Hot Topics: Hot Tub Fuses

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Original Post: Hot Tub Fuses

Ciaran2903 Member

Hi all,

I am trying to trouble shoot by hot tub (Arctic Spas Klondike Elite). The issue is the Top Side Control unit will not turn on.

I checked the fuses, and two are blown - the Blower fuse, and the Lights fuse. They didn't look blown, but I used a multimeter to check for continuity.

I have zero experience fixing hot tubs (I like working on cars), so I don't really know them too well.

Would a blown use in the circuit panel stop all power going to the top side control unit?

My only experience with electrical work is with cars, so a blown fuse generally only effects a certain part of the system.


Highlights from the Thread

Furd Member

Depending on where in the circuit the fuses are located it may very well stop all power.

Do you have a circuit diagram that you can post?

Tolyn Ironhand Group Moderator

Blown fuses are never a good thing other then stopping a bad thing from getting worse. Is this a new to you tub? Do you know if it has ever worked?

Ciaran2903 Member

It worked a couple years ago. Then stopped, error message on the topside control panel (I can't remember which code). We left it for a year, then a family friend started fixing it (replaced the pump), but now is unavailable. I am trying to complete the job, but starting halfway doesn't leave me in a great position.

PJmax Group Moderator

I would doubt either of those two fuses is your problem. A common top side problem is where the top side board plugs into the main board. It's a modular plug and if left unplugged for a while it or the socket could be corroded.

What is the manufactured year ?
What spa pack does that use ?

HotTubTips Member

Are you sure you are getting power to the tub?

Is just the display dead or are the buttons dead too?

Check the entire length of the cable between the board and the control panel. Rodents love chewing through them for some reason.

A dead topside can be a bad transformer but it can also be a bad control panel or bad circuit board.
Just turn on the breaker and don't touch anything for at least ten minutes.

Does the circuit board start normal heating and filtration cycles if you don't press any buttons on the panel?

If the tub starts normal, automatic filtration and heating cycles the transformer and circuit board are probably OK and it's just a dead topside control panel.

If nothing works at all:

The control panel runs off low voltage from a transformer that converts 110VAC or 220VAC to the lower voltages used on the circuit board and in the topside control panel.

If this transformer is dead, you will often hear a single click from the circuit board when the power turns on and then noting else will work.

The transformer may be a separate component mounted to the box or it may be soldered onto the circuit board.

You need to verify correct input voltage to the tub and then verify correct voltage output from the transformer.

If the transformer is have no real choice but to plug in a new topside control panel to see if that solves the problem. There is no practical way to test between the control panel and the board.

Troubleshooting to component level on these circuit boards is usually not worth the effort. Most new circuit boards are under $350 retail and it will cost you at least $100 to have somebody bench test the old board.

If the transformer output is good, I would say 80% chance it's just the topside control panel. 20% chance you buy a control panel, plug it in and find out it's a bad board.

50/50 on whether you can return the topside control panel after it has been plugged in. Most retailers will not allow you to buy electrical parts for troubleshooting and then return them after they have been installed.

As a technician, I buy from a wholesaler who trusts me to troubleshoot this way so you might want to hire somebody for this particular problem. Just 'throwing parts at it' can get real expensive real quick.

Some newer boards have a transformer fuse that can be replaced. Most transformer fuses are soldered to the board along with the transformer and cannot be replaced without a soldering iron which is rarely worth the effort. If the transformer blew a fuse, odds are good the it has a shorted coil.
CAUTION: On most hot tubs, you can troubleshoot by plugging in a new control panel. On a handful of hot tubs, you can destroy a perfectly good control panel by plugging it into a bad circuit board. If you fry it: You own it.

(Another reason you might want to hire for this repair)

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