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Sundance Watch Dog Error...........grrrrrrr


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#1 Spokerider

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:57 AM

Hello,

I have a 2006 Sundance 880 series spa that has gone into watchdog mode. Earlier this winter, we had a power failure and I had noted that the spa did not come back on by itself, so I went to reset the panel breaker to *off* and then *on* again. This did not work, the spa did not come on, and the four lines indicating the watch dog mode were present on the display panel.

Back into the house to research this trouble...........
After much reading many others posts on Sundance spa`s and similar watch dog errors , I had a batter idea on what to try to do to reset this beast.

I tried resetting the panel breaker off and on again, with a period of hours inbetween going from off to on. No change.
I tried resetting the reset switch on the spa panel. No change.
I have looked at the spa panel for any sign of damage, burnt parts, cracks, suspicious looking components, cobwebs or other shorting out circut, loose wires, broken wires, loose connections, etc. Nothing found. No change.
I replaced the temp sensor on the J6 connector with a new one from the Sundance dealer. I was careful to ensure that the wires were making good contact when inserted into the connector. No change.

The spa STILL goes into watch dog mode.

The spa went into watch dog mode once before when the power went out, but it was properly reset when I turned the panel breaker to on, off and back on again. There have been no problems with the spa until now.

Might this problem still be related to the power failure and possible power surge, since a new temp sensor did not fix the problem? I am at a loss as to where to look next?


Thanks for your replies.

#2 david_bilton

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 01:47 PM

Hello,

I have a 2006 Sundance 880 series spa that has gone into watchdog mode. Earlier this winter, we had a power failure and I had noted that the spa did not come back on by itself, so I went to reset the panel breaker to *off* and then *on* again. This did not work, the spa did not come on, and the four lines indicating the watch dog mode were present on the display panel.

Back into the house to research this trouble...........
After much reading many others posts on Sundance spa`s and similar watch dog errors , I had a batter idea on what to try to do to reset this beast.

I tried resetting the panel breaker off and on again, with a period of hours inbetween going from off to on. No change.
I tried resetting the reset switch on the spa panel. No change.
I have looked at the spa panel for any sign of damage, burnt parts, cracks, suspicious looking components, cobwebs or other shorting out circut, loose wires, broken wires, loose connections, etc. Nothing found. No change.
I replaced the temp sensor on the J6 connector with a new one from the Sundance dealer. I was careful to ensure that the wires were making good contact when inserted into the connector. No change.

The spa STILL goes into watch dog mode.

The spa went into watch dog mode once before when the power went out, but it was properly reset when I turned the panel breaker to on, off and back on again. There have been no problems with the spa until now.

Might this problem still be related to the power failure and possible power surge, since a new temp sensor did not fix the problem? I am at a loss as to where to look next?


Thanks for your replies.

check the capacitors on the board if the ands are swollen then the board is toast also pull out your filters and power up the spa dirty filters will sometimes do this also good luck

#3 Spokerider

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 04:08 PM

Thanks. I will look at the capacitor ends again. I had read in another post that someone had discovered the ends to be buldged, so I made a point of inspecting the ones on on my spa`s circut board.
I will remove the filter to see if the jets even come on. As it stands, only the built-in stereo works, nothing else, no heat, nada.....

#4 Costalot

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 10:26 AM

Thanks. I will look at the capacitor ends again. I had read in another post that someone had discovered the ends to be buldged, so I made a point of inspecting the ones on on my spa`s circut board.
I will remove the filter to see if the jets even come on. As it stands, only the built-in stereo works, nothing else, no heat, nada.....



#5 Costalot

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 10:30 AM

I also had the same issue with my 880 with the watch dog error. The Sundance Service Rep told me he thought it's the capacitor since it feels a bit swollen. Before I pop for a new circuit board I figured I'd experiment and replace the capacitor. Does anyone know the specs on the capcitor or know where to go to get them?

#6 Spokerider

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:39 AM

I also had the same issue with my 880 with the watch dog error. The Sundance Service Rep told me he thought it's the capacitor since it feels a bit swollen. Before I pop for a new circuit board I figured I'd experiment and replace the capacitor. Does anyone know the specs on the capcitor or know where to go to get them?




Upon closer inspection of the capacitors on the C board, I noted a *slight* buldging of the top, say 1mm or so, and a tiny bit of orange-brown discharge from the center of the top of one the capacitors. It seems that capacitors from the early to mid 2000 were subject to premature failure.........
Google capacitor plague for a better understanding.

Anyway, I got the damn tub working again. I tapped on all of the relays, jiggled and jostled anything I thought that may even remotely likely to be loose. Well, it worked. Perhaps I had a sticking relay from the power out and power surge, dunno.......

Replacing the capacitors may be in my near future also. You could prolly match the cap part number up with one in your local electronics parts store. Let me know how the repair goes......

#7 CoreyAsk

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

Ok, so this seems to be a common question with owners of sundance hot tubs. I will answer the problem and explain why it happens. On the main circuit board of a sundance tub, there are 2 large capacitors in the center of the board. These 2 capacitors act as a filter for electricity which is mainly used on start up. A capacitor generally has a life span of about 2,000 hours, and when they start to go bad, they either will leak or buldge on the end. The buldge may be ever so slightly, but it is indication that the capacitor is bad. Again these are mainly used on startup when they are charged with a higher voltage and "blast" of electricity. If the capacitor can't handle it and "purify the current, it will trip the board. in turn this is why you see the watchdog code. you will notice when looking at these there are a few numbers on the side. when you order new ones keep in mind those numbers. but you need to change is the voltage. The current one is either 20 or 25v......buy one for 35v and use that as the replacement. yes this is ok...just means the capaciter can handle better voltage and will last longer. I believe this is something sundance overlooked when making the boards (lifespan and improper voltage) bot capacitors should run about $6. You may have read about a blow dryer trick, and everyone says this is not possible to make it work, but they are WRONG. What the blowdryer does, is apply heat to the capacitor which warms the gel like substance inside, the heat forces the gel back to its original place and shrinks it back so the electricity can flow---i forget the technical name, but if it is not severly shot, this blow dryer trick will work, either until the tub is put under heavy load or the power goes out. this usually only happens in cold weather, as when it is hot out the capacitor is warmed enough by the outside air temp.

to replace the capacitor your self you will need a soldier gun, soldier, and the cloth like strip to pull the older soldier when removing the old capacitors. keep in mind the positive and negative side, and that direction should be the same for both capacitors. with out cutting off the new capacitor wire insert them in the open holesben them slightly to hold in palce and re- soldier. have a good tip soo it does not splatter, ensure you have a steady hand and do not over do it! once secure in place take a wire snip and cut off remaining leads and make sure no ther connections ar touching where you soldiered. replace board in control unit and restart------of course shut the power off at the breaker before doing any of this. it is not necessary to remove the board completely, just enought to flip it down forward.

 

Hope this helps, i am sure there will be critics----hot tub repair companies as they will advise to buy a new board.---keep in mind hot tub reapir people are not electricians for this type of job...maybe plumber/electrician for household stuff.....they are there to make money and sell you expensive stuff to make a living. If you don't feel comfotable doing it yourself, simply take a picture of the wire connections, remove the board order the new capacitors and take to a tv/ electronic repair shop and tell them you want the 2 capicitors you bought swapped with the old-----no need to tell them anything else or even for what it is for and they should do it for a nominal fee. this litterally takes less than 5 min. take it home look at pictures and hook it back up.

 

Again this i believe was an oversight by sundance in these earlier models and is a very easy fix,,, don't fall fo rthe new board stuff.

 

In addition if you do the blow dryer trick other things such as the light and sensors may not operate as they are supposed---you may see erratic light changes, or the display saying their is air in the system---this is caused by the current not being pure as it passes through the defective capacitor that has been "over ridden"

 

Hope this helps, i know i will recieve critism, but guess what....i am right, i have done it, i have knowledge of electronics, and it works!



#8 Barney-T

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:27 PM

 

Ok, so this seems to be a common question with owners of sundance hot tubs. I will answer the problem and explain why it happens. On the main circuit board of a sundance tub, there are 2 large capacitors in the center of the board. These 2 capacitors act as a filter for electricity which is mainly used on start up. A capacitor generally has a life span of about 2,000 hours, and when they start to go bad, they either will leak or buldge on the end. The buldge may be ever so slightly, but it is indication that the capacitor is bad. Again these are mainly used on startup when they are charged with a higher voltage and "blast" of electricity. If the capacitor can't handle it and "purify the current, it will trip the board. in turn this is why you see the watchdog code. you will notice when looking at these there are a few numbers on the side. when you order new ones keep in mind those numbers. but you need to change is the voltage. The current one is either 20 or 25v......buy one for 35v and use that as the replacement. yes this is ok...just means the capaciter can handle better voltage and will last longer. I believe this is something sundance overlooked when making the boards (lifespan and improper voltage) bot capacitors should run about $6. You may have read about a blow dryer trick, and everyone says this is not possible to make it work, but they are WRONG. What the blowdryer does, is apply heat to the capacitor which warms the gel like substance inside, the heat forces the gel back to its original place and shrinks it back so the electricity can flow---i forget the technical name, but if it is not severly shot, this blow dryer trick will work, either until the tub is put under heavy load or the power goes out. this usually only happens in cold weather, as when it is hot out the capacitor is warmed enough by the outside air temp.
to replace the capacitor your self you will need a soldier gun, soldier, and the cloth like strip to pull the older soldier when removing the old capacitors. keep in mind the positive and negative side, and that direction should be the same for both capacitors. with out cutting off the new capacitor wire insert them in the open holesben them slightly to hold in palce and re- soldier. have a good tip soo it does not splatter, ensure you have a steady hand and do not over do it! once secure in place take a wire snip and cut off remaining leads and make sure no ther connections ar touching where you soldiered. replace board in control unit and restart------of course shut the power off at the breaker before doing any of this. it is not necessary to remove the board completely, just enought to flip it down forward.
 
Hope this helps, i am sure there will be critics----hot tub repair companies as they will advise to buy a new board.---keep in mind hot tub reapir people are not electricians for this type of job...maybe plumber/electrician for household stuff.....they are there to make money and sell you expensive stuff to make a living. If you don't feel comfotable doing it yourself, simply take a picture of the wire connections, remove the board order the new capacitors and take to a tv/ electronic repair shop and tell them you want the 2 capicitors you bought swapped with the old-----no need to tell them anything else or even for what it is for and they should do it for a nominal fee. this litterally takes less than 5 min. take it home look at pictures and hook it back up.
 
Again this i believe was an oversight by sundance in these earlier models and is a very easy fix,,, don't fall fo rthe new board stuff.
 
In addition if you do the blow dryer trick other things such as the light and sensors may not operate as they are supposed---you may see erratic light changes, or the display saying their is air in the system---this is caused by the current not being pure as it passes through the defective capacitor that has been "over ridden"
 
Hope this helps, i know i will recieve critism, but guess what....i am right, i have done it, i have knowledge of electronics, and it works!

 

#9 Barney-T

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:40 PM

Dude! You are a life-saver. My 2007 Sundance 880 series went into watchdog mode when I changed the water in cold weather. I checked the capacitors as you suggested and found one of the two had a slightly bulged top. I should add that my local dealer serviceman here in upstate NY didn't get back to me for 4 days. I put a space-heater in the drained tub so it wouldn't freeze per the counter-girl's suggestion. When the service guy got back to me, he started quoting costs just to come out and look it over. He never showed when he said he would. I complained to the dealer and the service technician (if you want to call him that) seemed put-out that I was bothering him. I asked if he stocked replacement capacitors. He said they just replace boards at $600.00 ea. (without labor and service call fee). Long story short... I called my local electronics store and they set me up with 2 new capacitors for $5.00 each. I pulled the board and had them replaced (easy job) in 15 minutes. Board remounted following the picture I took before disconnecting everything. I filled the tub and turned on the breaker. Instant start-up and all indications in the "green". Back in business for $10.00 and no service call or new CB!! You are the man! Thank you very much. I will be taking my business to another dealer in the future.

#10 SAFASTRO

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 06:45 PM

I want to thank you as well!! I had the watchdog error a few days ago, and with the temps dipping to -24C here I was freaking out. I did the blow dryer trick and worked great to get things flowing again. I am going to the local electronics shop tomorrow and will let all know how things turn out with the capacitor swap. I will try to document it with pics as well.

Thanks for saving my tub......so far. haha

Mine is the Jacuzzi J470 which is pretty much the same board from what I understand.

#11 NCBoilermaker

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 04:21 PM

Barney-T,

How did you determine the correct capacitors to use as replacements. I'm getting tired of the hairdryer trick! I took some pics of the capacitors, but it doesn't appear there are specs on them. I have a 2006 Sundance Altamar 880.

Any guidance would be great. All I can get from the capacitors is "GL 105º C P548 Vent". My board is a 6600-098 and EPROM is Rev 9.51A.

***Update*** - I found it. 3300uf 25V CapXon is what was on it (hidden on the inside of both capacitors, so it was hard to see).

Thanks!
NCBoilermaker

Edited by NCBoilermaker, 05 January 2014 - 06:03 PM.


#12 Barney-T

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:47 AM

I'm still getting used to this forum. Someplace I have a reply but here it goes again... I'm glad you found the right numbers for replacement capacitors. I tried to upgrade to the 35v ones as suggested but my electronics store didn't have them. I used the same as originals (25v). I did have a small problem getting the old ones off because I think the factory used a silver solder that melts higher than my small electronics iron could handle. I used my bigger gun type iron and it went fine. Just make sure you get a good picture of the hook-up before you remove the board so you re-connect everything right. Good luck!

#13 Jeffyob

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 04:57 PM

What if the hair dryer doesn't work? How long will it take to "heat" the capacitors? Do you warm with the power on or off? Thank you all

#14 spokanespas

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:56 PM

Ahhh the hair dryer trick. Always "popping up" in forums like the tops of the bad caps themselves. I'm sure it might work - but come on - it's like trying to put the smoke back in. To do it right, just replace the set of six (on most Sundance boards). I've got the specs. for all and replace them as a kit. Most common "watchdog" (- - - -) error is a bad temp sensor but if your caps are bulging then I'd start with them.

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