A leak from your hot tub might be alarming, but it’s often easily fixed. Here we’ll look at the reasons a leak might occur and what you can do to stop it.
Where Do Hot Tub Leaks Happen?
In general, leaks originate with hot tub components rather than the acrylic shell. You may see leaking inside the spa cabinet or on the ground beneath the tub.
To pinpoint the location of the leak, be prepared to remove the side panels and insulating foam and have a flashlight at the ready. While removing the foam is messy, wet foam is a great leak indicator.
Here are some of the more common spots to check:
A common place for hot tub leaks is in the plumbing, especially at the plumbing unions.
Plumbing unions connect your hot tub’s plumbing lines to the spa components. Occasionally, unions loosen when the tub is in transit. They may also loosen with seasonal changes, such as cooler or warmer temperatures.
Any plumbing component that connects one piece to another has the potential to leak, so be sure to check all plumbing around pumps, jets, chlorinators and ozonators. You may need to drain the tub to see when the leaking stops to determine the leak’s exact level and location.
Leaks in the pipes themselves are relatively rare. Freeze damage can cause pipes to shatter, but more typically pipe-related leaking occurs where a pipe is glued to another component.
The spa pump is another common source of hot tub leaking. Check the pump seal, unions or wet end volute. In some cases the entire pump will need to be replaced.
Check the heater, the assembly manifold and all of its components after you check the pump. If something in the heater is leaking, it is likely that you will need to replace, rather than repair, the parts.
Your hot tub has several valves, including drain valves and pump valves. Certain types are prone to occasional failure, and may need to be repaired or replaced.
The lens covering your hot tub’s light may become cracked or loose, especially if the bulb is a high-heat halogen. A locknut could also be loose.
A filter leak could be as simple as a gasket or o-ring. It might also mean the locking filter ring needs to be tightened. Check to see if the filter housing is broken in any way – a cracked one will need to be replaced.
It’s not a common cause for leaks, but a crack in the acrylic shell of your hot tub would definitely lead to a leak. Depending on the severity of the crack, you may be able to fix it yourself.
Stop the Leak in Your Hot Tub
Depending on what you find as the source of the leak, you may be able to quickly fix it yourself. In certain cases professional assistance or replacements may be necessary. Keep in mind that attempting to repair any leak issues yourself may void any warranty you hold on the hot tub.
Turn off the pump and all power before trying to fix any leaks. However, be aware that certain leaks will be less obvious (or non-existent) when the hot tub is off. Because of this, locating and fixing the exact leak might require repeated power switching and refilling/draining cycles.
Fixing Plumbing Unions and Other Components
You can lessen the chance of plumbing union leaks by tightening them during installation and each time you drain your hot tub. Even then, they may need a hand-tightening occasionally.
Never use tools to tighten the unions, and do not over-tighten them. Always tighten plumbing unions by hand.
Look at each place where plumbing components connect to see if something is loose, deteriorated or missing. Usually repair will be as easy as tightening locknuts or replacing gaskets. If the leak is coming from the jets, you’ll need to take them out of the tub. Look for loose locknuts or deteriorated gaskets. Tightening a loose locknut is easy, but deteriorated gaskets must be replaced. You can lessen deterioration, buildup and strain on jets and other plumbing components by observing proper chemical treatment and cleaning of your hot tub.
Leaking pipes can be spot repaired with new pipe length (ideal), repair cuffs or certain topical products.
Fixing the Pump, Heater and Valves
If you do not see a simple fix by the heater where you can tighten unions or replace gaskets, contact the manufacturer for next steps.
If you think the leak is by the heating component, contact the manufacturer, as the specific component probably needs to be replaced.
Valves that appear to be leaking may need a new piece, such as a gasket. Other types might need to be entirely replaced.
Fixing the Light and Filter
The spa light housing is often very accessible for easy bulb replacement. Inspect the area with a flashlight to see if the problem is the housing or just a loose locknut. If it’s the lens or housing, you’ll probably need a new spa light kit.
As with the light, a leaking filter might be as simple as a new gasket or tightening the locking filter ring. If it’s the housing, contact your manufacturer for a new one.
Fixing the Acrylic Shell
Repairing the acrylic shell can involve applying epoxy, melting the acrylic back together or a combination of both. Very large cracks caused by fallen trees or weather damage may require full shell replacement.
Once you have addressed the leak in your hot tub, re-apply spray insulation as needed and securely re-attach any removed panels.
If you continue to see leaks and it’s not related to loose unions, disconnect the power and contact an Aqua Living technical service associate at 844-894-6659 for assistance.