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Got A Leak

Got a Hot Tub Leak?

A hot tub leak can be both frustrating and discouraging for hot tub owners. The good news is there are a couple of methods to repair pesky hot tub leaks. The quickest and easiest is using a commercial “leak sealer” that is added to your water to automatically seek out your leak and seal it. This is the easiest, but definitely not the most permanent or reliable fix. To ensure a 100% fix, you must locate the leaky hot tub component(s) and either repair or replace it directly.

How to Detect and Locate a Hot Tub Leak

If you’ve ever popped open the access panel of a hot tub you know there are a number of components, pipes, joints, and unions within the hot tub pluming that can be a point of failure. Some common sources of leaks are pump seals, heater manifold, valves, pipes and couplers, jet bodies, and the spa shell.

The first area you should check is around the major components of your hot tub – the pump and heater. One common point of failure is the seals within the pump. If you see water coming from your pump, this is most likely the culprit of your hot tub leak.

If the pump and heater check out, begin looking at the piping and connectors. Since all the plumbing is PVC, it should only be hand-tightened and it should be easy to determine any loose connections.

Locating a leak within the plumbing of the hot tub can be difficult by just looking around with a flashlight. Unfortunately, the clear water makes it difficult to determine the origin of the hot tub leak but there are a few tricks to make determining the location of the leak easier.

  • Use a food dye to contrast against the white PVC pipe at the source of a leak. This will obviously contaminate your water, but can be very useful at finding those tricky leaks.
  • Let the hot tub leak. If you can’t determine the source of a leak, let the water leak out. If the water level stops dropping at a jet or a certain point in the shell, chances are that’s the source of the leak.
  • Fill the hot tub to normal level and mark the water level. Let the spa run as usual for 24 hours and mark the level of the dropped water. Now power the hot tub off, refill to the original level, and let sit for 24 hours. Note the level of the dropped water.
    • If the water dropped equal amounts each time, chances are your leak is either in the shell or the jets (vessel leak).
    • If the water dropped less when the hot tub was off, chances are the leak is somewhere after your pump (pressure leak).
    • If the water dropped more when the tub was off, chances are the leak is somewhere before your pump (suction leak).

Steps to Repair a Hot Tub Leak

Depending on where you find your leak, you may be able to patch the leak or you may need to replace the component. Worn or leaking seals and gaskets should always be replaced.

PVC pipes and fittings should be replaced if possible, but there are quick an easy “collars” you can buy to slip over the cracked portion if replacement is out of the question. However, replacing PVC pipes and fittings is fairly easy if you’re comfortable cutting out the old piece and installing the new piece with PVC cement.

A hot tub leak in the body of the shell can be easily repaired through commercial patching products. Leaks within jets are almost always gasket related and can be quickly repaired by replacing the jet gasket. However, if the plastic jet housing has cracked, it will need to be replaced.

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