Jump to content

Sundance Altamar 850 tripping GFCI... with the sensor plug unplugged GFCI does not trip.


Recommended Posts

I have a 2005 Sundance Altamar 850 that starting tripping the GFCI after draining and refilling the tub yesterday. The tub ran and heated fine for a few minutes then the GFCI tripped. This morning one by one I disconnected the leads to the heater, Pump 1 & 2, circulating pump, blower motor, ozonator and light. The GFCI tripped when each item was disconnected.

Then I unplugged the sensor plug and the GFCI did not trip. The display shows SN1, SN3, ILOC and 106 degrees. I'm guessing that one of the sensors is causing the issue. How would I go about checking each individual sensor to isolate which sensor could be causing the issue? Could a defective sensor cause the GFCI to trip? A few years back I changed out the temperature sensor due to incorrect temperature readings. But the defective sensor was not causing the GFCI to trip. 

Any advice and suggestions would be much appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A sensor, or any low-voltage device, cannot trip the gfci because they are on the load side of a trasformer with no physical connection to the gfci. 

Did you disconnect all wires to the devices or just one? Did you leave each disconnected or hook it back up before moving to the next? Did you overfill or get water in the equipment area?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your response RDspaguy... much appreciated. Following the wiring diagram in the manual I disconnected each wire of each specific device listed. When the GFCI tripped I reconnected the wires for that device and went to next one.

Should I leave each device disconnected as I work through each one? I'm curious as to why when the plug for the sensors is unplugged the GFCI does not trip. I'll be totally honest and that I have very limited knowledge of electricity.

The tub was filled to the normal level. There was no water in the equipment area or in the main electrical box. 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A flow switch protects the heater and won't allow the heater to fire if there is no flow or disconnected. With the flow switch connected and functioning with water flowing across it it allows the heater to fire and perhaps THEN causing the GFCI to trip. Were the heater leads connected?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, CanadianSpaTech said:

A flow switch protects the heater and won't allow the heater to fire if there is no flow or disconnected. With the flow switch connected and functioning with water flowing across it it allows the heater to fire and perhaps THEN causing the GFCI to trip. Were the heater leads connected?

Thank you for your response CPT... much appreciated. I went back and disconnected the main heater wiring where before I just pulled the jumper leads as it was easier as they have Sta-Kons. But when I saw your post thought it would be best to disconnect the main heater wiring.

I removed the red and black leads then put up the exterior disconnect breaker and the GFCI did not trip. The LCD display shows just fault "Sn3" which in the manual indicates "OPEN OR SHORTED SENSOR (heater disabled). The main sensor is not functional". Other than that fault and the heater not working all other functions including both pumps, blower and circulating pump work fine. Just out of curiosity I reconnected the heaters black lead and the GFCI did not trip. When the red lead was reconnected then the GFCI tripped. 

So I'm making progress thanks to your post.

A few years back the GFCI or the external breaker was tripping intermittently. What I found was water leaking from the heater housing. I removed the heater and took it apart. The inner gasket was defective causing water into the housing tripping the breaker. I made a new gasket and reassembled everything and it's worked fine till now.

So I assuming there's an issue with the heater causing the GFCI to trip. Although I'm not sure what the "main sensor" is.

Thanks again! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The heater is 240v, so both legs are 120v to ground. Only one leg is turned off by the thermostat. The other is controlled by the high limit. So as long as it's not overheated one leg is always on, which is all it takes to trip the gfci if the heater is bad.

I recommend replacing both sensors at the same time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/14/2022 at 12:03 AM, CanadianSpaTech said:

Likely water temp sensor. Make sure it is plugged into the proper place and is connected properly

 

I believe this was the issue. I double checked the wiring of the temperature sensor on the main sensor plug. What I found was that the white wire (I believe that was the color) had come loose and was backed out of the plastic plug. Using a pair of needle nose pliers I pushed the wire in so the female metal connector seated properly on the male connector on the board. 

I had changed the temperature sensor (located in the filter bay) a few years back. I recalled at that time that it took a little effort to make sure the sensor wiring metal connectors were seated properly.

I'm not sure if the fact that the temperature sensor wire was loose was causing the GFCI to trip. I'm also not sure how the wire came loose as I wasn't in the control box till after the GFCI was tripped. Either way the tub is now working fine and the newly added water was brought up to the set temperature (101 degrees) in the time it normally takes after the water is changed.

Hopefully the issue I had with my tub and the solution will be helpful to anyone having a similar issue in the future.

Thanks again to CPA and RDspaguy for your help!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...