What Should I Do If My Hot Tub Is Leaking?

Hot tubs are an increasingly popular staple piece for your backyard, they can provide hours of peace and relaxation and are just a thoroughly enjoyable purchase.

But ask any hot tub owner and they will agree that there is nothing more frustrating than a leaky tub, even more so when you cannot find the cause of the leak.

This guide will help you identify the cause of the leak and tell you exactly what you should do to fix it.  

The Three Steps

Finding the leak

If you suspect that your hot tub has a leak, the first thing you should do is find out where the leak is coming from. The majority of leaks in a hot tub will be very small so you might not be able to see them by just looking at the surface, but don’t worry there are 3 common hacks to finding holes in a leaky hot tub, which will allow you to identify the leak easily. 

The first way to identify a leak is through the food coloring technique, to do this your hot tub will have to be inflated and filled with water. This technique is completed simply by adding a dye or food coloring to the water within your hot tub and letting it disperse throughout the water.

After it has mixed through, you will be able to identify points where the color is darker than in other areas, and these points are where you should look to identify leaks.

Another technique you could use is called the water drop technique, which also requires the hot tub to be filled with water. This is an easy way to identify any leaks as it involves you simply watching the dispersion of water within the tub and how its level drops overtime when the hot tub is not running.

You should keep an eye out for the area where the water level has dropped compared to the areas where it has stayed the same, as this will be the area where the leak is located. 

The final way you could identify the leak is through the spray bottle technique, similar to the other techniques, this also requires the hot tub to be filled with water and inflated.

This technique allows you to identify the leak by filling a spray bottle with a mixture of liquid soap and water and spraying it around the exterior of the tub. If there is a leak you will be able to identify it as the soap mixture will enter the water in the hot tub and bubble to the top near the affected area. 

Determining the cause

Now that you have identified the leak in your hot tub, the next task is to find out the cause of the damage. There are a variety of things that could be the cause of the leak, but there are 4 common reasons why hot tubs leak and these are age, usage, poor maintenance, and damage. 

Understandably, your hot tub is going to become more prone to damage as its age increases and its performance worsens. Similarly, it is obvious that the amount of use that your hot tub gets may be a cause of a leak simply through wear and tear by use.

These two causes of damage aren’t preventable, but another cause is and that is bad maintenance. Hot tubs will require a lot of maintenance to ensure they continue to run like new, and if you do not keep on top of this it is likely that your hot tub will begin to show signs of damage.

Finally, another common cause is penetration to the exterior fabric of the tub, if you are careful this should be prevented, however, accidents do happen and there is always a risk of this causing damage to your hot tub. 

Fixing the leak

Once you have identified and determined the cause of your leak, the task of fixing the damage is usually an easy one. There are two different ways which you can use to fix the leak, one of which is short-term and the other is a long-term fix, the way that will be more beneficial to you will depend on your hot tub and the damage the leak has caused. 

A short term way to fix the leak is using silicone to patch the hole. This will be a better fix if your hot tub has only sustained a very small amount of damage and you do not want to spend the money to complete a more long term fix.

You can complete this task with any silicone sealant, but a transparent silicone may be a better choice for the aesthetics of your hot tub as it will not draw attention to the area where the damage has occurred. 

To complete this task your hot tub should be deflated allowing you to easily seal the puncture with the silicone in a task that will take minutes.

Once you have applied the sealant you simply leave it to dry, this usually doesn’t take long but you should leave enough time to ensure it has thoroughly dried before inflating and refilling the hot tub. 

The alternative option you have is to fix the leak with a hot tub repair/patch kit. This task will take longer than the silicone method however it will ensure the leak is repaired for a much longer amount of time.

It requires you to deflate the hot tub and thoroughly clean the area where the leak has occurred with a degreaser before you can begin the repair process. 

Once you have done the preparation, the task itself is fairly easy. You simply have to cut a vinyl patch from the kit to the size of the leak, coat it with an adhesive and apply it to the affected area.

You should apply pressure to the area with your fingers immediately after placing it to ensure that it has stuck down and then you can simply leave to dry. The glue itself should dry within 2 hours but it is recommended that you do not inflate your hot tub until at least 24 hours after you completed the process.