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TheWGP

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  1. So just to update... this went well! To answer my own questions, for the benefit of anyone who may read this in the future: - be very careful labeling each wire - I caused myself much unneeded stress and odd behavior of the tub by accidentally flipping "blower" and "circ pump" wires. - the plastic tabs holding each connection on can be delicate - I inadvertently broke one on my old board pulling the sensor plug off. - the "program" jumper on the new board was a little different for the Martinique than my old board was - not a problem, works fine, just don't blindly copy it The sticky gasket - cleaned it off easily on the "new" topside. I then pried up the old topside with a pennknife and a very thin screwdriver. Following that, I scraped the old silicone remnants off, and I applied a new bead of silicone caulk underneath the topside, and then another bead continuously around the outside of the new topside. Seems to hold it in place fine, and keep water out, which is the important part! I would encourage anyone thinking about this type of replacement to be very careful and do your homework on it - but it's certainly possible to do even large scale replacement projects like this yourself. In the end - this has been running for a couple of weeks now and is 100% successful thus far - we now have a fully working display, no intermittent heater stop-starts, and overall our hot tub is the best it's ever been.
  2. So I've posted a couple of times about our 2002 Caldera Paradise Martinique. We've replaced heater relay boards a couple of times now, and the topside has some sections of the display that are shot. We finally ended up with an apparently intermittent lack of heat that would be fixable for awhile with a reboot, but ultimately would result in a blinking red light on the heater relay board and no power to the heater. I diagnosed these as relay failures - then this last time, I happened to notice the temperature display when it was supposed to be HOLDING temperature - and it was dancing around! When the temperature was set higher than the water temp, it would heat just fine, and when the temperature was set lower than the water temp, it would turn off just fine. But - when it was supposed to be "holding" then the topside displayed shifting temperatures (because of the display issues, not sure what exactly). I then also noticed that the relays were clicking on and off in quick fashion - once every few seconds. I have replaced the hi limit sensor and the temp sensor both, and have also jumpered the pressure switch. No change to any of this behavior. Thus, I concluded that the topside or board were probably bad. I saw a post or two on these forums about bad topsides once in a great while causing intermittent problems of this nature - however, given the age of the tub, the replacement topside available online was listed as often incompatible with the older boards, with replacement of both board and topside recommended. Obviously that was cost prohibitive, so I debated just replacing the heater relay board and using the breakers to turn the spa on and off, since I concluded that the every-few-seconds on-off on the relays must have been what was causing the issue, and I could at least fix that and try to reduce the wear on the board. Lo and behold... ebay to the rescue? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Caldera-Spas-Pure-Comfort-Spa-Pack-Controller-Topside-Keypad-Watkins-974701/222967700249 I got this and it arrived in apparently good shape. The board seems to be the one that's recommended to replace mine, and as this topside/board combo were working previously I am hoping for no further issues there. As a bonus, the heater relay board was also included so I'm just going to replace the whole box. I am certainly capable of making all the switches in connection, etc. and will be quite careful to hook everything up correctly. That said, two questions: 1) is there anything I should know before starting this "full box swap" as it were? As best as I can tell, it seems this should work. 2) the sticky gasket on the bottom of the "new" topside is broken off in part - I assume when I remove my old topside it will have similar issues - is there something I should do underneath/around the topside to prevent water infiltration, or do I have to try to find a new gasket somewhere and clean the old one off the "new" topside and the top of my spa? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
  3. I shortened this post for clarity, hope that is helpful. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a heater relay board - but don't want to just burn up another one if there's an underlying issue.
  4. It's from AEP, It's Your Power. It is only available if one has a smart meter, they give out a special "energy bridge" which is really an interface between their meter reading tech and WiFi. Unfortunately, not a lot of folks have smart meters yet, it's up to power companies when to install them, so it's only in limited availability.
  5. Appreciation for all help past and present - edited this to make it shorter and clearer: 2002 Caldera Paradise Martinique running fine, but tub giving wonky temp readouts - ordered thermistor. Tub wasn't heating regularly - only when I flipped breakers off and on. Note, I can tell this because I have a special AEP app on my phone that shows my power usage, so I can see the big spike of the heater kicking on. Replaced thermistor - seemed to go fine, used silicone to fasten it in. Flipping breakers immediately before this AND after this, even with the filter completely removed, does NOT get the heater to come on anymore. Quick on-off on-off of breakers does not get heater to kick on. Circ pump appears to be working, flow is going through, circ pump is humming. Ran without filter installed for about half an hour, including a power off, still no heat. Heater is not warm to the touch. LED's on control board: LIM OK solid green, HTR ON solid red, Control Disconnected off. LED's on heater relay board: R19 is steady green, R18 is flashing red. Just got a multimeter so I can test using that if it would help. From reading the forums, I am wondering if the heater relay board may be shot, with that LED blinking? I would be disappointed as it was brand new April 2017, but it is what it is. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
  6. Well, with the benefit of a week's use and energy monitoring, everything has been normal - knock on wood. I neglected to mention that I didn't bother checking voltage because once it stopped heating intermittently, and went to not heating at ALL. Once I got to the point of close inspection, I was able to observe a tiny scorch mark on the front near a relay, which I've read on here is a classic sign of heater relay board death, so I replaced it. I have the service records for this spa, and it appears that the heater relay board has been replaced once before, in 2008. Then, though it is not dated, there is a handwritten note about needing either a new heater relay board or a field repair on the heater relay board, with what appears to be the owner's notes from a phone call giving a quote for replacement vs. "field repair." That note was "later" in the stack of service records, perhaps in the 2012 timeframe judging from the papers before and after it. This, along with the obviously not factory original soldering I observed on the back of the board when I ultimately removed it, leads me to wonder if perhaps in that case the owner opted for a "field repair" on the board, which was of the original style with the flag terminal connections for white and black from the heater. I do not know what impact this may have had, and still wonder if intermittent heating may rear its head again later, but so far, the 'new style' - I believe 4th generation - heater relay board is working, the tub has kept temp automatically since Sunday, and with the light replacement, the only base functionality issue with the tub is those dead LCD segments in the temp readout. I do expect to have to replace other parts at some point - it is a 2002 spa after all, fifteen years old, though it has been serviced in the past, which helps. I'm handy enough to do that, but everything is working on this tub for now, so I'm going to probably turn my attention to reconditioning or replacing the one (sticky) VersaSsage jet and reattach a couple of slats that were knocked off the sides in transit. Thank you, ScubaDave, for your helpful posts!
  7. Well, bit of an update: The tub ultimately quit heating entirely, and I swapped out the heater relay board. I wonder if that may have been part of the problem all along, because when I removed the board, I discovered that someone had clearly soldered on the back of the board - I imagine to install new relays or something of that nature. In any event, replacing the heater relay board seems to have the heater going fine so far. Moral of the story is, I think, is replace the heater relay board at the first sign of trouble. The new board definitely seems better designed and will hopefully last a long time. Since I was over the free shipping requirement, I also replaced the light with, not the one ScubaDave linked, but this one, after pulling out the old light and matching it up online: http://www.pool-spa-supplies.com/watkins-caldera-spas-light-led-blue-spaglo-02-08-72509 and that's working fine. I thought about getting the upgrade kit to use the multi-color one SpaDave linked, and also add LED's to the handle, with a light controller, but figured I should get things to a known-working condition before trying to get fancy!
  8. Actually, all the LED icons on the edges work - including summer mode. I successfully turned everything on and off - both spa and temp lock, summer mode, etc. Summer mode was my first thought, so I turned it on and off per the manual - the icon lit up when it was turned on, and went off when I turned it off. A single press of Temp Up does show me the temperature it's set to - I suppose it is possible I'm pressing it more than once before it starts heating, I haven't actually been monitoring the usage to see when it kicks on PRECISELY, just that it's contemporaneous with when I'm messing with it. Very possible that microswitches are shorting or something. The buttons all seem to work appropriately so I had hoped it was just a display burnout issue. Interestingly, my power app shows the tub heating last night - see attached photo (the super high part is where we also had the dryer going) - anyway, the tub got up to temp and then I see spikes every hour or so! This is what I had expected to see, some heater usage to keep water temp. I just checked it and it does seem to be at temp (didn't touch any buttons). Still, though, I do think a new topside control board is in my future, I'm not just going to hope things keep working right based on one morning's results. For now, since I need it anyway, I just ordered a Pleatco PCD50 based on my best guess using spadepot, calderaspapartsplus, etc. - I'm actually heading to work so no time to go back out and measure, but for $11 with Amazon Prime shipping to arrive on Thursday, it's worth a shot. Any thoughts about the light? Seems like a pretty easy thing to replace, I guess I should just open up the equipment compartment and pull the light assembly out and see if I can find any part numbers to order it by, or see if there's a bulb to replace or what?
  9. Well, I got a "free" hot tub, a 2002 Caldera Paradise Martinique, and as you might imagine, it's not perfect so I'm looking to troubleshoot. Upon startup, everything went according to the owner's manual, the tub heated up overnight, and we enjoyed it the next day, with all features working fine. We noticed two things: 1) the in-spa light does not function, though the indicator goes on on the panel when the Light button is pushed (and behaves as it should, 4 presses to turn the icon on the panel off). 2) the topside control panel had some sections of the LCD numbers not fully working. All the icons work, but the numbers don't show up fully. Pressing temp up and down shows it's cycling through the temperatures correctly, from what I can tell. See the pics for an idea of what the LCD issue is. Holding Set down for 3 seconds flips the display appropriately, and the same physical "sections" of numbers don't function as when it's the other way. Thus, I can figure out the temp a little better by flipping the display and doing some guesswork. The TEMP icon has been solid lit every time I have observed it other than the first couple of minutes after it first started up, when it was flashing, and then it went solid and stayed that way, and is still solid tonight. We were OK with these two things, figured I would get a replacement light (not sure which one to get, as I see both LED and bulb styles online? Any help there?) However, we then went out tonight, Monday, late night, and the water was cool with a temp display in the 80's. I hit the Temp Up button, and the heater immediately kicked on - I have a power company app that lets me monitor my usage in real time, so I know this for a fact (you can see the spike on the picture in the album). I went inside for a minute; when I came back, the spa appeared to be doing an automatic clean cycle. I opened up the control box to see if anything was funky in there. I found the Hi Limit LED lit solid green, and the Heater On button solid red. The LED in the middle that I couldn't see a name for - what is this? - was also lit up solid red. I took a couple of pictures, and then pulled the filter and washed it off with a hose just in case there was some issue there. (Yes, I know I should buy a new filter - not 100% sure which one to get, though - any help there? The back of the owner's manual says 75sqft, but the one in there is 50sqft?) At some point, the red LED in the middle went off, which was when I took a couple more pictures. I feel warm water coming out of the bottom jet it normally does, and I reinstall the filter, and button everything back up. I'm not 100% sure if I buttoned back up before, or after, feeling the warm water, actually. According to my power company app, it is continuing to heat. Any ideas here? I'm wondering if the top control board might be a culprit since it seems flaky in the LCD display - the heater relay board, I've gathered from reading on here, is notorious for failing on these, and I still have the original style working somehow, but I see no scorch marks at all and the heater DOES appear to be working - just intermittently. Oh, and the flow coming out feels as strong as it did when everything was working fine, which feels pretty strong to me, i.e. I do not think the flow is being limited. The circ pump is definitely working - verified by touching it and it's whirring along, water shooting through. All jets seem to work fine, blower works fine. So, in sum, my questions are: Light - what to replace with? Filter - which one to use? Heater intermittent - why, what should I check or replace? I'm fairly handy and have no issues replacing parts myself. Below is a pic album, hopefully this helps! Note the 3 pics at the bottom show Sunday, Monday and so far on Tuesday's energy use - the solid blue bar is the heater on when it started up (late night Saturday). As you can see, it stayed on all the way to midmorning Sunday. It did get up to 102, though I don't have a floating thermometer yet to check with. We used it Sunday afternoon, and it does appear to have used power during that. Then, I went out at 9pm Sunday to check chemicals, and I think I hit the Temp button just to check on it - and it appears the heater kicked on again, which you see in the graph. Yesterday, Monday the 3rd, the late-night spikes are when I went outside and all this happened. Today, Tuesday the 4th it's 1:32am here (as of my edit before bed) and according to my app it is still going, so it's been on solidly since 11-something pm when I first discovered this. Not sure why it stopped in the middle - that may have been when the clean cycle ran, or I opened the control board cover? Photo album: http://imgur.com/a/SOz3x Thanks for any help, and sorry for the voluminous post!
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