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Old 11-07-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


I have a Bullfrog Hot tub that has been installed about 2 years and seems to work correctly. LOve it.

I have had 2 breaker boxes fried (plastic parts inside...Cutter Hammer BR50SPA) and one separate ground fault breaker fry... all seem to have the plastic parts melt. Seems to be no rhyme or reason When or why....works fine and then....BZzzzzzzz

All the wires appear correctly connected and am getting correct voltage off of breaker (50A) going down to the ground fault breaker box for the tub.

Any idea why I keep getting a fry? at $80 a box, it gets expensive to have to replace one every 6-9 months.

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Old 11-07-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


Do u have an amprobe? If so, run the tub and see what it is drawing on each leg. If it is melting, I would suspect either a loose connection causing it to arc or perhaps the tub is drawing to many amps. U say it is a 50amp breaker enclosure...what size wires are going to the tub? It should be #6 awg

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Old 11-07-2010, 06:35 PM   #3
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


it is #6 Wire.....specs and recommendations from Bullfrog (hot tub manufacturer) is 50A.

dont have an ampprobe....what could I use instead? A multimeter?
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


A multimeter is different than an amprobe. An amprobe goes around the conductor to read the amperage of the load. Who installed the enclosure originally?
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:38 PM   #5
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


What exactily is melting???
Is it the breaker itself ?
Or the mounting enclosure itself ?
Could be ambiant heat from the tub working back
along the cables to the terminals and overheating them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanGene View Post
I have a Bullfrog Hot tub that has been installed about 2 years and seems to work correctly. LOve it.

I have had 2 breaker boxes fried (plastic parts inside...Cutter Hammer BR50SPA) and one separate ground fault breaker fry... all seem to have the plastic parts melt. Seems to be no rhyme or reason When or why....works fine and then....BZzzzzzzz

All the wires appear correctly connected and am getting correct voltage off of breaker (50A) going down to the ground fault breaker box for the tub.

Any idea why I keep getting a fry? at $80 a box, it gets expensive to have to replace one every 6-9 months.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:32 AM   #6
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


regarding who installed....I wired but was already pre wired.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:34 AM   #7
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


What exactily is melting???
Is it the breaker itself ?
two times it was the breaker need the feed end and two times it was the mounting enclosure (the plastic peice that the breaker clips into), once it was both of course.
Or the mounting enclosure itself ?
Could be ambiant heat from the tub working back along the cables to the terminals and overheating them.

Tub is about 8 feet away from breaker box so dont think that is problem.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #8
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


Is the tub inside or outside? Are you using a box like the one I picture below?
As the others have said, it sounds like a connection issue. But since you have replaced the box more than once, it would seem you would have noticed anything that had been getting hot. Any discolored wires, especially where it is terminated? Brittle wires?
Carefully check all the connections with the power turned off. Remove each wire from its terminal, cut off, skin back and re-terminate each one.
Can you take a picture of one of the melted boxes inside? This would be a great help. Any pictures will help.

What size breaker feeds the box? How far away is the box (disconnect) from the source? Whats the voltage reading at the tub with it running? Can you find a way to get a clamp meter to check the current?

You might need an electrician to check this for you. This is not something to fool around with. Pools and tubs can kill.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:24 AM   #9
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


Is the tub inside or outside? Are you using a box like the one I picture below? Yes, it is an outside tub with an external box (cutter hammer) about 8-10 feet from tub
As the others have said, it sounds like a connection issue. But since you have replaced the box more than once, it would seem you would have noticed anything that had been getting hot. Any discolored wires, especially where it is terminated? Brittle wires? There are burned wires now....not before....breaker melted with the interior of box connectors (plastic parts)
Carefully check all the connections with the power turned off. Remove each wire from its terminal, cut off, skin back and re-terminate each one.
Can you take a picture of one of the melted boxes inside? This would be a great help. Any pictures will help.will post later

What size breaker feeds the box? How far away is the box (disconnect) from the source? Whats the voltage reading at the tub with it running? Can you find a way to get a clamp meter to check the current? 50A breaker feeds the box (50A) and the hot tub (50A needed per manufacturer specs). feeder breaker in main panel is about 80-100 feet away. dont know what voltage is at tub yet...not repaired... however, upon last breaker problem....voltage at the exterior GF breaker box near tub was 120 -122 V per pole for a total of around 240 +2 or 3 volts. Volts from breaker feeding the box is about 242-243V for both poles.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:03 AM   #10
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanGene View Post
Is the tub inside or outside? Are you using a box like the one I picture below? Yes, it is an outside tub with an external box (cutter hammer) about 8-10 feet from tub
As the others have said, it sounds like a connection issue. But since you have replaced the box more than once, it would seem you would have noticed anything that had been getting hot. Any discolored wires, especially where it is terminated? Brittle wires? There are burned wires now....not before....breaker melted with the interior of box connectors (plastic parts)
Carefully check all the connections with the power turned off. Remove each wire from its terminal, cut off, skin back and re-terminate each one.
Can you take a picture of one of the melted boxes inside? This would be a great help. Any pictures will help.will post later

What size breaker feeds the box? How far away is the box (disconnect) from the source? Whats the voltage reading at the tub with it running? Can you find a way to get a clamp meter to check the current? 50A breaker feeds the box (50A) and the hot tub (50A needed per manufacturer specs). feeder breaker in main panel is about 80-100 feet away. dont know what voltage is at tub yet...not repaired... however, upon last breaker problem....voltage at the exterior GF breaker box near tub was 120 -122 V per pole for a total of around 240 +2 or 3 volts. Volts from breaker feeding the box is about 242-243V for both poles.
Good work Gene. You will have this resolved in short order. Where are you at as far as repair and replacement goes?
Are you getting a new disconnect? Don't forget to replace the burned wires. Hopefully you have some slack to get to good clean copper?
If not, you can install a box somewhere close and just re-pull the bad section.
Once you have everything installed, double check all the terminals. Especially the terminals where the failure is taking place. Tighten them up good, but don't strip them out. After a few months, go back and tighten them down again. They can loosen up over time.
Keep us posted. Lets get this fixed once and for all!
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:20 AM   #11
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Hot Tub Breaker Box Keeps Frying...HELP!


JV...Thanks for info and feeback...as well as everyone else's efforts.

have not repaired or replaced yet. am putting in a new GF breaker box and will be cutting back on wires to get rid of damaged wires....will tighten real good this time...seems like that is the concensus.....

thanks all for info and feedback. GREATLY appreciate it.
Gene

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