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Spa / Hot Tub GFCI Breaker TrippinG?

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For Spa Service Technicians and Home Owners alike, one of the most common Hot Tub problems, is a GFCI Breaker that trips and will not reset. Many people make the mistake of calling their Electrician first and costing them a wasted service call fee. Or they rush out to the Big Box Store and plunk down a hundred bucks for a new GFCI Breaker, only to find out, once installed the new Breaker still trips. 

The truth is 99% of the time when a GFCI Breaker trips, it is because it is working properly and is tripping due to a short somehwere in the Hot Tub's equipment.

So you ask, what is the most common cause of GFCI Breaker Trips? I have found that 85% of the time, it is caused by a bad Heater Element. With a bad Element, the breaker will usually trip very quickly, in many cases instantly. After attempting to turn on the breaker a few times, with it tripping each time. You can eliminate the Heater as the cause or confirm it is the culprit, with just a few steps.

First: Turn the Breaker off and test with a meter to be sure you have no power coming to the spa.

Second: On most Flo Thru Heaters, you will find 2) Heater Terminals, with a 3/8" Nut holding a copper strap or wire attached to the terminal from the Circuit Board. If you carefully loosen and remove each of the to 3/8" Nuts, then lift off the strap or Wire, therefore disconnecting the heater from the Circuit Board. 

Third: Once the heater is disconnected, Turn the power breaker back on. If the breaker stays on and the spa starts up, you have confirmed the heater as the source of the problem. Your next step is to decide whether you would prefer purchasing the complete Heater Assembly with Stainless Tube or just the correct eater Element. Every spa is different, so there is not always a one size fits all answer. Check out the Ellements and Heater Assemblies here at Spa Parts Guy and compare, look for suggestion tips or contact us with your questions. We are happy to help you.

Soon you will be back in Hot Water!


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