Whirlpool without controller?


Old 04-02-06, 05:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Whirlpool without controller?

We have a whirlpool tub in the bathroom that hasn't worked in 15 years, never got around to fixing it, until yesterday.

It was installed sometime around '89, it's very basic. Just the motor/pump, controller and the pipes.

I took the motor/pump out, looked around to see if there was anything I could find (blown fuse?), but did not see anything. I put it back together, hit the button and it turned on!

I let it run for approx. 10 mins. then turned it off. Cleaned out the dirt from sitting over 15 years and tried to turn it on again, but no luck.

I then bypassed the controller by wirring the motor directly and it worked fine, so my conclusion is the controller is faulty.

But since this is a 1 speed, no heater system, would it be alright to just hook up a switch directly to the motor/pump?
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Old 04-02-06, 07:55 PM
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Is the switch you are using an air switch with a button on top of the tub? If so, check the tubing from the switch to the button. In 15 years, it could have deteriorated just enough for you to blow it out when you initially turned it on and off. Replacing the tubing is relatively simple and alot better than reconfiguring your switching method. Post back with the results and lets see if we can get it going.
Old 04-02-06, 10:20 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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I don't believe it's an air switch.

It's difficult for me to describe, but the button is basically just a piece of plastic that makes contact when you press it. The button is mounted in the tub, there's a light inside and the botton says "Ultratouch". Of course I did a Google search and came up with nothing.

There's a ribbon cable consisting of 4 wires that goes from the button's circuitry to a small box consisting of what I pressume to be some type of fuse or relay, then another ribbon cable that goes to another box mounted on the motor itself.

It just seems a lot easier to bypass all that and just hook up a SPST switch to the motor. I've done a lot of 12v wirring in my days, but 110v mixed with water and I'm not so confident.
Old 04-03-06, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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I believe I have isolated the problem.

Inside the box that's mounted on the motor, there is a small circuit board which has the GRND. LINE and NEUTRAL screws.

Next to them is a white cylindrical piece mounted in a small metal frame that contains a thin peice of copper that is spring loaded. I jumped this peice and the motor turned on. I believe this part is call a contactor. Looks like when it's supposed to work it pulls the switch down magnectically and closes the loop.

That's the best I can describe it. This part is also soldered to the board.

Any idea what it's really called and where I might find one?
Old 04-03-06, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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Contact thr manufacturer of the tub.
Old 04-03-06, 02:12 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 917
The part you describe is likely a small relay. The switch uses a low voltage current to activate the relay which, in turn, activates the motor. You could probably have the relay repaired/replaced at an electronics repair place or might be able to acquire a safe substitute control from a spa manufacturer.

I would highly advise you NOT to attempt to replace the switch and switch wiring with 120V. That would not only be a code violation, but would also be very unsafe.

Doug M.

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