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Balboa Liteld Dakota Skyker Not Heating


EKphys
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20200606_194437.thumb.jpg.41b54cf0834de7e289096d7ea0112bcd.jpgI just picked up a 1998 Dakota Skyler with a 4kW heater controlled by a Balboa LiteLD CCAJ board.

The heater wasnt working, was corroded...  I replaced it with a new 4W coil.

Still no heat.  Temp probe is good, pressure sensor is good.

I'm wired on 240V.  Pump works on both speeds.  Supply AC is correct.  Heater measures 120VAC above ground on BOTH sides when call for heat is on (heat light on panel on).  Both sides of heating coil are 120 V above ground, 240 V above black, and 0V above red.  Thus 0V across the heater coil and no heat.  So both sides of the coil are electrically connected to red and no voltage difference across them. 

I pulled the board out.  It has 5 relays. The coils on 4 of them measure about 260 Ohms each, and one shows no continuity. Thus I presume a bad relay (th ed relay that connects to one side of the heater coil).  The contactors on the relays work fine, as each tested well with a meter.  I reinstalled the board and manually tripped the relay that I suspect is dead.  However that did not change the voltage readings across the heater as I hoped it would.

I've ordered a couple new relays. 

But I could use some advice!!

What can anyone recommend?  It would be much better with heat!!

Thanks much!!

Eric

 

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Post a pic of your circuit board.

Remove filter and check again. Check all crimp connectors for damage and check continuity across the jumper wire between the 2 relays. With the bad relay closed manually, check voltage across the relays at the wire connections on the face of the relays. Where you read voltage is the problem relay. It may be the one with the bad coil or not. From your description it should not be the one red phase relay.

On those boards, iirc, the first black phase relay and the red phase relay are controlled by the high limit circuit on the board and are always closed (on) when there is not an overheat detected, The one in the middle is the "switch", controlled by the call for heat circuit in the board, which is controlled by the set temp, temp sensor, pressure switch, and pump (it may not close if pump is on high speed). Verify that temp is up, pump is on low, and pressure switch is closed. You can disconnect pressure switch wire and install a jumper wire in the pressure switch wire connectors to bypass it for testing, but do not leave it that way or you risk damage. Let us know the results.

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Thanks...

Jumper between relays has continuity.  All 3 relays show 0 VAC when closed.  Center and left relays each meter 28 VAC when open.

Tried filter out and jumping pressure sensor.  In each case, 0 VAC across heater, though both sides remain 120 VAC above ground as before.

Clearly the bottom 1/4" of this board has been wet before...had a "dirt line" on it, as did Al case.  Photos of relays are before cleaning.  I have ordered two new relays...not sure which to swap.

Hmm...  next move?

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240 VAC from black to red at relays. 0VAC across right relay.

30 VAC from red in (on right relay) to out of center relay.  30 VAC from red in to out of left relay.

30 VAC across center relay and 30 VAC across left relay when each is open.

Ah...when I manually engage the center and left relay at the same time, I get 240 VAC across my heater.  And feels slight increase in temp at jets...

I'll presume both relays (center & left) are shot. 

I presume replacing center and left relays might do it... thoughts?

Thanks!

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Progress!

It's gone from 76° to 89° in a bit more than an hour. I've temporarily locked the heater on w a pair or small plastic squeeze clams on my relays!

Not sustainable, but good to see it heating today!  Relays coming-well hope the signal to them is appropriate...

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I did jumper the pressure switch-no change in heayer function.  I can dial it up and down and it does flip its state from continuity to none and back as I go past its trip point.

As I adjust it so it trips when I turn the jets on: Low flow (no jets but low pump speed), 30ish Ohms; Hi flow (jets on), no continuity.

Temp sensor seems to give an accurate reading on the panel.  No idea on the "freeze" sensor.

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30 ohms is a pretty high resistance for a closed relay, suggesting bad contacts (points) in the relay which will produce heat and reduce your heaters output.

With the heater off, run the pump for 10 minutes or so to ensure no residual heat in the element then turn off the power and take an ohm reading of both sensors. If they are more than a few hundred ohms apart the heater will not turn on. Most systems will display an error code, but yours may not, being a system typically used in jetted bathtubs. Cheap with no frills, and pretty old as well.

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Can you clarify "both sensors"?

1-the pressure sensor.  I didn't think of it as a relay-but I suppose.  The 30 Ohms is across the pressure sensor.

2- ??  The temp sensor?

What does it compare to choose to turn on heater or not?

Planning to replace 2 relays when new ones arrive...

 

Thanks. 

 

 

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Your spa has a pressure switch (which is not a relay but does have contacts), a temp sensor (likely mounted in the spa wall or pump suction pipe) and a high limit sensor (mounted to the heater in the metal tab). They are the wires that plug in to your circuit board with the brown connectors. The two prong plug is the pressure switch, the four prong is both sensors.

You have several corrosion spots on the back of the circuit board. Clean those off lightly with a wire brush.

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Thanks.  Yep on the sensors.

The circuit board photo was pre-cleaning - I cleaned it up with isopropyl and its clean now.  I'll check resistance across each of the three sensors.

Pressure: ~17 kOhm  vs.   infinite 

Temp:  ~41 kOhms

Hi Limit:   ~41.5 kOhms

The low speed pump did turn off when I removed the temp/Hi Limit connectors...and returned when I plugged it in.

Feedback on sensor values appreciated!

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I would get a new pressure switch. That is an on/off and should be zero or infinite. But you jumpered it with no change so I guess it is doing the job.

https://spacare.com/balboasensorresistancevalues.aspx

What temp was your water? Those readings are about a half degree out, which should not be a problem. According to the chart your water is around 70*f. But you said before it was up to 89*. What does it show on the display? Do you have another means of checking it (kitchen meat thermometer)? This might not be the right chart, being for the newer style systems.

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Yeah, that sure would make sense.  Something ought to tell the relays when to close.  I presume that is the difference between the temp sensor value (or resistance?) and the set temp...the controller must compare these.

Not sure on low vs high on the heater as well.

I'll replace the relays when they arrive, then see how it behaves...

I'm a physics teacher by day...I appreciate cause and effect!  Thanks. 

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The controller is just buttons and a display. All logic occurs in the circuit board. It turns the heater off when in high speed due to amp draw. That board is not set up for a high amp rating and the heater and high speed pump combined would exceed it's amp rating. 

Keep us posted.

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Update!  2 new relays installed (Hi Limit [Left side] and for Heater).

The Hi Limit relay now is on when the call for heat is there.  The heater relay is NOT yet on when there is a call for heat.

Previous to the new relays I could manually turn on the heater by closing both relays.  Now I can manually turn it on by closing just the center relay.  But it does not come on by itself yet.

I jumped the pressure switch terminals with a knife blade with the 'heater' light on. Still no voltage at heater.  I was hoping this would flip the heater on to indicate a bad sensor...but not so.

The pump and light switching behave as they should.

So - what is it that flips on the current to engage the heater relay??  That seems to be the issue.

Thanks!

 

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With the age of the board and it looked a little abused I would replace them all. Relays are cheap. Might...might not fix your issue but you won't have to go back a week mth or year from now when the others fail. When my guy replaces them he will peel them open and get a look at the contactors and look for black or pitted contacts.

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  • 1 year later...

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