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Hot tub & spa or whirlpool bath leak repairs: leaks at the filter.
This article describes the repair of leaks at a hot tub or spa when traced to the filter canister or its top. We describe repairing a cracked Hayward filter dome top using epoxy - twice, and after the second repair failed, we describe replacing the top entirely.
Photo at page top: leaks at the filter dome cap of this Hayward hot tub filter occurred after the top was dropped - it cracked. An epoxy repair worked ... for a while.
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 Filter Leak Repair - Using Epoxy to Repair Leaks at the Spa Filter Tops
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Above: white salts all over the filter dome top indicate a history of leaks.
Earlier we noted that on first returning this spa / hot tub to service the top of the filter unit leaked like mad. Someone had previously dropped, cracked, and repaired the top of the filter used at this hot tub / spa. But the filter top leaked badly when we turned on the spa pump, and when we set the pump to high speed water squirted into the room as if from a fire hose. We decided to try renewing the epoxy repair to the cracked filter top using epoxy.
Below: loose epoxy, indicated that the old repair was now failing and needed replacement.
Above: close-up of the old epoxy "repair" of the cracked spa filter dome top. The epoxy was no longer bonded to the cap and the cap leaked badly when we turned on the pump.
Below: close up showing cracks through the plastic dome in several areas. I suspect that David or Andrew dropped this cap and unfortunately it fell smack down on the air bleeder assembly. They'll deny it.
We removed the dome top, cleaned it with alcohol, used 400-grit sandpaper to lightly abrade the plastic in the area of (many) cracks around the air bleeder screw opening on both the exterior and interior of the dome, then we applied epoxy glue to the cracks on both sides of the cap. We took care not to let the epoxy drool into and block the two air bleeder openings on the underside of the cap and to keep epoxy out of the screw threads for the air bleeder screw.
Below: our next photo shows the first attempt at applying new epoxy to these old cracks.
The epoxy wanted to run into the air bleeder hole (blue arrow) when we applied it to the under-side of the dome cap. Repeated cleaning of the opening with at toothpick kept the air bleeder opening clear.
Below: work in process sealing the exterior of the dome cap of the strainer / filter unit for this hot tub.
Below: close up of the repaired filter dome cap.
Watch out: in addition to keeping epoxy out of the two air vent openings inside the dome cap for this spa filter, we needed to avoid getting epoxy onto or into the threaded opening for the air bleeder screw. But just leaving the screw in place might risk gluing it in place. So we installed and removed it several times, wiping and monitoring its threads to be sure they were clean of glue.
Below: here is the repaired filter cap back in place.
Damn: it still leaks, but now it just drips rather than sprays. Another pass will be needed for finding and sealing any remaining cracks in this top. Or the top dome can simply be replaced.
Hayward Star-Clear cartridge filter head dome: Part No. CX250C Filter Head (Dome) with Air Relief Valve
Hayward Star-Clear cartridge filter head gasket: Part No. CX250F
Hayward Star-Clear filter head dome securing-screw o-ring: Part No. CX250Z7
Hayward spa / hot tub filter cartridge: Part No. C-250-R.
For this repair ordered a replacement filter head dome along with replacement gaskets to be delivered by mail as this was less costly and faster than ordering through a local pool equipment supplier. Below you can see the replacement filter cover in place as I check for leaks.
Also see SPA / HOT TUB REPAIR PARTS, SUPPLIES, SERVICES for help finding repair parts for your hot tub or spa or whirlpool bath.
Of course horrible hot tub filter leaks such as at a cracked filter canister dome top (discussed above) will be visible as water squirting all over the place. But drips can be harder to track down.
At SPA / HOT TUB FILTER REPLACEMENT we illustrated replacing a filter cartridge followed by carefully drying off the exterior of the filter canister to inspect for leaks. That's the same procedure you'll use any time you are checking for leaks around the filter canister and its piping. Dry everything carefully, then feel with a dry finger at each fitting and connection. If your finger comes away wet, either you didn't dry thoroughly or you have found a leak.
Here are places where spa / hot tub filter leaks are common:
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Leaks at the hand-screw securing the Hayward (or other brand) spa filter dome cap to the filter canister body. This leak occurs if the o-ring or gasket that seals the hand screw under-side to the top of the filter canister top is lost, cracked, or damaged. The red arrow in our photo above points to the location of the o-ring in the filter canister cap. Below I'm pointing to droplets of water oozing out of this new dome cap - when I ordered it I needed to order the requisite top gasket or o-ring shown by the red arrow in our previous photo.
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.
Leaks at the joint of the filter top dome to the filter canister body: if the filter top is not secured tightly or the main gasket is defective or missing you may see leaks between the filter canister top and the canister body (my finger in the photo above).
You can see a new dome cap gasket to the left of the spa filter canister dome cap in our photo below. The filter mounts on the rim of the filter canister body.
Leaks at the filter air bleeder valve: the valve needs to be screwed in more tightly, a bit of non-hardening teflon paste is needed on the valve threads (don't block the air vent), or the air vent screw o-ring is damaged or missing. You can see the O-ring in our photo just below.
Leaks at a gauge fitting or other tapping on the hot tub filter dome cap.You can see this fitting just above, and below we illustrate how I prevent leaks at this location, using non-hardening teflon paste. Wipe off the excess pipe sealant before re-installing this plug and of course wipe off the mess of sealant you smeared all over the dome cap too.
Leaks at the filter canister drain valve: the valve body needs to be re-sealed to the canister body or the valve stop washer needs replacement - or the whole valve needs replacement
Leaks at the pressure gauge mounted on the hot tub or spa filter canister body or cap. If you see water inside the gauge glass the gauge has failed and needs replacement. Also check for leaks around the threads of the gauge base where it screws into the spa filter canister body or cap.
Leaks at the spa or jetted tub pump wet-end occur when the motor shaft seal is worn or when the gasket at the wet end cover had failed - photo below.
Find & Fix Other Leaks at the Hot Tub
Other common spa or hot tub leak points include:
Leaks at the spa drain valve
Leaks in spa water piping below the tub
Leaks in the spa pump wet end - shown below
Leaks at the tub rim abutment to tub surround or wall
Leaks in the suction piping introducing excessive air into the water circulating assembly
Leaks in the pneumatic tubing connecting tub-rim switches to electrical controls - the air leak at these components will prevent the switch from working; it's not a water leak.
Where the tub rim meets tile at a wall or the top of the
surround, use a flexible caulk rather than grout, which will
crack as the tub flexes, and expands and contracts with
Continue reading at SPA HOT TUB WHIRLPOOL REPAIRS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.
Hayward Industries: spa, hot tub, pool supplies: Website: http://www.hayward-pool.com/shop/en/pools, Hayward Pool Products, Inc., 620 Division Street, Elisabeth NJ 07207, USA, in Canada: 2880 Plymouth Drive, Oakville, Ontario L6H 5R4 Tel: (908) 355-7995 (U.S.) Letter: Hayward Pool Products
Attn: Technical Services
One Hayward Industrial Drive
Clemmons, NC 27102
(Hayward pool and spa products are sold locally in major cities in various countries)
Atlantis Spa and Pool
1410 Highway #2 West
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Tel: (218) 326 3933
Hayward Pool Products dealer
Horizon Pool Supply, 2125 Energy Park Drive
St. Paul, MN 55108 Tel: (800) 969-0454 Website: http://www.horizonpoolsupply.com/
One on One Pools & Spas, 4088 Misty Morning Dr, Hermantown, MN 55811 Tel: 218-260-8992
Online Pool Supplies via Internet:
Your Pool HQ, LLC, Website: https://www.yourpoolhq.com, Tel: 877-721-2555
Pools of Fun 4281 Haines Road
Duluth MN, 55811
(218) 727-7963 Website: http://www.poolsoffunduluth.com/Home.html,
provides Hayward pool supplies & repair services. [Recommended by DF as particularly helpful and courteous. 2016/03/02]
Hot Tub & Spa Repair Service: Minnesota north shore, Duluth MN area: Northland Spa Service, 4701 Woodland Ave., Duluth MN 55803, Tel: 218-390-9257, Chuck, 218-727-7963 (Works with Pools of Fun company listed above as well as other Minnesota north shore hot tub and spa suppliers)
Special thanks to Chuck from Northland Spa Service for on-site hot tub consulting, inspection, diagnosis & repair advice, 2016/03/11.
Hot Tub Sales, Installation, Parts: Minnesota north shore,
Pools of Fun Pool & Spa Center, 4281 Haines Rd, Hermantown, MN 55811
(218) 727-7963 (You will need to provide make, model, serial number, date of manufacture of your hot tub when calling)
Pool Supplies Online Duluth GA, Toll Free: 1-866-534-9725 (USA) Fax: 1-866-534-9725 (USA) 390 N. Orange Ave. Suite 2300 Orlando, FL 32801
Hayward Star Clear Filter Manual [PDF], retrieved 2016/03/02, original source: http://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/manuals/StarClear.pdf , Hayward Pool Products, Inc., 620 Division Street, Elisabeth NJ 07207, USA, in Canada: 2880 Plymouth Drive, Oakville, Ontario L6H 5R4
(Note: this manual covers the spa / hot tub filter illustrated in the article above)
Hayward Star Clear Filter Part Explosion [PDF], retrieved 2016/03/02, original source: http://www.hayward-pool.com/images/pdf/parts-diagrams/Star-Clear.pdf
(Note: this parts illustration & list covers the spa / hot tub filter illustrated in the article above)
National Electrical Code (NEC) Article 680, at Mike Holt's Forum: original source: https://www.mikeholt.com/mojonewsarchive/NEC-HTML/HTML/SwimmingPoolInstallations~20021227.htm
This text includes the contents of Article 680 of the U.S. NEC along with author's comments that help interpret the code.
Trouble Free Pool [pool care website], retrieved 2016/03/13, original source: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/84-How-do-I-use-Bromine-in-my-spa-(or-pool)
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