7 Common Hot Tub Problems and Their Solutions

Hot tubs are a luxurious addition to any home. But when you start noticing strange noises, leaks, or temperature disparities, there might be a real problem that needs to be addressed.

Continue reading to learn about some of the most common hot tub problems and their solutions to keep your 3-person spa in perfect condition!

Clogged Filter

You might not notice the hot tub’s filter, but it plays an essential role in its overall function. As the water pumps into the hot tub, the filter acts as a barrier to remove any dirt and debris from contaminating the water. It removes impurities but can only hold so much before needing a proper cleaning.

Most filters are cartridges that you can easily remove, clean, and replace. They have a plastic core structure and a pleated, polyester material wrapped around the core. The pleats allow the filter to trap unwanted substances before they enter the hot tub water.

No matter which type of filter you use, the debris will remain until you remove it. Cleaning the filter improves the hot tub’s quality and lifespan. You should replace the filter once a year. Until then, it’s best to clean the filter frequently to prevent clogs.

Cleaning a Hot Tub Filter

About once a week, remove the filter and rinse it with water. Spread out the pleats to ensure most of the debris is gone.

Once a month, conduct a deeper cleanse using a high-quality hot tub filter cleaner. Allow the filter to sit in the chemical solution for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water and return it back to its original position in the hot tub.

Lastly, every three months, give it a chemical soak overnight. When you’re changing out the water supply, remove the filter to begin the process. Use the same cleaning solution as before and carefully follow the instructions. After soaking overnight, rinse the filter and allow it to dry before putting it into place.

Air Lock

An air lock is a common obstruction after refilling your hot tub. Trapped air in the plumbing lines blocks the water flow. The water cannot fill up the pipes; therefore, it cannot properly fill the hot tub.

An air lock occurs when trapped air enters the filtration system’s pipes. You’ll notice that nothing comes out of the jets. Using a hot tub when this problem arises may cause the motor to burn out. The easiest way to remove the air is to purge it from the jets.

Use a screwdriver to remove the cabinet panels to access the pump. Then, slowly loosen the nut between the plumbing and the motor to release the air. You’ll know the air is gone from the plumbing once the water begins flowing from the area. Once you see the water, tighten the nut, and place the panel back on the surface.

Lack of Water Circulation

If there’s a lack of water circulation, something is causing an obstruction. First, check the water filter cartridge. Clean the filter as mentioned above to see if it resolves the issue. A clogged filter is a common culprit of a weak water flow.

An air lock is another common cause of poor water circulation. As mentioned above, air locks can stop the flow of water to many features in the hot tub. When you need the jets to work at full blast, you need to remove the air from the pipes.

One method is to switch the jets from various speeds until they function properly. Turn the jets on low for 15 seconds, then high for 15 seconds. Continue this process up to four times.

Cold Water

If the water feels cold, something isn’t right. The first step to solving this issue is to check the filter for any blockages and clean or replace it. If that doesn’t work, here’s what you should do next.

The heater could be the cause of your cold-water issue. Remove the heating element first and take a close look, or call Haven for a service appointment to address the issue. If the heater looks burnt, replace it so you can heat your hot tub to your desired temperature.

Lastly, you might have an issue with the heat sensors and switches. The high-limit switch is a safety feature that turns the heater off whenever it reaches the maximum temperature. If the switch is broken, the water temperature might fluctuate.

Loud Noises

When equipment starts to malfunction, you might hear a strange noise. For hot tubs, the various noises each describe a different issue.

A humming sound indicates that a pump motor isn’t starting properly. Maybe the cause is an air lock. As mentioned above, there are a couple of ways to resolve an air lock.

Perhaps the humming is the vibration of the hot tub on another surface. Ensure that all bolts and connections are tight. This will limit the sound and create a quieter hot tub.

A buzzing or squealing sound conveys bad motor bearings that are worn down and near the end of their life. The sound will increase in volume over time. To verify the issue, close all valves and remove the motor from the wet end. Turn on the power for just a few seconds. If the sound continues, it’s time for a new motor or an entirely new pump.

For a newer pump, you can replace the parts to fix these issues. Pumps typically last from 5 to 10 years. If you have an older pump, you might consider replacing it with a new pump to avoid more repairs.

Water Leaks

Leaks are one of the most common hot tub problems. You might find a leak in the pump, jets, lights, or insulation. When you find or suspect a leak, turn off the water supply to investigate the area safely.

Try placing a few drops of dark-colored food dye in the water. As the water moves, keep an eye out for any signs of dark water, as it should indicate the source of the leak.

Another way to test the leak is to take note of the water level. After time passes, see how much the water level falls. This helps pinpoint the leak so you can fix the issue on your own or contact a professional to conduct the proper repairs.

Tripping the Breaker

Each hot tub requires a GCFI breaker to prevent electrical components from reaching the water. If you’ve ever noticed the hot tubs won’t turn on, the breaker was most likely tripped. If this continues to occur without intentionally touching the breaker box, then there’s another issue at hand.

Moisture can seep into the hot tub’s breaker box. Water can enter this area if anyone splashes water, the hot tub overflows, or it rains on the surface. When this occurs, turn off the electrical supply to the breaker box. While you can resolve some issues on your own, when it comes to electrical wiring, it’s best to call a qualified electrician. You don’t want to hurt yourself or others or cause further damage.

7 Common Hot Tub Problems and Their Solutions