Spa owners should accept the fact that there hot tub pump will fail. The damage of this failure can be much larger than the cost of a new pump. Routine inspection of your hot tub pump will help prevent damages. A good spa pump will last 6-8 years so be prepared to replace your older pumps
A good rule to follow is to inspect your hot tub pump every time you clean your spa filter. You should be checking for water leakage, loud noises and hot pump motors. If you find any of these symptoms then it is time to repair or replace your pump before the pump fails and damages other parts such as the heater.
Water is a sure sign of trouble. Look closely at the spa pump and determine where it is coming from. It may be leaking from the ports and simply need to be tightened or require new o-rings. It may be coming from the motor shaft and pump housing. This is usually a sign of a leaking bearing and will need to be fixed before the bearing fails completely and you have a flood to deal with. Also check the pump housing for small cracks. A cracked housing will get bigger with vibration and should be fixed or a new housing purchased.
Do you hear loud noise, or metallic sounds? Listen closely as it may be your pump bearings are seized. This means you are wasting money as the pump is not turning freely. If the noise is coming from the spa motor then it could be internal and require repair or replacement. Any loud noises should be addressed before they become bigger problems.
Lack of water pressure is usually not the pumps fault. Most people assume they need to replace the hot tub pump. However, a spa pump either works or does not work. I would suggest you check other areas first such as a clogged spa filter or a plugged suction port. You can also check the internal pump housing by removing the couplers and visually inspecting the inside to ensure nothing is lodged.
A normal hot tub motor will give off heat under regular conditions. However, you should be able to place your hand on the pump motor. If you find that it is very hot, then there may be internal motor problems. A very hot pump means energy is being wasted and can be costly. The cooler a pump motor runs the more efficient it is.
If your hot tub pump hums at start up but does not come on then you may have a faulty starter capacitor. You may also find the breaker trips at this stage. Before you replace anything check the impeller inside the pump head. Make sure there is no obstruction. Ice in the spring is common starting problem and one than can be fixed with a hair dryer.
When looking to replace your spa pump, there are a few specifications you should match closely. Power requirements, 120 VAC or 220 VAC. Single speed or double speed? Port opening 2″ or 1.5″. Finally is HP rating, never use the pumps rating a guide as manufacturer’s use this number as a marketing ploy. Instead match the amp rating with your pump close to the amp rating of another pump. The amp rating should be found on the sticker of you old pump.
When looking for new pumps consider quality. Remember your old pump failed so try and buy a pump that will last even longer. All manufacturer’s make replacement pumps so don’t feel you need to replace your spa pump with the same brand name. Paying a slight premium can be a great investment versus the cost of a failure! Premium pumps will last longer, run quieter and consume less power.