You just got your new hot tub, and it's not working
Certainly, after all the anticipation and expense, a hot tub that does not work can be quite upsetting. There can be many reasons why this can happen. Don’t panic, it’s only a hot tub, it is a problem that can be solved. I have listed the most common problems and how to resolve them
Today’s hot tubs are built much the same way the average car is, only without the robots, real people build these. When they build a hot tub it goes from station to station, from the frame to the shell, plumbing, electrical departments, and so on. The majority of hot tub companies do fill and run the hot tub before it leaves the factory. Not very common, but sometimes the factory messes up and misses something. Before calling your dealer. Power down the hot tub, open up the service compartment door, and look around. Are all the wires connected securely? Beware, some wires may be for accessories you may not have installed. Any water in the compartment? Sometimes a clamp may come loose during transport. If nothing is obvious, call your dealer for help. All the major brands will take responsibility and expedite a solution. Whether it’s a replacement part or a whole new tub.
Odds are that your local dealer is not located close to the factory your hot tub is coming from. Hot tubs are big, heavy items shipped by tractor-trailer or by train over a lot of uneven and bumpy roadways. If someone did not tighten down that one little connection, it can ruin your long-awaited delivery day. Same as above, open the service compartment and look around. If you are not sure what’s wrong and working with a reputable dealer, should address your issue quickly.
Believe it or not, even some professional electricians get this wrong. Not all manufacturers use the same system. The majority of big hot tubs are regular 220v systems and don’t require anything out of the ordinary. Some of the more sophisticated hot tubs will work at multiple amperages or require more than one breaker. If your hot tub does not turn on or trips the breaker as soon as it is on, then I would have your electrician review the directions from the manufacturer and review his work. If all else fails, call the store you purchased your hot tub from for additional help.
This is the one that stumps most new hot tub owners. The power is on, and you hear the pumps making noise, but no jets. Chances are there is no water inside the pump. What has happened? When you filled your hot tub, did you put your garden hose down inside the filter opening? This is the best practice when you fill your hot tub. This will help get water inside the pump and push out the air. If you are experiencing what we call an airlock, it will take some patience to resolve it.
Try using your garden hose to force water into the pump. Remove your filter/filters, if you see an open hole where the filter goes this is where your hose should go. If you don’t see the hole check to see if the standpipe where the filter goes over will unthread. Try your spa again.
If that is unsuccessful then a more direct approach is needed. I have a video below from Master Spas that explains the best way to fix this problem. I found this method is the most effective. You could also try and remove the hose from the bleeder line, however, it is made of plastic and can break easily. I have also seen plungers used over the jets. This method can be hit or miss depending on if you can find the correct jet closest to the pump in question.
How to remove an Airlock
Water Looks Bad after a week
Don’t blame the hot tub. A lot of first-time hot tub owners experience this. Your hot tub is something new, and you are probably getting in it every day and enjoying it. The basic problem is the US, and what we bring into the water. Laundry soap, body wash, shampoo, makeup, and all kinds of other products we use every day. Sanitizers like chlorine and bromine don’t break most of these down. To solve this you need products that specifically break these down, which should be available at your local dealer. I personally use Spa Perfect by Natural Chemistry. Be sure you are also testing your water at least once a week to make sure your Alkalinity, pH, and Phosphate levels are good. Consult the directions for the sanitizer system that you are using to get the proper levels.
The best way to minimize this problem is to use a hot tub-only swimsuit that is washed less often and rinsed thoroughly. A shower before you use the hot tub should wash away a lot of the beauty and hygiene products on your skin and hair. Even with some of those suggestions, some of these can still get into your water and cause problems. If you are experiencing a severe water clarity problem that nothing seems to work. Try draining half of the water and refill the hot tub. This will often dilute the water chemistry and should solve most problems.
Keys to Success for Best Water Clarity
- Test your water weekly
- Maintain recommended sanitizer level
- Use products designed to break down soaps and oils
- Keep Alkalinity, pH and Phosphates in their proper range
- Use hot tub-only swimsuits
- Shower before using your hot tub
- Check and rinse filters monthly. Weekly during heavy use
- Purge plumping lines at least once a year with a purging chemical
- Drain and refill your hot tub every 4 months or as recommended by your manufacture