spa parts, hot tub parts and repair help
spa parts, hot tub parts and repair help
spa parts, hot tub parts and service help
spa parts, hot tub parts and repair help
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Burned and Overheated Connections...It's usually NOT the spa! (just the connection itself) Another Classic Disconnect Melt-down! Home

Typical Side Control
This is an example of a burned copper conductor strip that carries 230V to the heater element in a Balboa Spa Control system.  In this case, the nut attaching the strip to the heater element was loose, which generated a tremendous amount of heat at the loose connection.  There was nothing wrong with the circuit board or the heater.  However, because of the intense, long-term heat generated by the loose connector, the heater element failed 2 weeks later after the repair was made. You'll also notice that the laminated copper foil on the circuit board was also damaged, but still serviceable.
This is a close-up view of the strip, after it was removed and cleaned up a bit. Beware!  Do NOT USE a component like this that has experienced this much oxidation!  It has built up internal resistance,  will continue to consume power on its own, and it will totally fail in short order, possibly causing more damage to the connected components.
In this case, I created an 8-gauge jumper capable of carrying the 23 amps that the heater requires.  I also bypassed the top screw on the terminal block, and connected the jumper directly to the pc board screw because of the heat damage to the pc board foil strip and the terminal block.

The ones that will drive any tech nuts!
This GFCI was connected to a Jacuzzi-brand spa that was less than 3 months old.  For some odd reason, the GFCI kept tripping after a few minutes of operation.  I could find absolutely nothing wrong with the spa; everything checked out completely.

Removing the control internals
Well, if I had paid attention in the first place to the fact that the circuit breaker wasn't 100 percent seated in its mount, (after resetting it about 6 times!), then it wouldn't have taken me so long to figure it out.  Square-D circuit breakers always need a little extra push to get them seated properly.  It turns out this one was just barely making a proper connection, and over the three-month period that it was in operation, it burned up the terminal strip and the lug coming out from the GFCI.  In the end, to have an electrician repair this cost over $250. 

Another classic example of what happens to a circuit breaker when the wire connections aren't tight enough.  The heat in this one transferred through the entire breaker and eventually smoked it.  Here again, nothing was wrong with the spa AND it was only receiving half of the 230 Volt power it required.  That is, part of the circuitry in the spa control was working, but the heater, pump, etc. did nothing.  Rule of thumb: Always be sure that you're getting both L1 and L2 power at the spa control when the breaker is turned on.  Never assume that the spa is getting the power just because the breaker is turned on!

Lastly, ALWAYS be wary of a circuit breaker that feels warm or hot to the touch!  In most cases, it's not the spa!  It's the connections at the breaker!  Make 'em tight folks!

Another Classic Disconnect Melt-down!

Metro Atlanta Spa/Hot Tub Service
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