Hot Tub Jet Flow Troubleshoot

Flow Chart

If you have a hot tub for any length of time, you end up troubleshooting all manner of issues. Other than malfunctioning heaters, one very common question our service department gets is how to resolve hot tub jet flow problems, specifically little or no flow emanating from the jets. To help you get through this issue, we’ve developed a flow chart (at the bottom of the article) and accompanying troubleshooting article to help you back to optimum functionality.

WARNING: Do not attempt to rewire or adjust your electrical elements if you don’t have any experience in this area. Water and electrical components maintain a tricky balance as it is and there’s often little to no room for error. Contact a hot tub professional or a licensed electrician if you’re not comfortable with electrical work or are unable to fix the problem on your own.

NOTE: The specifications on your hot tub may vary from the one we’re going off in this article. In this case, we’re going off a standard spa pack.

Water flow problems are extremely common and they seem to manifest themselves in hot tub jet flow. There are several factors that could be making this an issue.

If you’ve just drained and refilled your hot tub, low flow problems could be manifesting because of an air lock in your spa’s plumbing. In this instance, the air needs to be bled out of the lines. Look for the small bleed screws that are at the end of your pump and open them to allow air out. ALWAYS do this with the power off and close them quickly to avoid spraying water. Some hot tubs have a bleed screw on the top of the filter so make sure to let out air there, too.

After bleeding the air, try turning on the power and see if the jets begin to operate. You may have to repeat this step several times before you get full function although you should get an increase in power after each attempt if this is where your problem lies. Get the majority of the air out to get your jets going—the remaining air will find its way out of the lines with the jets functioning.

Didn’t recently empty your hot tub water? You probably don’t have an air lock.

A) Instead, check to see if your pump is working. If it is, precede to Step B. If that’s not the case, check the voltage at the pump. If there IS voltage, your pump needs repair/replacement. If isn’t any voltage, test the power sources for open circuits or switches.

B) Do you have adequate flow out of some of your jets? If yes, skip ahead to C. If there isn’t good flow emanating from the jets, here are a few potential causes:

B1) Take apart the pump wet end. Look for any foreign obstructions or a broken impeller that could be affecting water flow.

B2) Check the filter. If it’s clogged or damaged, you’ll need to either clean or replacement. A large majority of flow problems stem back to a filthy filter. If you can’t figure out whether or not this is the problem, try to run the spa without the filter and see if you have any improvement.

B3) Check for closed or broken knife valves (also known as gate valves).

B4) If you have a water level issue, make sure the floating weir on the skimmer isn’t stuck and causing a flow change.

C) If you have good water flow out of some of the jets, look at each of your non-operational jets and see if they might be closed. Many kinds of jets can be adjusted for pressure and/or turned off at the jet itself.

C1) Look for loose or worn out jets seals, check nozzles for debris or obstruction.

We hope you’ve been able to at least identify the culprit, even if you can’t fix it yourself. That should at least save you some time (and money) during the repair process. Good luck!

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