Testing and fixing a hot tub that is tripping the electrics
If your hot tub is tripping the electrics there are a few things that you will need to check before you buy a part, to test the hot tub you will need some basic skills and knowledge with a multi meter, otherwise we would always advise to get an electrician in or a hot tub engineer like ‘Hot Tub Help’ (If your based in Cornwall).
Screw drivers to get into the hot tub and get access to the main control box
Spanners to disconnect heating element terminals
Multi Meter preferably with an AMP clamp attachment
Spare plug and cable
Note:/ This article is based on basic testing and really covers American designed or Chinese hot tubs rather than systems that you can not get inside like Gecko control systems or any sealed units.
The first thing to note when testing a hot tub is its hard to test if its empty, and if it is empty you will need to disconnect the element otherwise you may burn this out. also when a hot tub is empty you may get error codes like ‘DR’ (dry) or low flow that define no water being in the system and may stop you from testing the hot tub properly and thoroughly.
Long story short testing a hot tub that is tripping is a process of elimination, and the correct place to start is by disconnecting the pumps, air blower ozone and heater (basically anything that has a cable attached) but not the sensors or control panel because these will not cause the hot tub to trip.
If your hot tub trips the electrics disconnect all the peripherals like the pumps so on, leaving the sensors in so the only thing attached is the control panel, if when you connect the items back the electric trips then you would then test the item individually by either putting a plug on it in the case of a pump or testing for the item going to ground like in the case of a heater.
This is the case for all hot tubs.
Secondary testing comes in the form of testing the power going to the hot tub, this can be done by disconnecting the power to the hot tub and running the hot tub on a plug that is connected to an extension going to a different socket in the house, for example if the hot tub is connected to the mains via the garage, trying plugging it into the kitchen socket to see if it still trips.
Lastly if the hot tub didnt trip before you changed an item like a pump but does after this could be due to the amperage drawn. which in some cases may mean that you have to change the breaker at the property from a B class (domestic) breaker to a C class (commercial) breaker, the difference is the length of spike before it trips.
The above technique can be used to find most hot tub tripping scenario’s and is meant to help an avid DIY’er but may also help them to steer an engineer in the right direction for spare parts.
Note:/ this is not the complete and only way to test a hot tub but is roughly how an engineer would test when on site. A hot tub engineer would also look for the cause of the fault which could be chemicals, blockage, low water levels or age, bare this in mind when you are testing and hunting for the electrical fault.
Why write this article
Hot Tub Help is aware that a lot of people are capable of testing and maybe this will save them money, however if you do feel you would like this doing properly we are writing this article and advising that a local hot tub engineer is the best way forward, they will guarantee there work and give a warranty on the parts fitted which in most cases is worth the cost of the call out.
If you would like to book Hot Tub Help we cover the Cornwall area to get in touch please click the contact us page above.
And if you want to buy hot tub parts, please visit our parts website www.hottubdiy.co.uk