Is your hot tub plumbing without water flow? Is the “hot tub circulation pump not working” the worst thing you never want to experience again? Skip your concern since this article will help you detect signs of impending hot tub circulation and how to resolve them.

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My hot tub circulation pump is not working

When the hot tub circulation pump is not working properly, such as not circulating water, not draining the water from the bath, it may suffer these below problems.

An airbound pump

airbound pump

When started up, the tub’s pump will push the water in the housing out to the tub housing to create a certain vacuum in the housing. This space helps to draw more water from the tub.

However, if you accidentally drain the pump out of water during the bath flush, the pump will become prime lack – also known as an airbound pump.

Fortunately, many pumps are capable of resolving this situation on their own, but there is also a chance that your pump will not work when repriming fails due to too much air in the system.

When there is an airbound fault, the control panel will show “FLO” or “DRY”. Then, to fix this error:

  • First, look for a screw marked near the end or near the top of the pump housing.
  • Then start the running pump and loosen this screw until it makes a hissing sound.
  • When the screech stops, screw that screw. The water will start flowing out.

Other problems with the pump

Most problems when a circulation pump stop workings lie with the pump and the tub pipes. There are a few examples of these you can consider and determine what your pump is having:

  • If you hear a hot tub circulation pump humming noise followed by the pump stop functioning, it is possible that debris has gotten in and blocked the impeller. In that case, find a way to remove all the debris and replace the damaged impeller.
  • It is also possible that your pipe is leaking which results in it being unable to suck and pump water efficiently. Leaks can be caused by either the pipe being connected too loosely or the pipe is damaged. You can fix it right away by re-tightening the pipe or replacing a new one if it breaks.

Problems with the valves

valves hot tub

See if your home pump requires to fully open/close the water valves on the pump inlet and outlet before flushing the bathtub.

If your pump is of this type, make sure to follow the instructions correctly as when you forget not to close/open those valves before starting, this will lead to the problem of the hot tub pump not working.

It is also possible that the problem lies with the injector of the pump. Check if the water jet from the nozzle is stable. If not, chances are that the pump’s internal parts damaged during the drain or the water pump process have blocked the nozzle.

Besides, the water filter clogged with leaves or dirt will also clog the nozzle. If that’s the case, learn some ways to clean a hot tub filter (with vinegar, dishwashing detergent, …) to make sure it’s always clean.

Power failure

In the end, these reasons may seem silly, but not that they do not happen. To diagnose whether your pump is not working because of an electrical problem, you should:

  • Always make sure the pump’s switch is turned on again after filling the tank with water.
  • If step 1 has been completed and the pump is still not working, do a check to see if anyone has disconnected the circuit breaker or the pump ground fault circuit breaker. Turn the circuit breaker on again if these are disconnected.
  • Push the “test” button if GFCI tripped to restore power.
  • Make sure nothing is on top of the power switch in use to control the pump.

My hot tub circulation pump is making noise

A good pump makes the least amount of noise in operation. When the circulation pump of your spa tub begins to emit strange noises such as grinding or hum, you should start to see what problems it is having with the following common problems:

Air in the pump lines

This is similar to the airbound pump mentioned above and the workaround is similar.

Note, please solve this problem as quickly as possible, because when the pump is still running but the water is not flowing and you stay the same, it is likely to burn or worse, the circulation pump is dead.

Accumulate deposits

When you do not clean the tank well, or the water you are running is hard (contaminated with metals that can build up such as calcium or lime deposits), those deposits settle in the pipes or pumps and make noise when operating.

To check the internal situation and fix this problem:

  • First, disconnect the power supply and close the pump valve. Remove the wet top cover or impeller cover.
  • Check the surface of the impeller as well as the piping for any buildup of dirt.
  • If present, remove them with a stiff brush or a chemical such as CLR.

Pump impeller clogging

As mentioned above, the impeller or pump nozzle will become clogged when a foreign object enters. Solve this problem in the ways above as quickly as possible to avoid the propeller not rotating resulting in damage, or clogged nozzles putting pressure on the pipes.

Bad bearings

Recirculating motors are usually built with 2 two bearings. This ensures a smooth rotation of the rotor in the stator.

Of course, over time these bearings rust and start to make loud noises during operation. To test if the noise of your hot tub pump at home is caused by rusting bearings, do the following:

  • Disconnect the plumbing and turn it on again shortly to see if it makes any unusual sounds.
  • Depending on the location of the malfunction, replacing the bearings, the motor, a complete circulation pump will be required.

Prevention is important

Replacing your hot tub components is a must. Because time, wear, tear, deterioration, and obsolescence will affect the quality of the bath as well as your experience. However, to avoid unexpected problems such as the hot tub circulation pump not working, prevention is the key!

  • Have a spa tub maintenance schedule and follow it regularly. Don’t forget to improve your water supply to avoid chemical imbalances in the water.
  • Take care to prevent the water level from being low immediately to avoid fault conditions, engine ignition, and even dry fire.
  • Pay attention to even the smallest abnormalities to prevent any unnecessary problems.

If you do not have enough experience or the tools to fix those problems, call an expert to save effort, money, time as well as ensure the error is solved most thoroughly.

Before leaving

Technical issues related to the hot tub circulation pump not working always make people feel troublesome. Worse still, most errors require you to dismantle/install the pump for inspection and repair. Therefore, learn how to prevent risks in the first place to reduce the risks.

Have a good time and relax in the tub!

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