Your Hot Tub Circulation Pump Runs Constantly?

Circulation pumps are low-flow pumps that circulate heated, chemically treated, and filtered water all through the hot tub. Some pumps have a circulation pump while others have a two-jet pump. To know whether your spa has a circulation pump, check on the amps required on the user manual. All pumps with lower than 1.5 Amps are circulation pumps. 

Circulation pumps usually have two functions:

  • To constantly filter the water
  • To push water through the heater.

So yes, your circulation pump should always be on, and that is not a problem. In addition to the circulation pump, you can also set addition filter cycles using the main pump(s).

In case your circuit logic is the same as regular tubs then, above 95 degrees, the circulation pump will shut off if the actual water temperature is too high above the set temperature. The reason for this is to stop the pump from putting any extra heat into the system in case you live somewhere very hot like AZ for example.

So, in short, your system is working fine and it is recommended to leave it alone. By the way, the circulation pumps cost very little to operate.

Hot Tub Circulation Pump not Working?

Naturally, a circulation pump can last for 10 to 15 years but just like other components of a hot tub, the circulation pump can stop working at any time. Three scenarios can make your circulation pump to stop working. Here is an analysis of each of these situations. 

The Pump Starts Making Noise 

A circulation pump can make grinding or gurgling noises while in operation. Usually, it’s as a result of worn-out bearings, dirty filters, or a clogged propeller. If you diagnose the exact problem and fix it, the pump should work fine. Replacing the bearings, cleaning out the filters, or unclogging the propeller should sort out the problem of a noisy pump. 

The Pump Could be Dead 

A pump can also stop working if it’s dead. When a circulation pump goes dead, you should see an error code OH or FLO on the control panel. When you notice the pump isn’t functioning, you want to make sure that the power outlet is switched on and the circuit breakers aren’t tripped. Then, follow the plumbing work to make sure the wiring has no-fault. 

Removing the cartridge filter should improve the performance of the pump. If that doesn’t work, then you might have to replace the circulation pump. 

The Circulation Pump cannot Pump 

If you notice that the spa has low volumes of water, it means the circulation pump is barely pumping the water. If that happens, remove the filter and clean it. Check to see whether the flow improves. If it doesn’t, then you need to replace the filter. 

How do I Reset my Hot Tub Pump?

The pump and the heater work together to circulate heated water through the jets. You may need to reset the pump and the heater if they don’t function appropriately. Here are the steps to follow. 

  1. On the heater, find a red button covered by a rubber – this is the high limit reset switch.
  2. If it’s popped, it means that it’s tripped. Press it once and if it pops right back, you need to check on the voltage.
  3. Next, you want to check on all circuit breakers and turn them on if they’ve tripped.
  4. Finally, reset the GFCI button by simply pressing on it. 

How do you Prime a Hot Tub Circulation Pump?

Priming helps to remove any air trapped in the circulation pump. If a pump isn’t primed, the motor works fine but no water flows through the jets. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to prime your hot tub circulation pump. 

  • Turn off the power switch connected to the hot tub.
  • Take off the handle of the massage selector connected to the pump that needs priming.
  • Slightly turn the cap of the massage selector in an anti-clockwise direction.
  • You should hear some hissing sound coming from the pump.
  • After the hissing stops, turn the cap in the opposite direction and tighten it.
  • Switch on the power connection and set the hot tub ready for use. 

How do you Troubleshoot a Hot Tub Pump?

The hot tub pump is the most important part of a spa. Otherwise, you could have the shell and water but they don’t heat or the heat doesn’t circulate evenly throughout the spa. Here is how to troubleshoot the hot tub pump in different scenarios. 

Low Pressure 

If your pump has very low pressure, it could be dirt trapped in the filters. Start by cleaning the filters and the leaf traps. If the problem doesn’t resolve, then drain all the water from the hot tub and carry out a line flush. A line flush helps to eliminate any gunk impeding on the system. 

The Motor Turns on and off Constantly 

A motor that keeps switching on and off could be because of a tripped circuit breaker. If you inspect the breaker and it functions right, then have a professional inspect the wiring. The motor itself could also be faulty and needs replacement. 

Water Leaks 

Water leaks are also a common problem with spa pumps. Leaks start slow but later become a huge problem. Water corrodes the electrical wiring and in return affects the circuit breakers. 

Leaks could happen near the jets, on the impeller, or as a result of worn-out unions. If you suspect a leakage, open the spa cabinet and use a flashlight to check for any signs of moisture.

Why is There no Power to my Hot Tub?

In some cases, you may get to your hot tub only to find there’s no power and it won’t turn on. Well, these are common problems you can fix quickly. Here are some of the reasons why the power on your hot tub can go off and what you need to do. 

Blown Fuse 

Fuses blow when there’s a spike in the voltage that passes through. A fuse can also blow if the pump or blower experiences some short circuits. The solution to a blown fuse is to have the transformer checked for voltage or replacing the fuses. 

High Limit Switch Tripping 

The high limit switch is important to the functionality of your spa because it prevents it from overheating. When the high limit switch trips, the hot tub cannot switch on until you reset it. You can quickly reset the switch using the reset button and your power will automatically turn on. 

Tripping Breaker 

If you don’t have power on your hot tub, you’ll want to check whether the circuit breaker is tripped. If that’s the problem, then switch the breaker off then on again to reset it. If the problem persists, it could either imply you have a problem with the voltage or a faulty circuit breaker. In either case, you should have a professional check it out for you. 

Faulty Wires 

Faulty wiring can cause circuit breakers to trip, fuses to blow, and your hot tub won’t function. Rodents and power spikes can make wires faulty. We recommend hiring a professional electrician to inspect and repair faulty wires. 

Tripped GFCI 

The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter helps to keep your hot tub safe by monitoring the currents flowing to the spa. If there’s a problem with current flow, the GFCI responds by switching off the power. You can reset the GFCI by pressing the red reset button. If the button pops back up, it implies a voltage problem that requires a professional to fix. 

How do I Know if my Hot Tub Fuse is Blown?

You’ll know if your fuse is blown if your power is still on but the water doesn’t heat. Fuses are meant to blow in the event of power spikes. By blowing, fuses protect other components of the spa such as pumps and jets from excess amperage. 

A blown fuse could point out a transformer that passes so much voltage that your hot tub cannot withstand. It could also mean that your pump or blower has a short circuit. In such scenarios, you want to make sure to replace the fuses. 

However, you also want to have the electrical wiring and transformer checked because even the new fuses will blow as well. Hire a professional to help you fix the electrical connections so that only the right voltage goes through the fuses. 

When replacing a fuse, we recommend that you check the user manual of the blown one. Replace with an exact replica because different fuses are built for different voltages.

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Emily Williams

Emily is a passionate Hot Tubs researcher who loves writing about all things Hot Tubs! She has years of experience and a knack for simplifying complex concepts, these articles are here to answer all your burning questions in a simple and easy to read style.
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