Troubleshooting Common Hot Tub Issues

With the cooler weather we’ve been experiencing, it’s the perfect time of year to take a soak in your hot tub. But it can be frustrating when an unexpected issue arises. Below are a few common issues that may occur and how to troubleshoot them. Of course, we are always here to help too! Simply stop by one of our locations or give us a call if your hot tub isn’t working properly.

1. Heater Failure

If the water in your spa isn’t as warm as it should it, it may be an indication of heater failure. Many times, heater failure is a result of corrosion to the heating element, typically caused by a water balance issue. Low levels of pH over time will cause damage to the heating element and trip the ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI) breaker. You should also check for damage to the filter and thermostat.

2. Clogged Filter

If water flow is poor and your jets don’t seem to be working as well as they should, you may have a clogged filter. When your filter becomes full of dirt and residue, water cannot flow through it, causing your spa to shut down. Preventative maintenance by regularly cleaning your filters is important for keeping your hot tub in working order. It’s also important to remember that when a filter becomes dirty, it will not remove contaminants from the water, which can lead to damage to the hot tub pump.

3. Air Lock

An air lock can occur when you drain your hot tub, clean it and refill it with water, as air can become trapped inside it while empty. You’ll notice an air lock right away when you turn on the jets and see that no water is flowing through them.

To get rid of the air lock, open all of the jets completely, letting them run on high for 10-15 seconds, repeating as necessary until you see air bubbling from the jets. Then, leave them running until all the air has been released. Alternatively, you can slowly loosen the nut that connects the spa plumbing to the motor, which allows air to be released. Once water begins to leak out, you have gotten all the air out of the pump.

4. Noisy Pump

When your pump is louder than usual, it can be an indication of a malfunctioning pump. This often means that the bearings in the motor are going out, which can be caused by a leaking shaft or seal. While pumps with bad bearings can sometimes last for a while before completely going out, it is important to replace it as soon as you notice an issue.

5. Tripped GFCI Breakers

The GFCI device automatically turns off when it detects an electrical fault that could cause electrocution. If your GFCI is tripping, it could be due to a number of factors, such as a pump, ozonator or blower. To determine what is causing the issue, unplug each component separately and turn on the breaker.

If the breaker does not turn on after unplugging one of the components, you have found the problem and can replace the piece that is causing the issue. If the breaker still does not turn on after unplugging each component, you likely have an issue with the heater element.

If you are attempting to fix an issue with a hot tub, please remember to practice safety first! If you are ever unsure about how to troubleshoot an issue, always contact a professional before doing any work yourself.