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Why are My Hot Tub Jets Not Working?

What’s a hot tub without those wonderful massage jets? If you’ve turned on your hot tub and found that your place of aquatic bliss is now just an oversized bathtub, Master Spa Parts is here to help you find the issue and fix it fast! Because of jets’ importance to the whole hot tub experience, it’s no wonder that one of the most common questions repair technicians receive is, “Why are my hot tub jets not working?” So, if you do find yourself in a "giant-sized bathtub," fear not — the brains at Master Spa Parts are here to help you troubleshoot the issue and restore those glorious, stress-melting jets.

Even if you are not a master plumber, this troubleshooting guide will help you decide how best to go about fixing your hot tub jets.

Hot Tub Jet Issues? First, Turn Off the Power.

While it can be a shock to discover that your beloved hot tub's jets are not functioning, nothing can prepare you for making accidental contact with the high voltage of a hot tub. Therefore, before you start any type of troubleshooting, be sure to power off your hot tub at the breaker box. Also, don't attempt any of the tips or recommendations found in this guide unless you are absolutely comfortable in performing these steps. Now, let's get to work at narrowing down the list of potential issues so we can get you back to enjoying a nice aquatic massage in your hot tub.


Could it Be Scale Buildup?

The full effect of scale buildup may take some time to set in before you begin to notice significant changes in your hot tub’s performance. At first, you may start to notice the jet nozzles becoming more difficult to adjust. This is from scale buildup (calcium carbonate) settling into the eyelets of the jet nozzles. But, this same buildup is occurring throughout your system, so you may also notice decreased pressure or output from your jets as well.

Ideally, your hot tub's water should be within a pH range of 7.2 to 7.8 pH. I you have scale buildup then you should de-scale your system using the Proline Jet Cleaner.


Troubleshooting Hot Tub Jets

The Dreaded Hot Tub "Air Lock"

If you recently filled your hot tub and there is zero or little pressure coming from your jet nozzles, an air pocket may have formed in the line. This is known as an "air lock" and it will disrupt normal operation of your jets. When this happens, the pump is unable to push any water out through the jets.

In most instances, fixing this hot tub headache is relatively simple. You can either watch the video on how to Un-Airlock your Pump here or read the instructions below.

The first thing you want to do is:

  1. Turn your system back on, but turn the heat down to as low as it will go. This step will keep the heater from kicking on during this process.
  2. Next, go around your hot tub and make sure all of the jets are completely open. Try this next method a maximum of three times, increasing the duration of each attempt so that the second attempt is performed for 30 seconds, and 45 seconds for the last attempt. If you see air start to bubble up from your hot tub's jets, just leave the system running until the air lock is pushed out.

How to Remove the Air Lock

If the previous method doesn't work, then you have the option of calling a repair technician or taking a more technically minded approach to removing the air lock.

To do this, you will need to:

  1. Untighten the discharge pipe coming from your system's pump in order to bleed the air from your system. But, be sure to not completely remove the coupling (these become nearly impossible to reinstall with the high pressure coming from the pump.
  2. With your coupling loosened, turn on the pump and listen for a hiss or whistle as the air is pumped out.
  3. Once you see the system discharge water, turn off the pump, and tighten the coupling.
  4. You are now ready to enjoy your hot tub.

Are Your Hot Tub Jets Pulsating or Behaving Strangely?

Fortunately, this is one of the easiest spa issues to diagnose and fix. If your spa jets appear to be pulsating or pausing, first check to make sure your filter is not clogged. If your filter appears to be okay, you should next take a look at your hot tub's water level. If there is too little water, air could be working its way into the system through the jets.

If you've checked your filter, water level, and the issue persists, you may have a clog in the line, or your pump is simply reaching the end of its lifetime and should be repaired or replaced. Because of the high cost of having a spa pump repaired by a technician, replacing it with a new hot tub pump will likely be your most economical option. Plus, Master Spa Parts typically ships same day if order is placed before 3pm CST, so you can have your hot tub up and running again in no time.

While frustrating, an issue with your hot tub jets or pump isn't the end of the road for your hot tub. With instructions in hand, replacing a pump can be performed by just about anyone. Conducting proper research and following each step of the installation instructions will ensure your hot tub is safe to use — plus, you will have saved yourself money over paying a technician to perform the same work.