How To Troubleshoot A Hot Tub Heater

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When you get back home from work, you’ll probably like to relax in your hot tub, chill for a bit and get out of it fresh and ready to take on the world. You’ve turned everything on. But the moment you’ve stepped into your spa, you’ve got the feeling something was off, because the water was way colder than it was supposed to be.

It doesn’t matter if the temperature drop is just a few degrees, it just doesn’t feel as good as it does with the hot water. This could make you think about the possible problems. The first one that will probably find its way into your mind is the heater, but it doesn’t have to be the case, and you could end up having to change or replace something entirely different. This article will help you locate the possible problem and bring back the wanted temperature to your spa as soon as possible.

Heating Elements

Of course, every hot tub has the heating element – that’s why it is called “hot” in the end – and it is usually contained inside of a heater assembly housing. It serves as a produced heat exchanger by heating the element to the water, while it flows through the tub.

Almost all heating assemblies have a thermostat implemented so you’ll know what the water temperature is all the time, but there is also “high limit switch”, which will react if the water is becoming too hot and you start to feel like you’re in sauna.

What Could Cause Your Heater To Stop Working

The possibilities of what could go wrong are endless, and sometimes you’ll need the help of an expert, but there are some problems that are most common and you’ll probably run into them while you own your hot tub.

1. Hot Tub Cooling Down

If your heater works while your water is heating up, but when it reaches the wanted temperature it starts to cool down while you’re taking a bath, there are a few things you could do and check before you decide it is time to call someone for help.

Start by checking your filters, as your heater could stop working if there are some kind of clogs. If you find debris, clean the filter thoroughly. If that doesn’t help, then go to your thermostat, or any other sensors that monitor the hot tub heat. There is a possibility that your thermostat or sensor has gone bad, this way giving signal to your heater to cool down, and you’ll need to replace it to fix the problem.

Another possible problem is bad water circulation in your hot tub. It is possible that your plumbs got clogged, so the water can’t circulate, and this way can’t heat properly, which will cause it to cool down.

2. Hot Tub Not Heating, Not Heating At All

If you, upon reaching your hot tub, find out that the water is not as warm as usual, or it is even cold and you can’t feel the heat from the heater at all, you could inspect the following. Start again by making sure your filter is in a good condition and it is clean. If needed, replace it. If not, the problem could come from your heating assembly. Or to be more precise, the problem could lay in your heating element. If this happens, you’ll need to shut your spa down and to replace it.

3. Unstable Temperature That Goes Up And Down

This one is not just unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous if the water becomes too hot, and you could end up visiting your local hospital because of the burns. The signs of this problem could appear out of nowhere. One moment you’ll think everything is just fine and the way it should be, and a few minutes later you’ll be shivering because the water temperature has dropped. And while you’re trying to figure out what went wrong, the water becomes hotter and hotter, ending up so hot that you can’t stand it anymore.

The most common “culprit” behind this is the temperature sensor gone bad. Check it, if it is broken, getting a new one should solve the problems. In the case it doesn’t, the new “suspect” is a bad thermostat, and if that doesn’t help, it is possible that your filter is clogged.

If The Heating Element Needs Replacement

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The heating element can also break and cause the problems with your spa temperature. This is one of the most frequent problems, especially if you take into consideration the fact that it is exposed to the constant heat change, so it is just a matter of time when you’ll have to change it. But don’t worry, changing the heating element is really simple and it won’t take much of your time and effort.

Before you start the changing process, disconnect the hot tub power supply to prevent possible electricity accidents. Then, find the heating element assembly inside the hot tub. Here you’ll need two wrenches – remove the old assembly by disconnecting the electrical wires, and simply replace it with the new one. Reattach the wires and voila – you’re back in the hot tub in a no time! This shouldn’t take much time even if you decide to do it by yourself, but don’t forget to turn the electricity off!

Few Tips On How To Prevent The Problems

OK, we’ve been through all the possible problems and solutions, but is there anything you could do that will delay, or even completely prevent probable heating element failure? Of course there is!

First and the most important thing is to properly maintain your hot tub by balancing the water. This way you’ll reduce the risk of corrosion to minimum, and help your heating element last longer.

Pay attention to the air in your system. Disproportionate air amount could lead to problems with your heating element, so once you’re done with the regular maintenance, and before you get into your hot tub, flush the air out of your hot tub system.

Keep your filters clean all the time. Remember, in order to work, the heating element needs constant water flow, because while it heats the water, it is getting cooled and won’t burn out. If some of your filters gets clogged, the water flow will be reduced, and your heater could break down. It won’t take much time to check the filters, and it will save you tons of time, money and most importantly – nerves.

You’ve Tried, You’ve Failed, Now What?

Most of these repairs are pretty easy to do, especially nowadays, where you could find the tutorials all around YouTube or some other similar platforms. If you’ve tried it all and your hot tub water is still cold and your heating element won’t work, call the professionals and get it fixed. But whatever you do, try to solve it as soon as possible and to get back to your warm and relaxing routine before you snap and lost it under all the pressure from your office, society…

No Matter What – Keep Cool And Don’t Lose The Temper

We know – when you lift the hot tub cover and take the first step into the water, learning the fact that the water is cold and you won’t be able to enjoy, at least not before you spend a considerable amount of money, can be really nerve-wracking and annoying. Especially if you add the “surprise” element, because you expect the water to be warm enough so you could relax, not the pool temperature.

Always keep in mind the fact that, once you get the hot tube, you’ve also signed for all the possible problems that go with it. If something is wrong, instead of 19th nervous breakdown, take a deep breath, slowly analyze everything that is going on, and once you find the problem, do what needs to be done to repair it. Think slowly, go step by step, and if you have to, write everything down.

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Believe it or not, this things happen to all of us, and it is definitely not the most pleasant feeling in the world, but it is without a single ray of a doubt something that could be solved pretty easily. Pay attention to your hot tub behavior. If you feel something’s off, it is time to troubleshoot it and find what is going on.

This article should serve you as a basic guideline on what to do and what the possible problems are, so use it as a simple guideline. But if you’re not sure what is wrong or you can’t identify the problem, call for help. You’ll maybe have to pay, yes, but on the other hand, professional could give you some proper and precious advice on how to extend the life of your heating elements and show you a few tricks, so when it happens next time, you won’t have to call anyone and you could do it by yourself. And in the end, don’t look at it just from the problem side. Think of it as a way to learn, improve and the chance to get to know your hot tub better. It will be useful knowledge in the future. Now get your stuff and head to the spa – you’ve earned it!

My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!