Another "spa tripping breaker" issue

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  #1  
Old 06-18-16, 10:35 AM
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Another "spa tripping breaker" issue

We received a used spa (2001 Coleman Sahara) from our son in law last year and finally got around to hooking everything up about three weeks ago. We laid a new spa pad, ran the 50A 220 circuit, and hooked it up to the spa. The first fix was a new pump 1 - it was locked up so much that we couldn't turn it at the back end. Ordered the new pump and installed it only to find out the 25A fuse was blown. We replaced that and everything worked great - well, from Sunday afternoon until Thursday afternoon when I found the breaker had tripped at some point and the water was cold. I reset the breaker and within about 10 seconds it tripped again.

The funny part is that if I reset the breaker, get to the control panel, and hit the pump 1 button before the breaker trips, everything works fine. The pump runs and the water heats up like it should to the selected temperature. But once the motor stops (whether by us turning the pumps off or after it's reached its temperature), the breaker trips. If I unplug pump 1 from the control panel, the breaker doesn't trip. But if it's plugged in, I get the tripping. I'd like to think that the new pump is fine, but I also know that sometimes a lemon or two comes off the assembly line. The fact that it runs fine if I hit the button has me scratching my head. Any ideas where I should start looking? Thanks!
 
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Old 06-18-16, 08:31 PM
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That is a pretty strange problem. I have to agree with you.... it would appear to be a defective motor.

For some reason..... one of the connections appears to be touching ground. The strange part is that the short is not there before the pump is started but is there afterwards.
 
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Old 06-20-16, 01:02 PM
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I think I may have figured it out. I checked the resistance of the heater and it measured only .7 ohms (practically a direct short). If the heater is disconnected, the breaker never trips. This would explain part of the issue - the heater has a delay until the water starts flowing. Once the water flows the heater comes on and trips the breaker. It still doesn't explain why the spa heats after I get the pump going without tripping the breaker. Although, the tripping is becoming more frequent. It does explain why it's not tripping if I unplug pump 1, too. If there's no flow, the heater never comes on.

PJMax - I checked the connections first thing. They were all clear. I did rearrange the wires to make sure that there couldn't be an errant short. We'll see after I swap the heater this weekend.
 
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Old 06-20-16, 09:27 PM
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It's not the resistance of the heater that you are concerned with. It's the resistance from either terminal to ground or the metal case. There should be no continuity measured when using a high ohms setting.

There should be no wiring on the heater when testing for continuity.
 
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Old 06-22-16, 07:24 AM
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The ohm reading should generally be 9 - 12 ohms. If in fact it is .7 ohms, that's probably your problem.

As far as why the tub heats, a combination of kenetic energy and heat generated by the pump will raise the water temp...though more slowly than with the heater, and probably not hot enough to actually use...probably. I once saw a tub that was left on for 2 weeks straight and the water was 140+, WITHOUT the heater even working.
 
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