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Hot Tub Control Panel Not Working: DIY Troubleshooting

Written by Joe Richter

If you own a hot tub then you surely know how important it is to take good care of it. Still, things get out of hand when you’ve to go DIY or call for professional help.

The control panel helps ensure you’ve the ideal temperature settings and the tub is running efficiently while conserving energy at the same time.

Here we will see why your control panel is not working and what you can do about it.

Hot Tub Control Panel Not Working: Troubleshooting

Issue 1: What if your control panel doesn’t show anything?

  • Restart the hot tub controller

Reconnect the control panel first. Turn the power off and then on again. Let the electronics go through their programming and restart the hot tub controller.

Sometimes, restarting does help in such a situation.

  • Make sure there is no moisture in the display

Any visible dampness underneath the display is not a good sign for the control panel. Remove the panel from the hot tub shell, peel off the membrane, and sponge out the moisture carefully.

  • Check if the connection cable is intact

Nuisance rodents can gain access to your hot tub and cause damage like cable crimping. You may want to take a look at the cable that connects the control panel with the main circuit board in case you find your controller not working all of a sudden.

Some switches on the panel may still work if this is the case. You’ll need to remove the side paneling of the tub to have a good look at the cables there.

  • Brush and clean the plug-ins on both ends of the cable

As you check the cable down there, plug out the connection jacks and brush them clean. Brush the sockets as well. Make sure no electricity is running to the tub while plugging in or out.

  • Check the transformer

Make sure the transformer on the control circuit panel has electricity running through it. A faulty transformer can keep your control panel from working efficiently. Consider professional help if you’re not good with electronics.

  • Check the fuse

See if you have power at the fuse on the control circuit board. Get a replacement if you notice any indication of damage. Replacing a fuse is fairly easy – just open the fuse box and use your needle nose pliers to take out the damaged unit. Place the replacement in and see if it works now.

  • Get a topside control that works with the chip version

Make sure to keep the topside control model number and your tub control chip version the same. A topside only works for the chip version it is designed for. So, it may not work if you replace your topside control panel with a model that doesn’t match the chip.

  • Review the power output

Check if the control circuit board runs on the right power output and if there’s any indication of damage. Most hot tubs need a 32amp or 40amp supply. Have a professional check your tub if you think power is the problem.

  • Replace the panel

Topside panels last about 10 years roughly. Replacing the entire control panel seems ideal when you’re sure that it is completely damaged and you can’t easily make it function again. But you’ll need the right panel model that works with the chip version of your hot tub control system.

The best thing to do is use the helpline of the brand that manufactured your tub and get information. Then talk to a local hot tub professional. This may help you find an easy solution and decide what’s best for you.

Issue 2: What to do if the control panel shows errors?

  • Flickering display

First of all, you may want to read the owner’s manual to cross-reference any codes or indications your control panel is displaying. You may as well do quick research online and learn about which error code means what and act accordingly.

For instance, the display shows “OH” to indicate overheating and “FLO” to indicate that you have a problem with the flow and jets in the tub.

  • Partial display

If the control panel is partially working and partially not, take it as an indication of moisture or dirty residues inside your controller. It can also be a sign of physical damage to the display.

Remove the outer layer on the topside panel and clean the LCD screen with a soft piece of cloth. Let it dry and reassemble it back together. You may need a replacement for the whole panel in case it involves physical damage.

If you find a replacement for the damaged part, you can keep the old controller. But it’s a good idea to replace the whole topside control panel if it’s been there for around 8-10 years or so.

  • Flashing

If you notice any flashing or blinking on your display, go ahead and reset the system. It can also be a sign of a damaged fuse in the spa pack. If this happens quite a few times, stop using your hot tub and call in a professional right away before anything worse takes place.

Issue 3: What to do if the control panel buttons don’t work correctly?

  • Check for condensation on the contacts or underneath the display
  • Check the cable for any damage
  • Check for any fault in touchpad buttons or membrane
  • Inspect the circuit board and fix any issues there
  • Clean the plug-in jacks
  • If nothing above works, get a replacement for the controller

FAQs

1. How do I reset my hot tub control panel?

Ans: For big touchscreen control panels, set your fingers on the black area around the touch panel and hold it there real lightly. Wait for around 10 seconds for the panel to kick on and reset; or unscrew the back part of the panel and take the battery pack off, then put the battery on again. This will also reset the system.

2. How do I know if my hot tub control board is bad?

Ans: If you have for instance two 220v connections coming to the hot tub, but you don’t get to see 220v on the two pins of the heating element. If you notice anything other than that, your control circuit board is bad.

3. How much does it cost to fix a hot tub control panel?

Ans: If the fix or replacement is required for the topside panel only, it’ll cost you between $50 and $100 roughly. If you need to fix or replace the entire spa pack unit or control systems, you’re expected to spend between $400 and $800 approximately.

4. Why has my hot tub stopped working?

Ans: Your hot tub is a product of complex engineering. Read the display and do a thorough inspection first. Check if the power output is right. Maybe it’s the low flow from the pump or faulty heater element that is causing trouble heating the water. We recommend that you get professional help.

5. How long do hot tub circuit boards last?

Ans: Keep in mind that a hot tub circuit board is a hub of several components. On average conditions and uses, a hot tub circuit board stays fine for between 8 to 10 years. But with sensible use and a bit of care, they’re expected to last about 20 years.

About the author

Joe Richter

Academically brilliant, technically flawless and professionally successful, Joe Richter is Toiletsguide’s head of the market research team. He studied Business Studies from the University of Houston and started his professional career as a Market Data Compliance Analyst in the stock market. He’s been following the updates on the bathroomware industries for a long time now and his elaborate studies have profoundly enriched his knowledge on the newer trends of toilets, showers, and related fittings. Apart from that, Joe goes around the street with his Leica Q2 taking pictures of people and buildings. He does most of the photography of the site.

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