Hot Tub and Pool AdviceHot Tubs & Spas

Why Are My Hot Tub Jets Not Working?

Were you just about to take a relaxing soak in your tub, only to find that for some reason, your jets aren’t working properly, or at all?

That’s not exactly the soothing experience you were looking for, and we can sympathize, especially when the root cause isn’t immediately apparent.

First things first, don’t panic: there are several possible problems to identify, and it might be that there’s a simple fix you can implement yourself. 

There’s no need to call for professional help right away, so hold your fire and read our article before you waste money paying for an unnecessary plumber.

Keep in mind that unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE the pump is full of water, you should not run your pump for longer than two minutes, or you risk burning it out. 

That won’t be pretty, but it will certainly cost you a pretty penny to repair.

Let's Fix The Problem

Cut The Power

Before we begin figuring out where the issue is, you need to make sure that your hot tub is switched off manually, at the GFCI breaker. 

We understand that you want to fix things straight away, but performing maintenance requires exposing electricals, and water plus power equals big shocks.

Usually housed in a metal box attached to the hot tub’s console, you’ll find the breaker switch - these will trip automatically should there ever be an electrical surge, to prevent electric shocks or damage to your tub. 

Turn it off, and there’s no chance of that happening.

Once everything is disconnected, you’re good to go. 

Remember: only proceed with the troubleshooting advice we offer if you feel entirely comfortable.If in doubt, it’s always safer to yield repairs to someone who knows what they’re doing.

When Did You Last Fill ‘Er Up?

Have you only just switched out your tub’s water for a fresh supply, only to find there is hardly any pressure coming from the jets when you next went to take a dip...or none whatsoever?

Your tub may have succumbed to what is known as air lock, the result of air pockets forming in the nozzle’s pipe.

As a result, our pump is rendered useless, unable to push any water through the jet to make those trademark massaging bubbles. 

This disrupts normal operation, meaning your hot tub is essentially an outdoor bath, which is absolutely not what you paid for.

An Easy Fix

It’s possible to try and remove the air blockage yourself, without too much hassle, although you aren’t guaranteed to be successful with this method.It doesn’t involve opening up the spa’s interiors to access the pipework or using any tools, so it’s easier for novices but not as thorough.

Much like a crying baby, sometimes hot tubs just need burping, which involves turning the jets on at low speed for 10-20 seconds, then ramping them up to high for 10-20 seconds.

Users report success after repeating four or five times until the water is flowing freely at maximum pressure. If that doesn’t work, you could try...

The Advanced Method

For the more advanced laypeople among us, you can locate and use the hot tub’s bleeder valve, in order to push air through the pipes and remove the build up that’s creating an air lock. 

This is a little trickier, and you might require a screwdriver, as well as some angled pliers.

  • Step one: Make sure that your tub’s breaker is switched off - we already told you this, but you really don’t want to forget it.
  • Step two: Using a screwdriver if necessary, pop open the access panel, revealing the inner workings of the tub’s water system.
  • Step three: Find the pump and be sure to close the gate valve, found on the side where water is discharged.
  • Step four: Locate that bleeder valve, and begin to carefully turn until the air is audibly hissing out - this is where those pliers may come in handy.
  • Step five: As soon as you can’t hear anything, close her on up, and make sure you do it tightly - otherwise you might find yourself with a water leak, which is much worse than air lock!

Be aware that a little water may trickle from the valve upon turning, which confirms the pocket is gone.

  • Step six: Flip the breaker switch, close up the access panel and make sure everything is back where it should be, then turn your tub on and check if the jets are functioning properly.

If all attempts at resolving the possible pocket fail, check there aren’t any other issues causing a blockage to the water’s flow, or seek professional help.

Scale Buildup

Nozzles Working, But Not At Their Best? It Could Be Scale Buildup

A known issue that actually takes much longer to set in than other problems, you might not notice any differences in your tub’s functionality until the calcium carbonate present in water has really taken hold.

One sign this might be happening is having difficulty adjusting your nozzles. 

Scale buildup could also begin reducing the pressure or the water output of your jets, as it occurs throughout your tub, and can cause problems with all of its components.

Getting rid of the pesky calcium deposits and maintaining your water’s pH balance is imperative for proper hot tub care.

Ideally, the balance of your water’s pH should sit between a range of 7.2 and 7.8.You can find handy testing strips to find out what levels of acidity and alkalinity your tub’s water is exhibiting. 

Scale usually suggests your alkalinity levels are too high, so you’ll need to find a way to reduce them if so.

There are plenty of products available, each promising to contain the right balancing properties to hit that pH sweet spot. However, a lot of hot tubbers swear by baking soda as a quick fix for reducing the alkalinity of their tub’s water.

By running your tub’s jets as powerfully as possible, using the amount of baking soda or balancing agent recommended for its water capacity, you’ll help to flush the system of scale buildup.

This should hopefully have your jets back to full power at no time.