This post is in response to a question sent to me from Jim D in the comment and questions section of this site. The problem Jim is having is that his hot tub was working fine one day and the next day nothing. When he resets the breaker for the tub it trips instantly. This is something I see all the time on service calls. In this post, I am going to teach you some easy ways to find out why your hot tub is tripping its breaker and maybe save you some money on a service call.
What I want to do first is go over safety issues. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE POWER IS OFF TO THE HOT TUB BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING!!!! Second, if you are not comfortable opening your hot tub spa pack (electric control and circuit board housing) don’t do it. Call a professional. Third, ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE POWER IS OFF TO THE HOT TUB BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING!!!!
Now if you are comfortable checking a few things on your own I’ll give you a few tips. The first thing that has to be done is to take a side panel off your hot tub in the area of the spa pack. Then you have to figure out how your pumps, blower, ozonater, and heater are attached to the circuit board. Some packs have plug-ins on the side and are easily disconnected. Others have wires from each that are connected directly to the circuit board.
Now what you are trying to do is to find out which one of these is bad. What usually happens is that a pump, blower,ozonater, or heater is bad or drawing too many amps and trips the breaker. What you need to do is to disconnect these one at a time and try powering up the tub in between each disconnect. What this means is disconnect one item (make sure the wires or plug is touching nothing on the circuit board) and reset the breaker. If the topside control lights up and the breaker doesn’t trip, whatever you disconnected was the problem.
What I want you to start with first is the ozonter. This is the most common reason I’ve seen for hot tub tripping breakers. This is also what you want the problem to be because your hot tub doesn’t need the ozonter to run and if it’s over 2 years old it’s not producing ozone anyway. So the fix would be to disconnect it and leave it disconnected. The next item to check would be the blower. Go through the same process, POWER OFF, disconnect the blower, make sure no wires or plugs are touching the circuit board, and reset the breaker.
If the hot tub stays on this is a good thing because now your tub can run and heat while you order a new blower. This is extremely important in winter in colder climates that your hot tub continues to heat and move water. Next, do the same process with the pumps. If you have gone through everything else and it still trips the breaker, now its time to check the hot tubs heater. Depending on the type of tub this could be more difficult to check. MAKE SURE THE POWER IS OFF, find out where on the circuit board the heater connects, disconnect it, and see if the breaker holds.
Jim in his question had mentioned that he had already replaced the breaker. This means that more than likely it’s going to be the pump, blower, ozonater, or heater. Going through these steps should help him and you find why your hot tub is tripping its breaker. Just please be very careful if you attempt to do this on your own. If you are not comfortable doing this on your own, don’t, call a professional. If you do try on your own TURN THE POWER OFF BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING!!! This may save you money by letting you tell the service person what you need instead of him charging you $150.00 to tell you.