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Spa Primer 107- It's Leaking!

Leaking spas are the bane of people's lives. We can say this about leaks: if leaks develop it because you don't keep the water perfect. Since in reality there is no "perfect" water, spas leak. Well maintained water tend to rarely leak except with weather damaged the spa or small fractures in building the spa manifest themselves over years.

#1: Leaking pump. If the pump is less than 2 years old you might be able to replace only the seal. As a rule of thumb we replace the complete wetend on any hot tubs pumps over 1 year. Over the years we have found replacing just the seal and then filling the spa and seeing it still leaks eventually required the complete wetend replacement. We also highly recommend replacing the motor because leaks get pulled into the motor and damages them.

#2: Leaking couplings and unions. Usually replacing the rubber seal or gasket solves. Its a matter of time and water quality damage the seal. Often just tightening the fitting/union solves. Normally, these are hand tightened. Apply a wrench to tighten will easily damage the plastic union/fitting and you will now have a major replacement. Also we have found flat gasket replacements are better than oring.

#3: Leaking piping/fittings/jets. There are products available the swear you just lather on the leak and problem solve. We have gone to homes that tried that only to correctly repair/replace the part. We therefore don't patch leaks. But you may chose to do so.

#4: Mysterious Leaks. Over the years we have had to hunt down some mystery leaks. We have always found the leak. On only one occasion did the homeowner chose to use a leak repair solution rather than fix. We found the leak but to repair we would have to place the spa on its side, cut into the bottom of the spa to get access to the jet itself. The model was plumbed in such a way that many other pipes were in front of it. It took me an hour to find but with all the side panels off and laying there and staring, I found it. The customer opted for a spa leak solution and it seemed to solve... or he just got use to a slow leak.

Water MUST go somewhere. Believe it or not, some customers swear the water disappears. We removed the panels and everything is dry. But 4" per week disappear (in dry states 1-2" per week isn't abnormal). Searched. No leaks. Then its a matter of duplicating when it could leak. So I filled the spa to the very top of the spa without going over the edge. BAM... water started leaks out of air control fitting. So the leak was when he had his family in the spa, raised the water level, and water poured out. Fixed and solves problem. Just a bit of thinking.

What can be challenging. Nothing is harder that having a pan of water underneath and a "leak". You remove the panels and look and everything is dry. The newer models with all foam everywhere is worst. Water can leak at a fitting a slowly flow partially around the spa and drip out in a different location. So its a matter of digging into the foam and feeling for moisture.

Or the leak is below the water level in the pan. That also isn't uncommon. So you have to drain the spa, remove the water in the pan, and let the spa totally dry. Then carefully add water and watch. Lo and behold a loose fitting. Hard to get to but easy to fix. Or a suction fitting that's broke over time; not easy to fix but necessary.

In conclusion, its a matter of looking and thinking. Water goes somewhere. Sometimes its easy to see and watch or even hear drip. Other times a matter of thinking it out.

Lastly, All Others.