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Hot Tub Pumps

Hot Tub Pumps – What are they?

Hot tub pumps can be considered the heart of a hot tub. Similar to hearts found in people, the hot tub pumps are responsible for pumping water (not blood) through the system. Without the pump, you would just have an oversized bath tub, and that’s not nearly as much fun. Pumps are responsible for circulating the water within your hot tub which provides benefits for both users and the hot tub itself.

User’s benefit from the pumps through the therapeutic massaging jets, as well as circulated heat. The hot tub itself benefits from the pump because the pump keeps the water moving. This movement of the water helps prevent hot tub components from overheating through heat dissipation.Also, water movement helps prevent the water from sitting in a stagnant state, which can lead to the growth of algae, larvae, and other nasty little critters that have no place in a hot tub.

Pumps contain 2 components, one considered wet and one considered dry. The wet component is the impeller that is used to push the water through the plumbing system. The dry component of the pump is the electrical motor that drives the impeller. This motor cannot be exposed to water or there’s a chance of it shorting out.

All Hot Tub Pumps Are Not Created Equal

Hot tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s no surprise that there is also a wide variety when it comes to hot tub pumps as well. Most hot tubs utilize only one pump; however some hot tubs, depending on their size and number of jets, may have more than one pump.

Typically hot tub pumps are rated by their power in terms of horsepower. They can range in size from 1/8 horsepower all the way up to 3 horsepower. Typically the smaller pumps (1/8 horsepower) are used in systems that just need water circulation and don’t have any jets. Larger pumps like the 2 or 3 horsepower models are used for both water circulation andto power the jets.

One common misconception when it comes to hot tub pumps is the more power you have, the more water you’ll be able to force through your jets, meaning stronger jets. This isn’t the case however, no matter how big your pump is your jets are rated for a certain throughput or flow rate. Installing a larger pump than your system is rated for can just lead to problems such as blowing seals or gaskets in your plumbing. You should always use pumps that match the rating of your system’s jets to ensure smooth operability. If you do want more flow through the jets, look at replacing your jets with higher flow models in addition to a larger pump.

Symptoms of Pump Problems

Some symptoms of pump problems may be more obvious than others, and sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose a failing pump. However, here are a few things to look out for:

  • The pump “hums” but doesn’t push any water through the system. This is most likely the cause of something preventing the electric motor from turning the impeller (object jammed in the impeller, frozen motor bearings, etc.)
  • The pump makes a “whining”or “screeching” noise. This can be caused by worn out bearings within the motor housing.
  • Water leaking out the pump. This is a sign that the pump seals may have failed.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, it will most likely be time to replace your pump. Of course you can replace components of the pump, but if the pump is more than a couple years old you’re most likely better off replacing the entire unit.

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