Hot tub / spa pump assembly (C) Daniel FriedmanHot Tub, Spa, Whirlpool Bath Diagnosis
Troubleshoot & Repair Spas / Hot Tubs & Whirlpool Baths

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Hot tub & spa or whirlpool bath troubleshooting & repair:

This article describes the diagnosis & repair of common hot tub or spa problems at the blower unit, the spa or hot tub filter, including filter leaks, spa or hot tub heater repairs, hot tub or spa jet repairs, hot tub and spa motor or wet end troubleshooting & repair or replacement, and fixing other leaks at a hot tub or spa.

This article series describes the use, operation, maintenance as well as common problems, troubleshooting, & repair suggestions for hot tubs, spas, and whirlpool baths.

We discuss hot tub leaks, broken hot tub or spa jets, hot tub or spa water temperature & heater repair, hot tub or spa pump diagnosis & repair, hot tub or spa filter maintenance, cleaning & repair, noisy air pumps at hot tubs, noisy water pumps at the hot tub or spa, and other hot tub, spa or whirlpool bath diagnosis & repair topics.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Spa / Hot Tub Troubleshooting & Leak Repairs

Checking for leaks around the bottom of the cap of the hot tub filter assembly (C) Daniel Friedman

Article Contents

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Spa Blower Assembly: the air pump

Air is delivered to hot tubs or whirlpool baths in one or sometimes two methods:

  1. Air inlet to jets: Air enters the water jets by manually opening an air inlet valve, usually a plastic turn-screw on the tub edge. The yellow arrow marks the tub rim air inlet valve to admit air into the water jet system.

    No separate motor is needed for this feature; by opening an air inlet on the water suction piping, air is drawn into the water jet piping system for the jets powered by the circulating pump.
  1. Air blower motor: Air is forced through separate piping and up through small openings in the tub bottom, seats, or sides by a separate blower or air pump - discussed here. This feature, found on hot tubs and some other spas may be absent from a simpler whirlpool bath or jetted tub. You can see the pneumatic tub-rim blower on / off button at the white arrow on the right side our photo above.

Air controls on a hot tub or whirlpool tub (C) Daniel Friedman

Below at left in the photo taken from underneath the tub rim we see the plastic tube that connects the pneumatic switch on the tub side to the electrical control that in turn will switch on the blower motor. The right-hand switch and plastic tube controls the speed of the water circulating pump.

Pneumatic switches and tubing for hot tub controls (C) Daniel Friedman

Below we see these two plastic tubes at their connection to the electrical controls below the tub. The tube from the tub rim blower switch connects to the blower switch relay on the electrical control box below the tub while the pump switch, as we noted, will control the water circulating pump speed.

Heat Wave II Hot tub / Spa Heater Control (C) Daniel Friedman

Check the hot tub controls' pneumatic tubing: If your whirlpool or spa has a blower unit an it's not turning on, check below the tub, following the plastic tubing, to be sure that it is connected at both ends and that it has not been crimped, cut, or perforated.

Replace a bad blower control switch: Next (below) we show the two pneumatically-operated electrical switches inside the control box shown just above. In effect, the user is pushing a button that compresses air in the switch and tubing system that in turn operates an electrical switch inside the control box.

This safety feature avoids having people floating about in a hot tub having to touch an electrical switch directly - touching an electrical control directly while wet or in a tub is likely to kill you.

Pneumatic switches in the hot tub control box (C) Daniel Friedman

The blower switch and pump switch mounted in this spa /hot tub control are pneumatic devices that can fail and may need replacement. Below is a close-up of one of these that has been removed from the controller.

Pneumatic switch for spa / hot tub (C) Daniel Friedman

This pneumatic switch, model TBS212 is produced by Tridelaga Industries, Mentor OH 44060.

Check the air blower motor assembly: Below we see the actual blower unit for this hot tub/spa. You can ignore that spare filter atop the blower. It was so dirty that we threw it away.

Hot tub or spa air blower assembly and motor (C) Daniel Friedman

This blower was so noisy we left it off. Further investigation and repair are in order. The blower unit shown is a Santanna Conger Brothers unit.

Watch out: notice that open electrical box with two yellow twist-on wire connectors? Touching these, especially while you're wet and standing on a wet floor, is asking for death by electrocution. We need to install a cover on this electrical box.

Spa / Hot Tub Filter Leak Repair - Using Epoxy to Repair Leaks at the Spa Filter Top

We moved this discussion to a new page. Please see SPA / HOT TUB FILTER LEAK REPAIR

Leaky spa filter cap is evident by the white deposits (C) Daniel Friedman

Separately at SPA / HOT TUB FILTER REPLACEMENT you can see details of installing this new filter cover and checking the new installation for leaks.

Watch out: when ordering hot tub or spa parts such as the filter canister cover be sure that you also order the necessary o-rings, seals, gaskets. Typically the filter cover is sold bare without the needed seals.

Spa / Whirlpool Tub Heater Repairs

If your hot tub or spa heater is not heating properly see details at SPA / HOT TUB HEATER REPAIR

Heat Wave II Hot tub / Spa Heater Control (C) Daniel Friedman

The Heat Wave II hot tub / spa heater shown above was produced by Hot Water Products, 5542 Research Drive, Huntington Beach CA 92649, USA, Tel: 714-891-5509

Spa / Hot Tub Jet Repairs

Reader Question: how to fix a clogged spa or whirlpool bath jet

2016/02/29 Terry said:

Spa bath has no flow from one of 10 jets?

This question was posted originally at SPAS WHIRLPOOLS SOAKING & JETTED TUBS


When only one jet is misbehaving and the other 9 are working, we can eliminate a worry about the pump, timer, or controls.

First and most important: check for a disconnected and leaky tube feeding the non-performing jet. Remove the tub access panel and with power to the tub OFF to avoid shock risk, look with care for signs of water or flooding under and around the unit.

While looking under the tub from its access side, I'd inspect for a clogged or crimped tube to that jet.

Next, as on some spas the jet assembly can be removed from the tub side, see if you can disassemble and clean it, looking for a blockage.

Armed with the brand and tub model, if you don't have the owners' manual, download one from the manufacturer. Most spa manuals include a troubleshooting guide at the end of the document. There may be specific clogged jet advice from your manufacturer.

Also check:

1. The filter unit: see if air needs to be bled from the filter. Typically there is an air bleeder screw or valve that can be opened at the top of the filter unit.

2. If there are more than one intake port in the tub be sure the water intake is not clogged with hair and debris.

Spa / Hot Tub Pumps

This topic has been moved to SPA / HOT TUB PUMP REPAIR

Hot tub / spa pump assembly (C) Daniel Friedman

Find & Fix Other Leaks at the Hot Tub

Leak points at a spa, hot tub or jetted are described at SPA / HOT TUB LEAKS


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