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Ask 'Dr. Spa' Q & A Message Board

Ask 'Dr. Spa' Q & A Message Board archives

Hot Tub Won't Heat

Hey, everybody. I'm having an issue with my hot tub, and I was wondering if you could lend me some insight. I own a Great Lakes Spa. Not sure what the model number is, but it's a four seater that can be hooked up as 110 or 220. Up to this point, we've never had any troubles with it. Guess that's why you've never heard from me until now.

We recently moved into a new house, and decided to convert the tub over to 220 from 110. There has never been any trouble with this hot tub while running on 110. It's just that the new place had a hot tub pit that was set up for 220. After getting the electrician over to do the conversion, we filled up the tub and fired up the power. It ran for a bit, but then it tripped the GFCI switch in the breaker box. Every time we'd reset the switch, it would just trip it again. About ten seconds before it would trip the GFCI switch, the switch inside the power box that controls the heater element (I think it's called the pressure / flow switch) would also click. We called the people who sold us the tub, and they told me to disconnect the element itself and try to run the tub that way. They said that if the GFCI didn't trip, it meant that the heating element was bad.

I did what they said, and sure enough, the tub stayed running. So, we went and bought the element, installed it, and put everything back together. FYI: even though I replaced the element myself, I'm POSITIVE that I hooked everything back up correctly. After we got everything done, we fired it up, and the GFCI didn't trip. I thought all was right in the world, and waited until the next day so that I could get in.

Well, I come back in the morning, and the temperature had actually dropped (we'd filled it with hot water). Upon further inspection, I discovered that the same switch (the one that I think is the pressure / flow switch) is still tripping within 30 seconds of powering up the tub. So, it's cutting power to the heating element, even though the tub stays running. I'm sure that the flow is not an issue. I cracked every joint in the plumbing, and water is coming out of each and every one of them. The pump is running fine and all of the jets are blasting like gang busters.

So, does anybody have any idea what is tripping that switch? Thermostat, maybe? Maybe the switch itself is bad? Are there electrical components that need to be changed when converting over? Though I'm no electrician, I can read a flow chart. I looked at the one on my tub and checked the electricians work. Everything looks correct to me. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.


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