How to Detect the Source of a Leaky Hot Tub

Hot tubs can leak for many reasons: routine wear-and-tear, improper maintenance, accidents and extreme weather. Unfortunately, most take some time to become noticeable—after all, water loss is normal. Bathers transport water from the tub after every use. Evaporation gradually lowers water levels without a cover as well.

However, water loss at regular intervals likely indicates a leak. For holes less than an eighth of an inch in diameter, you can pour special sealant into the water to close them. When it settles, the sealant coats the walls of the spa’s inner workings. You will need to drain the water afterwards, but that’s a small inconvenience.

Where to Look for Leaks

Sealants that you mix into your spa can be effective but are rarely permanent. That’s why many hot tub owners prefer to fix the leak by hand at the source. Before investigating, though, shut off all power to the hot tub.

Most commonly, leaks start at the pump. If all its seals require repairs, then it might be easiest to replace the pump entirely. Otherwise, you can patch as needed.

If not the pump, then check the pressure switch and heater.

For each, inspect the integrity of all fittings and pipes. Be sure to feel for looseness, as it’s not always a break that causes leaks.

Sometimes, you will need to add food colouring to the water to see where the water gets diverted. Just pour a bit in near the pump, then follow its usual flow path. This method will likely only work for larger holes, but it’s worth a shot.


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