Hot Tub Air Lock Symptoms


What is an airlock in a hot tub?

Have you ever opened your hot tub ready to start running only for the jets to refuse to corporate? If yes, then you are likely to have come across an airlock problem. When the air gets stuck in your tub’s plumbing systems, an airlock is expected to occur. This can then interfere with your jets operations or make them stop working entirely.

Since the jests are the primary elements that make your tub a hot tub, leading water through the heater into the tub’s bowl, having them not work as they ought to be is a big deal.

Sometimes you will know you have an airlock problem from a humming sound around the jets or pump. When this happens, you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Although the issue is not catastrophic at first, it can cost you a lot of money when buying and fixing new jets if it persists.

How do you get rid of an airlock in a hot tub?

There are two common ways anyone can use to fix an airlock problem. The first one involves turning the jets on and off for a while until they resume their normal function. You will need to do this for 10 to 20 seconds at most to get a suitable response. If it doesn’t work, you will need to bleed the pumps using a screwdriver to get the jets working.

You might need a second priming session in case the first one doesn’t work. To ensure that you are priming properly, make sure that:

  • The ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is off
  • If it is not, turn it off manually
  • The slice valves are locked facing their upward position
  • Diverter valves remain centered to allow even water distribution when the jets and pumps are on
  • Jets are rotated following the open position when the flow is out
  • There is no debris in the suction and filter drain covers

Once all these elements are in place, try turning on your GFCI and repeat the priming with pumps at full speed. If this still fails to work, then the issue could be something beyond your fixing. Contact the manufacturer as soon as you can for further advice. Never call a plumber to fix it until you have a word from the manufacturer.

Preventing Hot Tub Air Lock

An airlock can lead to huge damages if not taken care of right away. However, instead of having to deal with the airlock in the first place, you can prevent the issue from occurring. Your hot tub’s pumps are designed to pump water and not air.

Therefore, you ought to keep them from having air running in and out as much as possible. To do this, ensure that the hose drops to the bottom of the empty filter canister instead of the tub’s bowl itself. This keeps the water filling the internal plumbing system and pump and keeps it from having an airlock.

The moment that you are done filling your tub turn off the ground fault circuit interrupter to bleed the pump. Open the bleed valves using a screwdriver until water trickles out, then close the valves. By doing this, you keep air from the plumbing system, thus preventing an airlock. The process will also remove any air that had initially gotten into that space and avoid any further build-ups.

To ensure that everything is in check, turn on the jets to confirm proper functioning. Ensure that water is coming out every jet efficiently before you leave the tub to run on its own.

Will an airlock clear itself?

It is unwise to imagine that just because the air causing an airlock easily entered your plumbing system that it can find its way out just as easy. This system was built to help in the proper flow of water in and out of the tub and to ensure that the jets work efficiently.

Every time an airlock occurs, the pump’s circulation cannot prime accordingly, thus keeping the jets dry or ineffective. This way, your heater will not also serve its purpose.

The only way you can clear the airlock without much hassle is by turning the jets on and off periodically for about 10 to 20 seconds. This way, you force the system to exert pressure on the trapped air, thus pushing it out on its own.

However, if you have tried this for nearly a minute without any success, you will have to correct the jets manually. It doesn’t take much time or effort to do so, and you can fix it yourself.

Ensure that you observe safety precautions while at it. Keep the heater off and carefully use a screw to bleed the pumps or create a temporary vacuum for the air to pass out.

How do you clear an airlock?

You will notice you have an airlock issue the moment you try to turn on your water supply with no success. For a hot tub, this leads to one not getting any drop from the jets.

To clear an airlock, you need first of all to make sure that you are working in a safe space. For starters, turn off the heater. You do not want it kicking on you while trying to purge the air. It can easily cause steam burns or overheating, thus damaging it entirely.

If the water in the tub is already hot, cool it down to warm or at least comfortable enough for you to safely clear the airlock. Sometimes the air clearing process is well outlined in the manufacturer’s guide. If this is so, follow it to the latter.

If not, turn the jet’s faceplates counterclockwise and let the pump on at full pressure for about ten seconds. Repeat this twice or thrice, and you will be good to go. As soon as the air is cleared out, water will rush through all the jets as it ought to.

In case of any other problems, seek professional help or call the manufacturer’s support system.

Editorial Staff

I'm Adnan Sabanovic, the guy behind Hot Tubs Report. I've had a chance to enjoy hot tubs last few years and have really become interested in owning one of them. Nearly every weekend you'll find me spending time with my family or playing sports. If I am not doing that then I'm here writing about tubs on Hot Tubs Report. This blog is a research for my first hot tub which I decided to document and share publically so others can benefit from it as well.

Recent Posts