6 Easy Ways to Know If Your Circuit Board is Broken
When we press a button on our hot tub's control panel or remote control, we send signals to the circuit board. The board then commands all the other components to work the way we want them to. Circuit boards are like the brains of any spa, and several factors can affect their ability to function properly.
For most models of hot tubs, a light will blink to warn its owners of a possible issue with a particular component or the circuit board itself. Diagnosing the problem with the circuit board may be quite a challenge to the untrained eye, so we are here to help you with that.
Most circuit boards are printed rays of conductors onto control chips (hence their abbreviation: PCB for Printed Circuit Boards). They come with a user-friendly interface which we all know as the Spa Controller System.
So, to Repair or to Replace?
Knowing when to replace and repair is a decision that can cost spa owners a couple of hundred dollars. Buying a new board costs around $300 to $1,500 depending on the model and availability, whereas repairing may only set you back $100 to $500 depending on the extent of damage and other factors.
Common Circuit Board Problems
- Misfired Signals
A good indicator of a broken circuit board is misfired signals. When pressing a button for command and something else powers up. Perhaps you are turning up the heat, but the pumps are the ones that get stronger. This instance can be due to moisture that entered the supposed airtight circuit board chamber.
- Unresponsive Buttons
Suppose your control panel is showing no issue or notification, but the hot tub is not functioning. In that case, it could be the circuit board acting up.
- Tripping GFCI
The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) acts as a floodgate for electricity. Once the GFCI senses that there is an issue with the circuit board, it will trip to stop the flow of power to avoid electrocution.
- Error Codes
Most spa control systems are designed to inform you of possible issues with each component. Keeping the hot tub's manual handy is crucial, especially when your control panel shows alphanumeric codes.
- Fried Wiring
When the wires are fried, they often show visible dark spots over the cables and where they are connected. A burnt smell is also present around the area, especially when electricity is flowing through. Moisture, power surges, and insect or rodent infestation can fry up wiring on the circuit board.
- Strange Smell
Around the 70s, manufacturers shifted to a soy-based coating for wires. This change in composition makes an attractive buffet of wire coatings for wildlife and makes their way to the chamber. If you smell something strange, like a trapped rodent's carcass, or their wastes, they've probably already damaged the circuitry.
To fully inspect the circuit board, make sure no power is flowing through the hot tub. Open the chamber with screwdrivers, and examine the board for visible burnt marks. Depending on the severity, they can be minute to big black spots. If you want to want to take a closer look, you can detach the circuit board. Make sure to touch only the edges so as not to cause further damage, and wear gloves for extra protection.
If you think there is only minimal damage, we have got great news for you! You can mail your circuit board to us, and we'll repair and ship it back in no time.
Click here to know more about this easy process.
Circuit boards are like the brains of any hot tub or spa. A broken circuit board may not necessarily require replacement but needs thorough repair. A close observation or inspection can diagnose damages in circuit boards. Follow these steps to know if your circuit board is indeed malfunctioning.