There are two types of people in this world: those that have everything going for them, and those who haven’t got hot tubs. You have everything going for you, which is why you’ll occasionally have to perform a little hot tub maintenance. The maintenance isn’t difficult, because similar hot tub problems are exhibited in all makes and models. Those problems’ solutions are for the most part straightforward as well!

Water Is Cloudy or Depositing Scaling

Cloudy water and scaling buildup commonly result when hot tub water’s chemical balance is imperfect. Use a spa test kit to measure your water’s pH, alkalinity, calcium, and chlorine levels. If you use bromine to disinfect your hot tub water instead of chlorine, ensure the test kit measures that element. 

Once you have accurate measurements of your water’s chemistry, apply the appropriate increaser and decreaser products to adjust its qualities back to ideal range:

  • pH – 7.2–7.8
  • Alkalinity – 80–120 ppm.
  • Calcium – 100– 250 ppm (acrylic finish); 250–450 ppm (plaster finish)
  • Chlorine – 1.5–3 ppm
  • Bromine – 3–5 ppm

Water Is Foamy

Foamy hot tub water contains surface active agents – i.e. substances such as detergent, skin oil, low-quality chemicals, makeup and lotion that produce bubbles when they are exposed to air. Eliminating foamy water requires as many as four steps, as you can stop if the first, second or third step solves the problem:

  • Adjust water pH so it falls between 7.2 and 7.8; adjust water alkalinity so it falls between 80 and 120
  • Remove filters, soak them in a suitable cleaning solution, rinse, and reinstall
  • Apply anti-foaming product to water
  • Replace water

Filter Is Clogged

No spa’s water is so clean that its filter won’t gradually become dirty. The same substances which make a hot tub’s water foamy also clog its filter, which necessitates infrequent cleaning – every couple of weeks should suffice. If your hot tub’s control panel displays the “FLO” error message, then water is no longer efficiently passing through its filter. In addition to accelerating wear and tear on the hot tub’s pump and other moving parts, a clogged filter can cause chemical imbalances and an overall unpleasant soaking experience.

Follow these simple steps while cleaning your filter:

  • Remove filter
  • Soak filter overnight in solution of water and specialized cleaning product (use a specialized cleaning product; do not use bleach, household cleaners or a dishwasher)
  • Rinse filter
  • Air dry filter
  • Reinstall filter

Control Panel Screen Displays Error Code

It would be impractical to list every error code (aka diagnostic message) your hot tub could possibly display and prescribe the actions you should take in response, as different manufacturers’ hot tubs can display different codes. Consult your hot tub’s manual for the meanings of its error codes. We have collected several major manufacturers’ manuals and error code guides for your convenience:

Breaker Has Tripped

Each hot tub has a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or a residual current device (RCD). Both of these devices serves an important function. They spare you from becoming electrocuted as the result of an electrical malfunction. These devices are extremely sensitive, and frequently activate even when people using the hot tub aren’t at risk.

If its GFCI or RCD trips at random, then your hot tub may have a damaged heater or control box, corroded electrical contacts, loose electrical connections, or a short in one of its electrical components. The issue could stem from any malfunctioning component; alternatively, the GFCI or RCD itself may be broken or incorrectly installed. We would not advise a layman to perform electrical repairs on their hot tub. We warn against diagnosing an electrical issue while the hot tub is plugged in!

Water Isn’t Heating

If your hot tub’s water is failing to warm up, its heater is the most obvious culprit. Acidic water corrodes heating elements, causing the element to frequently fail. Maintaining a water pH between 7.2 and 7.8 is the best way to avoid heater failure, but outright replacement is typically necessary to fix the problem once it has occurred.

Hot Tub Makes Strange Noises

If your hot tub emits a high-pitched whine while it is in operation, that could indicate its motor’s bearings are worn out and in need of replacement. It is possible that the entire part may require replacement if the motor is more than five years old.

If the hot tub makes humming, grumbling or knocking noises, then its pump may not be receiving an adequate supply of water. Check the suction lines for foreign objects, and ensure that its valve is open and unobstructed. If your hot tub is making a gentler rattle, then its pump may have insufficient rubber padding to absorb its normal vibrations. This is a simple fix: add a new pad or additional padding.

Whether you need high-quality products for regular spa maintenance or expert hot tub repair in the greater Sioux Falls, SD area, then we welcome you to contact Paradise Patio, Pool & Spa today!