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I have an older caldera Tahitian spa and it wasn't heating.  Opened up the access panel and saw what looked like a blown fuse on the heater control board.  Swapped it out with the newer control board model and it worked.  The wiring changed but I thought I had it set up correctly.  The tub uses both a 20amp and a 30amp breaker.

after a few weeks of running fine and heating up fine... the 30amp breaker starts tripping.  I'd reset it and then it would work a bit then trip again.  It began to happen more frequently until eventually it wouldn't come on at all.  I open up the access panel and see fried wires and a fried board.  (See pics)

now im thinking... either I wired it wrong or I have a bad heater that is pulling too much voltage and it damaged the board and the wiring.  It appears as though the wires that fried are the heater and the smaller gauge 20amp wire.  I know I did struggle getting the wires into the connectors so I suppose it is possible it wasn't sitting in there right... but it did work continuously for some weeks before the tripping started.  I also was unclear on the jumper situation.  There is a note that says "caution: do not install 12 volt jumper on 18 volt systems." But I'm not sure if it was installed or not 

at this point, I'm looking for feedback.  I ordered a new heater control board so hopefully once I figure out what went wrong, it will still work.

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Looks to me that wire connection on terminal strips were not in correctly and caused arcing resulting in the meltdown and causing the breaker to trip.

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I'm not sure what you mean by the fuse was burned up - I can't recall ever seeing a fuse on a heater relay board.

That aside, the wires expand and contract when they heat up from the electricity passing through them.  if the wires aren't making good contact, that continuous expanding and contraction will make a bad connection worse and cause the arcing you saw.  That explains why you got a few weeks out of it.

They are definitely a PITA to put in.  Once you put them in,  try to jiggle and pull them out to make sure they are secure.

Also, when you put the new board in, you may find that the conductor inside the wire sheath is burned and damage for quite a few inches behind the visible burning.  You may have to do a bit of conduit stripping to get yourself to "clean" wire.  Don't try to splice new pieces of wire to extend the length, as you can see that gets hot and has little tolerance for bad connections.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks guys... I was leaning towards the fault being me not insuring good connections.  I'll do better next time.

also, I meany to say the original board had a blown relay... not fuse.  My mistake.

thanks again

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