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Kohler whirlpool bathtub wall switch only works when red wire unplugged

Kohler whirlpool bathtub wall switch only works when red wire unplugged

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  #1  
Old 07-09-20, 01:01 PM
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Kohler whirlpool bathtub wall switch only works when red wire unplugged

My customer has a late 70"s model cast iron whirlpool tub with a pushbutton on/off wall switchl coupled with a manual wheel type timer.. The pump motor and jets work fine but only when the red wire is unplugged. There are red, black, green and white wires. Can a similar switch/ timer be bought? Would a push button switch with a digital timer be compatible with this old model?
 
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Old 07-10-20, 10:49 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Usually the red wire is the switched output. That means when it's disconnected..... the motor won't work.
I can try to help you replace what you have but I need to know what you have.
Can you supply any pictures ?
How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 07-11-20, 04:51 PM
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Pics of whirlpool tub switch






 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-11-20 at 05:05 PM. Reason: reoriented pictures
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Old 07-11-20, 04:54 PM
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I struggle some with the pics. I am the tile guy and I am stumped by this. I certainly appreciate any help either repairing or replacing this switch. The old tub is framed in with an arch and fancy glass surround to the ceiling. Customer hopes not to replace it. Thanks.
 
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Old 07-11-20, 05:07 PM
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That two gang wall switch is one half of the system. Those four wires go down to a control box near the pump. Hopefully just the control plate is defective.

That is a Kohler 9681. Approx 30 years old. No longer made. There are a few floating around on ebay and there are companies that can rebuild it.

Part from rebuilder on Ebay
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-11-20 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 07-12-20, 06:56 AM
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Thanks PJ. I cut an access to the electrical panel near the pump. It is reasonably accessible. Way more accessible than the pump itself. Gonna try for that new switch first. Interesting side note. Customer had a Federal Pacific panel box which was replaced years back. They were notoriously dangerous. She says the tub hasn'tt worked since. I don't know why the electrician would have disconnected the switch but I wonder if it's possible that he did and misplaced the wires. I don't think I should try switching the black and red wires. Do you?
 
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Old 07-12-20, 10:37 AM
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I would not switch any wiring on the switch. I can't find any wiring diagrams on that system.
Have you confirmed that you actually have AC power to the whirlpool control area under the tub ?

There could be two circuits. One for the pump and one for a heater.

By code.... there is supposed to be a GFI in the circuit. It's location may be a mystery as the code was different 30 years ago. Now the GFI needs to be accessible in the bathroom
 
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Old 07-13-20, 05:45 AM
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I filled the tub above the jets and unplugged the red wire on the control board. The pump came on and the whirlpool action was perfect. I didn't think about the heater. I tested the GFI in the panel box in the garage and it is working normally.. Thanks to you I was able to find the service manual for the tub on line. It says, if there is a failure of the old control switch, then the switch should be updated to an LED switch. To do that, the electrical panel under the tub must also be replaced. The electrical panel is fairly accessible through the access I cut in the tub skirt.
So I think I can offer two options to my customer. Either buy a rebuilt replacement switch on EBAY fo $30 plus shipping which I could install easily or find a qualified tub and spa repairman to update the switch to LED and replace the electrical panel under the tub. Lots more money but not the thousands it would cost to repalce the tub. Thanks so much for the valuable help. You are truly remarkable.
 
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