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Hot Tub Leak Repair


Having a leak in your hot tub can be a real pain, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for and how to find it. Following a few simple steps, you should be able to find the source of the leak and be able to decide how to proceed with a repair, without a lot of headache.

Before beginning your search for a leak be sure to disconnect all power to the hot tub. Once you are inside the equipment compartment, most leaks can be sourced to certain parts of the tub such as:

  • ·Pump Wet End Seal
  • ·Heater Assembly Manifold
  • ·PVC Plumbing Parts and Tubing
  • ·Jet Bodies
  • ·Slice and Gate Valves
  • ·Connections

Pump

Once you are in the equipment compartment the first place you will want to check is the pump, often a bad pump seal can be the cause of the leak. If you find the water to be leaking from the pump you will want to determine whether just a new seal is needed or if the entire wet end should be replaced. Replacing your entire wet end may save you a lot of headache as new seals can be somewhat difficult to install without breaking them or other components within the wet end.

Unions

You will want to check all of the union fittings located around the pump and the heater. Even in brand new spas unions can become loose due to vibrations during shipment. Do not use a wrench to tighten hot tub unions. Unions should be fairly simple to tighten by hand, if not you may need to remove them realign parts for a straighter fit and then tighten by hand. Do not use a wrench to tighten hot tub unions.

Heater

Your heater assembly manifold consists of your heater assembly, pressure switch, and other components of the heating unit. If you find the leak to be within any of these parts you will need to proceed with replacing the necessary parts.

Valves

Next, check all valves in your hot tub as they can be a common source of leaks. On knife style valves, there is a gasket between the two halves that are bolted together that could be causing leaks. Also, some manufacturers build hot tubs with valves installed on either side of the pump so that water does not need to be shut off to allow access to the pump for repair or replacement. In theory the idea is a good one but often owners will choose to remove these valves as they are a very common source of leaks and can be more of a headache than they are helpful.

Connections and Jets

At this point, if the source of the leak has not been located you will want to move on to checking all of your jets, pipes, and connections. Leaking jets can be caused by a bad gasket in the jet body but it is also possible for jets to go bad overtime and they may need to be replaced. When checking connections they may need to be tightened or resealed with PVC glue.

If you do not want to tear into your equipment and spend the time and headache of trying to locate a leak, a great first step repair option is Fix-A-Leak. Fix A Leak is blended concentrated material designed to seal leaks in virtually any material and can be applied for leaks in the shell and works equally well in the plumbing. It is made specifically for hot tubs and can fix leaks up to 1/8” in diameter.Trying Fix-A-Leak first may save the headache of trying to locate the leak in your equipment, if the use of fix-a-leak as directed does not work you can then proceed with the above mentioned steps in attempting to find the leak.

Fix-A-Leak is very simple to use, just complete the following steps:

DOSAGE:
USE 8oz PER 1,000 GALLONS OF WATER FOR MINOR LEAKS. A SECOND BOTTLE CAN BE ADDED FOR LARGER LEAKS.

Steps:
1. First determine water loss in a 24 hour period
2. Fill to original level, mark water line
3. Remove all cartridges or filtering devices
4. Slowly add Fix A Leak with pump running through skimmer
5. Recirculate for 6-8 hours. Shut system off
6. Check water level the following day
7. If level remains the same the leak has stopped
8. Allow 48 hours before resuming operation
9. It’s recommended not the use spa till leak is fixed and the remainder of Fix A Leak is filtered out.

If Leak has slowed and not totally stopped you may add more product to increase strength of solution already in spa.

Stir Fix A Leak in the spa with soft broom to get solution back into suspension.

Follow steps 5-8 as before.

Product Note:
Normally Fix A Leak will seal holes 1/8″ in diameter. The product requires pressure to ensure it’s impacted into the area of the leak. Leaks created by a crack in a pipe in all probability will be sealed. The leak may reoccur due to vibration which in turn will migrate in size, recreating the leak. Most spas are foam insulated, and when saturated with water, will greatly delay the cure time of Fix A Leak. It would be best to drain spa, immediately wipe down shell with a damp cloth to remove any residue of Fix A Leak. Allow 3-5 days before refilling, in most cases this will allow the product to cure.

Comments

  • ralph says:

    Have a leak in my hot tub opened up the service panel found a dead rat and many glued that they had been in there for a while. Have a leak that I don’t know were it’d coming from becouse it seems to be at the bottom wear I have no acsrss what’s my nets move

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Ralph, if you are looking for the fastest and easiest fix, I would recommend trying Fix-A-Leak as mentioned in the article. If you use it as directed and the leak is not fixed, proceed through the steps of checking each piece of equipment to determine where the leak is coming from, then that part/ fitting will need to be replaced, but often Fix-A-Leak will take care of the problem. We have had other customers refer to it as “liquid gold”, but again it does not cure all leaks just depends on the size and nature of the leak, but it is a good starting point. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

      • ralph says:

        Sounds good but even if I use fix a leak it says I might need to replace the fittings . How do I do that when I cant find out where it’s leaking from. Do I just use that as s bandaid.. My quustion id how do u get to the root of the problem. Do I need to jack the tub up to find out where its at or is there something else i can do to find the leak.

  • Kasey says:

    Hi Ralph,

    In most cases, the fix-a-leak works very well and you may have to use a bottle of it every year or two if it appears that the leak starts again. It is a much cheaper, yet still effective way of fixing most leaks. But… If you really want to get down to the root of the problem and replace the plumbing, then you will have to dig out the foam (if it has any) and start looking for where the leak will come from.

    The most difficult aspect of repairing a leak is that you should have water in the tub, so that you can see a water trail or a place in the plumbing that is dripping. If you prop the tub up or tip it on its side to get into the bottom, you can’t have water in there. Unless the damage is very noticeable, you may have a hard time finding the leak. I would recommend giving the fix-a-leak a try. It will hopefully work and it only costs $15 for an application. Here is the link: http://www.hottubwarehouse.com/Fix-A-Leak-p/fal8oz.htm

  • Sharon says:

    We did not properly clear all of the water out of our lines this winter and now have several (8 or 9) tee joints leaking. Some of the jointsdo not have enough tubing between them to resection and glue. Will fix a leak be an appropriate solution to this issue? Thanks! Sharon

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Hi Sharon,
      It really depends on the size and nature of your leaks, the product is recommended for leaks no larger than 1/8″ in diameter. I would say it just depends on if $15 to try Fix-A-Leak is worth it to you before spending the time and money replacing 8-9 plumbing pieces. Fix-A-Leak is not guaranteed to work as all leaks are different but we do have many customers who have had great success with it. Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.

  • paul hemminger says:

    i have a 33 year old hot tub which is built into a concrete floor in the hot tub room…i have a leak but don’t know where as the tub drains down to about 30% filled which is 2-3 inches below the jets….takes about a day to get to that level…haven’t used “stop leak” yet but wanted to know if the concrete type tub is a problem if i use it(stop leak)…??
    thanks

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Hi Paul,
      It is very difficult to say whether or not Fix-A-Leak would work for you not knowing exactly what is causing the leak so I would refer you to the following product note:

      Product Note:
      Normally Fix A Leak will seal holes 1/8″ in diameter. The product requires pressure to ensure it’s impacted into the area of the leak. Leaks created by a crack in a pipe in all probability will be sealed. The leak may reoccur due to vibration which in turn will migrate in size, recreating the leak. Most spas are foam insulated, and when saturated with water, will greatly delay the cure time of Fix A Leak. It would be best to drain spa, immediately wipe down shell with a damp cloth to remove any residue of Fix A Leak. Allow 3-5 days before refilling, in most cases this will allow the product to cure.

      Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.

  • Susan Arnason says:

    Our hot tub has a leak, the service people came out and replaced hoses and looked at other things. Changing those things helped, but It still leaks, so we emptied it for the summer. We are now filling it up slowly, one jet level at a time. How long should we let the water sit at each jet level. We are trying to determine which jets if any are leaking.
    Thank you

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Thank you for the inquiry Susan, depending on how slow of a leak it is that could take several hours for the tub to loose a visible amount of water. As all leaks are different and sometimes difficult to find I would recommend several hours to overnight to determine if the tub is leaking at that level. Good luck finding your leak. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  • George Laber says:

    I have about 5 flex hoses leaking where they connect to the PVC couplings all within about a foot of each other. Do I need to turn the temperature off in the hot tub for fix-a-leak to work and how soon after the leak is secured am I able to use the tub? I am assuming that the pump will need to be running to distribute the fix-a-leak liquid. What effect does fix a leak have on the pump impeller or the gate valves that are installed throughout the water and hose system?

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Thank you for the inquiry George. There is no instructions given by the manufacturer about needing to turn down your temperature to use fix a leak. You want to have your pump running to circulate the Fix-A-Leak for at least 6-8 hours, then check the water level the following day to determine if your leak has stopped. Once you have determined the leak is stopped you will want to wait at least 48 hours before resuming use. For larger leaks sometimes a higher amount or 2 doses may be required. This item is made to be used in hot tubs and should not effect your equipment. We sell tons of it and have an overwhelmingly positive response from customers who have used it. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      Instructions for use:

      Dosage:
      Use 8 ounces per 1,000 gallons of water for minor leaks, A second bottle can be added for larger leaks.

      Steps:
      1. First determine water loss in a 24 hour period
      2. Fill to original level, mark water line
      3. Remove all cartridges or filtering devices
      4. Slowly add Fix A Leak with pump running through skimmer
      5. Recirculate for 6-8 hours. Shut system off
      6. Check water level the following day
      7. If level remains the same the leak has stopped
      8. Allow 48 hours before resuming operation
      9. It’s recommended not the use spa till leak is fixed and the remainder of Fix A Leak is filtered out.

  • JEFF says:

    Hi –I think I have an airlock –managed to get the back union off of the pump to see if I could let air out with a little water–well, got the union unscrewed but could NOT get it threaded back on and water spraying out – and oh, it’s 35 degrees out!

    Tub is empty and still having trouble lining the threads up –seems like the inside pipe has moved or soemething…

    Still dont know if pump is seized or air lock—looks like soemthing caked on back of the pump motor – like acid from a battery terminal.

    Please help–Thanks!

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Sometimes the pipes can be setup a little crooked which makes it very hard to re-align the threads up. Waterway does make a union that can slightly turn to deal with this type of situation. http://www.hottubwarehouse.com/Waterway-Swivel-Union-Assembly-400-4480-p/400-4480.htm

      I don’t have a way from here to verify if the pump is seized or air locked. You can usually tell if the impeller is spinning when it is airlocked. If it doesn’t appear nothing in the wet end is moving then it is probably a bad motor.

      The substance on the back of the pump is most likely scale buildup indicating there may be some water dripping out of the seal.

      Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.

  • daverapp says:

    Fix a leak question! You say to run the pump after putting in the product? Does this mean run the jets or just have the tub turned on so water circulates?

    Thanks

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Thank you for your questions daverapp. The water just needs to circulate with the jets on low. Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Carl Anderson says:

    I believe I have a slow leak on the pump suction side,of the circulation side of the pumps The hot tub is in a room tile floor enclosure with crawl space access. Unfortunately two sides are close to corner walls and you cannot examine the fixtures. The total sides of the spa are inclosed by a redwood type exterior with foam insulation on the sides. The spa is a dimension one aurora II 1999 model. I understand that the valves and fittings cannot be fixed from inside the spa. I have tried some water borne sealants which have not worked but i expect that they only saw pressure from the recirculation pump discharge. Before I pull the spa and rip it down (this is a big job)do you have any recommendations. The spa looses about two and a half inches of water in a twenty four hour period. Thank you in advance for your thoughts. Carl

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Hi Carl,
      If the crack or plumbing problem that is causing the leak is less than 1/8″ in diameter than you could use Fix A Leak to seal the crack. http://www.hottubwarehouse.com/Fix-A-Leak-p/fal8oz.htm. If it is larger than that then the only option would be to replace the plumbing that is damaged. It doesn’t sound like it is that big of a leak so it would be worth a shot. Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.

  • David says:

    Great Blog!! Thanks for the information. I have a HotSpring Spa it has two drain pipes in the bottom on each side under the control panel on the very bottom of the spa. There is a cap on each of the pipes and a valve inside the control panel to open and close the drain. The pipe furthest from the on/off valve has a drip leak and it appears to be coming from along the pipe not from the outlet. I have use plumbers tape and made sure the cap has a good seal. I used 32oz of Fix-a-leak over the past 5 days (the spa is 500 gallons) and I still have the drip. I started off with 1/3 bottle and added more starting the 2nd day when the drip did not stop. I use a canoe paddle to stir the Fix-A-Leak off of the bottom of the low spots twice a day and I run the “clean cycle” a few times a day. What would you recommend? Another bottle of Fix-a-Leak or drain the spa and let it sit for a few days and see if they cures it?

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      The problem could be the fix-a-leak isn’t getting to the problem area. It sounds like the drain pipe is leaking if I am reading this right and there wouldn’t be any water flow into that area unless the spa was draining. If that is the case you will need to find a way to get the Fix-A-Leak into that area since it is only being circulated through your jet pipes and jets. You can drain it and let it cure which can help but not if the product isn’t reaching the leak.

  • David says:

    Thanks! I will slowly drain it with fix a leak inside.

  • David says:

    With a 30 oz bottle already in the spa, would you add more before draining? or just go with what is in there?

    Thanks!

  • Jessica says:

    The instructions say to run the jets for 6-8 hours. Am I running the jets this hole time? Or running them frequently through out this time?

  • Tom says:

    I have a leak in my spa and would like to give “Fix a Leak” a try. The spa uses 220 gallons of water when filled. So, at the rate of 8 ounces per 1,000 gallons of water fro minor leaks, I figure that I should certainly not need more than an 8 ounce bottle. HOWEVER, I have seen reviews both on your site and on Amazon that talk about spa owners having to have applied several times OR where they used the whole 8 ounce bottle to start with. So, I’m wondering if I may be better off buying the 32 ounce bottle. Can you provide your thoughts? Also, what is the effective shelf life of the product? Finally, I have tried a product named “Spa Choice Seal a Leak” that I purchased at Spa Depot. I tried it multiple times and, at first, I thought it had worked, but then the leak reoccurred within a day. Do you have any idea how “Fix a Leak” compares against that product?

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      It definitely won’t hurt the spa to use larger quantities of Fix A Leak but the product will only seal leaks in cracks or holes up to 1/8″ in diameter. The product works really well and is the best selling hot tub leak sealant on the market. I am not familiar with the other product but we have tons of customers who LOVE Fix-A-Leak!

  • Gary says:

    Refurbishing a 10yr old Sundance hot-tub I acquired for free. It had lots of water damage when I got it and the whole bottom area of foam was water-logged so I expected that the tub had a leak(s). Replaced the frame and many parts, hoses, etc., cleaned it all up, jet assemblies and gaskets looked pretty good, but the 3 jets in the bottom reservoir where the feet go, that don’t have any removable jet assemblies (just moveable nozzles affixed to the permenant jet housings) are very loose. Housings may be cracked? Seals bad? Not sure, but rain water got into that area and was at a level about equal to those 3 jet/nozzles. Sure enough, the tub was leaking from underneath. I suspect the leak is coming from one or more of these 3 jets. Problem is, there doesn’t seem to be any removable part to these 3 jets so how do I fix the problem there? I dread the idea of digging out all the foam from the under-side to get at these jets from the back. How can I determine if the leaks are in fact from these jets and more importantly, can they be fixed/replaced from inside the tub? If so, how do I go about doing that? Thank you for any advice.

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      Most hot tub jets are installed by inserting the jet in through the front of the hot tub and are held in place by a locknut on the back of the spa. They will typically have use a gasket and on occasion have silicone to prevent leaks. On your particular spa I’m not sure how yours are installed but what I have described is almost universal. If they are leaking from their it could either be a cracked jet body or the gasket needs to be replaced.

      It usually isn’t possible to fix from the inside. Unfortunately you will most likely have to repair it from the back.

      I hope this helps some.

  • jamie says:

    i have small slits or cracks in my 3″ flex hose probably 1/2″ long and a 1/16″ wide and also a drip coming from under my light fixture will fix a leak work on this (Jacuzzi)

    • Kasey says:

      Hi Jamie, sorry for the late response. We will be checking the comments more often now. In my opinion, your best bet would be to replace the flex hose. While the Fix A Leak “may” work for a time, I fear that the vibration from the pump and water running through it would cause the cracks to open up again. I think the Fix a Leak may work well for the drip under your light fixture though, so I would give it a try and you may end up fixing both problems or you may still have to replace the flex hose. Again, sorry for the delay, but I hope this helps.

  • Gary says:

    Interesting blog. I’m having trouble rebuilding my nordic hottub. Control panel went out due to faulty pump. I have replaced the control panel and pump. Now,it appears that pump is air locked and I can’t clear, I get air pumped through water outlet and filter basket. The floor of the control panel is quite warped and it is difficult to get the connections squarely mated, could it be sucking air throught the warped connections ?

    • hottubwarehouse says:

      I would suspect it is sucking air from somewhere. Have you tried unplugging the drain valve on the pump to make sure there is water in there? If there is plenty of water in the pump and it is air locked it is most likely sucking air in the system from somewhere.

  • Dave Ghekiereq says:

    I have a dimmension one spa its a 1995 year model and the jets automatically shut down after a half hour. Can I overide that somehow? Just trying to figure out how to run the jets the full 8 hours to use the fix a leak?

    Thanks Dave

  • Bev says:

    My Pacific hot tub is leaking and we can’t find the source of the problem. How do I repair or at least try using fix-a-leak during the winter here with below freezing temps.

    • Bev, you’ll need to do a standard drain in order to fix a leak, even in the winter. The thing you’ll need to do differently than a standard drain and refill is to blow out your lines so they don’t freeze while the Fix-a-Leak is curing over a period of 48 hours. It should still work in the winter time. Good luck!

  • hal stockman says:

    I have a leak in a jet line can I put a leak stop into a jet

    • Hal, if you have a jet that is leaking in your hot tub, it’s most likely either happening where the flex pipe attaches or at the rubber gasket that sits against the back of the spa. You can put a sealant around the jet fitting if the leak is in the gasket and NOT the pipe connections. Use a silicone or similar product. This may not fix the problem if the leak is happening elsewhere.

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