With any hot tub, the water has to flow from the tub through the heating element and filtration system and back into the tub. To accomplish this, all hot tubs have a pump that keeps the flow going, hopefully without a hitch. The pump has moving parts, of course, and as with all machinery that produce constant motion, those parts eventually wear out. The question then is: do you fix or replace your hot tub pump?
If you’re adept at dismantling and restoring pumps, fixing a worn out hot tub pump might be feasible. Most of us would consider this a daunting task, however, so it comes down to hiring a professional to check things out, or to scrapping the pump and purchasing a new one. Even assuming you can take a water pumpapart and identify the problem, you are likely to discover that it costs as much or more to repair than buying a new pump.
So, how do you recognize the warning signs when the pump in your hot tub is about to fail? There are several tell-tale noises and one or two visual clues. If you start hearing an intermittent or constant whining noise coming from the pump motor, you’re facing a common problem with older pumps – worn bearings. Replacing them is costly and you’re better off buying a new pump.
Another auditory warning sign is a low-pitched humming noise, accompanied by reduced or no water flow. This almost always indicates that the motor has stopped turning for some reason – usually a frozen shaft or ball bearings that have seized up due to wear and tear. This sound can also indicate that the pump’s impeller is jammed. The impeller is what draws water into the pump and pushes it out again and is located in what’s known as the ‘wet end’ of the pump unit (the end opposite the actual motor).
Permanent puddles of water beneath the pump are your best visual clue to a problem, and indicates that the watertight seals have given way. This is probably the easiest thing to repair and may not require a new pump.
If your checks show that your hot tub pump is about to fail, it’s not very expensive to replace it (compared to the cost of the entire hot tub). You can find excellent replacement pumps in the 300€ – 450€ price range. They come in different models, with a central or a side water discharge tube at the top of the wet end. Check your original pump for the type that applies to your installation.