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How to fix a hot tub pump 101

Firstly hot tub pumps are not complicated, they all consist of the same components and do the same job (Note: we are talking about hot tub water pumps and not Air Blowers in Hot Tubs). The parts consist of a motor which is built with a shaft, bearings, windings, capacitor and a cable, and a wet end that screws to plumbing union and bolts on to the motor and consists of a shaft seal, o-rings, impeller, bleed valves or nipples and a casing built of a faceplate and wet end body.

Guide Designed for Repairing: Waterway Pumps, AquaFlo Pumps, LX Pumps, Baboa Pumps

They look a bit like this:

Hot Tub Motor Parts

Hot Tub Pump Wet End Diagram

Tools that may be required to work on pumps consist of:

  • Multimeter
  • Wrench for Impeller removing
  • Spanners
  • Large screw driver or armature tool
  • Bearing puller if you need to change bearings
  • Cross head screw driver

Reasons for Fixing

Hot tub pumps do get old but don't loose power or water pressure over age, they will fail by becoming noisy, trip the electrics, have an open circuit, or if the motor is working impeller failure. (Note it is possible to have an air lock if you have just changed the water, but this is not classed as a pump fault.)

Important

In most situations you may have to remove the pump from under the hot tub / spa to test, however this is last resort because its always best to test hot tub pumps under resistance with the water whilst still connected to the hot tub plumbing.

Break down of faults and how to repair them.

Open Circuit

Check power is getting to pump with multimeter

Make sure power is constant easily by plugging into an extension

Check capacitors for burn outs and burnt wires

If the above are tested and you still have a fault you will need a new motor.

Tripping Electrics

Make sure power it is the motor by plugging it into an extension to isolate the motor, if it still trips check the following:

Check capacitors for burn outs and burnt wires

Check the power cable for animal damage or cuts

If the above are tested and you still have a fault you will need a new motor or possibly new pump if not available separately.

No Water Pressure (but motor is spinning)

Make sure you don't have an air lock (if you have just changed the water this is highly possible)

If no air lock it is possible the impeller has sheared and you will need either a new impeller or wet end

Pump Leaking From wet End

Leaking from the rear means you will need a new shaft seal

Leaking from front - check main face plate o-ring it may need replacing, also check smaller o-rings on bleed and drain nipples

Leaking from unions - you may need to change the gaskets / o-rings, however its possible to over tighten and break the union flange if so this will need to be re-plumbed

Pump Noises

Rough sounds from the bearings - change bearings if possible

Fast clicking noise from rear - the cooling fan is clipping the fan casing

Muffled grinding noise from the wet end - the impeller or wear ring may have a foreign object inside or the wear ring will need replacing

Humming noise - a capacitor has probably blown, check them out and replace with same uF + or - 5% of original capacitor

Gurring noise - Its possible that both speeds of a 2 speed power are getting power and the circuit board sending power to the circuit has a fault

Taking a Hot Tub Motor Apart

The best way to get confidence to take a hot tub pump apart is to check out a few YouTube Videos and watch other people taking hot tub pumps apart, there are some great videos on YouTube on how to replace impellers and capacitors online.

For more detail on repairing hot tub plumbing that may be connected to your pump please see our other Help Guides Here.

Please note all Hot tub Parts sold are UK Spec, which means designed for 230 V at 50Hz

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