Professional Spa Technician Repairs Pumping Elements
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Western Australia’s electrical safety regulator has announced a national recall of hazardous spa controllers following an incident of a pump being plugged in upside down that resulted in the tragic death of a Perth man.

There are electric shock risks from Spa Quip 800 and 1200 controllers because the flexible socket allows equipment to be plugged in incorrectly.

A Perth man died after connecting a pump’s electrical plug upside-down.

Building and Energy prohibited the sale of Spa Quip 800 and 1200 controllers shortly after the incident and has now facilitated a product safety recall because of electrocution risks during installation, servicing or repair.

The recall by the equipment supplier, Davey Water Products Pty Ltd, has been published on the Product Safety Australia website.

The supplier’s recall notice states that the controller socket’s flexibility allows a plug to be forcibly connected upside-down, which could cause an electric shock resulting in death or serious injury.

Tragically, these circumstances led to the December 2019 electrocution of a 50-year-old man in The Vines while replacing a pump for his home spa.

An investigation by Building and Energy found the plug to the pump was forced into the controller upside down, transposing the active and earth conductors and causing the metal motor frame to become live with electricity. The spa was not connected to a protective residual current device (RCD).

Spa Quip 800 controller

Spa Quip 800 controller. Image courtesy of the Western Australian Government.

Spa Quip 1200 controller

Spa Quip 1200 controller. Image courtesy of the Western Australian Government.

Spa Quip 800 and 1200 controllers in Australia are most likely to be found in spas manufactured or repaired between 2005 and 2009.

The affected model numbers are Spa Quip Q800-30, Q800-30LAN or Q800-30R and Spa Quip Q1200-35, Q1200-35R, Q1200-45, Q1200-45R or Q1200-60.

The recall only impacts controllers manufactured before February 2008. This equipment will have 05, 06, 07 or 08 among the first digits in the serial number, such as SQC208U396969.

Examples of touchpads for the recalled spa controllers

Examples of touchpads for the recalled spa controllers. Image courtesy of the Western Australian Government.

Western Australia’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, is urging spa owners to check their controller and act on the recall straight away if the model is affected.

“This is also an opportunity to confirm if your spa is connected to an RCD, which can protect against electric shocks by switching off the power supply if certain faults occur,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

“If you become aware of faults or issues with your spa, it is always recommended that you engage the services of a suitably qualified and experienced person to carry out any work required.”

The controller is part of the inner workings of the spa and will usually be found behind its cabinet or under nearby decking. 

A simple way for consumers to check if their appliance has been recalled is to compare their spa touchpad with those pictured in the recall notice.

Consumers who think they may have an affected unit should immediately switch off and stop using the spa, and arrange a free controller replacement by emailing [email protected].

For more information, find the recall notice on the ACCC’s Product Safety Australia website here.

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