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Troubleshooting Spa Equipment
Repairing Hot Tubs
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CAUTION: Electrical repairs can be dangerous, especially around water. We recommend that repairs be referred to a qualified electrician or spa technician. Regardless of who performs the work, make certain that all electrical power to the hot tub or spa is disconnected prior to making any inspections or repairs. The information  provided here is for educational purposes only.

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Spa repairs GFCI keeps tripping.

Components associated:

  • GFCI
  • Heater Element

A) Check heater element (corroded through, pinholes, etc). With power to spa off, turn the thermostat fully counter clockwise (CCW) to the off position. Re-energize and start pump (low speed on 100v or either speed on 240v). If pump runs without tripping the GFCI, turn thermostat CW to activate the heater. If the GFCI trips, then proceed to 2).

B) With power disconnected, remove both heater element power leads (and wrap exposed lugs with electrical tape to prevent possibility of a short). If the GFCI does not trip, replace heater element.

C) If GFCI trips with element disconnected, disconnect power, disconnect all loads from control box (pump, blower, heater, ozone, etc). Re-energize. If GFCI still does not stay set, internal wiring is shorted or GFCI is faulty. If GFCI remains set, reconnect each load until GFCI trips again. Last load connected must be cause of failure (remember that some devices will not operate without others, i.e. heat will not engage without the pump).

Notes: Most of today's spas have 12v light systems.  However, some older spas and in-ground installations will have 110v lights.  A leaking light housing can cause the GFCI to trip.  Also check for flooded blower or ozonator.

If your spa Control System is equipped with a GFCI, and your shut-off box or breaker box is also GFCI protected, this can sometimes cause the two GFCI units to interfere with each other and may cause intermittent tripping.  Keep in mind that the purpose of a GFCI is to protect from ground faults, and a tripped GFCI normally indicates such a fault.

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