Your hot tub is designed to work consistently with proper use and maintenance. However, a few hot tub issues may arise from time to time. While they can be annoying, these issues are typically minor and easily fixed on your own.

LED and Topside Control Display Issues

The LED display on the topside control is meant to show settings and cycles. Occasionally, the display may indicate that something needs your attention. Here are two of the most common issues:

LED Display Blank

If you don’t see anything on the LED display, it’s likely that the power has gone off or a fuse has blown. Try resetting the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and main service or replacing the blown fuse.

Overheat Message on LED Display

The overheat code may appear as “OH” or “HH.” In either case, you should get out of the spa and turn off the power.

Running the filtration cycle constantly is not good for the spa and will cause overheating. Even running it too frequently or for too long at once can cause overheating. See if reducing the cycle frequency and duration helps.

Another cause for the alert is the tub’s inability to cool down. If temperatures outside the tub are high enough, the water in the spa won’t be able to cool down sufficiently. Try removing the cover or adding cool water according to filling instructions.

Water Heating Issues

Few hot tub issues are more frustrating than a hot tub that isn’t hot enough. Here are the most common reasons for water not heating as well as you’d like it to.

If you’re not getting any heat, too little heat or not reaching desired temperatures, consider the following causes:

Operating modes. Standard operating mode automatically and continuously warms to your set temperature. Economy mode only heats during filtration cycles, and sleep mode keeps water at 20 degrees below the set temperature. Low heat may mean you need to change the mode.

Temperature setting. If the settings aren’t set to heat, you won’t see the heater icon illuminated on the digital display. The setting may also simply be at a temperature that’s too low.

Electrical issue. If the breaker is off, reset the GFCI and main breaker. If improper line voltage is the issue, contact an electrician.

Air lock or closed slice valve. Make sure all slice valves are open and the pumps are not air locked.

Dirty filter. Too much debris or dissolved solid material in the tub can impact how well the water heats. Clean or change the filter .

Spa cover shifted. If the cover is not in place, too much heat may be escaping from the tub. Ensure the cover is in place when the tub is not in use.

Hot Tub Issues - lights not working

Lights Aren’t Working

Lights not working can be a common hot tub issue. The lens over the light is fixed in place and won’t let water into the light housing. If the bulb or fuse is burned out, you can replace or repair it by accessing the light workings from inside the cabinets.

It’s also possible that the light has a dirty connection. Check the connections and repair as needed, or call an electrician.

Jets Aren’t Working

Check for a few things if the jets aren’t working as they should:

Jets are closed: This isn’t necessarily something you’ll see. Simply rotate the outer rim of the jet clockwise to open it.

Air lock in the pumps: Bleed the pumps by turning off power, turning the bleed valve on the base of the pump counter until water comes out and then hand-tightening the bleed valve.

Slice valve or diverter valve closed: Open the slice valve(s) or rotate the diverter until the desired pressure is achieved.

Dirty filter: Too much debris or dissolved solid material (oils, dirt, etc.) can clog up the jets. Clean or change the filter and clean the jets .

Water Flow Issues

If the water flow in your hot tub is too low, look for the following causes:

Valve issue: The diverter valve might be out of position, so rotate it to increase the flow. Also check the air valve and slice vales – if one is closed, open it.

Improper line voltage: Have an electrician check the voltage.

Dirty filter: Materials that shouldn’t be in the hot tub can impact how well all components work, including those involved with water flow. Clean or replace the filter if needed.

Power Issues

Not all power issues require an electrician. Some of the most common hot tub issues are easily fixed on your own.

If you cannot turn the power off, it’s likely that the spa is either heating or running the filtration cycle. Try lowering the temperature setting or simply waiting for filtration to be complete.

If the GFCI is tripping, something may be wrong with the wiring. Call an electrician to check the GFCI neutral wiring connections.

Leaking Issues

The most common cause of your hot tub leaking  is loose plumbing unions. Tighten the unions by hand – never overtighten or use a tool.

Other reasons for leaking can include components around the:

  • Heater
  • Pump
  • Valves
  • Light
  • Filter
  • Acrylic shell

Pump Issues

Be aware that some hot tubs have more than one pump. If you have more than one, check both if you’re having an issue.

Pump Not Working

If the pump’s cycle has ended, simply press the proper button to turn it back on. If no power is the issue, check the pump connection in the pump control box.

You may have an air lock or a blockage in the line. Try bleeding the pump or clearing any obstruction in the filter assemblies. If the slice valves are closed, open them.

Pump Runs Hot

You might have a flow restriction issue. Remove any debris from the filter basket and suction valves. If the pump is running dry, contact your manufacturer’s technical support.

Pump Surges

The water level in your hot tub might be too low – just add some water according to your tub’s filling instructions. If a blockage/restriction is the issue, empty the filter basket and clean the suction drain covers.


Water Chemistry Issues

It is vital that you follow the water treatment  program for your hot tub and observe proper cleaning practices . Not doing so can cause corrosion, build up and unsanitary conditions in all parts of the hot tub.

Aqua Living carries a range of chemicals and treatment products  for the maintenance of your tub. Here are some of the most common problems and how to address them:

Cloudy Water

  • Dirty filter: Replace filter.
  • Excessive organic matter: Add shock.
  • Bacteria on cover dripping into spa: Clean cover with approved cleaner.
  • Improper sanitization: Add sanitizer.
  • Suspended organic matter: Clean/replace filter, add shock, run jets.
  • End of water life: Drain and refill spa and replace filter.

Green or Brown Water

This discoloration is likely a sign of excessive metals. Add a metal sequestering agent.

Excessive Foam

Foam indicates an accumulation of oil, cosmetics and detergent. Add defoamer, clean or replace the filter and run an extra rinse cycle when washing swimwear.

Water Smells Bad or Musty

A bad smell from the hot tub water can mean excessive organic matter and resulting bacteria growth. Try adding shock to the water.

Other possibilities are improper sanitization (add sanitizer) and low pH (test levels and treat accordingly).

A specifically musty smell is certainly bacteria growth. Add shock, and if the problem continues or worsens, perform a spa decontamination .

Ring Around the Spa

If you see a residual ring on the acrylic at the surface of the water, it indicates a build up of oil and dirt. Drain the tub, wipe the acrylic surface clean with a soft cloth and refill according to instructions.


Algae growth suggests a high pH level or too little sanitizer. Test the water chemistry of the spa and add pH reducer if needed. If the sanitation process was performed improperly, add shock and sanitizer.

Eye or Skin Irritation and/or Rash

This physical reaction in users means improper sanitation in the hot tub water. Test the water chemistry and add shock and sanitizer as needed.

The free chlorine level may be too high and harsh for skin. Add some water to lower the level of sanitizing chemicals.

Your filter may also be in need of cleaning or replacing if other irritants aren’t being removed from water.

Stains on Acrylic Surface

The stains may mean high alkalinity/low pH, high mineral content or high metal content.

For imbalanced alkalinity and pH, adjust both levels as needed and according to the instructions for your tub. Mineral content can be lowered with scale and stain reducer. High metal content requires a metal sequestering agent.

Scale Build Up


If you see scale on the acrylic surface or in the plumbing components of the hot tub, it’s likely that the calcium in the spa is too high. Try adjusting alkalinity and using a stain and scale reducer.

If you’re experiencing any of these common problems and the recommended solutions don’t help, contact your local Aqua Living dealer for more details.