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Spa Primer 103-DOA-Dead On Arrival

For a dead spa, its simply a matter of working from the incoming power deeper. You MUST have knowledge of electricity and voltmeter to do proper.

Often a person says "Power going into the hot tub is fine." We arrive, place a meter on the incoming power and lo and behold, its not. The customer has paid $90 for a service call to tell him the power is "not fine". Call an electrician.

For a typical homeowner dealing safely with electrical power is beyond their abilities. In this case it would be wise to pay someone to check power to the spa. On the "How To" link we explain how to check power to the hot tub CORRECTLY. Many, many times the homeowner "knows how to check power" and does it his way, unfortunately the wrong way. See the "How To" to make sure you or someone you use checks the power correctly.

Caveat: Using a "light pen" to see electrical current is present will not suffice. It must be correct electrical current not just electrical. I have had homeowners use a pen and said proper power was present. I placed a meter on the incoming power and found only 35v is present instead of 115v. Again, $90 mistake. There is no substitute for proper voltage. Often others will think they reset the breaker but the breaker is damaged and resetting does nothing.

So, for a DOA spa, make sure proper power is present. In our example, it is.

Next, most spas built after 1994 have electronic systems. Since we labeled this spa DOA, that would mean the topside readout says nothing. Spa is dead. We know power to the spa is good. So now we check the fuses onboard. Turn off spa's main power and set your meter to OHMS. Check all fuses by "ohming" them; full continuity. Typically your meter goes from -0- to 1 meaning full continuity. Most boards have at least on fuse onboard and if the power surges the fuse blows.

In our example all fuses are fine. So next possibility is the transformer. Transformer take one voltage and changes it to another. In our case the transformer is either 115 or 230v incoming (primary) power and 10-15v outgoing (secondary) power. The transformer's MAIN purpose is to supply proper power to the board. See "How to Test Transformer " in How To link. If the transformer has failed, replace.

In our example, transformer is fine. That leaves the board has failed. This can happen for a multitude of reasons: blackouts, surges, spikes, lightning, and just failed. Some will wonder "could it be my topside?" It rare but could be.

On a few cases all or some buttons on the topside work but not all or the digital doesn't work. This would not be a DOA but another problem which will be covered later.

Replace the board with the CORRECT boards. Although boards are upgraded to a degree they remain the same basic board. We always include help on boards that have an upgrade that the homeowner needs to know about.