When you’re a spa owner, sometimes things break; and when they do, you’ll want to spend as little time as possible fussing over seemingly indistinguishable replacement parts, so you can get back to the very serious business of sinking in and chilling out. That’s why we’re here today to take some of the guess work out of properly identifying one of the most commonly replaced, and commonly frustrating to identify spa components: CIRCUIT BOARDS!
What Is a Spa Circuit Board and What Does it Do?
The principal component of your spa is the control pack, which consists of the full mechanical and electrical system of your spa. Control pack components comprise: the heating element, pump, blower, and the controller or circuit board. All of these components are essential in ensuring your spa’s proper function, but for now, let’s focus on the controller (circuit board).
Your spa’s circuit board is just like the printed circuit board (PCB) you’d find in many electronic devices, not totally unlike your home computer’s logic board, but designed to perform a very specific set of tasks under comparatively extreme conditions. Think of the circuit board as your spa’s central nervous system, which controls all of its vital activities and automatic functions through electromagnetic relays—neat! These functions include water-flow, operation of temperature and high-limit sensors, filtration, water temperature, jets and blowers, and spa lights.
Why Would I Need to Replace My PCB?
Over time the contacts on your circuit board may wear out, overheat, and eventually fail. Being a spa’s central nervous system is no easy task, they’re exposed to all kinds of harsh conditions, so a circuit board’s normal life expectancy is usually between eight and ten years—yikes! Don’t fret, with proper care and attention your circuit board could last as long as twenty years. That said, you should expect to replace your spa’s circuit board at least a few times over many years of ownership.
Now that we have a pretty good idea of what a spa’s circuit board does, let’s figure out how the heck to identify yours in order to find a replacement!
Most spas on the market today are manufactured using Balboa Water Group components. Still, there are many that utilize Gecko and HydroQuip spa parts. The following information generally applies across most manufacturers; although, for our purposes, Balboa boards are given as the most common example. If you’re unsure, you should definitely call us for assistance before purchasing your board, just to be safe—we’re happy to help.
How To Identify Your Spa Circuit For Replacement
Here are the two most effective methods for getting the right board, and getting back on the road to relaxation!
By far, the most accurate method for identifying and replacing your board is the serial number, which contains your board’s product number. The product serial number is a series of several numbers (sometimes alpha numeric), preceded by ‘SN’ or ‘S/N’, to be found on the rectangular white sticker on the front or back of your printed circuit board (Ex. 52320***200603140051). The first five to seven numbers of your circuit board’s serial number represent the product number. As in the example, the product number would be 52320. Just beneath the serial number you should find the model of the board. It might be something like: BOARD BALBOA 2000M7 SER STD LE. Can’t find that magical white sticker? Do not despair, my friend, for there is another way. . .
There is a smaller white sticker on your board, and on it you will find the Holy Grail of last resorts, the legendary CHIP NUMBER! You might also find it branded, etched, or written in black marker on the back of the board. The chip number will enable you to identify your board using this handy chipset cross reference provided by Balboa Water Group. It gives you the amazing ability to track down your board’s part number by matching it to the chipset that was used in its construction, which is pretty darn cool.
That’s a Wrap, Folks!
And that’s it—you should now be able to easily identify your board for replacement. If you find you’re having difficulty identifying the correct information GIVE US A CALL at 800.772.0467, or say hello via LIVE CHAT right here on our website. Either way, one of our friendly product specialists would love to help.
****Disclaimer: While replacing the circuit board on your spa yourself may seem like an awesome DIY project, it is highly recommended that you leave the actual installation work to a licensed spa professional. This will ensure proper installation and safety, as it is a tricky and sometimes extremely dangerous procedure. You could be seriously injured, and can even void your warranty if not correctly installed. Happy hot-tubbing!