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How to Turn a Hot Tub Heater On: Quick Guide

You rewarded yourself with a hot tub and it is now time to put it to good use. As a hot tub owner, one of the first things you should learn is how to turn a hot tub heater on.

To turn on a hot tub heater, look for the control panel or digital display on your hot tub. Press the power button or switch to activate the heater. Refer to your hot tub’s manual for specific instructions on turning on your particular model.

In this quick guide, we’ll show you how to turn on a hot tub heater and enjoy a warm, soothing soak.

Key Takeaways

  • Turning on a hot tub heater is a simple process that doesn’t need any professional assistance.
  • Before turning on the heater, make sure your hot tub is properly prepared.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to turn on the heater and adjust the settings.
  • If you encounter any issues, refer to the troubleshooting section of your hot tub’s manual or contact customer support.
  • Remember to prioritize safety when handling the hot tub and its components.

Understanding Hot Tub Heaters

Hot tub heaters are essential components that work to heat water in a hot tub to the desired temperature. To initiate the hot tub heater, you need to understand its basic operation. A hot tub heater differs from a typical home water heater because it heats water quickly and efficiently on demand.

Most hot tub heaters utilize an electric heating element or gas burner to heat water as it passes through the heating system. As the water flows over the heating element or burner, it increases in temperature before flowing back into the hot tub. Generally, hot tub heaters have a range of heating options, allowing you to set the water temperature between 80-104°F (26-40°C).

It’s essential to choose the right size of the hot tub heater based on the size of your hot tub. A large heater will heat water faster than a small one, but it will also consume more energy and take more time to heat up.

Types of Hot Tub Heaters

There are two common types of hot tub heaters: electric and gas/propane heaters.

Type of Heater Pros Cons
Electric Heater
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • No need for a natural gas line
  • Quieter operation than gas heaters
  • Slow heating time
  • High energy consumption
Gas/Propane Heater
  • Faster heating time
  • Less energy consumption
  • More expensive than electric heaters
  • Requires a natural gas line or propane tank
  • Can be noisy when in operation

Choosing the right type of heater depends on your specific needs and preferences. Electric heaters are suitable for smaller hot tubs or those with limited space, while gas heaters are best for larger hot tubs that require faster heating times.

Note: Always consult with a professional before installing or replacing a hot tub heater to ensure that it is installed correctly and safely.

Preparing Your Hot Tub for Heating

Before activating the hot tub heater, it’s important to properly prepare your hot tub to ensure optimal heating performance. Follow these steps:

    1. Clear the filters: Make sure to clean the filters to avoid any blockages that may affect the heater’s performance.
    2. Fill the hot tub: Fill the hot tub with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s essential to fill it above the minimum water level to ensure proper heating.

  1. Check the temperature: Make sure to check the current temperature of the water before activating the heater. This will help you monitor the temperature change accurately and avoid overheating.
  2. Turn on power: Ensure that the hot tub’s power is on. This step is crucial since the hot tub heater cannot function without electricity.
  3. Activate the heater: Depending on the hot tub’s model, switch on the hot tub heater by following the instructions on the control panel.

Following these steps will ensure that your hot tub is fully prepared for heating, and the heater will function correctly and optimally.

Turning on the Hot Tub Heater

After you have properly prepared your hot tub, it’s time to turn on the heater. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Locate the power switch for your hot tub and turn it on.
  2. Find the control panel for the hot tub and locate the “heater” or “heat” button. Press it to activate the heating system. (Note: The location and labels for the heater button may vary depending on your hot tub model.)
  3. Set the desired temperature on the control panel by using the “+” and “-” buttons to adjust the temperature accordingly. (Note: It’s recommended to set the temperature to 104°F for optimal relaxation.)
  4. Wait for the hot tub to heat up. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the size of your hot tub and the initial water temperature. You can check the temperature on the display of the control panel.
  5. Once the hot tub has reached the desired temperature, it’s ready to use! Carefully step into the hot tub and enjoy.

If at any point you encounter issues turning on the hot tub heater, refer to the troubleshooting tips in the following section.

Important Safety Reminders

Remember to always prioritize safety when turning on and using your hot tub heater. Keep the hot tub cover closed when not in use to prevent accidents and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific hot tub model.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite following the hot tub heater turn on process carefully, you may come across some common issues. Here are some tips to help you troubleshoot:

  • No heat: If the heater has turned on but there is no heat, make sure that the thermostat is set to the desired temperature and that the water circulation pump is running. It’s also possible that the heater element is damaged and needs replacement.
  • Tripped breaker: If the breaker trips immediately after turning on the heater, the heater element may be burnt out, or there could be a problem with the wiring. Turn off the heater and call a professional electrician to inspect it.
  • Water not circulating: If there is no water circulation, check the filter, pump, and valves. Ensure that the water level is high enough and that the jets are open. If none of these issues are the problem, it may be an issue with the pump motor and require professional attention.
  • Noisy heater: A noisy heater could indicate a variety of issues, including low water flow, a dirty filter, or a broken impeller. Clean the filter and check the water flow to see if this resolves the problem. If not, call a professional to help diagnose and fix the issue.

If you encounter any other issues while starting your hot tub heater, refer to your hot tub manual or contact a professional technician for assistance.


In conclusion, turning on a hot tub heater is a simple process that can be done easily by following the steps outlined in this guide. Always be sure to prioritize safety and refer to your hot tub’s manual for specific instructions. Remember to prepare your hot tub properly before turning on the heater and adjust the settings to your desired temperature. If you encounter any issues, refer to the troubleshooting tips provided in this guide.

With these tips, you can enjoy a relaxing soak in your hot tub, whether alone or with friends and family. So go ahead, turn on that hot tub heater, and enjoy a well-deserved break from the stress of everyday life.


How does a hot tub heater work?

Hot tub heaters typically work by drawing in water from the hot tub, passing it through a heating element, and then returning the heated water back into the tub. The heating element is usually an electric coil or a gas burner, which warms the water to the desired temperature.

What should I do to prepare my hot tub for heating?

Before turning on the hot tub heater, ensure that the water level is above the minimum level indicated by the manufacturer. Check the spa filter and clean or replace it if necessary. Make sure all air valves and jets are open to allow proper water circulation. Additionally, ensure that the hot tub cover is tightly in place to retain the heat.

What should I do if I encounter issues when turning on the hot tub heater?

If you experience any issues when turning on your hot tub heater, first check that the power supply is connected and the circuit breaker is not tripped. Ensure that the jets, valves, and filters are clean and functioning properly. If the issue persists, consult your hot tub’s manual or contact a professional technician for assistance.

Jeff Campbell