Hot Tub Service and Repair
by Spa Simple
We offer hot tub service and repair, from breakdown, to general servicing, to efficiency upgrades and much more. We offer first hand experience in supporting all customers from residential, to smaller private holiday let customers to one of the UK's largest holiday park providers with hot tub service and repair.
Troubleshooting & Fault Finding Tips
Where we can, we are more than happy to save our customers a service visit. Please find some of the more common issues below we see on service, with tips on how to identify or correct them.
Hot Tub Flow Errors
Symptoms - Not Heating, FLO or DRY Message, 3 Flashing Dots
Flow errors are common. These faults often are displayed as a message like FL, FLO, 3 flashing dots on the keypad display and the spa stops heating all together, for safety reasons. Usually this is because the spa has sensed an issue with the spa water flow. Simple actions to try before a hot tub service call out...
Water Level - Make sure your water level is topped up to the maximum level. Contact us for hot tub service.
Filter - Ensure the filter is clean, or try running it without the filter to test. This will increase the flow throughout the spa. Make sure there is nothing in the spa water like kids toys that can get sucked down the filter hole, if the filter area is left open. Contact us for hot tub service.
Jets Open - Check all the jets on the spa are open. Spas which use the jet pumps to filter and heat, often this can be a common issue and cause and can easily save you a hot tub service visit. Contact us for hot tub service.
Spa Reset - Sometimes a simple on/off at the isolater switch can correct this to avoid a hot tub service call out. Contact us for hot tub service.
Other than the above, this could result in a genuine issue such as pressure switch, sensor, flow switch, pipe blockage, problem with heating pump, problem with heater or even problem with PCB. If you have carried out the above actions and the fault remains, it could be time for a hot tub service call out.
Hot Tub Tripping Electrics
Symptoms - No Power to Spa or Tripping Fuse Board
When your spa starts to trip the electrics, then get it checked out by a hot tub service technician. You can never be too careful with water and electrics. The more common parts to cause tripping can be found below...
Heater - If the spa powers on fine and remains on whilst you press JET (pump) and AIR (blower) buttons, but trips after a few minutes, then it could very well be your in-line heater that is causing the trip. In the start-up process for most hot tubs, the heater will come on last, so the trip tends to be delayed until the stage it calls for heat. This is for the majority of hot tubs and spas, but there is a few exceptions. Contact us for hot tub service.
Pump - Should the spa power on fine, but trips as soon as you press JETS 1 or 2 button/s, then it would indicate more than likely a pump is causing the issue. Usually, this will result in replacing the pump. Contact us for hot tub service.
Air Blower - This can be a high failure item, and not a common feature on most new hot tubs. If the spa fires on, then trips when you hit the AIR button, then your blower needs disconnecting or replacing. Contact us for hot tub service.
Ozone - The ozone unit can also cause tripping on a hot tub. Nothing short of disconnecting the power from the spa PCB to the ozone unit, to identify for sure. Contact us for hot tub service.
PCB - Other than the above parts, there could be an issue with the main control board (PCB) on the hot tub. Most spa companies wont go to component level on the spa PCBs, so unless there is an obvious wiring issue that can be easily resolved, this could result in the spa PCB being replaced, or in some cases a complete pack upgrade. Contact us for hot tub service.
Due to the nature of the works involved and even testing tripping issues, we recommend you contact us for a hot tub service visit. Hot tubs and swim spas are notoriously heavy on power supply and safety is paramount. It is also common, that it could be your home electric supply, outdoor rotary isolator switches can become wet internally or RCBO (circuit breakers) can become faulty. In either event, you would require a call out from an electrician for these type of works.
Hot Tub Not Heating
Symptoms - Not Reaching Set Point or Not Heating At All
Be sure there is no error which indicates FLOW issues (refer to flow issues above). If the spa heats up to around mid 20's but no higher, then this could just be heat generated from the pumps & friction and the heater may not be working. Simple actions to try before a hot tub service call out...
Heater - Most of the time it's the heater element itself which has failed. You wouldn't expect to see an error code in this instance, but the water just wont heat up. Sometimes we can replace the heater element only, other times it's best to replace the whole heater. Contact us for hot tub service.
Pump - Depending on if your spa uses the jet pump for heating, or has a dedicated circulation pump, both can be common issues if the spa is heating irregularly or not at all. If the pump which controls your heating, doesn't run as it should, then the spa wont heat as it should. As pumps get old and tired, it is common for them to overheat, which means from one day to the next the water may reach set point, then cool down again as the pump can fail to kick back in when it should. This is usually caused by the pump overheating or it could just be a capacitor (start up battery), located on the top of the pump. This can be replaced for fairly low cost, but is usually a sign the pump is on its way out. Contact us for hot tub service.
PCB - If a relay on the main control board (PCB) sticks, then this could also result in some strange heating patterns. You may hear lots of clicking coming from the spa in this instance, or none at all. In normal operation, just before the heater comes on, you should hear a small click from the PCB. This is the relay switching to give the heater the signal to power. If the relay is faulty, then the heater wont come on when it should, or wont turn off when it should causing overheat issues. Either way, more than likely this can result in a new PCB, but depending on the age of the spa and part availability, this could result in a complete pack upgrade. Contact us for hot tub service.
After carrying out the basic tests, referring to the flow error guide above, if the problem persists, then it is advised to book a hot tub service call out to investigate further. Contact us for hot tub service.
Hot Tub Leaking
Symptoms - Loss of Water, Frequently Topping Up
When you experience a leak, you can only hope that it's an easy fix. When you consider a hot tub or swim spa is made up of hundreds of glued joints, then anything's possible. As hot tubs get older, they are more prone to leaks on pipework as the plastic can become brittle and seals corrode. How to find a leak...
Access Inspection - Most spas will contain the running kit such as pumps and heater in one area, known as your access panel. This is always a wise place to start looking for leaks due to threaded joints and maximum pressure. If the spa is leaking on Pump 2 for example, then such methods as simply not using the pump should slow the leak down as it will leak faster under pressure. Contact us for hot tub service.
Topside Controls - Always check the larger controls on the spa topside, known as Diverters. If one of these appear to be leaking, spraying or even seeping, then this could quite easily be the problem, even if it appears to be running back into the spa water. This should come to a stop when the pump that operates the Diverter stops running. If the Diverter runs on the same pump line as the heating pump, for example JET 1, then it would be advised to turn the spa off until the offending part can be replaced as if left unchecked, this could result in more damage and work. Contact us for hot tub service.
Filter Tops - Coast Spas & Hydropool hot tubs use a pressurised filtration system. If the filter canister top splits under pressure, or the seal wears, then turn the spa off. These areas build up with a lot of pressure and the issue will more than likely get worse, very quickly. In some cases this can even damage the filter canister itself if left unchecked, which can result in expensive repairs. Contact us for hot tub service.
Drains - Always make sure your drain on the spa is fully closed. Sounds a bit obvious, but even a drip will cause you noticeable water loss over time and more expense in running the spa if you're topping it up and heating it more often than you should be. Contact us for hot tub service.
Further Testing - If the spa continues to leak after visually inspecting the access area, then you could turn the spa off and see where the water finally settles, though this could take a while if it's a very slow leak. This should indicate the area/s to check next, as it could be one of many jets, lights or controls found at the level the water level rests. Contact us for hot tub service.
Call Out - Should you call out an engineer, then it is advised to fill the spa up prior to the engineers arrival, where possible. It's much easier to find a leak with water coming out and you could save yourself some money on time saved. If the spa leaks as fast as it fills, or should the spa be indoors and you are concerned of further flood damage, then maybe best to leave it to the engineer. Contact us for hot tub service.
After most plumbing fixes, we recommend not to refill the spa for a period of 24 hours to ensure the repair and glue has properly set, where possible. Plumbing fittings tend to be much cheaper than running parts such as pumps and heaters, but plumbing fixes tend to be more labour involved. You can help the engineer in some cases by carrying out certain works yourself if able, allowing better access for example, saving the engineers time and some money. Contact us for hot tub service.
Hot Tub Pump Problems
Symptoms - Occasional Running, Excessive Noise or Lost a Speed (High/Low)
As your pump gets older it could start to suffer with overheating issues. This is when the thermal cut-out on the pump prevents it from running until the motor cools back down. Other issues you could experience is the pump losing one of its speeds, if it's a 2-speed pump, or excessive noise coming from the pump.
Simple actions to try before a hot tub service call out...
Overheating - Should the pump start to action infrequently, then the only solution is to replace it. You will know this if the pump motor becomes extremely warm/hot when touching it. This can work in conjunction with the tub not heating correctly and/or flow issues. Contact us for hot tub service.
Missing Low/High Speed - If your two speed pump starts to miss a speed, for example if you press it once from off, and the slow speed doesn't start or just buzzes, press it again and it powers in to second speed, then it's probably a capacitor which needs replacing which is fairly low cost. A capacitor gives the pump a start up voltage to get the motor going, like a battery. You will have two capacitors if you have a two speed pump. Although a cheaper fix to replace the capacitor on your pump, there is usually a reason for this to go, so it could be a sign that the pump needs replacing ultimately. Contact us for hot tub service.
Excessive Noise - If your pump is becoming noisy, from growly to high pitch squealing, then this is a sign it needs replacing most of the time, unless a foreign object has managed to make its way down the pipework and lodged itself in the wet end of the pump. Though you may learn to live with it, chances are shortly after it will stop working all together. If this is coming from pump 2 or 3 for example, you can disconnect the pump from the PCB for the interim, avoiding turning the hot tub off all together, allow the heating and filtering to continue until you can address the noisy pump. Contact us for hot tub service.
Buzzing Noise - If you can hear a buzzing noise when the pump should start up, but this soon stops and the pump doesn't start up, then chances are the pump is seized, or it could be a capacitor. We are more than likely to find this when a hot tub has been out of action for an extended period, resulting in the pump seizing. Sometimes we can get it going again, but it's more than likely to fail again soon after. In other cases, it could just be replacing the capacitors on top of the pump again, and you are good to go! Contact us for hot tub service.
If you depend on your hot tub as an income, whether you run a holiday let or Air BnB, we recommend not to ignore any noise. 95% of the time, this is a warning that something is failing, and typically it will fail completely at the worst time, which could result in additional cost to you. Contact us for hot tub service.
Hot Tub Problems - Other Common Issues
During our time, we have seen it all with hot tub service. Above, we have covered common or typical issues which we see more regularly but there are many issues we haven't covered, that you still could experience. Below is a few other common issues we see, which should always require attention.
Hot Tub Chemical Dosing - Learning the right way to manage healthy spa water is always advised, though we appreciate in the real world, people tend to find what works for them. In short, sanitiser is key, this will not only help keep the water clear and inviting but also safe for bathers, whether you opt for Chlorine, Bromine or Salt Systems. Little and often is the key, but if you learn to stay on top of it, it doesn't have to be a chore. Balancers such as Ph adjusters are important for controlling potential issues you might not see, such as the prevention of scale formation which could cause big issues on your running parts by shortening the life of them significantly. A well balanced spa will always feel nicer to bath in also. Test and test again...you can never test too much, just remember accurate results aren't instant, so when balancing the spa water, give longer periods between testing. See Spa Chemicals HERE
Hot Tub Pillow Deterioration - Headrests or pillows are notoriously common for breaking down, and are not cheap to replace. They are deemed as a consumable and will require replacing every so often. By keeping a well balanced spa, which has the opportunity to breath (being used more regularly for example), this will help prevent the pillows from breaking down. You can remove the pillows easily enough on most models, if you go for long periods between not using the spa, this will prevent the life of the pillows. Once a pillow starts to break down, it is common to start finding flakes of rubber in the spa water, which in time, and left unchecked, can cause bigger issues down the line. If you are experiencing these issues, but don't want to pay for a new set of pillows, then simply remove them. They are only cosmetic most of the time, and only on a few models do they make all the difference when using the spa. See Spa Pillows HERE
Replacement Hot Tub Covers - Like pillows, hot tub covers have a life. You will be expected to replace it after several years due to excessive weight and poor functionality. It is important to replace your cover when it starts to break down as they can go downhill fast, and should the seam ever damage beyond simple repair, then the cover will start costing you a lot more due to increased heating costs, which is the same result should the cover become very heavy, as the foam inserts become waterlogged and your overall efficiency is compromised. This aside, it's also worth considering the accidental damage you could cause yourself removing or re-installing the lid, before and after use of the spa. We have personally experienced covers which had to be cut up into sections of four, just to be removed from the property due to excessive weight. See Replacement Spa Covers HERE
Hot Tub Cover Lifters - If your cover-lifter is becoming buckled or bent, then more than likely this is due to the weight of your cover when the cover is resting on it, when the spa is in use. There are many different options of cover-lifters that work in many different ways. Although they may appear to be part of your cover, 95% of the time, they are an independent fitting and part. Should a cover-lift fail, this could quite easily result in damage to your hot tub sides as well as cover, so always be aware of how this functions and check the shape appears strong and in form. See Spa Cover-Lifters HERE
We are here to help. If you would like to find out more about an issue you are currently experiencing, prior to making an appointment, then talk to us today. Contact us for hot tub service.