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Help troubleshoot 2014 CalSpa


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Hello, I'm a new owner of a hot tub (2014 CalSpa) and it has been working fine for the past several months but recently stopped operating. When I say "stopped operating", I mean that the LCD screen and buttons are not lit up in any way and nothing is functioning.

 

Using a non-contact voltage detector I've established that there is power to the board. I've pulled the largest fuse (SC-30A) and tested it with a multimeter, which indicated that it has continuity. The other fuses (which are much smaller amperage and clear/visible) appear to be fine. I don't see any GFCI breaker/fuse other than the main, which works properly...as evidenced by there being power to the control board.

 

I've attached pictures of the control board, do you have any suggestions for where to check next? My next step would be to go ahead and replace the 30A fuse, even though it tested to be operational.

Thank you so much!

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"Non-contact" voltage testers, aka "tic tracers", are only good for preventing you from touching a hot wire, or for some foolish home inspectors too cheap to buy a real tester. Your test with that does not mean that your breaker is good. Test voltage with your multimeter.

If your fuse reads continuity (0 ohms) with a multimeter it is good. Any reading other than 0 is a bad fuse.

Glass fuses cannot be tested visually, you must use your multimeter and test for continuity when removed or tested across for voltage when installed. By that I mean one test lead at each end of the fuse should show 0 volts with power on.

 

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16 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

"Non-contact" voltage testers, aka "tic tracers", are only good for preventing you from touching a hot wire, or for some foolish home inspectors too cheap to buy a real tester. Your test with that does not mean that your breaker is good. Test voltage with your multimeter.

If your fuse reads continuity (0 ohms) with a multimeter it is good. Any reading other than 0 is a bad fuse.

Glass fuses cannot be tested visually, you must use your multimeter and test for continuity when removed or tested across for voltage when installed. By that I mean one test lead at each end of the fuse should show 0 volts with power on.

 

Thanks for the tips. So if the voltage tester indicates power at the tub when the breaker is closed (on) but does not indicate any power at the tub when the breaker is open (off), do you think that there could still be an issue with the breaker (I guess such as not enough power)?

 

The setting I had the multimeter on reads 1 (100% resistance) when the leads are not touching anything, per the manual. When I tested the fuse it read .6 or .06. The breaker read 117.

 

I suppose replacing the breaker and fuse is an inexpensive and easy fix so I may as well replace them in any case.

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1 hour ago, MicahE said:

So if the voltage tester indicates power at the tub when the breaker is closed (on) but does not indicate any power at the tub when the breaker is open (off),

You should get 240v from red to black and 120v from red to white and black to white. If so, your breaker is probably fine.

1 hour ago, MicahE said:

breaker read 117.

You can't test a breaker with a resistance reading unless you remove it from the panel and test through the breaker from the bus bar clips to the wire terminals. 

1 hour ago, MicahE said:

suppose replacing the breaker and fuse

The breaker should be a gfci breaker, and they are not cheap. Fuses are pretty cheap. If you want to throw parts at it you can, but I prefer to find the actual problem.

17 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

your fuse reads continuity (0 ohms) with a multimeter it is good. Any reading other than 0 is a bad fuse.

 

17 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

Glass fuses cannot be tested visually, you must use your multimeter and test for continuity when removed or tested across for voltage when installed. By that I mean one test lead at each end of the fuse should show 0 volts with power on.

Test all fuses. Replace any that are bad.

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4 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

You should get 240v from red to black and 120v from red to white and black to white. If so, your breaker is probably fine.

You can't test a breaker with a resistance reading unless you remove it from the panel and test through the breaker from the bus bar clips to the wire terminals. 

The breaker should be a gfci breaker, and they are not cheap. Fuses are pretty cheap. If you want to throw parts at it you can, but I prefer to find the actual problem.

 

Test all fuses. Replace any that are bad.

Thank you.

The panel that serves the hot tub does not have a main switch so I'm not comfortable removing the breaker, which is GFCI. I tested the wires at the tub control panel and read 118v from red to black, 118v from red to white, and 0v from black to white.

I tested all the fuses and they seem to test ok, but I replaced them all anyway (except for the .3a fuse, which was not available for purchase near me). No change after replacement.

I'm on an electrician's schedule to replace the subject panel with one that has a main switch, as well as perform some wire clean-up. As best I can tell, the only way to shut off the subject panel is at the transformer, which I'm locked out of. I shut down the house panel and it did not effect the panel that serves the tub.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/30/2021 at 4:54 PM, RDspaguy said:

Bad breaker.

Thanks again.

New problem...we just had an electrician replace the service panel and installed a new GFCI breaker. Upon re-starting hot tub it would show "240v" on the readout for a while then went to apparent normal operations, heating indicator light on, though not able to adjust temp. I gave it a day and it had only risen a few degrees (45 -> 49). I switched off the breaker and switched it back on. Same "240v". I checked back and it is flashing "no comm". Manual says this means "The control panel is not receiving communication from the system - call for service".


Other than checking fuses again, is there anything you'd recommend I look at?

I'm considering draining the tub because we're about to get a big winter storm and it won't be above freezing (and in the lower teens) for over a week. Water is at ~45 deg and don't want any of the plumbing to break from freeze.

Thanks

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14 hours ago, MicahE said:

I'm considering draining the tub because we're about to get a big winter storm and it won't be above freezing (and in the lower teens) for over a week. Water is at ~45 deg and don't want any of the plumbing to break from freeze.

 

Don't drain it unless you are confident you can get all the water out of the lines and pump wet end. You are better off leaving it full and placing a small thermostatically controlled space heater inside the cabinet. 

 

Try moving the topside panel from J33 to the connection next to it J45. If that doesn't work try disconnecting the topside all together and see if it runs and heats without the topside connected.

On 1/29/2021 at 1:35 PM, MicahE said:

I mean that the LCD screen and buttons are not lit up in any way and nothing is functioning.

Since the new breaker you now get power to the topside display?

Manual Here:

https://manualzz.com/doc/871948/balboa-water-group-2406-service-manual

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2 hours ago, CanadianSpaTech said:

Since the new breaker you now get power to the topside display?

Yes. It lit up and said "240v" for a while, then went to apparent normal operation (jets, measured temp) but it would not respond to any button pressing. I reset the breaker and it did the 240v readout then said "no comm".

 

2 hours ago, CanadianSpaTech said:

Don't drain it unless you are confident you can get all the water out of the lines and pump wet end. You are better off leaving it full and placing a small thermostatically controlled space heater inside the cabinet. 

 

Try moving the topside panel from J33 to the connection next to it J45. If that doesn't work try disconnecting the topside all together and see if it runs and heats without the topside connected.

Great, thank you. I will try this in a couple of hours. Thanks again.

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Well I went out there to move the panel connection from J33 to J45 and before I did, looked at the panel. No "no comm" and it was 51 deg with pumps running. It's in the low 20's outside right now so it must be heating, I'm just going to leave it alone but will keep the J33/J45 in my back pocket for the next comm error.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So it has been 11 days and the tub has been slowly, but steadily warming up. Obviously there is an issue because it is only ~74 deg, up from 45 deg 11 days ago...so increasing about 2.5 deg per day.

I had recently cleaned the filter (filter is about 5 months old, at most), the setting seem to be fine...with a goal of 104 deg. Previously we have replaced the water it only took a day or two to heat it back up.

Jets appear to be operating normal. I'm guessing testing the heating element is a good place to start but do you have any other suggestions?

Thank you so much, 

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