Trouble with Emerald spa

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  #1  
Old 08-04-14, 12:30 PM
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Trouble with Emerald spa

Just bought a used Emerald spa - quite nice, and I saw it in operation before buying it. One thing I don't remember for sure was whether or not we tried the "blower" option. Everything seems to work fine, with that one exception - soon as power is applied, it starts a gentle circulation, the "jets" pad operates thru 3 speeds. The underwater lights work. But as soon as I push the "blower" button,the bubbles ramp up for about 5 seconds before the GFCI trips.

My question: does the fact that everything else work necessarily eliminate the GFCI? Is this most likely the blower then. If I were to unplug the blower from the control box, could we safely use the tub. I understand a lot of newer tubs have eliminated the blower because they waste energy thru heat loss.
Thank you!
 
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Old 08-04-14, 09:55 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It does sound like the blower is causing the GFCI to trip but what is unusual is that usually the circuit will trip as soon as the blower is powered up.

You can disconnect the power to the blower and not use it.


I'm not sure about the wasted energy thru heat loss theory.
 
  #3  
Old 08-04-14, 10:25 PM
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I believe the energy loss thing, though I didn't know new ones didn't have blowers. It makes sense, blow a bunch of ambient air through the water an it all collects heat as the bubbles rise. No bubbles and you just have the regular loss from the surface area.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 07:10 PM
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It's not the GFCI, it's the blower. Air blowers are a vestige left over from the days when hot tubs had one or two jets and very little hydrotherapy. The blower or bubbler was the only thing creating any kind of action in the water. Now you have 40, 50, 60 jets or more with 5 or 6 HP pumps. There's no need for an air blower and the massage they produce is not very vigorous compared to the jets. And they're noisy, and they waste energy, and they cool the water, and they fail more often than any other component except the heater. And they're particularly sensitive to moisture resulting in tripping of the GFCI. Often times the spa is tipped on it's side to be moved and the blower is on the low side which allows residual water to enter the blower motor. Then you set it down in its new location and the blower trips the GFCI.
The problem with unhooking the blower is there is water lying in the blower lines that will never get circulated or sanitized. Most spa manufacturers have a default setting that causes the blower to turn on twice a day for 15 seconds just to purge the water out so it's not sitting there growing mold and bacteria.
Here's a trick to try which we did on deliveries of new Sundance Spas when the blower would trip on a brand new install. We would temporarily wire the spa to a standard breaker just so we could turn the blower on and allow it to dry itself out. Letting it run for 5 minutes would generate enough heat and airflow that the blower would no longer trip the GFCI. That's assuming that the blower motor is in working order but just has a some moisture in it from being tipped on its side or from sitting a long time without use. New blower motors are inexpensive so you should replace it if you can't dry it out.
 
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