That said, I would assume they didn't do anything as if the tub was in 110, there would be no red wire while the wires were at terminal 4. (so what did they do and why would someone need to move them?)

I just registered, but If I can post some pics of the board and terminal and how it is wired I will.


theres a previous post that has good pic of the wiring diagram and terminal diagram, Converting Hot tub from 120 to 240V ... help https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/38733-Converting-Hot-tub-from-120-to-240V-help?referrerid=199031


Thank you in advance for any help....would love to be sitting in a working tub,,,,
 

kbjorn

Member
Jan 8, 2019
7
san mateo , fl


This is a pic of the wiring... before I touched anything which frankly doesn’t quite look right . You can see one red going to the upper left relay which I think is correct and a bridge from the middle relay to the right relay ( black wire) but the red wire going to the fuse on the right side of the box has nothing coming off other side of fuse,


you can kind of see the upper right relay ( there are three on the top) . The left two go to the heater and you are suppose to change the black wire to go between the two right relays when going to 240 50 amp so that’s been moved back to the two left relays for 110.


You can see the two red wires ( which are soldered ) coming off the top terminal (5) connecting to a white wire . I currently have them looping back to a fuse tied together , I suppose I could just remove that, so I’m wondering what came off that white terminal originally under a 110 set up and if that could be my issue, or the red terminal .
 

kbjorn

Member
Jan 8, 2019
7
san mateo , fl
is it possible the heater could be a 240 only heater? The manual says the spa work in either 120 or 240. but when I look up the heater, it does not say it works in 120 and 240 it only lists its 240 rating , Just wondering if there is a way for the circuit board to shut it off of it isn't getting enough voltage. The manual says the tub work on either,

its an rmf 2400-1001

ill post a pic. but typically when I've seen electrical stuff that operate at 120 and 240, it says 120/240. this heater only says 240.


View attachment 89983
 

kbjorn

Member
Jan 8, 2019
7
san mateo , fl
Ok this is my last post before just putting it back to original 240 and resign...I’ve gotten no responses

Anybody know what up with this relay? Meaning how’s it works? It’s a hi limit so I’m assuming it connects via the circuit board to a temp sensor. I’m assuming if the temp sensor is ok, it closes because that what it does at start up. But I suppose I could try to stick something in there to stop it from closing ..to test it.

Any way my bottom line is : does anyone know how these relays connect to the board ? Like there an extra terminal in this relay .. that I assume is for when you change the switch set up for 240 50 amp. But I don’t see an pos and negative so I guess it’s on the board. The switch is functioning : meaning it opens and closes . But where does it send a signal to and is that signal low voltage ? I mean it must send a signal to the heater or close a circuit... I’m talking about the relay on the far bottom right .. the image is sideways it’s really top right in the circuitboard
g
 

x Wild Bill x

Well-known member
May 5, 2016
53
Rochester, MA
Not much help, but did you flip the switch mentioned in the other thread to go from 220/20A to 120/50A? I looked through your pictures and couldn't find it.

Also, can you locate two fuses on the board? One 20A and one 50A? If not, maybe you do need a 50A fuse in the empty fuse holder location? Again, just guessing and spit balling as I am trying my best to match up the pictures.
 

x Wild Bill x

Well-known member
May 5, 2016
53
Rochester, MA
And... I just studied your wiring some more. Looking at your picture of the relays where the heater wires are attached, there is a black jumper wire that appears to be connecting the two relays together that should go to the heater. Yet, the wiring diagram from the other thread shows a jumper from the lowest relay to the middle relay and the top relay is isolated. I am thinking you need to move the jumper across the relays down. This also makes sens to me, as the heater is essential a controlled short that creates heat and jumping the power leads on the relays feeding it would cause no electricity to flow?
 

kbjorn

Member
Jan 8, 2019
7
san mateo , fl
Thanks for the reply. From what I can tell, that jumper wire is essentially a s”switch”
( it’s called that in the manual ) and you move that position depending on the ac coming in . Left two relays for 110 and 30 amp 240 right two for 50 amp 240. Which honestly doesn’t make a lot of sense to me ... I’m clearly not comprehending what it does .

I’m gonna look at it again tomorrow and will get back
. It occurred to me I may have just taken the reading wrong and the thing is working , I was trying to check voltage between the two elements duh... but I need to check to ground ... palm forehead

Also , the thing may well be working fine. Been doing some reading and had no idea it could tKe an hour to move 3 degrees? I put my hand in from of the output expect to feel warmer water after 20 minutes and notice no reL diff . I ll check my 110 set up again but I did pick up a gfco outlet and some 6 g wire so if all else fails I’m putting it to 240.

One question I’ve had is do they make 240 only heaters ? Because there are no. Numbers on this heater indicating it works on 120... i as told by a tech who works in water heaters there are definitely 220 only elements...
 

x Wild Bill x

Well-known member
May 5, 2016
53
Rochester, MA
Hmm interesting note on the "switch". Looking at the pictures posted in the thread you linked I assumed the "switch" was a dip switch of some sort on the control board. These Spa manufacturers certainly leave you wanting when it comes to their wiring diagrams, even with new systems today.

And yeah, if you checked between the terminals and got 0V it very well may be working. I also read that a good heater element should have between 6 and 15ohms of resistance, right inline with your measurements.

As for 3 degrees per hour, you could get technical and calculate what the temperature rise should be. Find the wattage of the heater, volume of tub, ambient temperature and go to town. Then compare it with your observed 3 degrees in an hour. I honestly feel 3 degrees in an hour is about right if you are heating from 60 degree water (just a guess on starting temp) with a 120V heater. Also, another resource I read quickly stated hot tubs in general heat between 3 and 6 degrees per hour so...

For the 220 only element, are water heaters the same design as a hot tub? I have a feeling the may be slightly different, I think hot tubs heat more water a slower rate. I know our tub on low easily out flows out house water, but the heat increase is not nearly as much. The fact that your tub has instructions on how to run either voltage I doubt the heater is 120 only. Also, if it was 220 only I feel it would have different terminals/wiring. But I am not even 50% sure haha.
 

kbjorn

Member
Jan 8, 2019
7
san mateo , fl
Well I went ahead and ran a 50 amp spa service,,,got it all wired up and it was quickly raising in temp even though it was in the 40s last night and 35 this am! Need to go get some chlorine and a filter and ....that 110 set up would not work for me I’m not that big of a planner....would rather have it always on and know I can jump in and turn up the heat,,,

So the free hot tub is working! I have a few minor issues ..a leak,, a light that needs replaced, but otherwise this thing is in great shape,

Totally agree on the circuits,,,,,after studying a few very closely I realized I was looking at two totally different diagrams .. found some good reads ona a site called make about reading circuit board diagrams.. I almost think you could make your own if you really wanted to, I mean it’s not that complicated,,,,,,,
 

x Wild Bill x

Well-known member
May 5, 2016
53
Rochester, MA
Glad you got it up an working. I agree, I would never be able to handle the wait times on a tub running on 110. I keep ours at 98ish and bump it to 102 when we want to go in. Only takes 15-20 minutes to get there.

Other than the logic for the flow and temp sensors the boards for the hot tubs are quite simple. Enjoy the free tub! Depending on the light you need to replace check out the new multi color LED lights. They are $18-20 and work well especially for the price.
 

Backglass

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2007
146
Putnam County, NY
Well I went ahead and ran a 50 amp spa service,,,got it all wired up and it was quickly raising in temp even though it was in the 40s last night and 35 this am! Need to go get some chlorine and a filter and ....that 110 set up would not work for me I’m not that big of a planner....would rather have it always on and know I can jump in and turn up the heat,,,

So the free hot tub is working! I have a few minor issues ..a leak,, a light that needs replaced, but otherwise this thing is in great shape,

Totally agree on the circuits,,,,,after studying a few very closely I realized I was looking at two totally different diagrams .. found some good reads ona a site called make about reading circuit board diagrams.. I almost think you could make your own if you really wanted to, I mean it’s not that complicated,,,,,,,
Hi! I am going through a slightly different issue with my free tub resurrection, and I can give some insight as our boards are of the same era and identical (with different programming chips). Hot tub heaters are all 120/240. They are just an element that takes juice and heats up so they will work with either voltage. The difference is that 220v is much more efficient so most heaters of our vintage will put out 1KW @ 110v and 4KW at 220v. The Balboa wiring is very confusing as sometimes RED wires are HOT or NEUTRAL, depending on how it's wired. Assuming your tub is like mine, everything is 110v except the heater, which can be either. You were actually testing the heater correctly for 220v. When wired and working correctly, putting your meter directly on both terminals should show the same as putting them across the black/red on the wiring terminal: 220V (or whatever your input voltage is). In 220v wiring, if you check each heater terminal to ground and get 110v on each, but get zero across both, you either have the same leg going to both sides or are reading backfeed voltage. Either way the problem is in the relays & wiring, not the heater.

The missing piece of knowledge is that the board and heat relays work the same way for 120v/220v. The middle relay at the top is triggered by the flow switch. No flow, and the relay doesn't engage. The heater relay on the upper left clicks when it calls for heat, but the difference between 110v & 220v is in the wiring. When it detects flow and the center relay engages, 110V flows to ONE of the heater terminals, but without a complete circuit the heater does nothing. When the unit calls for heat and the left heater relay kicks in, it either sends the 2nd heater terminal to neutral (110V) or sends the other red HOT leg to the terminal (220V). That is why you move the red wire from 1-4. You are moving it from NEUTRAL to the RED 110V leg. (FYI: The only thing that should be hooked up to this red leg is the heat relay unless you also have a 220V pump or accessory). The 50A/20A jumper on the board just tells the circuit logic when it can kick on the heater. In the 20A position it allows the heat to come on only when the pump is in LOW speed, as otherwise it would draw too much juice and pop a breaker. In the 50A position, the heat can come on with the pump at LOW or HIGH speed as you have enough juice to do both at the same time.

Clear as mud? :D
 
Last edited: