The end of the long and exhausting week has finally come, and you have some time for yourself. You have been looking forward to a glass of wine and some delicious snacks while soaking in the relaxing warm and bubbling water of your hot tub. But the nightmare begins. The jets are misbehaving, the water is far from warm, and the soothing sound of water burbling is replaced by the screeching noise coming from the pump. Every proud hot tub owner has experienced this, but it doesn’t diminish the frustration and disappointment you feel when instead of a relaxing evening, you are facing a night of troubleshooting and repairs. To help you with such situations in the future, here is a guide to the five most common hot tub problems and how to fix them.
1. The jets are misbehaving
Except maybe for the pump, jets are the hardest-working part of your hot tub. So, they need some attention from time to time. The first thing you can do is check if there is calcium build-up or any other debris. It’s possible they only need a bit of cleaning. If this is not the issue, it may as well be that you are facing some pump problems. To attempt to fix this problem, open the access panel and airlock valve to release air. Air stuck in the system is a common issue and easily fixable, luckily. When you let the air out, the system will purge and allow for more water to stream through. Finally, clogged filters might be causing the misbehavior. If possible, clean them; if not, you will have to replace them. And please, do not, ever, use a plunger to force dirt out to fix the problems because you can damage the circulation system and have a much larger issue on your hands.
2. Water won’t heat up
There are several reasons why this might happen. Firstly, the flow from the pump is too low. This could be the consequence of corrosion caused by inadequate water chemistry. Secondly, check the thermostat and filters for damage. Adequate water chemistry maintenance is necessary for the good functioning of your hot tub and the routine upkeep of the entire system. Moreover, you may be having issues with the heater element in which case, consultation with a professional is advisable.
3. The pump is making peculiar noises
The pump can make a range of different noises. It can screech, squeal, grumble, and growl. If you hear a high-pitched squeal, this is most likely an indication of a bearing issue. Check how worn out it is and try lubricating it. In other cases, remove clogs, top off water, and make sure all valves are open. If nothing works, you may have to replace the entire pump.
4. The control panel is malfunctioning or displaying errors
Control panels can display a whole lot of error codes, which are often confusing to a layperson. Sometimes they don’t even show what the exact problem is, making the entire issue more frustrating. The following codes are some of the most common ones, and they might help you troubleshoot and point you in the right direction while solving your hot tub problems:
- FLOW – this means the flow is improper, and it can also be seen in the way the jets are behaving. Cleaning or replacing the filters and checking for blockages are an easy fix. You may also have to check the pump and probably call a professional in that case.
- OH – this means the water is too hot, and if this happens, do not get in the hot tub because you may suffer severe burns. First, the way to go about this problem is to check and clean the circulation system and filter. Then, look at the temperature sensor – it may need replacing. Also, this can happen if the pump has been working for too long.
- DRY – this indicates that there is not enough water getting to the heater element. All you need to do is add more water. Remember to use a hose filter to prevent dirt from getting into the system.
- COOL – this means that the water is 20 degrees lower than you have set it. The first thing you should try is to place the cover back on and let the heater run for an additional 24 hours. If this doesn’t help, perhaps an airlock in the plumbing lines is impeding the flow. Release the air, and you’re good to go. Additionally, resetting the heater or flipping the heater breaker on and off might do the trick as well. If nothing works, most likely, you will need to replace the heater element.
- SNA/SNB – this means that one of the sensors is malfunctioning or there is an issue with the sensor circuit. Fixing this problem involves dealing with electronics.
5. The GFCI breaker is tripping
This problem is relatively easy to fix but requires working with electricity both for troubleshooting and repair. So, it would probably be best to hire a professional to deal with it safely.
Moving a hot tub to a new place
If you are relocating to a new home, transporting a hot tub can cause a series of malfunctions. Therefore, it is highly recommended to find someone reliable to assist you. Certain moving companies specialize in moving hot tubs, so you won’t have to worry about it. Also, you will avoid doing some permanent damage to it. Hiring professionals may appear more costly at first, but ultimately, if the damage is prevented, it will save you a lot of money.
As always, prevention is the key to hot tub problems
You want to enjoy your signature spa for as long as possible. Wear and tear, age, and relocation will take a toll, but you will minimize the occurrence of common hot tub problems if you take proper care of it. If you balance water chemistry regularly, top off the water when necessary, and occasionally check the cabinet for signs of trouble, such as wiring damage or leaks, you will spend more time soaking and less time fixing the problems.