When problems arise with your hot tub, it’s easy to think the worst, but hot tub repairs are often simpler than you may think.
Hot tubs have a significant lifespan, with many high-end units lasting up to 20 years.
With that said, you are a large part of how long your hot tub lasts and how many repairs will be needed throughout the years.
Learning how to know when something’s not right with your system, how to diagnose the issue, and the repairs you can make yourself is an essential part of your role.
Not sure where to start, or need to perform a quick hot tub repair to get your spa back up and running?
You’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll explain the six hot tub repairs you can make on your own and give you tips to reduce them in the future.
Let’s get started.
Not only is your hot tub filled with water, but that same water is interacting with every component of your spa, from your pipes, heating element, filters, and pump.
With so many aspects responsible for keeping your spa running smoothly and safely, monitoring any changes in your water is vital.
Oftentimes, the very first place signs will begin occurring is in your water, so it deserves a significant amount of attention.
Some of the most common signs your hot tub may need to be repaired include:
- Cloudy, foamy, or smelly water
- Temperature fluctuations
- Warning codes on your control panel
- Poor jet pressure
- Difficulty keeping your water clean
- Dropping water levels
- Unexpected sounds coming from your water pump
While some of the above-mentioned signs signal a deeper issue that should be managed by a professional technician, some are perfectly possible to fix on your own.
If you’ve lifted the cover of your hot tub only to discover your water has gone murky, one of two things is most likely the cause:
- Your water may be unbalanced
- Your filters may be clogged
To diagnose the culprit of your off-putting water, you’ll want to check your filters and test your water chemistry.
To start, remove your filters and rinse them off to remove any debris that’s built up on them since your last clean.
If there is significant build-up, spray them with filter cleaner and allow them to soak for 15 minutes before rinsing.
Before returning them to your hot tub, inspect them for any damage, and replace them if you discover any rips or tears in the pleats.
Once you’ve put your filters back into your hot tub, you’ll need to test your water.
More often than not, cloudy water stems from your pH, alkalinity, or sanitizer being too high or low.
Your levels should be as follows:
- pH – between 7.2 and 7.8
- Alkalinity – between 80 and 120 ppm
- Chlorine – between 1 and 3 ppm (if using bromine, your sanitizer levels should be between 3 and 5 ppm)
After testing your water, you can treat it as necessary based on your levels.
After treating it, leave the cover off for 15 minutes to allow your chemicals to off gas while the jets work to evenly distribute them.
After half an hour, retest your water.
If this still doesn’t help clear up your water, even once your chemical levels are within their proper range, your best option is to completely drain and clean your hot tub.
While bubble baths are great, the last thing you want to see in your hot tub is foam!
This often occurs when your water is overloaded with organic matter.
This matter is essentially the oils that get into your water that your sanitizer is unable to break down, such as:
- Body lotions
- Hair products
- And even dead skin cells!
To combat this organic matter, you can treat your water with a non-chlorine oxidizing shock treatment.
This will work specifically to break down the oils in the water, allowing your sanitizer to clean your water more effectively.
If you’re short on time and absolutely need a clean spa right away, you can add a clarifier.
This is a temporary solution and will only mask the problem for a short time before your foam returns.
If, however, your oxidizer doesn’t work and your water is properly balanced, you should drain your hot tub, clean it, and refill it with fresh water.
Your filters are an essential part of keeping your water safe to soak in and should be well-maintained throughout your spa’s lifetime.
Dirty, clogged filters won’t be able to effectively maintain the cleanliness and clarity of your water, so it’s essential you stick to a regular cleaning routine that includes a:
- Weekly rinse
- Monthly chemical rinse
- Quarterly chemical soak
If you’ve discovered your filters are dirty or clogged, you’ll need to rinse them off and clean them using a filter cleaner.
You can either spray them with your filter cleaner and let them sit for 15 minutes, or for heavier set debris, fill a bucket with a diluted mixture of water and filter cleaner and allow your flyers to soak for 12-24 hours.
To reduce the risk of dirty or clogged filters causing you problems in the future, create a well-rounded filter care routine by following the steps in our filter cleaning guide.
Note: Hot tub filters have a lifespan of 12 months, so if you haven’t replaced your filter in over a year or if it’s damaged, simply replace it with a new one.
If you’ve turned on your jets and been let down by the lack of water pressure, there are a few things that may be happening:
- Your jets have debris buildup on your jets
- Your filter is clogged
- You have a blockage in your plumbing
- You have an airlock
First, you’ll want to check your filter and clean it if necessary, open your jets and inspect them for any debris, removing any that may have built up, and check for any clogs in your plumbing.
If you’ve refilled your hot tub recently, you likely have an airlock in your system.
If this is the case, there are two ways you can fix this.
First, you can flush out an airlock by following these steps:
- Fully open your jets
- Inspect them for any calcium or debris buildup, removing any that may have formed
- Alternating between high and low, turn your jets on for 10-15 seconds at a time until your water pressure returns to normal
If this doesn’t work, you can try slightly loosening the top fitting of your pump to release any air that may be trapped.
Gently loosen the fitting, listen for the hiss of air escaping, and tighten it again once as you see some water coming out.
If this doesn’t fix your water pressure, it’s best to schedule a hot tub repair appointment so you can get the issue diagnosed and fixed right away.
Oftentimes, fluctuations in your temperature will show up as error codes on your control panel.
While COOL displaying on your control panel signals your water has gotten too cold, it’s more likely you’ll notice it simply by trying to climb in only to be surprised by unexpected chilly water!
This can be caused by various things, including:
- Dirty filters
- Changes in the outside temperature
- A malfunctioning or damaged heating element
- A clog in your circulation system
To diagnose the root cause of this issue, check your hot tub filters, clean them if necessary, and inspect your heating element.
Clogs and dirty filters reduce the proper circulation of your water, which often results in cold water because it can’t properly be heated by your heating element.
Heating elements can break down over time, which can result in cold water.
Poorly balanced water can become too acidic or hard, eating away at your heating element or depositing layers of scale over it.
If this is the culprit of your cold water, you’ll need to either replace the element or purchase a new heater.
Water pumps generally make two distinct sounds, each requiring different steps to repair the issue.
If your pump has started making a high pitch squealing sound, your barings are likely too dry.
The fix for this is simple; add some lubricant to them, so they can properly move, and the noise should subside.
If it’s begun making a deep growling sound, however, it’s a sign that your pump isn’t getting enough water.
If this is the case, top up your water level and check for any scale buildup or debris in your pump that needs to be cleared out.
While hot tub repairs are simply a part of owning a spa, there are ways you can reduce them throughout the years.
Taking proper care of your hot tub is essential in keeping it running smoothly, and this all starts with your maintenance routine.
Some of the aspects you should ensure are included in your hot tub are:
- Cleaning your filters
- Keeping your water balanced
- Quarterly water changes
- Monthly inspections
Your water comes in contact with every part of your hot tub, and when not properly balanced, can wreak havoc on your system and result in expensive hot tub repairs.
Keeping your water balanced is an easy way to minimize the number of issues you discover over time.
The only way to avoid costly repairs is to catch them early.
Including monthly inspections in your regular routine will help you notice any subtle changes or issues in your system and schedule a service appointment should any concerning ones arise.
Working alongside professionals gives you a significant advantage when it comes to maximizing the lifespan of your hot tub and avoiding costly hot tub repairs.
As experts, they’re trained to quickly diagnose underlying issues and make the necessary repairs to stop any damage from spreading when issues occur.
Whether you’ve discovered any of these issues and need one of our experts to fix them for you or simply want to be proactive and include a service appointment in your regular care routine, our team of professionals can easily meet your needs. Request a service appointment online, or contact us to get started.