Balboa Lite Leader Circuit Board ICON15R1(x) 54446 Serious commitment to quality and innovative design. Balboa Water Group Lite Leader Circuit Board. Supports 2 speed pump, ozonator and a light.
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Finding and identifying a replacement Hot Tub Circuit Board (PCB)
If you are looking to replace a failed PCB on your Hot Tub’s spa pack, then quite often identifying the part that you need can be the hardest thing.
Firstly, you are looking for a model number on the actual circuit board itself. Having the model or serial of your hot tub is not going to help at this point, you need to find the number on the PCB itself.
Now, with certain brands of PCB, the number of the replacement PCB that you need is not going to match identically the one you are replacing. Why is that I hear you ask?
Well, normally, it is an updated version. This means that it might have updated firmware on the PCB or be a later revision. Normally, this means that the part number would be slightly different. This is usually indicated with a “12345678 -x” at the end of that part number where x indicated a firmware revision.
In some cases, there will be some following letters on the part number of the circuit board, “12345678 -x MAS” this can indicate that the PCB was used for an OEM meaning it was produced for a certain hot tub manufacturer and the letters identify the manufacturer.
This means if you source an original PCB, it will not have the letters, but will in most cases work just fine.
It can be confusing I know!
What if you can’t find a model number?
If you can’t find a model number on the PCB itself, then you need to look for a model number on the spa pack. Normally, there is a sticker on the outside of the spa pack that tells you the current ratings and input voltages etc and this will have a model number.
In general, most spa packs in the USA are manufactured by Balboa, Hydro-Quip, ACC or Gecko. I know I am generalising here, but if you have a spa pack that has the brand of your hot tub on, it will be an OEM so the key is identifying who made the original box.
From there, you can normally find an original PCB that you will be able to switch out.
For example, the Balboa VS (value series) is a very popular spa pack that has been used by multiple hot tub manufacturers under their own brand names. Whatever they have called it, strip it back and it is still a Balboa VS.
One of the most important things you can do when you are looking for a replacement is to visually inspect the PCB that you have versus the picture online of the replacement you are considering. They need to look the same even if there are the differences in firmware revisions or OEM part numbers, you should be visually replacing a PCB that looks like the one you have.
Configuring a replacement Hot Tub Circuit Board (PCB)
When you get a new PCB, you are more than likely going to need to configure it. Most PCBs have a number of different modes and setups that the can operate in. For this, you will need to manual or spec sheet to guide you.
For things like DIP switches, most of the time you can copy the settings from your original circuit board. You are looking for things like setting the voltage as a lot of PCBs can be configured to run on both 115V and 230V.
You may need to move jumpers or even wires to configure voltages – the key here is that you read the schematic and don’t expect the PCB to just work out of the box – it usually doesn’t.
Troubleshooting a Hot Tub Circuit Board (PCB)
Here are some common things you will see when you replace a PCB on a hot tub.
You press the buttons on the topside control and they don’t control the right parts (pumps or blower etc) – this is a mode configuration thing and you will either need to change some DIP switches on the PCB or an internal or low level programming mode on the topside control. Check the manual for how to do this.
You turn on the hot tub and it trips the breaker – it is not common for a new PCB to fail out of the box (I have not seen one yet!) However, a common mistake is that the voltage has not been set correctly. If it is set for 115V and then you try and turn it on, the current draw will be a lot more (twice) than expected and the breaker will trip.
To check this, unplug all of your kit – heater, pumps, blower and then turn on the PCB. If it trips with nothing plugged in, usually the voltage is incorrectly set and what is happening is that live current is being sent to the ground – because you have 4 wires into the PCB rather than 3. Current on the ground loop causes the trip. Check the settings to make sure it is configures for 230V.
It might not trip until you physically turn on a pump or a blower. As mentioned, if the pack is set to 115V and your pump is meant for 230V, it will draw twice the current at half the voltage and trip your breaker. Check the manual for info on how to set the voltage.