Don't let a hot tub leak destroy your weekend! This how-to article will teach you everything you need to know about fixing a hot tub leak.
There's nothing more frustrating than having a leaky hot tub. It's expensive to replace the whole thing, and it's tough to pinpoint where the leak is coming from. So if you've ever tried to fix a hot tub leak, you know how difficult it can be. Fortunately, we're here to help. We'll show you the best ways to fix a hot tub leak step by step.
Tools and Materials
There are many different ways in which a hot tub can leak, and the cause will determine which tools and materials you'll need. A local pool supply shop will be your best resource for replacement parts and materials. However, if your supplier doesn't offer shipping, you may have to order online.
A good shopping list for someone who wants to buy more stuff should include:
- Water pump pliers
- Spackle knife
- Tubing cutter
- Heat gun
- Spa fittings and couplings
- PVC pipe or hose
- Leak-stopper liquid
- Various gaskets
- Spray foam insulation
Key Takeaways: Make sure to get all the tools you need before making repairs on your hot tub. They're usually found in the plumbing section of your local hardware store.
Where do most leaks occur?
There are many possible sources of leaks in your hot tub, but the most common ones come from worn-out, loose, or poorly fitted parts. Leaks can occur in the heater and pump systems. The heater and pump systems may have cracked or worn-out parts.
They can also occur in the drain valve cover or drain hose. The drain hose is connected to the drain valve and is used to release water from the tub. If the drain hose is damaged, it can allow water to leak into the tub.
Key Takeaways: Hot tub parts wear out or become loose over time. Knowing where to find leaks and fix them yourself will save you a ton of money on repairs.
Fix small leaks first
Unless you find an indication of a much larger leak, it's best to do some investigating first before ripping things out from under your hot tub. Pinholes and small cracks caused by age, cold temperatures, or manufacturing flaws can often be fixed with a simple fix in a bottle.
But first, you want to figure out where to put the product. Do some sort of "leak test" to ensure the leak isn't coming from the pump. If so, then you can try to find a place to plug the hole yourself and see if the leak stops.
Take note of the water level and allow the hot tub to run for 24 hours. If the water level doesn't drop, you've fixed the leak. If the water loss slows, repeat the process with more leak sealers.
Key Takeaways: Don't skip this step. You'll be saving a lot of time and avoid needlessly tearing your hot tub apart. If leaks persist, move on to the next step.
Fix leaking hot tub pump or heater
Common areas for leaks are often found in and around the pump and heater. You can usually access these areas by lifting off the side panels. They can be easily removed using hand-held tools.
When you remove a pump from its enclosure, you usually find some evidence of what went wrong during installation. The most common problem is a cracked rubber fitting or an O-ring that has been worn out.
Power off the unit and close the gate valves on either side of the pump. Using the screwdriver and pump pliers, remove the leaky fittings and take them to your local pool supply shop to find a replacement.
Finally, reassemble the machine in the opposite order, then open the valve, turn the pump on, and make sure that it doesn't leak.
Key Takeaways: Hot tub fittings lose their elasticity over time, causing them to loosen or crack. Sometimes it's just a simple case of improper placement.
How to Fix Leaks Around the Light
Another common area for leaks is the spa light. When the water levels drop to around the height of the light, it could be because of a crack in the light fixture itself or the gasket behind it.
Turn off the power to the hot tub and remove the side panel. From underneath the hot tub, turn on all of the lights and look for moisture. If the water isn't evident, remove the next panel and continue checking lights for moisture. Once you've determined the light that's leaking, locate the bulb that goes into the fixture.
Use a large pair of pliers to remove the plastic retaining nut that holds it in place. Cutaway the insulation foam for access. Push the lens from the back so it drops into the hot tub.
Spa lights come in different styles and sizes, so it's best to take the fixture to a pool supply store and allow them to either match it with a new light or provide a replacement gasket.
Key Takeaways: If your water level stops dropping around your hot tub's lights, you can almost certainly tell it's one of those lights that needs fixing.
Hot tub jet leaks
The hot tub jet system needs to be replaced with new hoses or damaged components. Pull out the hose clamps with the pump pliers and slide them onto the side. Don't yank the hoses if they are difficult to remove. Use a heat gun to warm them up a bit.
If the jet is cracked, you can either take it to a spa store for a replacement or buy a new gasket. Put the gasket over the back of the jet, place it into the hole from the inside of the tub, and tighten the plastic retaining nut from inside the access area to get the jet back.
Attach the hoses, heat them if necessary, and then slide the hose clamps back over the fittings after the repair is complete. Test the hot tub for leaks and cover the repair area with a can of spray foam.
Key Takeaways: Hot tub jets are a common source of leaks because they undergo immense pressure, which causes parts or fittings to crack or loosen.
Hose and pipe leaks
Sometimes you just don't know where the leak is coming from. In this case, it may be necessary to remove the rubber and foam insulation to reveal the crack. You can remove the cracked section of pipe or hose with a tubing cutter or hacksaw.
Cut a section of the hot tub's old pipe and pick up some replacement material at a local home center and match it with the section of pipe or hose you want to use. Then connect the new pipe to the old one. After testing the repair by running the hot tub, you should replace the insulation with spray foam.
Key Takeaways: Pipe leaks require a lot more work. They're usually repaired last if leaks still persist.
In conclusion, Fixing a Hot Tub Leak requires a lot of patience. It's easy to get frustrated with the leak and become impatient with it. But in the end, you'll have a hot tub that's as good as new!