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How to find a leak in a hot tub

If left unaddressed, a hot tub leak can get out of hand. We're sharing how to find, fix, and prevent hot tub leaks.
man in hot tub

Water can leak through several places in a hot tub. Because hot tub leaks are difficult to locate, you could spend an entire afternoon trying to find one without any success.

A hot tub leak should be addressed as soon as possible so that things do not spiral out of hand.

We're sharing how to spot hot tub leaks and fix them so you can spend more time relaxing in your spa.

How do I find a leak in my hot tub?

Leaks in hot tubs can occur from a variety of sources, not simply the shell. There may even be numerous leaks at the same time in rare circumstances.

To figure out where the extra water is coming from, you'll have to investigate the area for the source of the leak.

  • Begin by turning off the power to the hot tub.
  • Remove the side panels to get access to the equipment compartment and check for any evidence of leaks or moisture. For better visibility, inspect the pump using a flashlight. Make sure the tub's seals are in good shape.
  • Examine all of the pipes, fittings, and pressure switches. Make sure the joints aren't leaking. Some of the fittings on a new hot tub might loosen during shipment, so tighten anything that seems loose.
  • In the water in front of a jet, sprinkle a drop of dark food coloring. Water takes the path of least resistance, so keep an eye on the food coloring to see where it travels. You may have discovered your leak if it comes out in a jet. On the exterior of the spa's shell, look for colored water leaking out. Carry on with the rest of the jets in the same manner.
  • Turn the tub off and wait for the water to drain from the leak spot. You'll know the leak is someplace above where the water leveled off if it ultimately levels out.

Most Common Places for Hot Tub Leaks and How to Fix Them

A hot tub leak can occur for a variety of causes and in a variety of locations. Some common places where a hot tub leak can occur are:

Hot Tub Jets

Why Is It Common?

When the pumps are functioning, jets are subjected to tremendous pressure, and they might degrade over time if the water quality is not optimal.

How To Fix Leaks From Hot Tub Jets?

  • Turn the outer valve jet anticlockwise until it is entirely closed, then continue rotating anticlockwise. You will hear a click as the hut tub jet winds down. You may then remove it.
  • If the jet is leaking from the back, use a set of pipe wrenches to tighten the locking nut even further. If the hot pump jet continues to leak, you will need to empty the spa and replace the faulty jet.
  • Remove the jet locking screw completely before removing the hot tub jet. Get a new o-ring or silicone seal for the hot tub jet flange. Tighten the locking nut and let the hot tub empty for 24 hours to allow the silicone to solidify.

Heater

Why Is It Common?

There are several parts to the heater, and any of them might be producing a leak in your system. To eliminate them one by one, the heating element, thermostat, pressure switch, and sensors should all be tested.

Many times, leaky parts inside the heater may need to be replaced. However, the most typical heater leak will be at the pipe's union fittings. This is due to worn-out O-rings and gaskets, which will need to be replaced.

How To Fix Leaks From The Heater

  • Turn off the tub's electricity and close the gate valves on each side of the heater and pump. These valves prevent water from flowing through the pump and heater while you work on them.
  • Remove the union fittings that are causing the leak. Because the fitting may be difficult to release, use oil filter pliers for added power.
  • Examine the O-ring and gasket. One or all of them have most likely degenerated. This indicates that other O-rings and gaskets may also need to be replaced.
  • Unscrew the union fitting on one end of your heater.
  • The best way to keep your water heater working efficiently and safely is by making sure all of the o-rings, gaskets & other parts are replaced at once.
  • Lift the gate valves and reattach the union connections.
  • Go ahead and turn the power on. Run your tub and ensure the leaks have been fixed.

Pumps

Why Is It Common?

The circulation pump is one of the most typical places where a hot tub leak might occur. Pump seals deteriorate as a result of inadequately balanced water chemistry or typical wear and tear. If you're going to inspect this spot, make sure the power is turned off and that there's no water seeping under the pump.

How To Fix The Pump Leak

  • Let the pump run to see if you can find the source of the leak.
  • Turn the pump off and insert your finger beneath the rinse line fitting on the faceplate of the pump. Check to see if your finger is moist or wet.
  • The union connections to and from the pump should be checked next. Examine the area to check if there is any water seeping from them. If so, unscrew them and replace the rubber gaskets that have most likely gotten degraded.
  • Examine the pump seal. This might appear like water leaking off the faceplate, leading you to believe it's the rinse line fitting. After removing the faceplate take a look at the ceramic gaskets.
  • Replace the gaskets if necessary. To fit properly, one side of the impeller plate may require a specific tool as well as silicone. The leak will return if not correctly placed.
  • Reassemble the pump and switch on the system to check for leaks.

PVC Pipes

Why Is It Common?

Plumbing leaks can occur either beneath the shell of the tub or in the equipment chain.

The pipes on the shell's bottom are constructed of flexible PVC. This makes it simple to route water around the shell's peaks and valleys rather than having solid pipes that take up space.

However, because this PCV tubing is more flexible, it might deteriorate and leak. Temperature changes are frequently to blame, since exposure to exceptionally cold winters may wear it down and cause fractures to form.

How To Fix PVC Pipe Leaks?

  • Begin by emptying the tub if the leak is coming from below it.
  • Place the tub on its side and attach a hose to the water supply. If you run water through the pipe, you should be able to pinpoint the location of the leak.
  • Remove the foam insulation that is around the pipe at the leak location.
  • Using pipe cutters, remove the section of the pipe where the leak is located.
  • To repair the defective portion, you'll need two PVC couplers (typically 1" diameter) and a little piece of 1" flexible PVC tubing. Measure the part to ensure a proper fit.

Valves

Why Is It Common?

Hot tubs are equipped with various valves that help to restrict water flow. These valves might fail and leak at times because of their designs.

The valves are two sections that are connected, with a gasket between them that prevents water passage. When this gasket fails, you'll notice water seeping from the valve.

How To Fix Valve Leaks?

  • Always turn off the hot tub before beginning.
  • The valves contain four bolts that must be removed with a wrench to separate the two parts.
  • There is most likely a problem with the gasket so inspect it thoroughly.
  • Change the gasket to a fresh one.
  • Reassemble the two sections and ensure the bolts are tightened.
  • Run the hot tub's water to make sure the leak is gone.

How To Prevent Hot Tub Leaking

If left unattended hot tub leaks can turn into bigger and more expensive problems. To keep your hot tub functioning, you should inspect your hot tub regularly for leaks and do everything you can to prevent them:

  • Open the equipment cabinet and check for evidence of water after each water change.
  • Examine all unions to make sure they are dry and sealed.
  • Taking care of the pump is extremely important to prevent hot tub leaks. Look for evidence of water on the engine, such as corrosion or wet marks. Water on the pump or motor is frequently the consequence of a leaky seal.
  • Maintain adequate spa water balance and sanitation.

Let Us Fix Your Leaky Problem!

At Epic Hot Tubs we can help find and fix any leaks in your hot tub! We want to ensure you have a relaxing and rejuvenating hot tub experience. Call us today at  919-444-8500 or fill out the form to contact our professionals.