Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group
#11
  
Howdy
    I have a Jacuzzi hot tub that has been down now for about a year or more.  Something electrical blew in it, that I'm sure of.  There are black scorch marks on a connector on the main board that feeds power in for the heater.  I verified that it still has 220 by disconnecting the power input and checking voltages with a meter.  I have 220 across the hots and 120 for each hot to ground.  

    I'm thinking its the heater that probably shorted out.  The tub was made in 2002 and has essentially had water in it the whole time.  We kept it on over each winter and summer with the exception of this last year or so.  I know heater elements in water heaters don't tend to last more than 10 years, so this thing is going on 17 years now.   I have priced out parts and a new control board is about 250 and the heater 150.  What else might be wrong, I don't know.  And so far I don't know for sure that the heater is bad, but its the prime suspect right now.

   What says the collective wisdom of the group?  Anything else to consider or look at?

Thanks in advance,

Bob
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#12
  Re: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by EvilTwin (Howdy     I have a ...)
Just this past spring, my hot tub went bad. It turned out to be a $2 fuse inside, near the control board. Take a close look inside, you may get lucky.
I no longer build museums but don't want to change my name. My new job is a lot less stressful. Life is much better.

Garry
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#13
  Re: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by EvilTwin (Howdy     I have a ...)
I don't know, ET. When it comes to electricity and water I get a little spooked. I'm not afraid to try a lot of repairs but with a hot tub I would error on the side of caution and ask the local hot tub dealer to pay me a visit, pick up the tub and fix it. That way if I'm electrocuted while in the tub my estate has someone to sue!
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#14
  Re: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by EvilTwin (Howdy     I have a ...)
how much is a new hot tub? are there any other parts that it could be if the 400.00 you propose to spend doesn't fix it?
Janus was a disaster, coming or going - K. L, McReynolds 07/01/2015

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#15
  Re: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by EvilTwin (Howdy     I have a ...)
(01-17-2019, 05:42 PM)museumguy Wrote: Just this past spring, my hot tub went bad. It turned out to be a $2 fuse inside, near the control board. Take a close look inside, you may get lucky.

No bad fuses, but as I said, scorch marks on the bottom of the board on the power input for the heater.  I need to check the heater with a meter and verify the resistance of the element.   Should be around 10 ohms from what I read online.

(01-17-2019, 06:02 PM)dg152 Wrote: I don't know, ET.  When it comes to electricity and water I get a little spooked.  I'm not afraid to try a lot of repairs but with a hot tub I would error on the side of caution and ask the local hot tub dealer to pay me a visit, pick up the tub and fix it.  That way if I'm electrocuted while in the tub my estate has someone to sue!

I'm not intimidated by electrical stuff or water for that matter.   As for a dealer, I can imagine them charging double what the parts cost and hundreds in labor.   So I'm guessing 1000 or more to make it work again. 

(01-17-2019, 06:17 PM)crokett™ Wrote: how much is a new hot tub?  are there any other parts that it could be if the 400.00 you propose to spend doesn't fix it?

This tub was about 5K when we bought it.  I replaced all of the exterior wood on it about 5 years ago with cedar and put a new cover on it as well at that time.  Spent about 500 for all that including an ozone generator. Even to replace it, it would probably be over 3 grand for a cheap one and I'm not sure that its worth that much to me to have one again.

As for other parts, who knows.  There are at least 3 motors in there, the control panel and I know it needs a new Ozone generator (those go for about 100 and I replaced it at least once before).  Needs new filters, probably 50-100 for those too.  I would probably replace a bunch of the connector hoses, they look pretty dry and brittle.

Only other thing that concerns me is that it sat over a winter and there may have been enough residual water in there to possibly crack a pump or other part.  Before I order any parts, I may go ahead and plug the two points where the heater plumbed into and fill it up high enough so that if there are leaks, I will see them.
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#16
  Re: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by EvilTwin (Howdy     I have a ...)
Most likely is the heater element. Even in the most cared for tubs the water is still going to eat them up.
Any free advice given is worth double price paid.
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#17
  Re: RE: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by Woodenfish (Most likely is the h...)
(01-17-2019, 10:27 PM)Woodenfish Wrote: Most likely is the heater element. Even in the most cared for tubs the water is still going to eat them up.

I think so too, but since it took out the control board, hard to say what else might be bad.

So after continuing to search online for answers, I discovered that there is a whole aftermarket that has grown up around dead hot tubs.  To give dead hot tubs new life, you can buy complete control systems including new heaters and display pads with the guts buried inside.  So if the company who made your tub went out of business, no problem, you can just retrofit one of these systems inside and its up and running again.

And it makes sense.  Most of the money in the tub is in the shell and plumbing and those don't necessarily go bad.  The pumps can be replaced, but they are pretty sturdy beasts so chances are they are still good after so many years.  It's just the electronics that tend to fail over time.

Prices range from about 350 on up.  Depends on the number of pumps, voltage, special features like circulator pump, etc.  I priced a few out at around 500 or so and that is with a new ozone generator that keeps the water clean.  I'm going to try and fill the tub up a bit this weekend to make sure there are no leaks and if that works, then I'll order a system and fit it back in.

Here are a few pics of what I'm talking about:







[Image: ep1502-1500-G-700x700.jpg]
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#18
  Re: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by EvilTwin (Howdy     I have a ...)
If you, or anyone, replace a heater element; run the pump before making its final electrical connection. I closed two valves (like I do to change the filter) swapped out the heating element, opened the valves and turned it on. The three to five seconds it took for the water to refill the pipes was too long for the element to be out of water. BTW, the element is what usually goes bad. The "replacement" was about $50 and two weeks out. I made a 3x3 aluminum plate the same as the "replacement" with a threaded 1" hole in the center so now the element is less than $10.
Sign at N.E. Vocational School Cabinetmaking Shop 1976, "Free knowledge given daily... Bring your own container"
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#19
  Re: RE: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by MstrCarpenter (If you, or anyone, r...)
(01-18-2019, 10:06 AM)MstrCarpenter Wrote: If you, or anyone, replace a heater element; run the pump before making its final electrical connection. I closed two valves (like I do to change the filter) swapped out the heating element, opened the valves and turned it on. The three to five seconds it took for the water to refill the pipes was too long for the element to be out of water. BTW, the element is what usually goes bad. The "replacement" was about $50 and two weeks out. I made a 3x3 aluminum plate the same as the "replacement" with a threaded 1" hole in the center so now the element is less than $10.

That sounds like a very good idea.
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#20
  Re: Fixing a dead hot tub, thoughts from the group by EvilTwin (Howdy     I have a ...)
Did you check the heating element terminals for continuity and resistance?  Burned connector lugs can be from repeated hot/cold cycling loosening the connections.  I've seen circuit breakers with big loads do exactly that from the conductors loosening over time, resulting in arcing and destroying themselves and even a neighbor breaker.

And of course, make sure all the motors run and the pumps work correctly before spending any money.
Tom

It's not what we don't know that gets us in trouble.  It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.











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