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5 Common Hot Tub Troubleshooting Issues and Solutions

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This post is by Kaisa Williams from The Spa Depot, an online hot tub supply retailer. She compiled a list of common problems and solutions on how to solve them when taking care of your hot tub

From hot tub leaks to control panel error codes, troubleshooting your hot tub problems can be daunting. So, it’s important to know when to call a licensed maintenance specialist, or when you can make a simple repair yourself and save money.

Here is a list of some common hot tub issues and solutions.

1. My Hot Tub Won’t Heat

Sometimes a heating problem is as simple as replacing a heater element. However, the problem can be caused by another component.

The pump has to be running for your spa to heat, so if the pump doesn’t come on, the problem may be with the pump itself.

Testing the components with a multimeter, or hiring a maintenance specialist is the most efficient way to diagnose the cause of the problem.

2. My Jets Aren’t Working

My hot tub is running, but nothing is coming through the jets. What’s wrong?

Usually, the answer is twisting the face of the jet to allow water flow. Most hot tubs come with adjustable jets that can be turned down for less water flow, or closed altogether.

If you recently refilled the spa, the problem could be an air lock. To remove an air lock, loosen either fitting on the pump to allow the air in the pipe to escape – water should flow for about 5-10 seconds before retightening.

3. My Spa is Displaying an Error Code: The 5 Most Common Hot Tub Error Codes

Modern hot tubs with electronic controls feature spa-side keypads with digital readouts called Control Panels. Hot tubs with these readouts will display an error code when something is wrong or malfunctioning.

Wondering what your spa is trying to tell you?

1. FLO or FLC

Hot Tub Control Panel Error Flo
FLO or FLC = improper flow or pressure switch malfunction.

Solution: If there is no water flow, check the voltage going to the pump. Is your hot tub pump getting proper voltage, but still not running? Then, replace the pump.

There are many other possible causes of this problem. Get professional help if replacing the pump does not remedy the problem.

2. OH

Hot Tub Control Panel Error OH

OH = Overheat. The spa is at a temperature above 108° F. Do not use the hot tub when the temperature is flashing, or the OH message is displayed.

Solution: If the temperature of the water is 108° or hotter, replace the temp sensor. If the water is cool, the high limit sensor is bad and needs replacing.

3. Dr/Dry

Hot Tub Control Panel Error DRY

Dr/Dry = Inadequate water flow detected in the heater.

Solution: If the hot tub is under-filled, add water to the normal fill line. Similar to the Flo error, there are many other possible causes of this problem. Seek professional help if filling the tub does not solve the problem.


Hot Tub Control Panel Error COOL

COOL = Spa water is more than 20° F cooler than the temperature set point.

Solution: Place cover on the hot tub and allow it to heat up.

5. SnA or SnB

Hot Tub Control Panel Error SnA

SnA or SnB = This means that sensor A or sensor B is bad or has a poor connection to the circuit board.

Solution: Check the connection or replace the sensor. If that does not work, the problem is the circuit board itself.

Need more help? Get a comprehensive list of hot tub error codes and what they mean.

4. My Pump is Making Loud Noises

If your pump is louder than it used to be, the bearings in the motor are going out, and soon the motor will seize.

Most often this is caused by a leaking shaft seal, or from old age. Sometimes motors with bad bearings can last for months. However, the loud noise will only get louder.

Tip: Parts and labor from motor shops can be very close to the cost of a brand new pump with a warranty, so do yourself a favor and replace the pump instead of having it repaired.

5. My GFCI is Tripping

If your GFCI is tripping, it could be due to a bad heater element, pump, blower or Ozonator. To determine which component is causing the problem, unplug the components one at a time and turn on the breaker.

If the breaker does not trip after disconnecting the pump, Ozonator, or blower, you’ve found the problem, and you can now replace that component.

If you’ve unplugged all three components and the breaker still trips, it’s likely the heater element.

Hiring a specialist or replacing the heater is the next best course of action.

Happy Soaking!

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Last Updated: Thursday, April 13th, 2017