The pump is one of the key parts of your hot tub, because it enables the water to keep moving through the system. Without it functioning properly, the water stays still. Pumps also power the jets which are a big part of your relaxing experience.
However, they require check-ups and small maintenance to ensure they’re working properly. Sometimes the pump will start causing problems or stop working altogether, and in many cases it’s more cost effective to buy a new one than to get the old one replaced.
We selected the best hot tub pumps for you, so you can choose a quality product. However, keep in mind that different types of pumps exist, and not every single one will fit your spa. This is why you need to learn about certain features, which we are going to break down in the buying guide. This way you can get the best spa pump for your particular spa, which will be reliable for a long time.
How To Choose The Best Spa Pump – Buying Guide
It’s important that you know the specs of the pump which came with the tub. There will usually be a label on the side which states horsepower, number of speeds, flow, intake and discharge diameter and other useful information. If you can’t find it, you can contact the manufacturer and ask them about it.
The reason for this is so that you can compare and get a compatible pump. In general, more horsepower and higher speed is better, but the hot tub piping can be a limiting factor for this. In order for it to work properly, it should have similar (or same) specs.
Spend a bit more money if you need to, because if you get the best spa pump it will pay off in the long run. Very cheap pumps are available too, but be careful if you opt for these – they can have both operation and durability issues, and you may end up needing to replace it much sooner than you’d hoped for.
Speed And Flow
Hot tub pumps have two varieties – they can have two operating speeds or just one. The two-speed pump has a low and high setting, and they are used for both water circulation and powering the jets. You can switch between speeds on the control panel. On the other hand, a single-speed pump creates a constant flow. In this case, there are usually two pumps in the spa – one for circulation, and a stronger pump for the jets.
An important aspect of every pump is the flow. This represents the amount of water which goes through pump discharge, and it’s shown in GPM (gallons per minute). This depends on the power a pump has. Some smaller spa circulating pumps have around 30 GPM, while strong pumps which power the jets can have well over 200 GPM.
The hot tub will spend some electric energy, there’s no doubt about it. But modern pumps are made to be more energy efficient, meaning they can get more done with less power. Also, it can pay off to get a new pump which operates properly (instead of an old one causing problems) because this too can decrease energy consumption. Stronger pumps will have higher wattage and drain more, so if this is an issue for you be sure to look at the efficiency ratings before buying.
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Wet And Dry Ends
A hot tub pump has two main parts. The first one is the dry end (dry chamber), where the electromotor is located. It must remain dry at all times, otherwise a hazard will occur. No water from the wet end should pass through, not even moisture. It will cause the pump to stop working and create short circuits.
On the other hand, the wet end has an impeller. A shaft connects it to electromotor, and the impeller blades run the water through the system when the pump is turned on. If your wet end encounters problems, you’ll notice circulation difficulties in the spa.
Depending on your tub, pumps come with different voltage. They will either be 110-120V and connected with two wires, or 220-240V and connected with four wires. Universal products also exist, which can be connected to either one. But for most, this is something you need to match when getting a new pump, otherwise you won’t be able to run it.
This shows how much power a pump has. When it comes to pumps designed for hot tubs, they range from under 1hp to 5hp. Horsepower can make a significant difference in terms of performance. However, we already mentioned that you should get a pump similar to the current one. There is no point in putting the strongest one in if the plumbing isn’t able to support it.
Some manufacturers list out horsepower achieved in the factory, in ideal conditions. You should be aware of this, because the pump won’t be able to have the same power when in your hot tub.
The place where the water exist is called a discharge port. Depending on pump type, it can be located on top or on the side. This is important to notice because it enables you to connect the pump properly to the tub water system. Some of the best hot tub pumps will allow you to rotate the discharge and place it at any angle which suits you. In addition, discharge diameter is also a factor.
Pumps come with two types of frames – a smaller 48 frame and a larger 56. When you’re installing the pump into the tub, it needs to be bolted into place. Otherwise, it will create vibrations, noise and can even malfunction after some time. This is why the frame needs to fit. The size is usually pointed out on the label, so you can know right away which type you need to buy.
If you can’t find the information, you can do some simple measuring to find out. There are pre-drilled holes where the pump should be placed. If the distance between bolts is under 4 inches then you should buy a 48. On the other hand, if the distance is over 4 inches, then you should buy a 56.
Pump Plumbing Size
The plumbing is already in place in your tub, and the size and design will determine how strong your new pump can be. This depends on the tub type and manufacturer. It’s not smart to overload the plumbing, so the new pump shouldn’t exceed the old one by more than 1hp. Otherwise it can interfere with tub operation, because the plumbing won’t be able to handle the load. It will lead to bad water circulation or jets not working properly. In even worse scenarios, the pump may get damaged, or you may get leaks from increased pressure.
The water system in the hot tub circulates the water, and every part plays its role. There are two or more intake ports in the tub, where the water is sucked into the system. It then passes through the filter, which eliminates debris and impurities from the water. Afterwards, the now clean water goes into the pump, which creates circulation. From here it travels into the heater where it’s warmed to your preferred temperature, and then it’s returned back into the tub.
Q: What Size Hot Tub Pump Do I Need?
Q: How To Use A Hot Tub Pump?
Q: How To Clean A Hot Tub Pump?
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Having a great pump makes your tub what it is. If it’s not working properly for any reason, you won’t be enjoying yourself very much. Luckily, excellent options are available when you decide it’s time to get a new one. Like we said, to get the best hot tub pump you need to consider different features. Take time to compare the products, we’re sure you’ll be more than satisfied when you make your pick in the end.
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Have you tried a hot tub pump that made it onto our list? Which one? How are you satisfied with it? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.