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Viking Spa/Balboa Spa just displaying dashes


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So last fall, I had one of my pumps develop a bad bearing so I winterized the unit and haven't got around to repairing it until this week. I installed the new motor and powered it up. Normally I would get a message "Pr" (priming) for several minutes, then the pumps kick on and everything "just works". However now when I turned on the spa, I just have dashes on the panel (it does not display "Pr" at all).

It seems similar to this issue https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/51336-viking-spa-6-dashes/ . I'm not sure if that person ever resolved the issue, but after reading through I think I have a bit more technical expertise. So with this forum's help, I'm hoping to get this resolved..

Looking up the " - - " message seems to indicate a problem with the temperature sensor. I read that the sensors are supposed to read somewhere around 10k ohms. I measured mine in place and they were at 40k ohms. I thought, well that must be it - I need new sensors.. But then I realized it said it should read 10k @ 80-90°F. So I pulled each of them, ran them under hot water for a while, and sure enough they're reading somewhere around 11-12k ohms which seems "close enough" to me. So I think the sensors are working normally. Since I just filled the hot tub, the water is very cold - could this be part of the problem? Does the controller not recognize this cold temperature? Though I have refilled the tub plenty of times before and never had this problem.

In that other thread, a user recommended starting the tub with the top panel unplugged. I tried that, waited over 15-20 minutes and nothing happened.

The controller board is the VS500Z. I have 2 motors (a two-speed and a single-speed) plus ozone.

I have inspected the board and do not see any damage of any kind.

I tested the heater element and it was measuring around 12-13 ohms which I also think is good? Both fuses are also good.

What else can I check?

 

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Remove the board and look on the backside for burnt or darkened areas.

Post photos of your circuit board and the schematic on the inside cover. Also of the topside showing the error code. Is it 2 dashes or 6?

 

 

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It looks like 6 dashes to me, just like in the other post. I don't want to turn it back on today because the control board got wet when I pulled the sensors. Shots of my board and schematic. I will pull the board tomorrow to take a look at the back.

20210610_185452.jpg

20210610_185434.jpg

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7 hours ago, nullvalue said:

reading somewhere around 11-12k ohms which seems "close enough" to me.

🤣😂😁

A few hundred ohms difference between the sensors can cause issues. You need to test both in the tub after the pump has been running to circulate some water, then compare one to the other. Post results.

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6 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

🤣😂😁

A few hundred ohms difference between the sensors can cause issues. You need to test both in the tub after the pump has been running to circulate some water, then compare one to the other. Post results.

I see.. the problem though is that the pumps won't run. The controller isn't booting up properly. How can I run the pumps?

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1 hour ago, CanadianSpaTech said:

What's going on behind the large green buss fuse top left?

 

 

Ok so first, it is displaying 6 dashes. I couldn't get a great shot of it but you can make it out.

20210611_065519.thumb.jpg.7517245abc379f64ebc5d1637d8cdb9c.jpg

The top-left bus fuse area looks good to me. There was a dead spider or some debris up there but not too dirty.

20210611_065920.thumb.jpg.3e4ad25d2f7311eb56fd75666ea1157b.jpg

And the back of the PCB looks perfect to me.. no dark/black spots.

20210611_071232.thumb.jpg.69ffc4e92ad23903802cbb731b4f33dd.jpg

 20210611_071237.thumb.jpg.b2e22091ba5ca66a824ed2101b518d9d.jpg

20210611_071250.thumb.jpg.8dc787b8c4109fcec57ed113498c02ca.jpg

 

Here are some overview shots of the whole mess. :)

20210611_072717.thumb.jpg.d02f2fb8f4c1e95ea17e9cf4d44b6ca1.jpg

20210611_072725.thumb.jpg.83486b587eedffb6fd91c492206c3dfc.jpg

20210611_072730.thumb.jpg.b587fe50b14efd4d4950464a1fb34e39.jpg

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1 hour ago, CanadianSpaTech said:

Since nobody really knows what the 6 dashes indicate I would suggest calling Balboa Tech Support and see if they have any answers. Please post reply 

I actually did just talk to someone, they were not very much help. They seemed to think it was some kind of a communication error to the topside. They suggested I check connections and try the other outlet. No change (Actually had already tried that). He's like well I guess you'll have to replace the topside. When pressed, he didn't really have a reason why he'd think it's that, and not the controller (or something else). So then he's like you have to replace the controller. Gee, thanks.. so basically back to square one.

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I am assuming that the slice valve to the left of the heater was not closed, as in the pic, while running?

Disconnect the topside and power up. It should run automated functions without it, meaning heating and filter cycles. If it does not, it is probably not the topside.

The only possibility left, other than the board, is the sensors. So test the sensors and post results. Or just buy some sensors, they aren't very expensive, and try them out.

If it comes to the (proprietary) board, I recommend a whole new aftermarket control system with topside and heater. It's alot more bang for the buck over replacing those parts as they go, and it's an easy swap.

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No it was not closed, I closed it when I pulled and checked the sensors.

Yes I tried that (starting with the topside disconnected and it DID not start up) - and I mentioned that to the "support" guy and that's when he said "well then replace the controller".. 🙄

If I go the aftermarket replacement route, do you have one you'd recommend for my setup? heater is 5.5kw

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21 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

Thanks - I noticed this heater is 4Kv, mine is currently 5.5Kv - will that make a difference?

So I'm fairly certain my service voltage is 240V - though I'm not certain on the other settings for the pumps. How would I know if they're set up for 240V or 120V? What about the Ozonator? I already have one - can I use it with this model? Will my existing lights work?

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That's all changeable in the field. It appears that your current system is pumps 1 & 2 are 240v, the circ pump and ozone are 120v, and the unused plug between pump 1 & 2 that you are using in some pics is also 120v.

On that note... are you sure everything is plugged in to the right spots? How many pumps, circ pump, ozone?

Your existing ozone will be fine, if it still works. Those usually don't last long, 3-5 years being the norm.

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11 hours ago, RDspaguy said:

That's all changeable in the field. It appears that your current system is pumps 1 & 2 are 240v, the circ pump and ozone are 120v, and the unused plug between pump 1 & 2 that you are using in some pics is also 120v.

On that note... are you sure everything is plugged in to the right spots? How many pumps, circ pump, ozone?

Your existing ozone will be fine, if it still works. Those usually don't last long, 3-5 years being the norm.

I mean at this point I've had it apart so many times repairing/replacing pipes, motors, etc its possible things aren't plugged in right. I have 2 pumps total, Pump 1 is a 2-speed. Pump 2 is a single speed. I have the following plugged in do these seem right? I uploaded the schematic above. Thank you!

Pump 1 (2spd): J23

Pump 2 (1spd): J17

Ozone: J29

Power Supply: J47

Lights: J20

Top Panel: J2

Sensors: J7/J8

 

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53 minutes ago, RDspaguy said:

Power supply for what?

I'm fairly certain it's for the radio. Here's what it looks like:

20210613_171731.thumb.jpg.54c868d1e1116971a12d6da686fb3f42.jpg20210613_171650.thumb.jpg.33c00d115aba114470a5636eb1101de8.jpg

1 hour ago, CanadianSpaTech said:

Post new photos of circuit board and how it is wired right now

Here you go. I've labeled the cables.

20210613_171757.thumb.jpg.552d7c72a10590e2ea476985c97e0e15.jpg

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That looks good. I am not sure about the power supply, but all that would affect is the stereo, which might not work sometimes. The wiring diagram doesn't say, and I usually see those wired direct to power, not through a relay controlled plug on the board.

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