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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!

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