Troubleshooting a Broken-Down Spa, Jacuzzi, or Hot Tub


What to do when your hot tub joys turn into sorrows...

Busted hot tub? Don’t despair.  Most people don't have any experience in repairing an indoor or outdoor Jacuzzi tub.  However, just because you may be unqualified to handle major repairs, you can still troubleshoot and resolve minor issues.

If you’ve have a broken hot tub, here are some troubleshooting tips for you to try out. 

We'll cover some common hot tub technical problems and some do-it-yourself solutions. Hopefully these pointers can get your hot tub back in working order before you have to resort to shelling out cash for a repair technician.

Hot tub won't heat up

The Problem: The heater won’t turn on.

The Solution: Check the power, wires, and water.

The Source: Unfortunately, there are a few different reasons why your heater might not be able to turn on. This usually means the electrical connection to the pump is faulty or weak, that the water pressure detector inside of the broken hot tub is either defective or clogged, or that the water flow low.

Clear out any sort of clogs around the filter, skimmer baskets, and pump, and make sure that the pump is sending a regular supply of water and is also receiving power (make sure your wiring isn’t frayed or damaged!).

Water never gets hot

The Problem: The heater turns on, but keeps shutting off randomly.

The Solution: Check the power and water (again).

The Source: There could be a few different issues at play here (again). The most likely problem has to do with water pressure. Are there any error codes displayed? Clearing out any blockage and replacing the water pressure switch are good places to start, and will make sure that you’re accounting for improper water detection as well as improper pressure detection. However, if the pump simply shuts itself off without a displayed error message, it is probably a problem with connectivity and power, which means your wires are likely damaged, corroded, or broken.

Heat pump is on but water remains cold

The Problem: The heat pump is running, but not actually heating the water.

The Solution: Inspect your heat pump and make sure it receives enough power, enough water, and is set to the temperature you want it. You could also invest in a solar cover for your broken hot tub, which will help keep in heat and is much more energy efficient!

The Source: It’s too cold outside! Sounds easy enough, right? The truth is that if your pump is receiving the right amounts of water and power is set to a high temperature, the weather must be too cold for the pump’s heating to function. Not all heat pumps are designed to withstand low temperatures. You’re going to just have to wait it out or invest in some new, higher-performance equipment for your pump, or replace the pump entirely.

Water is leaking from the heat pump

The Problem: Your heat pump is leaking water.

The Solution: If you can, test the contents of the leakage puddle for chlorine levels; if not, check all the connections for a visible leak. Otherwise…

The Source: It’s likely not a leak at all, but just some normal condensation. Most heaters and pumps follow a cycle of heating and defrosting, which causes a sweat-like condensation, producing a small amount of water.

Other possible issues

The Problem: Anything with the refrigeration or refrigerant components, which, while it sounds contradictory or ironic, are very important for the function of your heater.

The Solution: Call a professional! It is highly inadvisable to attempt to tamper with refrigeration units by yourself.

Unlike the issues stemming from weak wire connections and defective water pressure detectors like those mentioned above, refrigeration units are usually quite fragile and the components are often under high pressure. This makes them dangerous for any person to stick their hands in, much less an unqualified hot tub owner (no offense). You’d be better off contacting a hot tub repair technician right away.

The Source: It doesn’t matter – no broken hot tub is worth risking electrocution or injury, just call a technician!

Hopefully this list of common troubleshooting tips is helpful to you. If there’s one thing to take away, it’s that regular maintenance is ultimately more efficient and will save you much more money than ignoring smaller problems until something major comes up.

In the event that the time has come to rid yourself of the hot tub, contact us or your local hauling company. After all, nobody really needs this in their backyard:


backyard junk, diy, hot tub, how to, tips

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