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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got about a 8 year old spa. If I turn the heater on it up, it kicks the breaker on the control unit mounted to the heater. I had a spa repair guy come out and take a look. He tells me theres resistance in the line leading to one of the switches. His solution is to replace the whole shooting match for $800.

My question is, why can't I have the switches and the line replaced, and who can do this?
 

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R U or U R?
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I've got about a 8 year old spa. If I turn the heater on it up, it kicks the breaker on the control unit mounted to the heater. I had a spa repair guy come out and take a look. He tells me theres resistance in the line leading to one of the switches. His solution is to replace the whole shooting match for $800.

My question is, why can't I have the switches and the line replaced, and who can do this?
Our control panel went out and it cost a little over a grand.
 

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E-7 Sheepdog (ret)
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You need to clip an ammeter arround the line feeding the heater, and see how much current is being pulled by the heater element.

If that is excessive, then the heater needs replaced.

"Resistance in a line to a switch" sounds "fishy" to me.

Resistance LOWERS current flow.
Circuit Breakers disconnect because of heat related to excessive current flow.
The only breakers I ever personally saw disconnect under normal current, were old, and had "popped" many times (which burns the contacts, reducing current flow abilirty,a dn increasing heat).
Replacement breaker cured.

How many watts is the heater and what voltage (120 or 240)?

The wonders of the internet, a "Watts Law" calculator. (Power (wetts) = Volts x Current)

HERE
 

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?

Sounds like a heater element is shorted, there is a coating over the outside of the element, when it shorts it make direct contact with water in the spa.This will trip the the ground fault breaker in the unit, and sometimes at the breaker panel...
 

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E-7 Sheepdog (ret)
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Sounds like a heater element is shorted, there is a coating over the outside of the element, when it shorts it make direct contact with water in the spa.This will trip the the ground fault breaker in the unit, and sometimes at the breaker panel...
My thoughts exactly, usually quiclky confirmed with an excessive amperage to the element.
Same thing in my water heater a few months back.
 

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And if it is the element they are cheap on ebay. Replaced mine a while back. Think it was like $25. I'd love to charge $800 for that!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Either the switch or the relay that turns the heater off when the spa reaches the temperature on the thermastat.
 
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Telling you there is "resistance" in the line is like saying there's something in the air. Not enough info.

2 things. GFCI's sense "leakage" current to ground and are extremely sensitive. GFCI's typically operate at 5-10 milliamp. That equates to approx 24K ohms or less at 120V. So if anything on the GFCI circuit has even the slightest resistance (24K ohms or less) to ground, its gonna trip. You could check for moisture, water, corrosion, etc on anything that is connected to the GFCI circuit. Clean it up, dry it out, and try it again.

Thats one aspect.

The other is overcurrent. If the breaker is 15 or 20A, if the heater is shorted or you're overloading the 15 or 20A breaker, its gonna trip. It is also possible that the breaker is bad. Unless its a special breaker, cost is around $20 or so.
 

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Full Of It.
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Take out the old heater element and look at it. Mine did the same thing, and it was corroded. I cleaned and put it back in...that lasted about two months...then I replaced it. Problem free ever since.

Resisitance is what makes the heating element get hot! Oy!
 

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Angry White Dude
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Don't be on your knees getting hit with 220 man. Dont mess with it if you're not cumfy. Call another repair guy, one who will fess up and say what is wrong with it. The entire control unit probably isn't bad.

You can disconnect the leads connected to the element, power up, operate buttons nd see if the contactor is closing. Usually on my spa the element opens after a few years. If you had an over current situation the contacts might be arched and may need to be replaced.

Just keep calling for estimates, they should give you a part # to order and point to what needs replacing.

I'm too far away to help you, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Does it kick the breaker when the heater turns on or does it take a little time before it kicks?
It'll go for a while, then trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The higher I turn the heater, the faster the breaker trips.
 

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Which breaker is tripping? Is it the GFCI or the main?

If the GFCI is the culprit then I would say you either have a wet conduit causing a short to ground (with a GFCI can be a very small amount of continuity) or a heating element, if it is the main, there is probably a line to line short, the GFCI will not always fail first in that case.

The best thing to do is to get a quality ohmeter and check it out...Turn off the breaker and sniff around for continuity to ground....If you don't have a GFCI, it needs to be there no matter what. The breaker itself should be within sight of the hottub.

Using a non GFCI breaker of the proper size is very dangerous.

They are very simple as far as operation, if the amount of current on the neutral line does not exceed the ground line, it trips with a shunt. More clearly stated, if there is any current on the ground the breaker will shut itself off.

Good luck!

BTW the heater in my Jacuzzi Platinum has a lifetime warranty. ;)

GT :)hand
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It trips the small breaker on the actual heater itself.
 

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I put a complete control unit in mine for less than half of what you were quoted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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