Repairing a Hot Tub After a Storm in 6 Steps
Inclement weather is one of life’s inevitabilities. No matter where you live, you can fall victim to severe storms that may end up damaging your property. While we recently covered ways to help protect your hot tub in these kinds of conditions, we’d like to go over how to pick up the pieces in the unfortunate event that your spa does become damaged during a flood, hurricane, or other instance of extreme weather. Here is Hot Tub Warehouse’s basic guide to repairing a hot tub after a storm.
1. Safety First
Whether you’ve experienced an earthquake, flood, or hurricane, when everything has settled and it’s safe to go outside you should first CUT THE POWER to your hot tub unit in order to avoid the risk of electrocution. Don’t approach your hot tub if the power is still running. To shut off the power, turn off the circuit breaker and any sub-panel that the hot tub is connected to. If your hot tub is 120v, you can unplug it from the outlet (carefully!). If there is anything you’re not comfortable with touching or assessing, don’t be afraid to have an electrician handle it.
2. Take a Look
If you are comfortable assessing your hot tub on your own after a storm has struck, take a look inside of the equipment panel ONLY AFTER the power has been shut off. All of the electrical elements—the spa packs, pumps, blowers, ozonators, etc.—are the most susceptible to damage during violent weather. You’ll immediately want to check for evidence of breaks or burns which will often leave behind char marks inside the cabinet wall. You’ll also want to see if any of the fittings have obviously been corroded or compromised. If either burn marks or corrosion are present, those parts will need immediate replacement before you’ll be able to safely turn on the hot tub again.
3. Let it Dry
After you’ve opened up your cabinet to assess the control panel, allow the equipment to air out before turning it on to avoid unnecessary damage to the components. Take your wet/dry vac and help any remaining water out of the cabinet. You can leave the small area open (assuming you have good weather) and blow a fan inside to aid the evaporation of any remaining moisture. You also want to prevent mildew growth inside your control panel by wiping everything down with a clean cloth and a non-foaming cleanser.
4. Cabinet Damage
Other than the electrical elements, the other area of the spa that may have become damaged during the storm is the cabinet. Depending on what kind of hot tub you have, this can be either a quick or an extensive repair process. Wooden hot tub cabinets can become scratched or experience exterior water damage that can be fixed by refinishing your spa cabinet (we wrote a whole step-by-step guide!). This process will probably take a day or so and requires some patience and good weather. But most minor dents and scratches can be filled or buffed out with a sander.
If you have a more modern hot tub cabinet, you may be able to fix pieces that have broken or become damaged by simply ordering a new panel. Hot tub makers like Caldera make their cabinets of a strong composite that doesn’t wear or fade, and pieces can be replaced relatively simply and inexpensively. You just order the piece that needs replacing, unscrew the damaged portion, and voila! Almost like it never happened. Check with your spa manufacturer on the availability of these panels.
5. Cover Tears
If you followed our instructions and had the time, hopefully you were able to keep any major damage from happening to your hot tub cover. However, accidents happen. Cuts, tears, and fatal punctures can all occur in the midst of bad weather but are a relatively easy fix. Hot tub covers have a foam insert that is protected by a thin plastic covering that is inserted into a vinyl covering. Any one of these elements can become compromised during a storm so it’s important to check each thoroughly and fix any damage.
Unzip the vinyl and remove the foam inserts. Slowly and carefully look over the wrapping around the foam. If there are punctures, there may be some lingering water inside. Get as much of this out as you can and then reseal these with vinyl patches. It should be air tight. You’ll also want to make sure there is no lingering water inside of the vinyl covering that can turn into mold and mildew that will emanate an awful smell. If you want to take the time, you can thoroughly clean your hot tub cover, inside and out. Make sure it’s dry before reinserting the foam and replacing on top of the hot tub.
The cover vinyl may have also experienced some damage during the storm. You can cover small holes and tears with clear vinyl patches and will leave it looking almost good as new. You can also replace any broken cover strap clips at this time.
If, during your inspection, you notice that the foam is cracked or broken, you will need to invest in a new hot tub cover. It won’t be able to do its job and will make your hot tub much less energy efficient if it’s not in one piece (literally). You may also want to replace your cover if you notice significant bowing or a bend in your foam inserts.
6. Look for Interior Damage
After a flood or severe storm, the water inside the hot tub may have gotten severely dirty. If that’s the case, it’s better to just drain the hot tub and start fresh. This will also give you an opportunity to check for any damage to the acrylic shell. After draining your hot tub, wipe down the spa with a non-abrasive, non-foaming cleanser. Once the shell is clean, you can get a better look at any damage. Small cracks and superficial scratches can be fixed via acrylic repair or Fix-A-Leak product. You may not notice some of this until it is refilled with clean water.
You’ll want to keep a very close eye on your hot tub’s performance after severe weather or any repairs have been performed. If anything seems amiss, it’s best to call your local spa service professional and have them take a look.
Article note: if there has been severe damage to your hot tub, there’s a good chance it is covered under your home owner’s insurance. However, some policies don’t include certain disasters like floods. Make sure you check with your insurance provider before making a claim. But you should also know that you may not have to pay out of pocket for any major repairs.