Please, My Hot Tub Is Leaking – Quick Fix Tips


Where do hot tubs usually leak?

It’s common for a hot tub to leak water sometimes. But how do you know where it’s leaking from? Here are some of the places where hot tubs can leak.

The shell

You would think the shell is the most durable part of a spa, but in some instances, it may lead to leakages. Leaks from the shell are often from holes on the surface or cracks on the attached components, such as jets.

Circulation pump

Before checking the circulation pump for possible leaks, make sure to switch off the power connection. Then check the area around the pump for any signs of water leaks. Spa pumps can leak from the unions, shaft seals, or the wet end volutes.

Plumbing connections

Each component of a spa is connected through some plumbing works. In some instances, the connecting pipes can have holes or cracks that cause leakages. With some, you only need to tighten the loose parts, but in some cases, you need to make replacements. You can seal holes and cracks on PVC pipes using plast-aid.

The heater

The heating components can also leak water from your hot tub. Usually, a faulty heater would require a full replacement. If, by a slight chance, it’s only one component on the heater that has a problem, then you only need to replace the single part.

Valves

Different models of spas have a variation of valves- some have valves on one side while others have valves on separate compartments.  The hot tubs with valves on one side of the pump are convenient because you don’t have to drain the water when inspecting them. The models with valves on different compartments and a gasket in between are more prone to leakages through the valves.

Why is my hot tub leaking from the bottom?

There isn’t one definite answer to this question because leakage from any part of the hot tub shows from the bottom. Here are some of the probable causes of leakages from the bottom of your hot tub.

Gaskets

Gaskets are rubber made, and over time, they wear out, making them inefficient. If these are the cause of leakage, then you’ll want to replace them.

Jets

If any of the water jets are leaking, the leakage will show at the bottom. You’ll want to check the jet connections to the shell, confirming if there are holes or cracks.

Shell

If your shell has a hole or a crack at the top, you can easily spot it. However, if it has an opening at the bottom, you won’t tell until you drain all the water from the hot tub. Holes or cracks on the bottom part of the shell are often the main culprits to leakages at the bottom of a hot tub.

How much does it cost to fix a hot tub leak?

The cost of repairing a hot tub leak depends on what component is faulty. If it’s just a simple part, then you may only have to spend less than $100. In some instances, the significant parts may cost even more than $500. For some, the expenses may be so high that it would be better to buy a new one altogether. Here is a guide on the cost of replacing certain aspects of a hot tub to give you an idea.

Hot tub componentCost of Replacement
Jets$20 – $50
Blowers$70 – $110
Control system$450
Circuit board$300
Spa lights$20 – $70 depending on size
Heater$120
Jet pump$200 – $300
Circulation pump$150 – $200

How do I stop my hot tub from leaking?

Now that you’ve realized your hot tub is leaking, what next? The action you take depends on where the leak is. Here is what to do in different circumstances.

Cracked pipes

When you have a cracked pipe, you can use an underwater adhesive to solve the problem. Another alternative is using pipe cement to fix another pipe on the crack or hole to seal it. If these don’t work, then you might want to replace the whole pipework.

Shell leaks

Leaks from the shell are the scariest because they feel like you need to buy another spa altogether. Lucky for you, modern acrylics used in the manufacture of hot tubs are durable and resistant to scratches. However, in the slightest chance, it happens. Then, plast-Aid should solve the problem.

Leaking jets

Jets are connected to the shell using a ring system and gaskets. The Jets become loose over time due to constant adjusting while using a hot tub. Gaskets, on the other hand, are prone to wearing out. If the jets leak due to damaged gaskets, you can quickly replace them as a DIY project. To fasten them, you can use a sealant around the area.

Valves

Valves are a common area of leakage. Before you consider replacing the valves, you might want to check the gaskets around them. Gaskets aren’t expensive, and replacing is also pretty quick. If a change of gaskets doesn’t solve your problem, then you need to change the valves.

How can I tell if my hot tub is leaking?

If you suspect water leakage in your hot tub, use a colored pencil to mark the water level inside the hot tub. After that, run the pump for 24 hours and mark the new level. Now, fill the hot tub with water to the original mark. Turn off the pump and leave the hot tub for 24 hours and mark the new water level after that.

If the water level drops while pumping, it means there is a leakage between the pump and the shell. The rapid drop of the water level after the pump stops running means presence of a leakage on the shell.

Is it worth fixing a hot tub?

Yes, it’s worth repairing a hot tub, depending on how long it has served you. A quality hot tub can perform for 10-15 years. If your hot tub has worked perfectly for say 7 years, repairs are worth it because it can go for another 3-10 years. However, if your hot tub breaks down after about 10 years, then it’s not worth repairing it. Instead, it’s recommended to replace it with another one.

Does Fix-a-leak for hot tubs work?

Yes, fix-a-leak works fine to seal leaks from cracks or holes not more than 1/8 inch wide. Fix a leak is a sealant that works for hot tubs and pools. The sealant can repair most minor leakage issues. With fix-a-leak, you don’t have to go for costly repairs.

Once you apply the sealant, it dries on the crack or hole, forming a permanent solution. However, in some situations, the expansion and contraction of the pipes can reopen the cracks.

Does Flex Seal work on hot tubs?

Yes, flex seals work on hot tubs. The seal comes either in spray form or tape form. As much as flex seals can stop leaks on a bathtub, it’s not a long-term solution but can buy you time before you perform repairs. When installing a flex seal, don’t use it on pressurized pipes because it won’t hold.

How many years does flex seal last?

Flex seal is durable and can go for 1-5 years without losing any of its sealing properties. The durability of the flex seal depends on the surface where it’s used, maintenance, temperatures, and pressure around the sealant. Higher temperatures and a lot of pressure on the object where the seal is applied may make it sag, reopening the crack.

How do I fix a leaking hot tub pump?

A pump can leak due to a faulty shaft seal or from the unions that connect the pump to the plumbing works. If the crack is on the o-rings of the union, replacement isn’t complex, and you can do it yourself.

A shaft seal prevents water from getting to the motor of the pump. Water getting into the motor is dangerous because it makes it rust and eventually breaks down. To replace a shaft seal, you’ll need to remove the wet end of the pump completely. If you’ve never done it before, we recommend hiring a professional to avoid mistakes that can cost you even more.

How can you tell where a water leak is coming from?

Some leaks are pretty obvious, and it won’t take you long to spot where they come from. In some cases, the leaks are too tiny, and finding them can be daunting. The dye test works magic in helping you determine where a link is coming from.

Identify all jet openings and place a colored dye at the opening. Watch to see whether the colored dye flows to the outside of the shell or through the jet itself. The point at which the dye flows indicates a leakage. If the test doesn’t work and you still cannot locate a leak point, then you can hire a professional to inspect your hot tub.

Is there a tool to detect a water leak?

Yes, you can use a colored dye to help you detect any leakage from your hot tub.

Do plumbers fix hot tubs?

Yes, plumbers can fix hot tubs. Remember, a hot tub has a lot of plumbing work going on to make it functional. A plumber knows what works where and how to uninstall and install different components of a hot tub.

Can plumbers detect leaks?

Yes, a plumber can help you detect leaks in your spa. Plumbers can quickly check the plumbing work of the hot tub for any leakages.

Hot tub leaking from the filter housing

Leaks from the filter housing could mean that you have to replace the filters, or you need to make quick fixes. The first step is to drain the water to a level below the filters. If you’re dealing with a minor crack, use a sealant to fix it. Press the sealant with your fingers to make sure it gets into all the gaps. Give the sealant time to cure before filling the spa with water. 

As you make repairs on the filter housing, be careful not to damage anything because the filter house is quite delicate. You don’t want to cause more problems that could cost you more money in repairs or replacements.

Hot tub leaking at union fitting

If a hot tub leaks from the union fitting, the main culprit is the o-rings. To fix the leak, you’ll want to replace the o-rings. The first step to replacing faulty o-rings is draining all the water from the hot tub. Then, unscrew all the union fittings and inspect the o-rings. Replace accordingly, and your spa should work fine after that.

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.

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