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Hot Tub Leak Repair (Complete DIY Troubleshooting Guide)

Hot tubs, unfortunately, will almost always develop leak issues over time. And most hot tub owners are unfamiliar with fixing them. So let’s look at the complete DIY troubleshooting guide for hot tub leak repair.

Most hot tub leaks will be from worn-out rubber gaskets in the union fittings on either side of the heater and/or pump and will need to be replaced. But small cracks and leaks can easily be fixed by pouring Fix-a-Leak into the filter suction area and waiting 24 hours.

But unfortunately, those aren’t the only possible leak spots.

So, in this article, we’ll explore a variety of issues relating to hot tub leaks and how to resolve them. Read on to learn the causes, cost, and how to fix some common hot tub leaks.

Let’s get going.

hot tub leak repair lg

Can a leaking hot tub be fixed?

Yes. A leaking hot tub can be fixed. The first thing is to identify the source of the leak. Small leaks up to 1/8 inch in diameter can usually be fixed with Marlig Fix-a-Leak from Amazon.

But other leaks may involve replacing a cracked PVC pipe or replacing worn rubber gaskets, as I mentioned above. I’ll get into the details of those fixes below.

If you have some DIY skills, you can fix most hot tub leaks. But some are a royal pain, and you may need to call in a pro.

To find out the source of the leak, you’ll want to remove the side panels so that you can easily find out where the hot tub has sprung a leak. 

In most cases, the source of the leak is not hard to find, but there are times when that could take some experience.

The leak could be due to a variety of factors such as worn or broken rubber gasket, loose connection in any of the jets, or plumbing lines. The latter can be hard to identify because they are encased in spray-on foam.

But in most cases, you simply want to start with where you can see water dripping or pooling.

That could be the source, or it could be a part of the hot tub that is above the water. So, look for wet spots above it.

If your hot tub comes with full-foam insulation, you’ll have to remove any wet foam until you find the source of the leak. BUT, I would first try using the Fix-a-Leak as that works great for small leaks around jets embedded in the foam.

But how can you tell if your hot tub is leaking in the first place?

This is what I explored in a recent article I published. Where do hot tubs usually leak, what do you do if your hot tub is leaking, and how much it costs to fix a hot tub leak are some of the questions I answered in-depth.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Where do hot tubs usually leak?

Hot tubs often leak at the pump and union fittings on either side of the heater tube. But they can also leak where the jets connect to the acrylic shell or from a cracked PVC pipe.

So, to detect the source of a leak, simply remove the panels on the sides of the hot tub and look at where water is pooling or dripping the most.

The common spot where your hot tub is most likely to have sprung a leak is the pump. So, you could start there. But, always ensure that you cut off the power before you work on your hot tub. 

Below is a list of the most likely spots. They are:

  • The union fittings at the pump and heater
  • Jets
  • Plumbing connections
  • Small cracks in the hot tub shell

Have you ever wondered how much hot tubs lose water to evaporation?

This is the theme of a recent article of mine. I explored if hot tubs lose water, how much water they lose, and if the water evaporates during winter. But I also revealed how to change the water in your hot tub.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Why is my tub leaking from the bottom?

All hot tub leaks will eventually pool on the bottom. But a large volume of water on the bottom of the hot tub will likely be a cracked PVC pipe.

The reality is that a hot tub could leak from a number of places. Other sources of the leak could be from the jets, a cracked PVC pipe, a crack in the shell, or a loose light fixture.

But no matter the source of the leak, you’ll see water at the bottom, and you could be forgiven for thinking that the hot tub is leaking from the bottom.

What do you do if your hot tub is leaking?

Not to worry, a recent article I published offers actionable solutions. In it, I shared info on what causes a hot tub to leak and how to find leaks in your hot tub. But I also explained why your hot tub is leaking from the bottom.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How do I fix a leak in my hot tub?

Let’s explore the most common areas and what to do for each one.

1. Gaskets at union fittings at the pump and the heater

First, cut off the power. Then shut the gate valves on either side of the pump and the heater to stop water from flowing from the hot tub into the pump and then the heater, and in the reverse order.

Rubber gaskets in the union fittings can sometimes get broken or just worn out because of the hot water that’s regularly passing through. Water often leaks from this spot.

Fortunately, they are not expensive to replace.

It’s ideal to replace both gaskets at the same time. If the gaskets are the source of the leak, you’ll see water beneath one or both of the union fittings or a small trickle of water.

You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the unions. Turn anticlockwise to remove.

Then simply replace the worn rubber gaskets and replace the union fittings. Then open the gate valves and check for drips. If all is good, then restore power.

2. Cracked PVC pipes

Cracked PVC pipes can be repaired in several ways. One of the most common is by using epoxy, it is putty or a viscous liquid. First, clean and dry the damaged area and ensure that water can’t reach it.

Mix the epoxy according to the manufacturer’s instruction, then apply to the spot and leave it for about 10 minutes. Then, allow water through the pipe to confirm its efficacy.

3. Worn or loose jets

Marlig’s Fix-a-Leak can be used to fix worn jets.

As with other types of small leaks, remove the filter(s) and pour 8 oz or so of Fix-a-Leak into where the filters go, so it gets sucked into the system. Turn on the jets for it to get sucked to those areas.

Then just wait 24 hours and see if the water level has stabilized.

If it’s still leaking, you can repeat the process. But if the leak has stopped, just put the filters back in, and you’re ready to use it.

CLICK HERE to check out Fix-a-Leak on Amazon.

4. Crack in the shell

Cracks in the shell can be repaired using Plast-Aid, Acrylic and PVC Repair on Amazon. It’s waterproof and durable. It can be used for a lot of plastic repair issues. It is a two-compound substance consisting of liquid and powder.

It is ideal for repairing gaps and cracks. It assumes different states; as it thickens, it morphs from liquid to glue, to putty, clay, and finally to hard, durable plastic.

How much do hot tub leak repairs cost?

Most hot tub leaks can be fixed by the owner for less than $50. However, for larger repairs or when hiring a hot tub repair company, expect to spend at least $200.

Naturally, the charge depends on the type of leak.

But having owned 4 hot tubs over time, I want to encourage you to pick up the skills needed to do most of your repairs yourself. Asking a pro over can be very expensive. And most of the common issues are what you can do yourself.

Say you wanted to replace the pump, it will set you back by about $400.

But a pro will probably charge you about $1,400 to replace it. Truth be told, this is something you can learn to fix yourself.

There are actually two types of pumps in a hot tub. So, how much you’ll spend would depend on the type that needs to be replaced. There’s the circulation pump and the jet pump.

The former is a low-flow pump that circulates filtered water into the hot tub, while the jet pump is responsible for powering the jets. It’s more powerful than the former and is naturally more expensive.

Replacing a circulation pump would cost between $150 to $200, while a jet pump would cost between $300 to $500.

You’ll need between $175 to $400 to replace the blower. It’s the device that causes the bubbles in your hot tub. They come in three sizes, and manufacturers usually provide info about the size that’s fitting. But not all hot tubs have blowers; some simply have pumps.

The control pack is another vital part that may need to be replaced.

It’s akin to the brain of the hot tub. To replace it would cost between $234 to $850. To be able to buy the right type for your hot tub, you’ll need to know how many pumps it uses, its voltage, and the type of heater.

You can easily get one to buy on Amazon.

Normally, you’ll have to replace your heater after a while. And note that the larger it is, the faster it would heat up the water. It would cost you $200 to $600 to replace.

To replace frozen pipes, you’ll spend between $300 to $500. In most cases, one or more parts of a PVC pipe may be leaking and have to be cut out and then replaced.

What is the life expectancy of a hot tub?

The life expectancy of a hard-sided, portable hot tub is between fifteen to twenty years. The manufacturer, water chemistry, and regular maintenance are some of the critical factors that impact how long a hot tub would last.

A cheap hot tub would probably not last more than 10 years, and that’s understandable. And the different components have different lifespans, so the 15 to 20 years above is an average.

Let’s check out how long some of the components last. Heaters last 5 to 7 years, while pumps often last 5 to 10 years. Plastic components have the shortest lifespans because they are easily corroded by harsh chemicals used in maintaining the hot tub water’s purity and clarity.

But the following have the shortest lifespan. Fortunately, you can read up about them or watch a few YouTube videos, and you’ll be good to go.

They are:

  • Rubber gaskets in the union fittings on either side of the heater tube
  • Gate valves which close off the flow of water on either side of the pump and heater
  • The heater element
  • Topside panel stickers
  • Pillows 

Now is it worth it to fix a hot tub?

A recent article I published explores this vital question. I shared info about the lifespan of a hot tub and the cost of repairing hot tubs. But I also revealed whether you can fix your hot tub yourself.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Do hot tub leak sealers work?

Hot tub sealers work for small leaks of up to 1/8 inch in diameter. As they are heavier than water but still liquid, they are designed to sink to the lowest spot; often the place where the leak has sprung. 

You don’t need to empty a hot tub to fix it if you’re using a sealer. However, they might be ineffective for major leaks.

I have used a sealer before. At my last house, I bought a used hot tub and discovered that it was leaking. So, I bought and used Marlig Fix-a-Leak.

After removing the filters, you pour Fix-a-Leak into the hot tub, and because it is heavier than water, it automatically sinks into the weakest place in the tub, which is exactly where the leak is. Then allow it to work for 24-72 hours before using the tub.

It worked very well after I used it. In fact, I wrote up a review in a recent article I published. In it, I shared info about what Marlig’s Fix-a-Leak is, whether it works, and how long it lasts. But I also revealed how it works.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What is the best hot tub leak sealer?

Marlig’s Fix-a-Leak is the best hot tub sealer for small leaks. I have used it and some other sealers in the past, and it is what I’ll recommend. 

It’s a patented formula, so the company does not reveal the ingredients. About 48 hours after you’ve applied it, you could replace the filters and adjust the water chemistry as needed, and you’re good to go. It’s ideal for small leaks.

But, If you have giant cracks in your PVC pipes, you’ll have to consider other solutions. Marlig’s Fix-a-leak has over 2,400 reviews on Amazon, and almost all of them are 5 stars.

CLICK HERE to check it out on Amazon.


In the article, we looked at some of the most common causes of hot tub leaks and how to fix them.

We considered whether a hot tub leak can be fixed and why your hot tub could be leaking from the bottom. We also looked at the life expectancy of hot tubs, taking into consideration some of the most expensive components.

Photos that require attribution under CC2.0

101/365: Spa repair. by David Mulder and Removing my hot tub. by Ashley Decker were cropped, edited, and may have had a text and/or graphic overlay added.

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Jeff Campbell