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Trouble Shooting Older Hot Tub Control


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#1 angelfj

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 03:14 AM

I own an older Jacuzzi hot tub. It has the following type of controller:
Balboa Model DU-H136-CCAH

Recently I powered up the unit after a long cold winter. On start-up I noticed that there was no heat. Using a digital ohm meter, I measured an open circuit in the heating element. I had 230-volts across the element but no current flowing. I ordered a replacement element and installed it yesterday. I was very careful that all of the power and control connections were reconnected properly and made good contact. On start up every thing appeared fine, the water was heating and the pump was working and could be operated on both low and high speed.

Incidentally, this controller is very simplistic (the type that I like). There is one button and one control knob for setting temperature. The only modes are low pump speed, high pump speed and spa light. Without self diagnostics and an error code, I don't know what to do next.


Getting back to my problem, just to be sure that everything was normal, I checked power consumption and it appeared to be correct at approx. 6kw. This was an indication that the heating element was energized and drawing current. I switched the control to low speed, set the temp control to maximum and moved on to some other chores.

I returned about 2 hours later to find that the pump had stopped and the temp control was still lit (steady light). Pressing the control pad did nothing, that is, I could not reset the control. It appeared to be frozen. I decided to try to cycle power on and off. I tripped the circuit breaker, waited a few minutes and switched power back on. Still no pump, but now the temp control light was blinking. I tried to recycle power several more times, but all I get is a blinking temp control light. I tripped the breaker and went to bed.

This morning I turned the powe on and the condition is the same, no heat or pump and a blinking temp light. I do not have any troubleshooting instructions so I don't know how to interpret the blinking light or what to do next. Is an in depth service manual available for this unit? We love this hot tub, and now that I am retired, we had hoped to use it more often. However, without a guide to troubleshoot the unit I am lost. One other question, I assume that modern controls are available to upgrade or retrofit this hot tub. Would such an up to date control be more reliable in the long term?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Frank in Downingtown, PA

#2 Dustin Golden

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:36 AM

Hello angelfj,
i have gone through your post and came to know your problem.
As per my point of view i would suggest you to consult an expert or the same dealer from where you have purchased it.As you told that the water was heating and the pump was working and could be operated on both low and high speed but you don't know you to stop blinking light or what to do next so i may advice you not to bren your brans and consult an expert.

#3 angelfj

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 07:59 AM

Hello angelfj,
i have gone through your post and came to know your problem.
As per my point of view i would suggest you to consult an expert or the same dealer from where you have purchased it.As you told that the water was heating and the pump was working and could be operated on both low and high speed but you don't know you to stop blinking light or what to do next so i may advice you not to bren your brans and consult an expert.


Dustin: I bought the hot tub from Home Depot about 12 years ago. I installed it myself. Except for replacing the pump due to ice damage, I have had no problems. I do appreciate your response, but I was hoping that an "expert" on this forum could provide some advice. I am a retired electrical engineer and I am familiar with control systems and I'm competent electronics technician. However, I do not have a schematic or any in depth service document. Even the world's best repair person can't fix something when "working in the dark". I need "the book". That is really what I am looking for at this time.

Regards,

Frank

#4 Soaker44

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 09:16 AM

Try contacting Balboa support, maybe you can buy a service manual or a troubleshooting guide. Or try searching the internet and ebay : there are many companies selling service manual reprints for a vast array of items, going back many years.

#5 angelfj

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 08:39 AM

Try contacting Balboa support, maybe you can buy a service manual or a troubleshooting guide. Or try searching the internet and ebay : there are many companies selling service manual reprints for a vast array of items, going back many years.


I contacted Balboa technical support yesterday. When they realized that I was not a dealer or service company, the man became rather condescending and rude. When I inquired about getting a technical/service manual I was told, "the technicians who service our equipment don't need a service manual. They know what they are doing". If your looking for technical help and your not a "professional" don't bother calling this AS* HOL*.

#6 spatech (the unreal one)

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 09:03 AM

I contacted Balboa technical support yesterday. When they realized that I was not a dealer or service company, the man became rather condescending and rude. When I inquired about getting a technical/service manual I was told, "the technicians who service our equipment don't need a service manual. They know what they are doing". If your looking for technical help and your not a "professional" don't bother calling this AS* HOL*.


Since you have some general knowledge in this area call back in a day or two and this time tell him you are an independent service tech.

#7 angelfj

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 10:28 AM


I contacted Balboa technical support yesterday. When they realized that I was not a dealer or service company, the man became rather condescending and rude. When I inquired about getting a technical/service manual I was told, "the technicians who service our equipment don't need a service manual. They know what they are doing". If your looking for technical help and your not a "professional" don't bother calling this AS* HOL*.


Since you have some general knowledge in this area call back in a day or two and this time tell him you are an independent service tech.


I have just about decided 99% that I'm not putting any more money into this old control. I can see now that the pcb is starting to detiorate where connections are made to the heating element. I have come accross what appears to be a good quality retrofit control available through Spa Depot. This is all digital with a 2-year warranty.

spa control

Does anyone have first hand experience with this product? Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Frank




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