What hot tub problems can you fix yourself?

You likely look forward to a hot tub soak every day. So, when you see an error code on your spa’s control panel, you might worry that you’ve lost your chance. But don’t fret! Hot Spring® spa systems are reliable and will last a long time with regular maintenance, but issues do sometimes arise. To help set you on the right track toward fixing minor hot tub problems with jets, pumps, heaters, electrical systems, controls, and water quality, we’ve created an easy-to-follow chart below. Consider it a great starting point for ways to troubleshoot and fix your hot tub problems. As a reminder, always be sure to consult your owners manual.

If you have questions about the best practices for do-it-yourself routine maintenance and repairs, or the details of your warranty, your local Hot Spring dealer is the best resource for answers. Plus, turn to your dealer for repairs by a certified technician who knows Hot Spring models inside and out.

HOW TO FIX COMMON HOT TUB PROBLEMS

To troubleshoot an issue with your spa, locate your specific problem in the chart below to help determine a probable cause, and then apply the right solution.

Fix some of your hot tub’s operational issues by following simple steps.

FIX YOUR HOT TUB’S OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS

The ProblemThe Likely Cause(s)Troubleshooting SolutionsDo you need to call a professional technician?
The spa is inoperative
  • Power failure
  • GFCI has tripped
  • Heater’s high-limit thermostat has tripped
  • Spa lock is activated
  • Check for problems with your power source
  • Reset the GFCI
  • Disconnect the power for 30 seconds to reset the thermostat; then check for clogged filters
  • Deactivate the spa lock
  • Contact an electrician if your power source is inoperative
  • Call for spa service if the GFCI won’t reset
  • Call for spa service if the high-limit thermostat has tripped
Spa won’t heat, even while the jets and lights operate (green logo “Ready” and blue logo “Power” indicators are blinking)
  • Integrated pressure switch is open
  • Circulation pump thermal cut-off has tripped
  • Air lock was created after filling the spa
  • Check for clogged filters; the switch should reset once the water is again flowing through the heater
  • Check for clogged filters and air locks in the plumbing, and disconnect power to the spa so the pump can cool; the pump should reset once it has cooled and the power is reconnected
  • Place the water hose down the main filter in the filter compartment, and fill the spa completely to push the air lock out
  • Call for spa service if the heater trips frequently
  • Call for spa service if the circulation pump trips frequently
Jet operation is weak or surging
  • Spa water level is too low
  • Filters are clogged
  • Comfort Control® lever is closed
  • Add water to the spa
  • Clean the filters
  • Open the Comfort Control® lever
  • Reach out to your dealer if you have further questions about optimal jet performance and maintenance
Light is inoperative
  • Spa lock is activated
  • Light wiring or assembly is faulty
  • Deactivate the spa lock
  • Replace the light assembly
  • Call for spa service if you are unsure of how to replace your light assembly
Moto-Massage® DX jet is inoperative or erratic
  • Comfort Control® valves are closed
  • Filters are clogged
  • Open the Comfort Control® levers
  • Clean the filters
  • Contact your dealer for more questions about jet maintenance
Blue logo “Power” indicator is blinking
  • The heater’s high-limit thermostat has tripped
  • Disconnect the power for 30 seconds to reset the heater’s high limit; check for clogged filters
  • Call for spa service if the thermostat continues to trip
Green logo “Ready” indicator is blinking
  • A problem with the temperature sensor
  • Disconnect the power for 30 seconds
  • Call for spa service if the indicator continues blinking
Control touchscreen is on but inoperable
  • Remote control is too far away from the spa
  • Communication between the control system and the remote is interrupted
  • Move the remote closer to the spa
  • Press the Jets button on the dock unit; if it’s necessary to reset the panel, press and hold the touchscreen in any blank area until it turns black
  • Contact your dealer to learn more about the possibilities of customizing your hot tub soak through the intuitive control panel
Control touchscreen is off and black
  • Power to the spa is off
  • Battery needs to be recharged
  • Battery is in Shut-Down mode
  • Battery is not recharging
  • Turn the power on
  • Put the remote control back in the docking tray to recharge
  • Press the touchscreen and wait 40 seconds
  • Call an electrician if your power to the spa will not turn on
  • Call for spa service if your battery is not recharging
Remote responds intermittently within the 30-foot range
  • An outside source is interfering with the signal
  • Change the channel on the remote by pressing the Lights button on the dock unit until the buttons flash and you see a change channel screen on the remote; press UP or DOWN to adjust the channel, and OK to set it
  • Reach out to your dealer with further questions about operating your control panel and remote
Touchscreen continues to read “Searching for spa” on a black screen
  • Remote is not paired with the control panel
  • Press the Jets button on the dock unit until the buttons flash; press and hold on the screen until Pairing Yes/No displays; press Yes to pair
  • Contact your dealer for technical support if problems with your control panel or remote continue

Fix hot tub problems proactively with routine cleaning and maintenance.

FIX YOUR HOT TUB’S WATER QUALITY PROBLEMS

The Problem You’re NoticingThe Likely Cause(s)Troubleshooting SolutionsDo you need to call a professional technician?
Cloudy water
  • Filters are dirty
  • Excessive buildup of oils and organic matter
  • Improper sanitation
  • Suspended particles or organic matter
  • Overused or old water
  • Clean the filters
  • Shock the spa water with sanitizer
  • Add sanitizer as your owner’s manual recommends; adjust the pH and/or the alkalinity to the recommended range
  • Run the jet pumps and clean the filters
  • Drain and refill the spa
  • Contact your dealer with any questions about proper water sanitation and maintenance for your spa model, or to purchase new filters as needed
Water odor
  • Excessive buildup of organic matter
  • Improper sanitation
  • Low pH
  • Shock the spa water with sanitizer
  • Add sanitizer in the appropriate quantity
  • Adjust the pH to the recommended range
  • Contact your dealer with any questions about proper water sanitation and maintenance of your spa model
Chlorine odor
  • Chloramine level is too high
  • Low pH
  • Shock the spa water with sanitizer
  • Adjust pH to the recommended range
  • Contact your dealer if you’re unsure about proper water sanitation and maintenance practices for your spa model
Musty odor
  • Bacteria or algae growth in the spa
  • Shock the spa with sanitizer; if the problem persists, drain, clean, and refill the spa
  • Contact your local dealer for tips on keeping this problem in check in your climate
A ring of scum around the spa
  • Organic buildup of oils and dirt
  • Wipe the scum off with a clean rag; if the layer of scum is heavy, drain the spa and use a spa surface and tile cleaner to remove the scum before refilling the spa
  • Contact your dealer for cleaning recommendations and tips to prevent future buildup
Algae growth
  • High pH
  • Low sanitizer level
  • Shock the water with sanitizer and adjust the pH to recommended levels
  • Shock the water with sanitizer and maintain the sanitizer level
Eye irritation
  • Low pH
  • Low sanitizer level
  • Adjust the pH
  • Shock the water with sanitizer and maintain the sanitizer level
Skin irritation or rash
  • Unsanitary water
  • Free chlorine level is above 5 ppm
  • Shock the water with sanitizer and maintain the sanitizer level
  • Allow the free chlorine level to drop below 5 ppm before using the spa
Stains
  • Total alkalinity and/or pH are too low
  • High iron or copper content in the water source
  • Adjust the total alkalinity and/or pH
  • Use a metal deposit inhibitor
  • Contact your dealer for advice on keeping your home spa looking like new
Scale
  • Water has high calcium content, and total alkalinity and pH are too high
  • Adjust the total alkalinity and pH. To remove the scale, drain the spa water, scrub off the scale, refill the spa, and balance the water
  • Contact your dealer for tips on how to prevent future scale buildup

Remember to exercise caution when attending to your hot tub’s mechanical and electrical parts. We recommend contacting an expert technician when repairs require professional attention, especially during the warranty period—you don’t want to risk voiding your warranty.

 

Your Hot Spring dealer can help you fix hot tub problems, so you can relax.

PROACTIVE HOT TUB MAINTENANCE TIPS THAT CAN SAVE YOU FROM FUTURE HEADACHES

Your Hot Spring hot tub offers incredible benefits for stress and tension relief, hydrotherapy, and personal connections. When you regularly and proactively care for your spa, it will keep giving back in valuable, healthy ways. Hot Spring spas are designed to make it easy for you to monitor water quality, clean the filters, and protect your spa from the elements. Follow these tips to keep your home spa in tip-top shape and to minimize the time and cost of repairs.

  • Rinse the underside of your hot tub cover frequently with a garden hose to keep algae, mold, and mildew at bay.
  • Rinse your filters every month to keep clear water flowing. (TRI-X® filters are dishwasher-safe.)
  • Use an instant filter cleaner spray each month to break up oil and other stubborn buildup.
  • Always keep your hot tub covered when not in use to keep debris out and to more efficiently maintain water temperature.
  • Keep detergents and soaps out of your spa by showering with water only before getting into the hot tub.
  • Drain and refill the hot tub as recommended in your owner’s manual to keep your water fresh.
  • Use only the chemicals and cleaners your dealer recommends for your hot tub model. Pool chemicals and other products can throw off your water balance and lead to damage down the road.
  • Purchase authorized Hot Spring parts from your dealer to ensure that you’re outfitting your spa with quality, lasting components.
  • Keep your spa’s serial number on hand in case you need to reference it for more troubleshooting advice or official parts and repairs.

You don’t have to be tech savvy to solve some of the common problems that arise with regular hot tub use; just learn to be more proactive. This guide can help you get started, so you and your family can enjoy relaxing, therapeutic soaks for decades to come. For issues that require expert troubleshooting, your Hot Spring dealer is always ready to step in.

The best time to start thinking about spa maintenance and repair options is before you even purchase your hot tub. When you buy a hot tub from a reputable Hot Spring dealer, your package includes access to a wealth of expert knowledge and certified technicians who can ensure the best possible outcome when your spa experiences problems. So, plan a visit to your showroom today. You can also refer to our frequently asked questions, request a personalized price quote, or download a brochure for more details about Hot Spring spas.