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I need your help to repair a crack on the side of a Hotspring


Manu
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Hello to all,

I am new to this forum and very happy to join your community. I bought a house that has a Hotspring Jetsetter hot tub in it. To my surprise, it works fine but lately there has been a crack appearing on the side.

It seems that the wood at the base suffered a bit from the moisture, which caused a weakness in the middle of the structure generating the crack.

I would like to repair both the cause of the problem and its consequence.

I've never repaired a Jacuzzi, I don't even know what it looks like underneath so I'm here for advice.

 

Here is what I plan to do:

1/ Drain the Jacuzzi and unplug it.
2/ Protect it (the shell) with covers
3/ Tilt it on its side (I'm alone. Is it heavy?)
4/ Fix aluminum plates under the Jacuzzi to raise it a few millimeters and allow the water to drain. Indeed, underneath, it's tiles and when there's a little water coming through, I think it stagnates and makes the wood rot. This will allow me to put everything straight with a spirit level.
5/ return the hot tub to its normal position
6/ Watch the crack to see if it tightens.
7/ Repair the crack with a repair kit (I don't know what to chose and where to buy it though)

I'm interested in your observations and advice for this project. I don't know anything about it and I'm afraid to make mistakes.

Thank you very much for your help.

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Hello Manu, welcome to the forum.  I'm pretty new here too, but can tell you this is a great site.  As a new (to me) hot tub owner, this forum has been invaluable in learning how to balance the water and troubleshoot when things go wrong.

Yes, that is quite the crack! I would agree that the structure has rotted underneath. I would also double check the foundation under the tub is flat, as this would create stress on the shell and cause a crack.  First thing I would do is remove the skirting to see what you have under there. I'm not sure how it comes off of your tub, mine has accessible screws so I can remove all of the panels from the outside. 

When it comes time to moving it, yes its heavy - 500+ lbs! You will need at least 3 people to tip the spa onto its side safely. Note you will need to disconnect the power connection at the spa first. Also note that whenever you are moving an older spa, there is going to be risk of broken plumbing (and leaks) because of the added stress on the brittle parts. I know this from experience!  

As for the crack, once the tub is set back in place and filled, I would see how noticeable the crack is after the structural repairs. It might be fine on its own, but you can buy colour matched acrylic repair kits online.

Good luck with your project!

 

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This type of damage is typical for spas set on uneven surfaces. It could result from frame rot, but far more likely the surface is not flat.

Before I dig into your post, I will say that the cost of the fix for all of this, if done by a pro, would likely exceed the resale value of the spa. And it's no small or easy project. You might want to consider a different tub.

8 hours ago, Manu said:

(I'm alone. Is it heavy?)

Watkins (the maker of hot springs) tubs are heavy, and that tub is probably around 800lbs dry. If it has leaks and the foam insulation has absorbed water it could be double that. Also, if it has frame rot, standing it up, or even moving it, can completely destroy the frame and cabinet if not careful.

8 hours ago, Manu said:

Fix aluminum plates under the Jacuzzi to raise

The spa must be evenly supported along the bottom frame. You cannot shim a spa, or it cracks just like yours.

8 hours ago, Manu said:

it's tiles and when there's a little water coming through

If the spa is leaking anywhere other than the equipment bay, you have another massive job on your hands, even bigger than frame rebuild and acrylic repair.

8 hours ago, Manu said:

Watch the crack to see if it tightens.

It won't. Unless you fix the uneven surface, nothing will change. It could take a long time to settle back to original shape even after the uneven surface is addressed. 

8 hours ago, Manu said:

Repair the crack with a repair kit (

Professionals, who do nothing but acrylic repair, struggle to make invisible repairs. You will not (unless EXTREMELY lucky) match that acrylic. 

I would first remove some side slats and check for wet foam. Those sides are not in panels, it appears, and is the older piece-built style, so each shiplap slat is individually stapled top and bottom. You can see a staple end in your first pic. You cannot reach the top staple as it is under the overhanging shell. It must be broken out, which is tough to do without breaking the slat. If the foam is wet, shop for a new spa or live with what you've got. Cracked shell and plumbing leaks means it's junk.

If there are no plumbing leaks, stand it up to inspect the bottom. The base boards are fairly simple to replace (use good treated lumber), but if the rot extends up the side frame you're looking at another can of worms, and will end up rebuilding the cabinet too. With current wood prices, that will be EXPENSIVE!

As a spa rebuilder, you couldn't GIVE me that tub. I'd charge you to haul it to the dump. I've been fixing spas for a living for 26 years. 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it's best you know what to expect.

https://www.poolspaforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/52536-ever-wonder-what-biofilm-looks-like/&do=getNewComment

In this thread I do plumbing repairs, shell crack repair, and cabinet on an old hot springs.

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