One of the scariest things that can happen with your hot tub is a leak. Maybe you notice that the water level is decreasing day by day, or your hot tub is suddenly empty the next day. Either way, you would like to fix the problem quickly. Luckily, in many cases, the cause is simple to find and solve.
How to fix a hot tub leak:
The first thing to do is remove the paneling and covers to find the cause of the leak. Most hot tub leaks are caused by a cracked pipe, a loose jet, or a rubber gasket at the heater connections. Leak fix products and waterproof epoxy putty are handy for leaks that are not easy to access.
Fixing a leaky hot tub goes beyond identifying the leak, which is why I have covered everything you should know about how to fix a hot tub leak. I will also provide tips from professionals to help you, so read on.
- 0.1 How to Fix a Hot Tub Leak
- 0.2 Common Causes of Hot Tub Leaks
- 0.3 Ways to Find a Leak in a Hot Tub
- 0.4 Fixing a Hot Tub Leak
- 1 Frequently Asked Questions
- 1.0.1 1. Do hot tub leak sealers work?
- 1.0.2 2. How do I check my hot tub for leaks?
- 1.0.3 3. How much does it cost to fix a hot tub leak?
- 1.0.4 4. What is the best hot tub leak sealer?
- 1.0.5 5. Why is my hot tub leaking from the bottom?
- 1.0.6 6. Can Flex Seal fix a hot tub leak?
- 1.0.7 7. How do you find a leak in a full foam hot tub?
How to Fix a Hot Tub Leak
Hot tubs are for relaxation, but the thought of dealing with a leak might stop you from getting one. Whenever there's a hot tub leak, it is important to fix it as soon as possible before it gets out of control. To fix a hot tub leak, you must know how to identify leaks. The goal is to enjoy your spa session without hassle.
Common Causes of Hot Tub Leaks
Hot tub leaks can occur at different places. The easiest way to find the location is to look at where you see water around the base of your hot tub. My experience is that in most cases, you will find it close to the culprit.
These are the most common reasons for a hot tub leak:
- The Shell: Cracks in the shell or around the top can cause a leak. These cracks are sometimes easy to identify, but you'll often need to drain the water to spot the cracks. Also, the spray-on foam and insulation may make it difficult to locate the cracks when you look behind the paneling. Carefully inspect the shell for any imperfections. If you are unsure if the location is the culprit, you can fill the hot tub to the level just under the location. Then see if there is no water leaking.
- The Jets: Faulty jets or faulty connections between the pipe and the shell can cause water to leak from the bottom of the hot tub.
- Gaskets in the plumping: Rubbers wear out with time, which is why it is essential to replace them promptly. The gaskets in the plumping are made of rubber and can cause a leak whenever they wear out. If your hot tub is located at a vulnerable location, like inside. I always recommend replacing those gaskets every few years as a precaution.
- The Light fixture: This is common with hot tubs that have light at the bottom or side. A leak at the bottom can occur if the light housing is loose or the seal has wear and tear.
Ways to Find a Leak in a Hot Tub
Generally, to find the leak in your hot tub, you have to remove all side panels and access doors. Check for any signs of water. Inspect all the fittings, pipes, and places where a jet or light is attached to the shell.
A hot tub leak can have many causes. Some are easy to find, some are not. It is even possible for older hot tubs to have leaks in multiple areas at a time. A thorough inspection is needed to locate the source of the leak. Proper maintenance can help to mitigate the risk of leaks.
Inspecting the hot tub
Here are the steps to follow:
- Step 1: Turn of the hot tub
- Step 2: Remove the side panels to access the compartment for signs of dampness or leaks. You can use a flashlight to inspect the pump and ensure that the seals are tight.
- Step 3: Inspect all fittings, pressure switches, and pipes to ensure that the joints have no leaks. Fittings of new hot tubs can loosen during transport, so be sure to tighten loose fittings.
- Step 4: Food coloring can help you find leaks with ease. This is because water will always follow a path with low resistance. Locating the part with darker water will give you an idea of the leak's location. Another way is to dry the different parts entirely and cover them with paper kitchen towels at various locations. They should collect any water quickly before it can flow to a lower point.
- Step 5: Allowing the hot tub to drain up to the leak point will give an idea of the leak location.
Fixing a Hot Tub Leak
After you have found the exact location of the leak, the next step is to fix it. Depending on the cause, there are different methods needed. We will look into more detail how to fix leakages near the pump, the heater, the lights, the plumbing, the valves, and the shell.
1. Fixing Leaks from the Pump
The pump sucks water from the hot tub and pushes it through filters before sending it back to the tub through the return jets. Pump leaks are very common. In most cases, the problem is either in the pump seal, union fittings, or rinse lines.
Here's how to fix leaks from the pump:
- Step 1: Run the pump to check if the leak spot is easily noticeable
- Step 2: Turn off the pump and check if the rinse line fitting is wet.
- Step 3: Check the union fittings for water leaks. Replace their rubber if there's a leak.
- Step 4: Check for dripping water at the pump seal.
- Step 5: Replace worn-out gaskets or install them properly.
2. Fixing hot tub Leaks from the Heater
Leaks can also occur at different parts of the heater. In most cases, this is at the thermostat, heating element, sensors, or at the pressure switch.
Here's how to fix leaks from the heater:
- Step 1: Turn off the hot tub
- Step 2: Depress the gate valves on the sides of the pump and heater
- Step 3: Remove leaky union fittings
- Step 4: Check if the gasket or O-ring has degraded
- Step 5: Replace faulty gaskets and O-rings
- Step 6: Attach union fittings and raise the gate vales
- Step 7: Turn on the hot tub to verify that the leak is fixed
3. Fixing hot tub Leaks from the Lights
Leaks can be at the tot tub shell. The most common causes are with jet or lights that are attached to the shell. Fortunately, fixing leaks from the jet or light fixture is not difficult:
- Step 1: Drain and turn off the tub
- Step 2: Remove the paneling to access the light or jet. Accessing the light is easy for some tubs, while for others, you'll have to cut the foam insulation. Similar to the jet.
- Step 3: Remove the light from its socket and unscrew the lens cover to remove it. In the case of the jet, you have to loosen it carefully.
- Step 4: Add silicone around the lens cover or where the jet is attached to the shell to make it watertight
- Step 5: Place the jet or light to the socket and add silicone again
- Step 6: If you had to remove some of the foam insulation, you can add new using a foam spray can
4. Fixing hot tub Leaks from the Plumbing
Leaks can also occur in the plumbing. The most common locations are in the equipment chain or underneath the shell. However, fixing the leak is also easy and can be achieved using the following steps:
- Step 1: Drain the water for leaks under the tub
- Step 2: Prop the tub on its side and run water to locate the leak
- Step 3: Remove the foam insulation from the leak point. This should be done with care to avoid further damage
- Step 4: Cut the leak portion with pipe cutters
- Step 5: You may need to get flexible PVC pipes and PVC couplers to replace the damaged section.
- Step 6: Glue the PVC couplers appropriately and allow them to set
- Step 7: Turn on the hot tub and check to ensure that there are no leaks anymore
- Step 8: If you had to remove some of the foam insulation, you can add new using a foam spray can
5. Fixing hot tub Leaks from the Valves
Valves block the water flow. Hot tubs come with varying types of valves. Sometimes, leaks can occur from these valves. Here's how to fix leaks from the valves:
- Step 1: Turn of the hot tub
- Step 2: Remove the valve bolts to separate the two halves
- Step 3: Check to ensure that the gasket is not compromised
- Step 4: Replace compromised gaskets
- Step 5: Tighten the two halves together and run water to ensure that the leak has been fixed.
6. Fixing hot tub Leaks from the Shell
To fix a leak in the shell, you have to use an acrylic repair kit. The exact kit you need depends on the type of hot tub you have. Check with your local dealer or contact the manufacturer about what to use. Use the following steps to fix the shell:
- Step 1: Turn off the hot tub, and remove the water
- Step 2: Dry the damaged area
- Step 3: Clean the leak location thoroughly
- Step 4: Use the repair kit to fill the leak. For larger cracks, you may need to use a small grinder, like a Dremel, to obtain a v shape and roughen the material a bit. This makes filling it with the repair kit easier and results in a long-lasting repair. Use only enough material to fill the crack
- Step 5: Let it dry
- Step 6: Use some sandpaper to remove the edges and bumps and clean it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do hot tub leak sealers work?
Hot tub leaks sealers work. They effectively fix seeping gaskets, oozing wooden hot tubs, weeping o-rings, and dripping glue points. They also help in sealing pipe pinhole leaks, cracks in filter housings.
2. How do I check my hot tub for leaks?
First, turn off the hot tub and examine all the possible leak points. This includes the pipes, heater, valves, and fittings. Depending on the leak's location, you might also need to use food coloring, as mentioned above.
3. How much does it cost to fix a hot tub leak?
The cost of repairing a hot tub leak depends on the location of the leak. However, it is generally not cheap. Expect around $500 for smaller hot tubs to $1000 or more for larger hot tubs.
4. What is the best hot tub leak sealer?
There are so many types of hot tub leak sealers, but determining the best depends on the type of leak, the type of sealant, and the price of the leak sealant. I have heard good stories about Marlig Fix-A-Leak Pool and Spa Leak Sealer, and SpaChoice Seal A Leak for Spas and Hot Tubs.
If your hot tub is leaking from the bottom, you might want to check the different types of hot tub leaks. This includes leaks from the pumps, filter, lights, and plumping.
6. Can Flex Seal fix a hot tub leak?
Flex seals can be effective for stopping specific leaks in a hot tub. In general, leak seals are effective for seeping gaskets, dripping glue joints, oozing wooden hot tubs, and weeping o-rings. However, it is important to note that they can not perform magic.
7. How do you find a leak in a full foam hot tub?
Finding a leak in a full foam hot tub can be tricky. I recommend the following steps. First, remove the soggy foam until you locate the source of the leak. You can also decide to fill the hot tub and wait until the water drops and stays steady. That way, you know the level of the leak. Always do this when the tub is off. And for small leaks, this method can take ages. Examine the jets and other parts for leaks with each new water level.