The jets in a hot tub are arguably one of the most important features that we enjoy when in our hot tubs. Unfortunately, sometimes the hot tub jets won’t turn on, while other times the hot tub jets won’t turn off.
Here’s why that happens:
As a general rule, if a hot tub’s jets are running 24/7, it is likely a faulty pump or circuit board in the control pack. However, the pump will turn on automatically during filtration or heating cycles during the day. And the pump running will look similar to the jets being on, just not as powerful.
So a hot tub’s jets should not always be running.
Let’s have a look at when it is normal for the jets of your hot tub to be running when the jets of your hot tub should turn off, and what role the jets of your hot tub play in keeping the tub warm and enjoyable to use.
I’ll also talk about what to do if the jets of your hot tub stop working or won’t turn off, other related common problems, and the #1 possible cause.
But if the jets are always on, does that increase your electric bill?
Click here to read my ultimate guide to hot tub electricity use. I get into the biggest culprits of usage; including jets. But I also look at some secret ninja tips to save money without compromising on the quality of your soaks!
What type of hot tub jets do you have? There is pulsing, steady, vortex, and more pic.twitter.com/Y9gz6aXrAm
— Unlimited Spa (@UnlimitedSpaSVC) December 8, 2021
Should hot tub jets always be on?
As a general rule, the jets of a hot tub should not always be on. However, the circulation pump does turn on automatically during filtration cycles which creates a similar effect to jets. Filtration cycles for most hot tubs run for 2-8 hours twice per day.
And this helps to keep the water in the hot tub clean.
The jets in your hot tub are the small holes you see on the inside of the tub. The hot tub jets push out warm water in order to improve the water flow in the hot tub. The jets of your hot tub are positioned where you are supposed to sit, and that’s not a coincidence.
The jets provide a massage for you when you sit on them.
A hot tub without jets is basically just a big, expensive bathtub and not worth the cost and effort you need to maintain it.
The jets of your hot tub turn on during filtration cycles as you need to have the water in your hot tub circulating and moving nicely and quickly during the filtration cycles. The jets of your hot tub push water out quite hard and quickly, which helps the filtration of the hot tub.
It is completely normal for the hot tub jets to automatically turn on as the pump kicks in with the filtration or heating cycles, and stay running for a couple of hours.
Your jets have two settings – the hard setting and the soft setting. The hard setting should only be on when you are in the tub, and this is what provides the massage and relief when you are in there.
The soft jets are used to improve circulation during filtration cycles and for heating the hot tub up again when the temperature drops by pushing warm water to areas of cold water, increasing the overall temperature.
My Dad: I’m draining the hot tub, and the jets are probably about to fire a ton of water right where you guys are, so be careful
My Dad, moments later: pic.twitter.com/hccn5SvmpJ
— Nicole is Neither Vampire nor Squid 🦇🦑 (@deaddropfredd) September 26, 2021
Do hot tub jets turn off automatically?
Hot tub jets automatically turn off. Hot tubs have a built-in feature that will automatically turn the hot tub jets off to make sure you are not wasting electricity and to reduce wear and tear on the pipes and overall system of the hot tub.
As I mentioned, there is a high-power jet setting and a low-power jet setting in most hot tubs.
The high-power setting should turn off automatically after just 15 minutes. This is because you should not really be sitting in your hot tub for more than 15 minutes. After all, it will dry out your skin. The high-power jets also use more electricity, so they turn off quicker.
The low-powered jet setting could stay on for a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on why it is on. If the hot tub is just heating up again, it won’t be on for too long – possibly less than an hour.
If the jets are on because a filtration cycle is happening, then they could stay on for a couple of hours, but they will eventually turn off automatically.
— BigBrotherJunkie👁 #BBAU (@89razorskate20) March 7, 2021
Why do my hot tub jets keep turning on by themselves?
The jets of your hot tub automatically turn on during filtration cycles and when the temperature of the hot tub drops below a certain set level.
The filtration cycles of your hot tub run quite frequently, and they are supposed to keep the water in your hot tub clean.
As an added benefit, the filtration cycles cause the water inside your hot tub to circulate, which keeps things clean, preventing debris from building up inside the hot tub and preventing air pockets in the pipes.
The jets are used during filtration cycles as they help push water around the hot tub.
Hot tubs hold lots of water, and it can be very expensive to constantly heat the water up every time you want to use the tub. For this reason, most hot tubs run 24/7, and they have settings to ensure the water temperature does not drop below a certain level.
The point at which the hot tub turns the jets on to heat up the tub again is sometimes called the setpoint. It is cheaper to keep the hot tub warm than to keep warming it up.
The jets are used to push cold hot water around the hot tub, mixing warm and cool water so that the overall temperature of the hot tub’s water can be increased in the quickest and most energy-efficient way.
Guarding against the hot tub jets. pic.twitter.com/fWnvAUKq7b
— Mike Morgan (@Pitt_anchor) January 27, 2020
Do hot tub jets run when heating?
Hot tub jets do not run when heating, but the pump pulling the water through the plumbing can look similar. But when heating a hot tub after refilling the water, manually starting the jets can help increase the speed at which the hot tub heats up.
Not all hot tubs will be able to have the jets on when heating up the hot tub, however.
Some hot tubs (and all inflatable ones) are 110 Volt – and these tubs don’t usually have the jets on when heating up. On the other hand, 220 Volt hot tubs do have the jets on when heating up the water.
The pump of your hot tub will circulate water in the tub, pulling it through the heating element and allowing the water to hit the set temperature.
As a safety point, you should never turn the jets of your hot tub on unless the hot tub is full.
The last thing you want is for hot water to be sprayed on your face because you didn’t fill the tub up. Some hot tubs will have a setting that ensures the hot tub won’t turn its jets on until it is full.
However, stay well away from the jet buttons on the control panel of your hot tub until it is full.
If you want to learn more about the controls of a hot tub, check out this recent article on my site. I talk about the settings and buttons you need to know about to be able to fully enjoy your hot tub safely.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
— Mirage spa (@Miragespa_stl) April 13, 2019
Do hot tub jets run when the filtration cycles are on?
As a general rule, the pump will run during the filtration cycles, pulling water through the heater and plumbing lines. This action can look similar to the jets being on, on the low setting.
Filtration cycles happen for 2-8 hours twice per day on average.
During this time, the low-powered jets of your hot tub will probably turn on. Your hot tub does this to improve the circulation of water in the tub and make filtration easier.
If your jets keep turning on automatically, don’t worry, it is completely normal and is basically your hot tub looking after itself, so you don’t have to. So relax!
My view yay hot tub jets. Work out those torn muscles pic.twitter.com/T6aChKjKTc
— #1nSanity Incognito OOC (@1nSanityOOC) September 7, 2020
Why won’t my hot tub jets turn off?
Sometimes your hot tub jets won’t turn off because the hot tub is having one of its filtration cycles. It is often not possible to turn off the jets during a filtration cycle on most hot tubs, as the jets help with the process.
Also, with 220 Volt hot tubs, you typically can’t turn the jets off while the hot tub is heating up, as the jets are used to mix the hot and cold water, allowing the overall temperature of the hot tub’s water to increase.
If you want to turn your hot tub jets off, the only real way to do it is to change the filtration cycles. Some hot tubs have a feature where you can set the filtration cycles and change how long they last and how frequently they occur.
For example, your hot tub may, by default, be set to have two 8 filtration cycles per day.
You may be able to re-program the hot tub and change it to having two 2-hour filtration cycles per day. This is not possible on all hot tubs, however, and you will have to have a look in your instruction manual or contact the manufacturer of your hot tub to learn how to do this.
The hot tub should have a button on the topside panel that allows you to turn the jets on and off.
Try pressing the jets button. You may have to press the button once, give it a double-tap, or press and hold it. You can experiment with the buttons yourself, but it would be best to check the user’s manual for your hot tub.
If the jets are on a really light and low setting all the time, don’t worry, this is completely normal, and there probably isn’t anything wrong with the hot tub. Sometimes you will never be able to turn the jets off during filtration cycles or during heating.
However, you will be able to when the filtration of heating has finished.
Remember earlier I spoke about how hot tubs have a set point – which is the temperature at which the jets turn on again to re-heat the hot tub. On some models of hot tubs, you can adjust that set point lower than usual so that the jets don’t turn on frequently.
But that may not be true with older hot tubs.
Having said all of that, if you are getting an error code on the topside panel or something is causing breaker trips, you do have a problem. It could be the circuit board in your control pack. In that case, it’s probably cheaper to just replace it than hire a repair person.
But one of the common reasons is a problem with the pump, which we’ll get into next.
De-stress with our strong hot tub jets! Come relax in our hot tub and enjoy some peace and quiet! #selfcaresunday #Kamloops #KamloopsY #HotTub #Relax #SelfCare #SundayFunday pic.twitter.com/chYDUkH8yR
— Kamloops YMCA-YWCA (@KamloopsY) May 12, 2019
Could a defective hot tub pump cause the jets not to turn off?
If the pump is defective, it can cause the jets to keep running, even if the water in the hot tub is above the set point and when the hot tub is not having one of its regular filtration cycles.
The pump of your hot tub is used to power the jets and pull water through the heater.
Your hot tub pump is connected to some electrical components that basically send information to the pump, telling it to run when the jets are needed.
If the hot tub has moisture around the electrical connections of the pump, it can cause some corrosion around those electrical connections. As a result, the pump has electrical power coming in, but it does not know when to run or turn off.
It could also cause the GFCI breaker to trip.
It’s a good idea to check the pump for any corrosion around the electrical connections, and if you notice any, call in a professional to have a look at the pump. They may be able to clean it up, or you may have to replace some things.
But how often does the pump run?
If you want to learn more about hot tub pumps, whether it is normal for them to be running all the time, and what to do if your pump is running when it shouldn’t be, check out this recent article on my site.
Just click that link to read it here.
In this article, we learned that hot tub jets automatically turn on during filtration cycles and when heating, and this is normal.
The jets of your hot tub should not be running 24/7, but they could be running on their light setting up to 16 hours per day (assuming you have two 8-hour filtration cycles per day).
The jets should turn off automatically once the filtration cycle is over or once the temperature of the hot tub is at its set point.
If the pump of your hot tub has corrosion built up around it, it can mean the electrical connections are not working. As a result, the hot tub can’t transmit information to the pump.
That information is crucial for telling it when to run and when to turn off.
While it won’t cause them to run all day, also be aware that switching your hot tub to economy mode or sleep mode from standard or automatic mode will affect how often the jets and pump kick on.