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Billy
Billy, Technician
Category: Pool and Spa
Satisfied Customers: 22317
Experience:  Licensed in Hydronics and Boilers
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I have a 2001 Hawaiian Utopia Made by Watkins

Customer Question

Hello,
I have a 2001 Hawaiian Utopia Made by Watkins Caldera. The spa works great and was moved to build a patio and now the wiring needs to be hooked back up. I have the original documentation and the wiring diagram inside does not match up with the wires that I have to connect. I am comfortable with the power aspect here so just need some guidance on the proper wiring. There is a 240V 50 amp subpanel nearby which splits into a 30amp and 20amp 240V circuits both with GFCI breakers running to the tub. There are a total of 6 wires available. A dedicated ground (Green) a common (white) and two each from the breakers. The control panel in the tub has terminals 1-5 a ground and two wires from the internal heater. I have tried the wiring diagram as document and it immediately trips the GFCI on the 20Amp Circuit for the heater. The tub worked fine when it was disconnected (of course when I was not home).After copious testing I was able to determine that it is actually the 30amp circuit is the one that trips when one leg of the 240 is connected to terminal 2 (either one). The trip doesn't stop by disconnecting the ozone, blower, jet pumps or circ pump. The only way to get it to stop is to disconnect plug p16 that links the main board to the relay board. I did replace the relay board a few years ago, but never the main board. Also the control panel topside has not lit up at all during the testing.The most recent suggestion was to ajust the neutral terminals in the circuit panel, but unfortunately that also did not yield any results.I have verified the power at the main panel, and the sub panels is completely tested through the subpanel.My current testing has lead me to replce the Caldenra Circuit Board. I have replaced the heater relay circuit board. I'm looking to see what ways to determine that for sure.
Even with all the peripherals disconnected to the circuit board, the 30 amp breaker still trips immediately when turning on.Hopefully we can track this down to the parts that I need. I read that sometimes when replacing the circuit board, the top control panel needs to be replaced as well. (I'd love to avoid that if possible).Hope that covers most of the background, looking forward to assistance!-Customer
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Pool and Spa
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
I am very sorry your question has not been picked up yet.I just logged on and found you had not been assisted. Please let me know if you still need help and I will do my best. Please do not "Rate" as we have not worked toward an answer yet. If you would like to proceed let me know by replying. Once again use reply
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello Billy! Thanks for checking in. No, have not resolved the issue yet, feel free to engage. :)
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I can provide pictures if that helps.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
Hello, have you disconnect the pump and heater from board to test without load attached?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Correct, I disconnected everything from the main board and the onmy thing that keeps the breaker from tripping is to remove the p16 cable, effectively removing power from the main panel.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
lets back up a minute. On your wiring..do you have red and black originating from 2 pole breaker, white to neutral bar?Then red and black to terminals on tub 3 and 4?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes, from two breakers, a 30a and 20a. A red and black from each. There is a white from sub panel to the spa main board.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
the white does not carry voltage but is there for gfi (if equipped). I assume you have one set of black and red to heater wires..and then the other set to 3 and 4?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have attached the diagram
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
is the sub panel exactly as it was or was the subpanel moved also?There is also a possibility you have a bad gfi and not a tub issue.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Billy, the subpanel has not moved, same plazeas . I have swapped the breakers to test each one, but can always try again.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
I know you have done this but bear with me. Is there a separate ground from the tub to sub (not white)
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No worries, I am up for anything. Yes, there is a separate green conductor for ground.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
ok, the white wire...on terminal 5can you show or tell me where the white is connected in the subpanel?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It used to be on the bus bar, but I was told to put it on the 20a breaker with the white pigtail. Both connections exhibited the same behavior.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
so white comes into sub panel...mounts to ground..then whites from breaker mount to ground and the white from tub?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Correct, the bus bar has the white from main feed, the two pigtails from the breakers and the white feed to the tub.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
Up to 50A GFCI has a pigtail for the neutral. This does not need to be connected out to the load if it is straight 208/240V. However, a ground connection is required, and a wire is recommended, not just conduit. Lets unhook the white from breakers to ground...BUT make sure the ground is attached in sub panel and tub...and dont gforget the heater ground.Tell me if tub has power and if breaker tripped
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** shortly and yes there is a separate conductor for ground to the tub. I will unhook the white breaker pigtails from the bus bar.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
keep me posted..
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok, white pigtails from gfci breakers disconnected, the 30a breaker still trips immediately. 20a is fine. No control panel power/lights, no lights on control board.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
and the 30amp is connected to terminals 2 and 4?20 amp to 1 and 3?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Correct. ;)
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello Billy, I am going to lose my window to work on this for 24hrs. Is there anything else you would like to know tonight?
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
I am actually at a loss right now. I would not think just moving the unit would result in this and I have been hesitant to condemn a part.I guess facts are facts.. the unit is wired correctlythe board is newthe p16 components have been disconnected with no change how about when top controller is unhooked?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** actually 2 boards, I have only replaced the one that power connectors plug into. Not the mainboard itself. That is the one that the control pad plugs, the pumps. Etc
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
can you use your meter and set for resistance..even if just so when probes touch it tones...and ohm the board connections to ground?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sure, tonight. I checked all volts and was fine, but not resistance.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
obviously we dont want to test a ground to ground...but any board hots..motor terminals, heater terminals...etc...we know it is a line voltage short since it trips the breaker so we are looking for and high voltage connections that show continuity to ground
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok, I tested all external items plugged into the main board. With all external connections removed, the breaker still trips.
It does not trip, if the fuse is removed, or the tie from the secondary board for either neutral or black are disconnected. I removed the main board tonight and I am looking for a way to bench test the circuit board for shorts. I am tempted just to order a new one, but they are 300 bucks and likely not returnable. Does Watkins provide a circuit map for these boards? Nothing appears burnt or fried on the board.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
The circuit board schematics are not available. Those come from the board manufacturer and they do not share that information. It sure sounds like a board at this point.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Are you familiar with these boards and if the control panel topside needs to be replaced as well?
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
The boards are to be replaced as a set. Quite often it is domino effect and the issue messes with both boards. I know it is very costly...but it seems 90% of the time you replace one board...the other is soon to come.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** wondering if there is anyway to test each of the components (pumps, heater, etc) to determine if there is anything else wrong with the tub before we invest 600 in electrical parts.
Expert:  Billy replied 10 months ago.
I will open this to the others for opinion. Billy
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you Billy.

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