Common Hot Tub Problems - The 9 Solutions
Sometimes, hot tubs can get out of control. They can overheat, cause issues with the water chemistry, and even cause accidents. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these problems and still get the most out of your hot tub.

1. Heater Not Working

Problem: Without hot water, it's hard to enjoy swimming in a hot tub. This is why it's important to check the condition of your hot tub heater regularly.

Solution: Before restarting the heater, make sure that the water flow in the unit is adequate. This is the first step to determine if the issue is related to the heater's design or if something is causing the flow to stop.


2. Low Water Flow

Problem: The issue is that the water pressure is not as high as it should be. You may also be seeing error codes on the control panel.

Solution: Make sure the filter and the drain cover are both clean. A dirty filter can prevent water from running through. If the jets seem to be malfunctioning, try opening all of them to see if they have a faulty gate valve or if there are other possible causes. Aside from the jets, there are also certain components of the hot tub that can cause issues.


3. Air Lock

Problem: Air lock occurs when the air gets trapped in the plumbing. This can happen even after a hot tub has been cleaned and refilled. If the jets seem to be stuck in the air, then it’s likely that they have an air lock issue.

Solution: To get the jets flowing again, you’ll need to remove the air lines from the bath. Generally, open the jets and turn them on and off a few times. This method works for most models.


4. Leaks

Problem: Other hot tub issues may have also caused the leak. It could be that the air lock or the lack of water flow are the factors that caused the issue.

Solution: Before performing any repairs, it's important to check the connections that are responsible for the leak. These include the spa jets, pumps, filter housings, and ozonators. If you can’t find the leak in the equipment bay, then you may need to dig a bit deeper. Once the leak is identified, you will know what type of repair is needed.


5. Error Messages

Problem: The nice thing about error messages is that it lets you focus on the most critical issues. The bad thing is that there are a lot of them and they can indicate different issues!

Solution: The owner's manual for your hot tub usually has a list of error codes that refer to various issues. These codes are usually categorized into three main categories: water flow, heating, and sensor errors.


6. Noisy Pump

Problem: Since most spa owners don't like the noises their pumps make, they often ignore the warning signs of a potential issue. If the noises are still happening, it's time to inspect your pump.

Solution: When worn out, the worn-out components of a pump motor can cause a screeching high-pitched whine. This often means that the motor’s bearings are failing. If your pump is having a low-frequency grumbling noise, it might be time to check its intake valves. Also, make sure the lines are free of debris and prevent the pump from draining. If the pump doesn’t seem to hum for a long time before the circuit breaker comes on, it might be due to a faulty capacitor.


7. GFCI Tripping

Problem: When no power is coming from your hot tub, the first thing to check is if the circuit breaker has been tripped. Also, make sure that the electrical wiring is working properly.

Solution: It’s also important to check the breaker for signs of wear and corrosion. Also, make sure that the GFCI box and the spa cabinet are thoroughly checked to prevent a potential issue. Faulty wiring can also cause issues with the system. Having a look at the various components of your spa will help avoid issues that can be easily solved.

If the element is not working properly, then you'll need to identify the issue and get rid of it. Once the components are disconnected, then reconnect them one at a time until you can pinpoint the issue.

There are many reasons why your hot tub may not be working properly. If you suspect that something is not right, contact a professional electrician.


8. Cloudy Water

Problem: Usually, cloudy water in a hot tub is a warning sign that something is not right with the water supply. It can also cause issues with your hot tub equipment.

Solution: A variety of factors such as total alkalinity, calcium levels, and pH can contribute to the formation of cloudiness in water. Aside from these, various other factors such as uncleaned filters and plumbing issues can also cause water cloudiness.

In one of our guides we explain the various reasons why your water is cloudy.


9. Smelly Water

Problem: Water that has foul smell is often caused by poor water chemistry or improperly maintained hot tub equipment. It’s time to act fast!

Solution: Make sure the pH and total alkalinity of the water are balanced, and that the sanitizer levels are within the recommended range.

Use a cleaning product like Jet Clean to remove biofilm from the lines. Then, drain the tub and clean all surfaces.

If your hot tub still has the smell of rotting after cleaning, it's time to check the cover. Mildew can cause the whole tub to smell bad.

These issues happen to everyone who owns a hot tub. No matter how old or new your hot tub is, we have the parts and chemicals to get it back on track.


 If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!

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