Answers to the Top 5 Hot Tub Service Questions

April 20, 2012

Answering Service

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.

Here are answers to the five top questions our service center team receives everyday.  Olympic Hot Tub’s  Service Manager, Dennis Blair-a 15 year hot tub industry veteran, weighs in on the answers:

1. Why isn’t the heat working?

Probably the most common reason you spa might stop heating involves the filters. If they’re clogged, dirty or need replacing, they’ll interfere with the heating system, because every drop of water in your Hot Springs Spa passes through the filters before it returns to the spa. You can confirm that the filters are causing the heat loss by removing them and checking to see if you have heat in an hour. If the filters haven’t been cleaned in a month or more, they need attention – even if they look clean, body oils and other small particles could be clogging them. Hose off the loose debris, spray on SeaKlear filter cleaner, let it work for 10 or 15 minutes, then hose it off. If the filters are more than two years old, replace them. For a complete explanation of the importance of filters in your hot tub, read “Hot Tub Filters Everything You Need to Know”.

If you’re sure the filters are not causing the heat loss, hit the reset button if your tub has one, or turn off the power off for 10 or 15 minutes and see if heat returns when you turn it on.  As a last resort, call the service center for help 206 431-2876 and we’ll send a technician if you need one.

2. Should I drain the hot tub if I’m not going to be using it for a while?

Draining the hot tub is not recommended – in the winter you risk freeze damage, in the summer you risk biofilm buildup. Better to leave the tub full and running on its lowest setting, with plenty of chlorine to keep it sanitized while you’re not using it.

If you must drain the tub, vacuum as many lines as you can with a shop vac against the jets and leave the drain caps off. In the winter, leave a light on in the equipment compartment to keep the pipes from freezing.

3. What’s wrong with my ozone bubbles?

If you don’t have any bubbles at all, the air is blocked somewhere along the line. That tubing should be cleaned once a year at least, and you might have to replace a check valve or tubing if a blockage has built up.
Hot tub maintenance service by Olympic Hot Tub and let us do all the work.
If you have bubbles but your water is still musty or cloudy, you may be getting air without ozone. The unit is designed to last two or three years. You can buy a simple 30-second test to check for ozone. The hot tub doesn’t require ozone, but if you don’t have it, you’ll need to add chlorine more often and the water quality will not be easy to maintain. Without a working ozonator, you’ll have to work much harder to keep the water clear, clean and safe.

If you’re not clear what an ozonator does or why it’s essential. check out our blog post: “The Secret to Easy Hot Tub Water Care: Ozone”.

4. Why do I need to drain and refill my spa every four months?

We recommend the four-month cycle in order to get rid of the old chemicals, called Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) that accumulate in your water over time. The chemicals stop working after a while, but they’re still in the water and make it harder to keep clean and clear.

5. Why should I use special chemicals in my spa?

First of all, it’s important to use water care products made for spas instead of the much stronger pool chemicals that can damage your hot tub and even make the water unsafe for bathing. Among the choices for spa chemicals, remember – you get what you pay for. Cut-rate products from big-box stores might include more fillers and cheaper chemicals, making them much less of a bargain. They also are likely to be from a foreign country and made without the strict standards we have in the US.  We’re talking about water you bathe in. Olympic Hot Tub Company uses SeaKlear Spa Products, made locally in Washington State with only the highest-grade ingredients – so you can relax.

Thank you, Dennis, for giving us the straight scoop.  You must have hot tub questions of your own.  We’ll be happy to answer them, so send us your questions via the comment section below.

RES EST SERVAS VOLUPTAS. Latin for Pleasure is Serious Business


Hot Tub Filters Everything You Need to Know

Hot Tub Chemistry Made Easy


Author: Don Riling

Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 27 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through water.

72 responses to “Answers to the Top 5 Hot Tub Service Questions

  1. Hi I have a Great lakes spa that has an add on Ozonator. My question involvesthe jets. All odf the jets with the exception of the one where teh ozonated water emits are adjustable in that I can turn them off. Wjhen not in the tub should the jets be turned off or left on? The pump still runs and circulates thru the ozone system but the water seems cloudy. Its only been filled for 1-1/2- 2 months. I change the filter every 2 weeks with a second filter. Spray it off with a hose and then set it up to dry then in a couple weeks cycle that one back in. I’ve added some anti cloding chemical but it doesnt seem to work so good.

  2. Hi Frank:
    Leaving the jets on or off doesn’t matter.
    I hear you saying that you have cloudy water. What product are you using?
    Four things may be causing persistent cloudy water:
    1. The soakers who bring in body lotion, deodorant, perfume, sun tan lotion, etc. Ask everyone to shower first.
    2. The old gunk in your pipes!! Try Clean Start to really clean your hot tub. Then start with fresh water.
    3. Your current product.I don’t know what anti-cloudy water product you’re using, but the best one is SeaKlear Natural Clarifier. It really works!! https://www.olympichottubestore.com/spaeswacl1pt.html
    4. Not enough sanitizer. If you’re using chlorine, you’ll need to bump it up a notch to oxidize the stuff in the water.

    I applaud you for your great care of your filter!!
    Good luck & happy soaking. Let me know how you make out.

  3. Hello, I got a problem after I have filled the spa after winter. I fill the fresh water turn it on for few seconds just to verify that all work, turn off and left the spa for the night to take care of air etc next morning. When I came back at the morning, I wasn’t able to turn on the power. The breaker was turned off like in case of electric short. Inside of the spa I hear a dry-click. What the problem could be?

    Thank you in advance

  4. Hi Nikolay:
    Without knowing what brand of hot tub you have,it’s hard to diagnose. However, the dry click & the breaker trip are signs that your plumbing lines are dry & there is no water passing by the heater. The trip shuts the heater off for protection from dry-firing. If you have a Hot Spring Spa, remove the filters. You’ll see a filter intake at the bottom of the filter compartment. Take your garden hose & turn it on to high. Place it against the filter intake, forcing water through the plumbing lines. Do this for 5 minutes to make sure all of the plumbing lines are full then try to turn on the power.
    If that doesn’t work, do call our our service center 206 431-2876.
    Good luck & happy soaking,

  5. Hen I turn my jets off the hot tub shuts off but it won’t heat with the jets on what is the cause of this?

  6. Hello Lynn:
    Without knowing what brand of hot tub you have, it’s hard to say. It would be better if we had a bit more info. Off the top of my head, it sounds like you have a 110V hot tub. If it is 110V, you can’t run the jets and the heat at the same time. If you run the jets, the heat shuts off. You turn off the jets, the heat kicks on. However, there is quite a bit of heat generated from running the jet pump so the hot tub doesn’t cool down much without the heater running.
    If you don’t have a 110V, you definitely need a service call. I hope that helps.
    Best wishes,

  7. I have a hot spring spa and the when you cut the jets on it will run for a few minutes then everything cuts off. What could be causing the problem.

  8. Hi Sherrie:
    Clean the filters thoroughly & replace in the spa.
    If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to call for service.
    Best wishes,

  9. I have a hot springs prodigy H model. circulator works fine, everytime I turn the jets on, they run for about 5 seconds and then shut off. then they will turn on randomly by theirselves…..any suggestions

  10. Hello Lori:
    When the jets run and then turn off, dirty filters are usually the culprit.
    But the turning on randomly sounds like an electrical issue. Clean the filters thoroughly first
    and see if the jets stay on. See this blog post for tips: https://olympichottub.com/blog/2011/07/hot-tub-filters-everything-you-need-to-know/
    If the jets stay on, but it still turns on randomly, you’ll need a service call to determine the cause & fix it.
    I have a Prodigy myself & love it!
    Happy hot tubbing.
    Alice @olympic

  11. We have a hot tub that is outside that has been drained and sitting empty for about 6 years now. Is it even fixable now or has it been too long now and we should just get rid of it?

  12. Christy:
    You’ll never know unless you try to get it fixed. Fill the tub & try to start it.
    If it doesn’t start, you’ll want to call a service company for an estimate right away.
    Don’t leave water sitting in the tub when it’s not running.
    Good luck & keep us posted.

  13. We have a Jacuzzi 5 person tub. It heats up fine but then it won’t hold the temperature, it just cools back down. I tried changing the thermostat but it still doesn’t work. There are no Jacuzzi dealers anywhere near me so, do you have any suggestions what I should try next?

  14. Hello Richard:
    We aren’t a Jacuzzi dealer, but can offer one suggestion. Your hot tub may have dirty filters which will stop the water flow by the heater which causes the high-limit switch to trip shutting the heater off. Clean your filters thoroughly or get new ones if they’re over 3 years old. If that doesn’t work, you will need a service call by a reputable service company in your area that is familiar with the Jacuzzi brand.
    Good luck & keep us posted on getting your Jacuzzi to stay hot.
    Best wishes,

  15. How long after you run the clean cycle (without adding any chemicals) on a hot springs spa, is it safe to get in? or can the spa be used straight away?

  16. i have a hydro spa that i got used its been working fine and just the other day me and my wife got in and it was working fine and it shut off i checked the braker and they wernt pooped everything looks fine and i also checked the fuses but still yet no power to the tube i fliped the barker a few time but yet nothing what can be wrong?

  17. Hello Jay:
    WE don’t carry Hydrospa, but the #1 reason for breaker tripping in hot tubs is dirty filters.
    Since you got your tub used, I would highly recommend getting new filters. Old filters get to the point where they don’t get clean enough to let enough water through the heater. Low water flow is what causes the heater high limit to trip & the power to shut off.
    If that doesn’t work, you need a good service technician who has worked on Hydrospas.
    Good luck!

  18. Hi Alice-
    We have a Great Lakes personal spa, which is about 8 years old, but with very light use. Just in the last month, the spa heats up past the set temperature. No matter what temperature I set it at, it will heat to about 100 degrees. It also seems as if the tub runs constantly now, but without constantly watching it, that could be my imagination! We reset the tub, but that was of no help. Thanks for any advice!

  19. I have a 2007 great lakes spa and the jet 1 will not shut off. I have set the filter cycle to 2 hours but jet one stays on all the time. Do I have a bad controller?

  20. My spa is 120v heater. It takes for ever to heat up. I was told I must leave it on all time. If I turn it off, it’s not ready to use when I want it. Should I leave it on?

  21. Hello Adolfo:
    The 110V heater workes perfectly if your hot tub is well insulated and if you don’t live in sub-arctic conditions. I don’t know what brand of hot tub you have, so it’s hard to determine if it is well insulated. That said, I’m all for leaving your heater on so that your hot tub is hot & ready to go when you’re ready.
    That’s the point of having a hot tub, right?
    Thanks for writing,

  22. Hi Emily:
    We have never carried the CalSpa brand so can’t pinpoint the problem for sure.
    It is most likely dirty filters (always good to replace if the tub has been sitting unused)
    or the high limit trips the power because there is not enough water in the plumbing lines to prevent the heater from overheating. Clean the filters & force water into all of the plumbing lines & see if it works.
    Good luck,

  23. Sundance hot tub sitting outside ( under gazebo) sitting dry for 5 years. Can you please give us start up tips? Thanks, chuck

  24. Hi Chuck:
    Wish I could help.
    We’ve never sold Sundance. Suggest you try your nearest Sundance dealer or the factory.
    Good luck!

  25. I have a hot springs soveirn IH .I just put new filters in and the high limit switch cuts out periodically .I turn breakers off for 15 minutes and it runs fine for several hours,then shuts down again.

  26. I have an in-ground Jacuzzi that I had to drain because I Have a leaking pipe that needs to be replaced… Is it okay to leave the Jacuzzi empty for a few days?



  27. Hi Mark:
    Looks like leaving it empty is your only option if you’re going to fix the leak.
    Do it now in warmer weather.
    Good luck & happy hot tubbing,

  28. Hello Colleen:
    If you live in an area that has hard winters with prolonged freezing temperatures, you must make sure
    that all of the plumbing lines have been drained as well as the components in the equipment bay.
    Fastest way to lose a hot tub to freezing is from residual water. We have heard of many Hot Springs that froze this way.
    We have never lost a Hot Spring to freezing that had a full tub of water. That is not to say, don’t drain it for the winter-just make sure it is totally drained!
    If you’re not sure how to do a complete drain, contact your nearest Hot Spring dealer: https://www.hotspring.com/find-a-dealer.
    Good luck & best wishes,
    Alice @olympic

  29. HI Bob:
    Sounds like your tub is filled too high.
    Drain off some of the water & see if that helps.
    Good luck.

  30. Hello:
    Thanks for writing. To be able to help you, I’ll need to know what brand and model of spa
    you own.

    Best wishes,

  31. It is winter here, and we went to check on the chemicals and noticed that the temperature dropped some. When we turned on the jets, the first set doesn’t turn on. It isn’t until we hit it three times, that the second set of jets will turn on. We have a HotSprings spa 2013.

  32. Hello:
    Thanks for writing.
    You definitely need a service call. Call your nearest dealer.
    You don’t want to be tubless in the cold weather.
    Happy soaking,

  33. Hello Jodi:
    Sorry I can’t help you with your Beachcomber Spa. Having never sold that brand, I don’t know what would
    make it run 24/7. Contact your local dealer for the answer.

    Good luck!

  34. A few questions:

    1. If I’m only in my Hot Springs Prodigy hot tub once a month or so, do I still need to add shock every week? Can I do it every other week?

    2. Do I need to clean the filters every month even though I’m usually the only person in it (sometimes my husband is in it) and we take a dip only once or twice a month.) We have a cover and there are no trees where the hot tub is located so no leaves or bugs get in. It’s very clean. In this case, can we clean the filters every couple of months?

    Thank you.

  35. My pipes on my hot tub froze without knowing it and I tried to turn it on. There was a weird sound then the power cut out. Now it won’t start, there is no power going to it. The breakers and the fuses are fine. What else could the problem be?

  36. Hello Sue:
    You definitely need a service call!!
    If you live in the Puget Sound area, call our Service Center now: 206 431-2876.
    Otherwise, call your nearest authorized Hot Spring dealer.

  37. Hello Cory:
    Not knowing what make or model hot tub you have, it’s hard to know what your problem is exactly.
    We have 2 ideas from our service department: the control panel is blown or you’re fired your circulation or main pump.
    No time for DIY. You need a service call by a licensed technician who works on your brand of hot tub ASAP.

    Good luck,

  38. HI AJ:
    Good questions.
    If you are the only person to use the hot tub, try every every other week for shock. You’ll want to look for the new SilkBalance
    shock pods coming out this spring. With that product, you throw one in after each use. That would be ideal for you.

    Cleaning the filters every couple of months would be fine. All of our maintenance
    guidelines are based on much more frequent useage.

    Suggest you use your hot tub more frequently!!
    Good soaking,

  39. i am a newbie at hot tubs. it is an in ground hot tub, newly resurfaced and brand-new Pentair 75 minimax heater.
    it turns on and i turn on the jets, no blowers. it takes 1.5 hours to heat my 400 gal hot tub. now that it reaches my comfort level heat, can i leave the heater on without the jets and my hot tub water stays hot?
    do i have to leave the jets on all the time? the blowers?
    please help? i have 4 switches. not sure what they do. thanks.

  40. HI Doreen:
    1. You can leave the heater on, but it will be costly. You’ll only get heat if you have a pump on. Do you have a 2-speed pump so the low speed would be circulating & bringing heat to the tub? I would not recommend leaving the high speed jet pump on 24/7. Your heater heats the water very quickly-can you bear to wait?
    2. What about a cover? That would keep some of of the heat in between uses & make the wait shorter & the cost less.
    3. Do not leave the blowers on!!! They cool the water down very quickly AND dissipate any chemicals like chlorine that you have added. So you’ll have to keep adding more if you use the blowers.
    4. As for the switches~you’ll have to play around to figure out what each one does. Can’t help you there.

    Good luck!
    Happy soaking,

  41. we just got a cal spa x536l running on 220 converted from 110, the heater will not operate with the jets on you lose heat. it will heat up when you shut off the jets. is it not wired correctly?

  42. Hi Ken:
    Thanks for writing.
    In answer to your question, that may be the reason, but it sounds like the spa was not meant to be converted to 220V
    Was it in fact a 110V/220V convertible or did you just decide to convert it yourself?

  43. We have 2000 master spa that was running just fine all winter. We shut it down to drain it and clean it out for the spring. Now it will not turn back just clicks and the breaker trips immediately. What could be causing this?

  44. Patti:
    Sorry..I have no experience or knowledge of Master Spas. Contact your local dealer or the manufacturer.
    Good luck,

  45. Hello,

    I have a Dream Maker HU1 tub. 2 years old. Recently had to replace the motor (which I thought was nuts after 2 years). My display has 4 lights on it. My ‘Motor’ light and ‘Light turn on’ lights never turn off. The motor and the actual hot tub lights do turn off, the lights in the display just stay on. Is this normal?

    Everything else with the hot tub works as it should and use it daily. My guy is telling me it could be a bad circuit board, which again, i find crazy after 2 years.

  46. Hi,

    My hot tub will heat to a certain temp (usually 103) and then the panel will completely shut down. The breaker does not kick off just the electrical on the tub shuts down. Thanks for any help!

  47. HI Stan:
    Dirty filters are the most likely culprit or a faulty switch.
    You definitely need a service call.

    Best wishes,

  48. Hello Mike:
    Sorry to hear of your problems with a relatively new Dream Maker Spa.
    It does sound unusual to have the circuit board and the motor go out after 2 years.
    We have not ever carried Dream Maker so I am not able to advise you on your current issues
    with the circuit board the the lights.
    In this case, get a second opinion from a qualified repair service if you feel that you cannot rely
    on “your guy” (your Dream Maker dealer?). I do not know the warranty of Dream Maker, but surely it would cover
    your operational problems. I recommend calling the manufacturer to get the straight scoop.
    Good luck!

  49. Hi
    I have a CoastSpa hot tub. I took out the filter to clean it. The filter is huge, so the process took a while. Now that I’ve assembled it all (filter, cap with relief valve, locking ring that screws on), when I turn on the power, and then the jets the top off the filter blows offs. I thought perhaps that I wasn’t getting the cap turned on the whole way due to the filter not being completely on, so removed the filter, assembled the top and then tried again. It popped again. I figure there’s too much pressure in the system, or somehow the locking ring, is not working properly? Thoughts?


  50. Hi, I recently purchased a used 2007 Garden Leisure model 1102 hot tub. After finally replacing all of the jets, the ozonator, and the heating element, I got the thing to run. It took about 72 hours to get up to 98 degrees, but it seems to be running all the time. Is this normal?


  51. Hi Joel:
    72 hours! You have to be kidding.
    It probably has to run all of the time to keep up to temperature.
    Looks like you wasted your money on repairs. This was not a good purchase for the long run.

  52. HI Joel:
    Sounds like you have too much calcium. It’s precipitated out of the water leaving that residue.
    You’ll need to drain, clean and refill AND carefully balance your chemicals.
    Happy hot tubbing,

  53. I have a 2005 Ruby + AP qca spa that’s out side
    Wasn’t sure why every time I turn off the Jets /blower for it to just circulate the water to keep the water warm and moving the motor / blower and jets just kick back on on and off all night long is that normal


  54. HI Troy:
    We’ve never carried that brand, but can tell you that you have a faulty switch.
    Your blower and jets shouldn’t be running all night long. Sounds like a lot of noise there, too!
    You definitely need a qualified spa technician to fix this problem.
    Good luck.

  55. I just picked up a older caldera and fill it up the wrong way and it makes a gurgling sound when the pump is off. Do I need to drain and refill?

  56. Hi Jeff:
    We’ve never sold Coast so I can’t advise you on specifics abut your unit.
    Check with the factory or your local dealer.
    Good luck,

  57. Lately our hot tub has not been heating up. The jets still work, but there is no hot water. We have been really confused about how to fix it. I will take your advice and check the filters. That is a great idea.

  58. Good luck on getting the heat back on, Hazel.
    Nothing worse than a cold hot tub when you’re ready for a nice hot soak.

    All the best,

  59. Hi there, I have a strong spas hot tub. The pump was replaced as it randomly blew up, we though this was due to our management company badly maintaining the hot tub. They appear to have no idea what they are doing. The pump appears to be working fine but since we’ve filled it up the jets keep stopping. If you leave it for a while the jets then start up again?! Any ideas gratefully received, thanks.

  60. Lucy–Sorry you’re having such trouble! Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of experience with that brand of tub in the market. I’d recommend contacting the manufacturer directly and see if they can give you some assistance.

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