One of the only complaints that people sometimes have about their hot tub is that it is too loud. Mine sure is. Have you ever wondered how can I make my hot tub quieter?
Here’s what I’ve learned in dealing with my loud hot tub:
Inexpensive hot tubs are often poorly insulated. Using spray insulating foam on the underside of the shell & corners of the frame can block noise. Fiberglass panels can also be used on the backside of the hot tub’s panels to block noise. Lastly, ensure all equipment is firmly screwed into the frame & not rattling.
But that’s just a quick answer.
Of course, you’ll always have some sort of noise, such as the jet pumps. But the issue is how much noise your hot tub will make early in the morning or late at night. The last thing you want to do is annoy neighbors or even your family.
Did you know that hot tub noise is one of the biggest complaints made to elected officials?
Yup, it is. The majority of hot tubs are on timers that come on during the night to filter and heat the hot tub. When the pump comes on in a quiet suburban neighborhood, that sound can carry over many blocks at night.
Especially when the weather is nice and people sleep with their bedroom windows open, hot tub noise keeps people awake.
Keep on reading to find out if you can make your hot tub quieter!
Top solutions for quieting a noisy hot tub
|TYPE OF NOISE ISSUE||BEST SOLUTION||CHEAP SOLUTION|
|Hot tub on a wood deck (amplified vibration)||Place a spa pad underneath||N/A – see solutions below|
|Poor insulation||Add both custom cut fiberglass panels & spray-on insulation foam||Use Owens-Corning fiberglass rolls in and around the underside of the hot tub|
|Loud pump/filter cycle||Build a soundproof box for the pump||Use an AC compressor wrap around the pump|
How noisy is a hot tub?
Is your hot tub loud? Maybe it vibrates the paneling on the sides when the pump or heater kicks on?
When your filter cycles on, especially if you have an open window nearby, it can get loud. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence that hot tub owners may have to deal with.
My hot tub is located about 15 feet from my bedroom window. And the filter cycles on a few times during the night. When the weather is nice, our bedroom windows are open, and it seems like all I hear is the noise of our hot tub!
So, exactly how noisy is a hot tub?
Hot tubs put out between 41 and 67 decibels of noise. The range depends on a few factors, such as the model of the hot tub and the settings it is running on. Some may be marketed as being silent but will still make noise, albeit at a lower decibel.
For comparison’s sake, a full-sized commercial airplane is about 140 decibels. So at their loudest, some hot tubs are as much as 50% as loud as a plane! That’s loud! (source)
If your hot tub is steadily buzzing or humming, this can be an indication of a seized hot tub pump.
When this happens, the buzzing or humming noise will be heard in conjunction with these “symptoms”:
- Water isn’t getting hot
- The jets don’t turn on
- Or the topside control panel shows OH, DR, FLO, or DRY. The code depends on the system or equipment being used.
Refer to your hot tub manual if you have any questions.
Pumps usually seize when bearings wear out. It can also happen when debris is trapped.
If your hot tub is making a loud grinding or screeching noise, it could indicate a motor with bad bearings. A loud pump like that eventually stops working, so order a replacement as soon as possible.
A loud hot tub may also mean that something large-ish is stuck inside your hot tub pump.
An obstruction forces the pump to work harder, thus making a louder than usual noise. It also creates unnecessary wear and tear on the pump and other mechanical components that make up your hot tub.
Always keeping your filters in your hot tub and following proper filter maintenance can help prevent anything large from getting into the pipes and the pump.
— Honey Spas/ Honey Swim Spas (@HoneySpas1) March 16, 2020
Why is my hot tub so loud?
There are three main reasons for noise that are associated with hot tubs.
To begin with, the most common sound is the mechanical sound of the hot tub. Every hot tub has a pump that keeps the water moving around and the jets powered. When mechanical parts move, there is always noise.
The noise of the pumps can be amplified due to vibrations.
Sometimes noise can be amplified due to vibration or reverberation because of the location of the hot tub. For example, if your hot tub is on a deck, the noise from the hot tub can be amplified through the wood.
You can offset this by placing a spa pad down first. I like this one on Amazon. Just know that ordering 1 gets you 3 panels and you’ll likely need 6 panels total.
But your hot tub may have also been poorly insulated, to begin with.
Hot tubs typically have spray foam insulation around pipes and jets. High-quality ones also have insulation panels on the bottom of the underside and on the side panels. Less expensive hot tubs often cut corners by using less insulation.
The final reason for the noise is the filter cycling on and off.
Most hot tub control panels cycle through a filter cycle a few times a day. Often these are programed around off hours like the middle of the night. When a filter cycle is running, it can sound the same as when the heater and jets are on.
Anyone for chess
(I know I know it’s actually going to be the ground insulation for our new mini hot tub, also I ordered too few 🤦♂️) pic.twitter.com/O3wMAiNIzt
— Rich W (@rwilliamson1980) May 27, 2020
How do I reduce the noise in my hot tub?
To begin with, preventing the noise of your hot tub is much easier than fixing it afterward. So if you’re just thinking about getting a hot tub and don’t have one installed yet, you’re in luck.
Before you purchase a hot tub, see it in action. Take note of how loud it is in the showroom. Turn on every jet and water feature. Ask the salesperson about the insulation in that model.
Is it too loud? Then don’t get it!
Second, carefully look at where you will be placing your hot tub. Wooden decks tend to amplify the sound of a hot tub. So if possible, don’t place it on one if you think noise will be an issue.
But the easiest way to cut the noise is to add additional insulation.
I go into greater detail in the next section. But spray foam insulation is an easy way to add insulation under your hot tub behind the panels. Just avoid spraying it on any PVC parts you might need to replace later. Also, make sure to keep it away from the equipment.
While you can buy a few dozen cans of spray foam at Home Depot, that’s not the best way and the finger you use to press the nozzle will be in severe pain when you’re done.
Check out this Spray Foam Insulation kit on Amazon from Foam it Green.
Another way of reducing noise is to surround the hot tub with a privacy screen. The noise won’t travel as far, and you get the added bonus of privacy and a windbreaker.
In a recent article, I get into all of the best options to add inexpensive DIY privacy options around your hot tub. All of them will help with noise too!
Just click that link to read it on my site.
— Muscles Tattoos (@fit_freak182) June 18, 2013
Can you soundproof a hot tub enclosure?
There are a few different places that your hot tub either makes noise or allows noise to escape.
The enclosure of a hot tub is typically a 2×4 frame with either wood or (more common these days) plastic panels. The plastic panels hold up better over time, but they aren’t great at keeping the noise inside your hot tub.
So there are 2 different ways to soundproof the shell and panels of your hot tub.
1. Spray Foam
You can fill any voids in the hot tub cabinet with spray foam. This will both insulate and deaden sound. So the added bonus is it will make the heating more energy-efficient and could cut your electric bill a little.
Just be very careful not to cover parts that might get hot and need ventilation.
Go for the large voids in the cabinet where the piping and jets are and avoid the working parts of the hot tub such as pumps and heating/filtration equipment.
As I mentioned in the section above, while you can buy a few dozen cans of spray foam at Home Depot, that’s not the best way and the finger you use to press the nozzle will be in severe pain when you’re done.
Check out this Spray Foam Insulation kit on Amazon from Foam it Green.
2. You can add insulation panels inside the hot tub.
Fiberglass works fine, but I would personally avoid just buying the pink rolls at your nearby Home Depot. I used to work with fiberglass when I was 20 and I hated how those tiny shards of glass made my arms feel.
Even with long sleeves and thick gloves, it’s still a pain to work with.
Instead, I would get fiberglass panels. They are still fiberglass but pressed into boards. I used these to soundproof the martial arts school I work at in my day job. I would still wear gloves but they are easy to work with and a lot less messy.
They are easy to cut with an Exacto knife too, and if you have wood side panels, you could cut them to size and use a staple gun to attach them. But even just placing them in and around the underside of your hot tub will help.
Owens Corning may be the best-known brand name for fiberglass, but I really like this one from Rockwool on Amazon. It’s a little cheaper than Owens Corning and has a better soundproof rating too.
Be aware the shipping costs are a little high, but all fiberglass panels on Amazon are the same way.
— Mark Rober (@MarkRober) October 30, 2017
How do you soundproof a hot tub motor?
There are a few ways you can soundproof a noisy hot tub pump, which is essentially the motor for a hot tub.
You’ll want to make a box that will fit over the pump. This will muffle the sound. Just don’t make it too tight as air does need to circulate around the pump. You also don’t want it overheating.
So a loose-fitting box works well. The best way to do this is to make it out of panels of those same fiberglass panels I mentioned in the section above.
Cut them to size. Then tape the sides together with construction seaming tape (click here to see my favorite one on Amazon).
Plywood is not recommended because wood transmits sound so easily.
If you’re concerned about the temperature inside your insulating box, use a meat thermometer. Insert it through a hole drilled in the box and check back in an hour. A pump is used to hot water (obviously). It’s also used to being enclosed in the heat of the summer.
But you don’t want the box to be so tight-fitting with no breathing room that temperatures soar well over 100 degrees.
Alternately, compressors in the outside AC units typically have an insulated blanket on them with a velcro strap.
Since they are similarly sized, that same wrap would work really well on a hot tub pump. Compressors typically stand vertically, whereas pumps lay horizontally. But I still think it would work fairly well.
CLICK HERE to see a great one on Amazon.
Do they make a soundproof box for a hot tub pump?
Unfortunately, there are no already made soundproof boxes for a hot tub pump. However, you can make one like the soundproof box detailed above.
And that compressor wrap I mentioned at the end of that section is the closest thing you’ll find to a pre-made box.
CLICK HERE to see that on Amazon.
There are tons of soundproof materials that are sold for projects such as this. If you get the right materials, then with a little hard work and effort you can create a soundproof box that should solve all your sound-related hot tub issues!
Remember that the material your hot tub is on can affect the sound. Wood decking amplifies sound and vibrations. Concrete is a good choice, it will muffle the sounds your hot tub makes.
As hot tubs age, they sometimes get louder as parts begin to break down.
Hot tubs are an expensive investment, but they don’t last forever. Not sure if yours is past the normal lifespan? Check out my recent article to see how long hot tubs typically last. But I also get into some proven tips to extend the life of your hot tub.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
— Regina Pools & Spas (@ReginaPools) May 22, 2020
What is the quietest hot tub?
The quietest hot tub that is on the market comes from Hot Spring Spas.
The company has uses its SilentFlo 5000® circulation pump which is, as the name implies, silent. They state that you will never hear a noise or feel a vibration from the hot tub!
It even draws less power than a forty-watt lightbulb to do the heating and cleaning. This means that you have lower operating costs than any other hot tub brand!
Their hot tub enclosures have a variety of insulation amounts and types based on the price range.
Some use “multiple layers of high density, polyurethane foam that’s also used to insulate commercial freezers”, while others use “innovative FiberCor™ insulation” This completely fills their cabinets. And it’s 4 times as much insulation as the average hot tub.
Speaking over operating costs, are you wondering how much electricity a hot tub uses per month?
Or maybe you already have one and are looking for tips on reducing your electric bill? If so, check out my recent article. Just click that link to read it on my site.
Did I cover everything you wanted to know about how to make your hot tub quieter?
Hot tubs put out between 41 and 67 decibels of noise when the pump, heater, and blower are all running. The range depends on a few factors, such as the model of the hot tub and the settings it is running on.
There are a few reasons your hot tub is being so loud:
- Hot tubs on wood decks tend to be louder due to how the wood reacts to the sound and vibration
- Poor insulation in the original construction
- The pump, blower, or control box have come loose and are vibrating more than normal
To reduce the noise your hot tub is emitting, ensure that all bolts and other connections are tightened.
Standing your hot tub on a thick rubber matt will reduce vibration and noise coming from the hot tub. You can also fill any voids in the hot tub cabinet with a soundproof material such as spray foam.
This will insulate and deaden sound. However, you must be very careful not to cover parts that might get hot and need ventilation.
While there are no soundproof boxes sold for hot tub pumps, you can create a do it yourself version. Follow the above instructions.