Electrical Wiring in the Home/Viking Sauna


Viking Sauna
Viking Sauna  
QUESTION: I have an old Viking Sauna but the contractor threw away the control contact box. How do I get a timer switch and get it re-installed? See image for what's below the unit. There are two thick black wires and two red ones, plus a ground. Any idea?

ANSWER: Bing,   I would be in contact with whomever this genius was  and have them put the thing back with OEM parts,   if they are being jerks,   then I would order a new controller from the manufacture and install that,,,,,,

It's not impossible to add in a generic timer,  but there are a ton of considerations,  

The pics where to dark to see much of anything,   there are five wires hanging out,  so who knows what all was in there?

First is it line level timing or control level timing?

That will have to be determined to size the timer for the current.

Are there motor overloads or contacter "heaters" that are supposed to be set a particular range?

I would say the two black larger wires are the main power, and the two reds, either control voltage from a transformer meant to control a control circuit relay or contacter,   can't really imagine they would use line level around a sauna,     

And all sauna manufacturers do their own thing, so hard to say what the circuit design is    


A shock or fire and insurance with a modified control system could be hell on wheels,    

If you want,  give me the model and data off the sauna and I will see what data I can come up with like a wiring scheme,   that at the very least is where we need to start,       

Sorry I don't have an immediate answer, but no way I would guess on something like this,   

Why would the installer not be responsible for this mess?   I know   most are novices and should not be even doing what they are doing,    

But I would sure try,          then next,    lets try and get the OEM controller that goes with the unit,  that keeps things Hoyle,  and  by the time you buy a contacter, timer, both or overload,  or maybe the transformer for the control circuit was in the box too       

Either way we need to find out,   and by the time you spend the money on generic parts,  you can most likely get an OEM part that belongs to it,     

Let me know what way you want to go, and get me the model serial  any and all data of the sauna itself,   then I will research it and can tell you a lot more,  provided they don't hide the proprietary info,    but most have enough to get at least control parts,     

Again sorry for no immediate answer, but you want a safe and correctly functioning sauna,     


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The main question I have is "where to buy an OEM or a Generic controller/timer?" I can't even find a store that sells Viking Sauna.

I think my question is related to this one:


Looks like finding info on Viking Saunas IS A BIG PROBLEM        


According to this ling which does state that the Viking line is an Amerec,   the link you sent deals with a model

Viking Sauna……BTR 4……serial # 0790857330
Control Panel 300-SE 240 V 2 contactor circuit

It is not a single contactor according to the discussion,  it is two contactors, one that is for the main power to the heating elements,  then a second or controlling contactor that is energized by the thermostat when it calls for heat,         


It looks like the sauna thermostat is designed for their particular sauna,   but I find no list of model numbers,    I still do not know the exact model of yours,  ALL I went by was the data in the link    the BTR 4    is that your model?

I was digging around and found this for you


They claim to have parts, controls, diagrams etc for all ALL saunas even if the manufacturer has went out of business,  changed names,  whatever the case,   looks like a very complete site,  and probably easier than tracking down Viking by itself,    at least it is a starting point,          

One cannot guess when it comes to water and electrical,    then this business of splitting 220 volts and all that has me concerned,    not that it is not done,    most stoves have 220 running to them and used to do it with three wires        two hots and a neutral,  now the new code is to have four wires and have a dedicated ground wire in addition to the neutral which used to be centered on the frame     

If the circuit needs GFCI protection,  I would think so,   but maybe the original controls had the ground fault protection built in,   just do not know at this point, but I will keep looking  

There is contact info on the page,  I would give them a call and try and see if the VIKING LEISURE that reps the AMEREC line can point you to their controller,  they obviously sell controls and thermostats, but not giving me much info to go by,    

From the control page at Viking  I did see this  


   28”H x 20”W x 20”D, designed for commercial use
   Includes 132 lbs of Olivine sauna stones
   Separate wall mounted controls (SC series)
   Use with contactor box R1 or R3
   10.5kW, 12.0kW or 14.4kW
   For sauna rooms 390 cu. ft. to950 cu. ft

Now that does us no good except it does say control box R1 or R3   and maybe the BT R4 is another version,

This stuff gets imported into the US and sold in bulk with no backup,  the company goes out or sells out and trying to get old info is impossible,  but there is  phone number   and VIKING LEISURE just might know what you need for your particular sauna,       

Here is another link dealing with this mystery BR 4 Viking, and the wiring diagram is four six wires, apparently either for an optional remote, or a high limit switch on that model,    but all else checks out,       

They are stating they are using 220 volts incoming split into two 110 circuits,  it could be but seems to me to be the long way around for a circuit with just two contactors,      

So I am not sure if the person or person looking at this knows the difference between single phase 220, two phase or three phase,     

And with no info on your EXACT model,   no way I can tell you where to begin to look for a generic     if the last is correct   you need two contactors,  fairly simple,  but what amp rating,  what type of thermostat, what voltage,  what voltage to the heaters?

There is nothing so far that tells me anything,     

If you know a GOOD electrician,  he should be able to trace out the circuits  figure the ohmage of the heaters,  even look at the wire sizes an get in the ballpark of current,  but voltage and everything else comes from the data plate or model,       and you have no model or serial or anything?


That is a jpg of the diagram showing Viking is in San Jose California,

Leisure Products Systems
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64 Barnard Ave

San Jose, CA 95112

(408) 294-1321
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Map and Directions

I did find this address and phone number, hopefully they get enough calls that they will know what your model is and what controls are available    
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Will Babbitt


Electrical issues of all types, wiring, control, appliances, components, specialty in Electric MOTOR or APPARATUS trouble shooting, electric motors, electrical problems, single phase, three phase, DC, capacitors, elevator MG-Sets, modifications, reverse engineering, VFD Drives, single to three phase convertors. Repair of most any electrical/mechanical/electronic apparatus, OEM, AC, DC, Industrial Applications, Three phase, single phase failure mode, determining the root cause of the equipment failure BEFORE failure repeats, Antique appliances, electric motors, fans, ceiling fans, base mount fans, poor equipment performance, Modifications, habitual failures, vibration, redesign, obsolete issues, collectible items restored, rewinding. Owner of EMR Repair Inc www.emrrepair.com More information on electric motors, under Engineering/Motors Ask about any electrical or mechanical problems in the home, office, or even at your work. B2B or business to business CONSULTING I can do but it would be a much more complex issue, that would require a significant amount of time. repair@mearservice.com from there we can discuss and begin work on about anything. Industrial electric motors, controls, troubleshooting, vibration, alignment, any type of industrial or commercial electric/electrcical equipment For the home owner, renter, apartment if you have odd things going on, describe to me, photos are normally very helpful, appliances, heating and air conditioning issues, light switches, installation, DIY PROJECTS FOR THOSE NOT EDUCATED IN ELECTRICAL, we can do some things, but for safety and sanity reasons, I may refer you to a local electrician, and help you find one, help you with pricing and even speak directly with anyone you hire if you have issues,


Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri wbabbitt@jciind.com Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. About.com provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a $400 service call, we did well,

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10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

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