Is There a Reset Button on a Hot Tub?


hot tub reset button lg

If your hot tub isn’t working or the water just isn’t getting hot, you’ve probably already asked yourself, “is there a reset button on a hot tub?”

Most hot tubs are fitted with a reset button in the event of overheating or a power surge. The button is typically located on the side of the control box behind the hot tub’s removable panel on the front side. Similar to disposal reset buttons, simply press the small red button in to reset it.

But don’t press it until you’ve figured out why it tripped.

Resets are like circuit breakers. In fact, if you have a problem with the power supply, you should check the GFCI or disconnect first to see if that has tripped.

Finding out the cause or location of the problem is often a case of elimination – checking the circuits and connections and then resetting once you’ve fixed it.

How do you figure out why it tripped? Read on to find out.

Ready to Spend Less Time On Maintenance and More Time Enjoying Your Hot Tub?

Let’s face it. Balancing the water, cleaning filters, dealing with rashes, and trying to figure out which chemicals to buy and add can make you feel more like a chemist than someone who just wants to relax after a long hard day!

That’s exactly why The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course is so valuable!

This is from Matt over at Swim University and he developed it for people looking to save money, time, and frustration. His tips on chemicals can save you $100/year just by making sure you buy only what you need.

So if you’re ready to stop being confused or frustrated with your hot tub and start spending more time in it, check out The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course.

Just click that link to learn more on their website.

Where is the hot tub heater reset button?

The reset button is usually located on the spa pack – the box that controls all the functions of your hot tub, such as heating and filtration timing, and turns the pump on and off. To get to the spa pack, you must remove the side panel of the cabinet, and you will see it attached to the heater tube.

All hot tubs should be fitted with a high-temperature cut-off switch.

This is to prevent the water temperature from getting above a certain level – usually 120°F – where it could cause harm to bathers and/or equipment.

When you first set up your hot tub, it’s important to know where this cut-off button is because you may need to reset it one day.

Sometimes the reset will be on the topside control panel. But in most cases it will be on the control pack located under the hot tub.

This is about as far as most users get to the actual workings of a hot tub, but it is worth investing some time into understanding how the whole thing works if you are to get the best out of your spa time.

The reset button won’t operate until the fault that caused it to trip is rectified, so if it was due to overheating, the water must be allowed to cool down first.

Why is my hot tub not heating up?

A hot tub that is not heating whatsoever but does have power may have a worn-out heater element which will need to be replaced. But a clogged filter could have also caused the high limit switch to trip. In that case, remove and clean (or replace) the filter, and then press the reset button.

Maybe the water is heating up, just not as fast as you’d like.

An average 6-person tub will contain up to 300 gallons of water, so that’s a lot to heat up to 100°F from cold. Other factors that affect the speed at which a hot tub heats up are:

  • The temperature of the water in the tub
  • The outside air temperature
  • The size of the heater

The heater is the most important part in this, and size is measured in terms of kilowatts (kW). A 4kW heater will raise the temperature of the water in your hot tub by up to 6° per hour, whereas a 2kW heater will take twice as long.

But the water from your hose can range between 60-75° F. That’s a big range and if it’s on the low end, that can add to the time it takes to heat up.

When it comes to filling your hot tub after cleaning or maybe for the first time, there is a temptation to use hot water to get it up to the right temperature quicker.

Before doing this, you should read this recent article here on my website by clicking on the link.

In economy mode, some hot tubs only heat up during the filtration cycle, so this may be slowing down the process.

If your electricity supply to the hot tub is 110-120 V, you will not be able to run the pump and heater at the same time. If this is the case, it will take longer to heat the water.

How do I know if my hot tub heater is working?

If the hot tub’s water is just not getting noticeably hotter after 4 hours, it means the heater is not working. This may be because water isn’t flowing through the heater due to a clogged filter, causing the high-temperature switch to cut out. But a worn-out heater element can also cause this.

However, especially in colder weather, it may take 8 hours for a hot tub’s water to reach the set point.

So you may just need to be patient.

You may also find that a faulty heater is causing your circuit breaker to trip. There could be other things causing this, so you will have to do some troubleshooting to eliminate these first.

You can use a multi-meter to test the heating element. Using the Ohms setting, you should get a reading of 9-12 kOhms if the element is in good working order. You can also check the electrical charge, which should be 15-25 amps on a 240 V system.

If the heater isn’t working, you’re going to have to replace the element.

To do this, you must first turn off the electricity supply. You must also close the gate valves on each side of the heater if you have them. If you can’t do this, you should empty the tub.

Do this before the repairman comes around if you’re not doing this yourself – you don’t want to pay to have someone stand around watching water run away!

The element is a long, thin coil with 2 electrodes or terminals to which you connect the wires.

You will also find 1 or 2 sensors attached to the tube, and you should take care removing these. There are lots of videos on the Internet showing you how to replace the heater element, but I recommend this video by the Spa Guy.

It can take anything from 4 to 48 hours to get your hot tub water up to the right temperature depending on several factors. And there’s 1 key to speeding that process up!

Check out this recent article on my site by clicking on the link to find out more.

Should a hot tub heater feel warm?

The hot tub heater tube is usually twin-walled with insulation in between to keep the heat in, but it will feel warm to the touch when hot water passes through it.

A hot tub heater is made up of an element inside a cylindrical silver tube. Passing a current through the element heats it up, and this thermal energy is passed on to the water as it runs through the tube.

Over time, the water becomes contaminated with dead skin, sweat, oils from body lotions, deodorants, and perfume.

This residue forms a biofilm on the surface of your hot tub, most of which gets caught in the filter, but some will pass through the heater and build-up on the element.

Biofilm build-up can cause the element to crack, resulting in a short circuit as the water gets into the coil and makes contact with the electrical wiring.

This is why you need to clean your filter at least once a month.

A clean filter is essential to the smooth running of your hot tub, so in addition to the regular hose down.

I rinse mine off in the kitchen sink every 3 weeks.

But you should also remove it and give it a deep clean every 3 or 4 months by soaking it in a 5-gallon bucket with some Spa Depot Power Soak from Amazon. I use hot water so I can rinse it off after only 1 hour.

But what about replacing the filters?

Check out this recent article on my website to find out how often you should change your filter – just click on the link to read it on my site.

Why won’t my hot tub heat up all the way?

If a hot tub’s water is warm, but after 12 hours, it has still failed to reach a set point of up to 104°F, the most likely issue is a faulty temperature probe. The probe is embedded in the foam insulation on the underside of the hot tub and is designed to measure the water temperature.

It then communicates that temperature to the control pack, which determines when to kick the heater on based on the temperature you set it to on the topside panel.

So, if it has failed, is starting to fail, or somehow got pulled away from its location, it may not be measuring the temperature correctly.

I had one once on a used hot tub I bought that sometimes would get knocked out of place by the vibration of the jets.

In that case, once I figured out the issue, I got some spray foam and sealed it back into place.

Leaving the jets running while the water is heating up will also quicken the process.

This agitates the water and makes sure there are no pockets of cooler water in the pipes or the corners of your tub. I explained all this and more in a recent article, and you can read all about it here on my website by clicking on the link.

If your hot tub is still not getting up to the 100° mark, you should check your settings. Most likely, the temperature is set to a much lower level.

Check the water flow too by removing the filters temporarily and see if that makes a difference in the next 2 hours.

A dirty filter can slow the flow of water to the heater tube. Too much blockage will actually cause the high limit switch to trip, in which case it won’t heat at all.

But minor clogging will slow how much water is going through the heater, making it take longer to heat the whole hot tub.

You should also leave the cover on while the water is heating up, especially in colder climates. Water temperature drops by evaporation, so leaving the cover on will prevent this.

Final thoughts

Now, you should know where the reset button is on your hot tub and how to activate it. It’s there for a reason, so always make sure that whatever caused it to trip has been rectified.

If I missed anything, or you have a question about resetting your hot tub, feel free to drop me a line, and don’t forget to check out those links to related articles here on my website.

Ready to Spend Less Time On Maintenance and More Time Enjoying Your Hot Tub?

Let’s face it. Balancing the water, cleaning filters, dealing with rashes, and trying to figure out which chemicals to buy and add can make you feel more like a chemist than someone who just wants to relax after a long hard day!

That’s exactly why The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course is so valuable!

This is from Matt over at Swim University and he developed it for people looking to save money, time, and frustration. His tips on chemicals can save you $100/year just by making sure you buy only what you need.

So if you’re ready to stop being confused or frustrated with your hot tub and start spending more time in it, check out The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course.

Just click that link to learn more on their website.


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, hot tub lover, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market.

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