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Tiger River Spa by Hot Springs (serial M-130143).  SO, I've had this maintenance-heavy spa a while--and after changing out the relays a couple times over the years, and finding a new main board that was still available for this old spa I decided to change it out. I replaced the top controller board as well.  Now the spa comes on when plugged in and immediately the GFCI shuts it down, but only when the main pump or thermostat is turned up.  Disconnecting the heater and main pump alleviates the shut down (so I guess I'll be looking for moisture and ground faults in my heater and pump)---but Also, the circ pump shuts off after running for 30 seconds--even when I jump the flow switch on the main board!  Now what?? It's a brand new board?!?!? Why might this 30 second shutdown be happening?

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By the top controller board, do you mean the Spaside?  That is, the control panel with the temp knob and jets & light buttons? 

So, if you are talking about a 20 year old Tiger River hot tub, it probably has a mechanical thermostat attached to the back of the heat knob. 

If so, did you replace the thermostat or are you using the old one?  Is it possible the capillary tube is shorting out against something, or is broken?  That is not a ground wire, it's a hollow tube with liquid in it that moves a mechanical switch.  If the tube gets folded, you will prevent the liquid inside from moving, which is what activates the heater.

If the problem started when you replaced the circuit board and spaside, my guess is you may have installed them wrong or the parts are bad.  Then there's the question of how do you know it's a brand new board?  Did you buy it from a Watkins dealer?  Craig's list?  Especially with older parts, I'm skeptical of the use of the phrase "brand new," and I haven't found a lot of Craig's list sellers who are honest about parts.  Sometimes you'll get a "worked fine when I removed it 5 years ago," which could be the same as "I threw out the tub 4-1/2 years ago because it wasn't working any more."

Many on-line spa part places accept returns.  When they sell a part,  if the buyer either can't install it or finds it wasn't the problem they were trying to solve,  the parts dealer will take it back and put it into stock as "new" without testing it.  Then you buy it and end up with a part that someone returned a year ago that they damaged by hooking up 240 Volts to a 12VDC connector.  I'm not saying that's the case here, I'm just asking if you're sure of the quality of the part you purchased.

Dave

 

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Thanks for your help. The term "spaside" is not used in my tub's service manual published by Watkins for the Manora---the term is "controller board" on which the thermostat is mounted is used to ID that part.  The board was purchased from a Watkins dealer.  Now, the MAIN board has been discontinued and Watkins does not support the original part or a substitute.  I found a Watkins dealer selling 'the last one' as a prior used board which arrived absolutely looking like new, and works as new except for the 30 second cutoff as described. 

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So, back to your original post, You never said why you replaced the circuit board or the control panel.  Did you replace the circuit board because of a problem, or just because you got a new one (even though you said it's "prior used.")

When I hear you say the problem started when you installed the new board, my first guess is that either's something's wrong with the board, or you installed it wrong. 

Dave

 

 

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Thanks, again.  It is really awful nice of you to take the time to consider my questions and problem I'm having, and I greatly appreciate your generosity and expertise:   The original board lasted me 24 years!!...but the relays on the board, which occasionally burned out, had been replaced by me numerous times after 1] years of heavy use  2]in Florida humidity 3]outside in a hot tub, when the original relay's manufacturer stated that they were not rated for 'outdoor use'. (!!) The board had so many oxidized solder points that when I cleaned the spa in Sept and turned it back on after a couple weeks in October and the only sign that it even had power was a single buzzing relay---I decided it was time to find a whole new board.     My best info right now is 1---a bad board   2---possible heating coil ground fault 3--any other suggestion you have.  THANKS AGAIN!

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Just a few ideas:

The circ pump shuts down after running for 30 seconds.  Since you've jumpered the flow switch, is the heater hot to the touch when it shuts down?  If so, you may be tripping the hi limit sensor because the circ pump may not be moving enough water with the jet pump disconnected. 

You said your GFCI trips with the pump & heater connected, but not when they're not connected.  Which GFCI, the one built into the spa pack, or is it the GFCI in your outlet, or is it the GFCI in your main breaker panel?

Will the GFCI trip with the pump disconnected, but the heater connected?  How about with the heater disconnected but the pump disconnected.  In other words, is it both components or only one causing the problem.

With the heater and pump both disconnected, does the built in GFCI trip when you press the TEST button?

Dave

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