Hot tub heating

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  #1  
Old 12-27-15, 12:13 PM
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Hot tub heating

I have an older 240V Balboa hot tub with a heating issue.

The topside panel looks fine, when heat is required the heat light is coming on with no error codes.

I am only getting 120V from one of the lines going to the heater, one of the relays on the board is not closing to allow the other 120V from getting to the other heater terminal.

Does this sound like I need a new circuit board? and if so, do I need to replace it with exact same board or is there a generic one that may be cheaper?

As a side note, the heater is still sort of heating up the tub, gets up to 98 but cannot get hotter - does that make any sense?

Thanks,
Craig.
 
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Old 12-27-15, 12:21 PM
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There is usually one 240v double pole relay that controls the heater element.
I don't remember seeing two 120v relays controlling one element.

Is there a part number on the controller ?
 
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Old 12-27-15, 12:33 PM
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I am sure I am using incorrect terms. I have 2 hot lines giving the tub 240V, when I follow the lines to the circuit board only one is reaching the heater, the other stops at a relay.

The circuit board is an LX-10.
 
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Old 12-27-15, 12:58 PM
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Is it possible to take a few pictures and post them for me ? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html

Is this your control board ? I'm not familiar with this one.

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Old 12-27-15, 01:17 PM
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Yes - that looks the same as mine. LX-10 Ver 5.31Name:  IMG_0037.jpg
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Last edited by C-COOP; 12-27-15 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 12-27-15, 03:28 PM
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I'm trying to find the wiring diagram. I did find several online for purchase.

Did the heater work correctly with the wiring exactly how you have it now ?
It looks like that board requires a neutral but none is connected. A neutral would be required for any 120vac devices.
The colors as marked on the board are different then your connections.

The first two relays (1&2) look to be the two for a 240v pump.
The next two relays (3&4) look to be the two for the 240v heater.
Can't tell what the last one (5) is for. The board is labeled white.

Yours has the pump on 1 and 2 and the heater connected to relay 3 and 5.
What is connected to relay 4 ?
 
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Old 12-27-15, 03:42 PM
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The LX-10 CAN be installed WITHOUT a neutral wire (page 7 of the owners manual).
 
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Old 12-27-15, 04:02 PM
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Yes.... and it can be wired using the neutral..... also on page 7. I see several white wires (in his picture) connected that look like they may require a neutral. Without knowing THAT spa intimately.... I made a blanket statement in regards to the neutral.

I see the neutral (blue?) in his incoming power wiring but not connected.
 
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Old 12-27-15, 04:09 PM
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Interesting - it has all been working fine since installation (around 6 months). I had bought this second hand and I just copied the wiring they used previously. I read the manual for the spa which was the same. BUT I am not sure if this even the original spa pack that the tub came with....

And it is actually an Aruba Spa - not Balboa as I had said.

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Old 12-27-15, 04:21 PM
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If it had been working fine.... then we can assume the wiring is correct and that it's a board failure.
 
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Old 12-27-15, 04:27 PM
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I have spent a few hours on this and that was my next step, I just wanted to run it by you all before I spend another $200 on this tub.

Anyone know of a good (cheaper) place to buy online circuit boards? I found this one so far:

Pool Spa Supplies | Spa Builders Systems by Allied Innovations - Circuit Board PCB: LX-10 ALPHA REV 5.31 - 9920-200973, 3-60-0120
 
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Old 12-28-15, 02:38 PM
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Anyone think it is weird I can still get the tub up to 90 or so? Still could be the circuit board?
 
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Old 12-28-15, 08:00 PM
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You have two relays controlling the heating element. Your current wiring doesn't match the wiring diagram so some things were changed. Have you checked for 240vac on the heating element ? Don't check from each end to ground. You need to see what's actually on the heater.
If you only find 120v on the heater then the heater is defective as it should not work with only 120v.


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I do see something that is a serious problem. I mentioned neutral and it appears that your spa does require a neutral. If you look on the wiring diagram is shows L1, L2 and N where the power wiring connects. You have the ground wire connected to the neutral terminal which is incorrect. That spa should be wired with four wires. The ground should never be used as a neutral in a spa. The ground should go to a lug that is bolted directly to the metal frame.
 
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Old 12-29-15, 07:57 AM
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On my tub there are only spots for 3 wires, L1, L2 and ground. I think those LX-10 boards are used in many tubs and that (I am assuming) is a generic schematic for them....
 
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Old 12-29-15, 12:17 PM
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I was looking at the connection block..... not the board itself. It looks like it says L1, L2 and N in the diagram. Does it say L1, L2 and G on the block ?
 
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Old 12-29-15, 03:02 PM
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Yes Pete - there is a sticker above it that says ground! Must have been from manufacturer. This is an Aruba spa (out of business) and I found a manual online that confirms the lack of a neutral....
 
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Old 12-29-15, 03:58 PM
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Ok... that's good news.

Now.... did you check for the 240v on the heater terminals ?
 
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Old 12-29-15, 08:44 PM
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Yes, not 240V. One of the relays is not closing so only L1 is feeding the heater when on. The light comes on the topside panel though with no errors as usual. The odd part is the tub still heats up to around 90, just won't go any hotter.... is it possible it gets too cold for a relay on the board to close??
 
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Old 12-29-15, 09:12 PM
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The heating element is designed to be completely isolated from the metal housing.....which is at ground potential. That means applying only 120v to one end of the heater should do nothing.

If you are measuring 120v across the red and black terminals on the heater then something is wired wrong. If only one relay closed that would mean that the same leg of the 120v would be present at both ends. When checked with a meter that would show 0v.

From what I remember.... the relays should work in tandem. They should both close at the same time.
 
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Old 12-29-15, 10:25 PM
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Interesting, I definitely get 0V at heater. The L1 line always seems hot on my tub and the L2 line is acting as a switch. I tested each line with a meter and the one line is definitely not making it through a relay and it definitely used to.

This has only been going on for a few days and it seems to correspond to when it is really cold out... not 100% sure (yet).
 
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Old 12-31-15, 02:35 PM
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So I bypassed that relay and hard-wired heater as a test and the tub heats normally.

So my only question left is if the top panel has no errors and the heater light comes on like it should, most likely circuit board? or is it still possibly a thermostat or other sensor turning off heater?
 
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Old 12-31-15, 09:49 PM
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The L1 line always seems hot on my tub and the L2 line is acting as a switch.
That's ok. As long as one of the lines is being disconnected.... the heating element should not heat.

You may have a bad heater. The element leaking to ground. You'd check that by disconnecting the two wires to the element and check from each one to ground using an ohmmeter. There should be no continuity.... no movement.
 
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Old 01-03-16, 12:33 AM
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After I bypassed the 2 relays on the one power line the tub is working fine. It heats normally now with the thermostat, I am assuming I have bypassed the lo-flow and hi-heat sensors by doing this.

The circuit board looks simple, I may wait until it warms up a bit and just try to replace the relays on the board that aren't working? Anyone try to do this?
 
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Old 01-03-16, 12:15 PM
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Without actually working on the board I can't tell you what you've done BUT running the spa without low flow and hi heat sensors is dangerous.

Running the heating element with one relay would be ok as long as the safeties control it.
 
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Old 01-03-16, 02:35 PM
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I agree - just a temporary fix, until it warms up enough so I can work on the tub.
 
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