From time to time, hot tub spas need repairs to replace worn or defective parts. Most problems have several possible causes, hence several possible solutions. HomeAdvisor's research indicates most homeowners spend around $1,993 for hot tub service and repairs, while most homeowners can expect to pay anywhere between $669 and $3,316 for common repairs.
Below are some factors to consider that will affect the cost of getting your spa repaired.
Common Repairs & Costs
Over the lifetime of your hot tub, there’s a good chance some things will break down, wear away and need maintenance or repair. Be sure to look at these areas below specifically. If they need to be repaired, you can compare these estimated costs against quotes from a professionals.
If you decide your hot tub pump is having problems, you should budget about $200 to $500 for repairs. There are a few common signs the pump is having issues, including:
No water coming out of the jets.
No water flowing when the pump is making noise.
Water leaking near the pump shaft.
Water is not hot.
If you notice leaks around the pump, this often indicate a failure of the pump seals. You will likely observe a puddle of water below the pump when these seals fail. You have the option to repair or replace the pump. If it’s showing damage that costs more than $500 to repair, you should think about getting a new one.
If your jets are acting up, you may have calcification due to hard water. Once it’s fixed by a professional, they may recommend you start adding a water softener to your tub in order to maintain proper jet function. Other potential problems may have include:
Erratic jet function
Lack of water pressure
Air in the water lines
Uneven water pressure
Jet face popping out
Jet not turning
While you can fix some of these problems yourself, most times you should rely on a hot tub professional to identify the underlying cause and fix it. The average cost will be about $75 per jet plus labor, though you could be looking at additional costs depending on the root of the problem.
As a whole, there are many issues that could be facing your spa, including issues with the electrical. You could have problems with your circuit board or your breaker. In these cases, a professional may be able to fix minor problems, but you may need an experienced electrician to address things like your circuit breaker. You might also need to fix issues with the wiring, fuses, thermostat or heating element -- in these cases you should always get a pro first before touching anything.
You could also be having issues with your spa controller, which handles the pump and blower. Controllers last about 10 years and comes as part of a spa pack. If you choose to replace the whole pack, you’ll spend anywhere from $600 to $800. You shouldn’t really invest in a new one if your pump and blower are still performing well. Otherwise, for a simple spa controller repair, you’re looking at about $400.
Some issues that could cause blower problems in your hot tub might include:
Erratic jet and blower speeds
Problems with the GFCI circuit
Not enough power to the blower
Problems with the air switch
In most of these cases, you will need to get a qualified hot tub repairman to handle the electrical issues. If the blower just isn’t working at all, you will need to have it replaced. Looking for someone that can actually fix your pump in the form of a rebuild, if necessary, is far more advantageous than just replacing the pump outright. Of course, if your unit is old or if the motor or pump are seriously damaged beyond repair, a new unit may be the only way to go. In this case, you’ll spend about $90 to $200 for the new blower.
Spa frames are normally made from wood and the cabinets are usually wood or plastic. Frame damage is usually catastrophic to the spa, as a broken frame usually quickly results in a broken shell. If you catch it early enough it may be possible for a carpenter to repair the frame. This is not something that your plumbing professional can do.
If the shell of the hot tub starts leaking, you will need to spend anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for the repairs. If you have a cabinet, the price will increase to at least $1,500 because it’s harder to get to the frame. In such cases, you might consider replacement over repair.
Heating elements are, by default, what keep the hot tub water heated. These last about 5 years before developing significant issues including:
Broken or burnt-looking spots
Improper water chemistry
Failing to heat the water
Digital programmer not working
If you can’t see the issue from personal inspection, you’ll need to get an electrician out to diagnose and repair the problem. You’re looking at about $60 for the diagnosis and anywhere from $100 to $300 for the repairs, depending on the issue. If your heating element is more than 8 years old, you should seriously consider replacement. They should usually be replaced every 3-4 years for optimum performance. Most spa heating elements are universal and will fit any kind of tub.
In addition to repairing your hot tub -- and to help avoid repairs -- you should get yours serviced on a regular basis. Professionals can identify problems early on, which can save you money on more expensive repairs down the road. When a professional comes to maintain your tub, they will look at:
The pump’s seal
Depending on what they find, be prepared for repairs costing anywhere from $500-$5,000. There could also be a minimum charge of $150-$200 for inspection and basic repairs.
There are a few basic maintenance tasks you can do to keep your hot tub well-maintained. Think about checking the following on a regular basis:
Filter: Dirty filters affect a hot tub’s water, jets and heating capabilities. Keeping it clean can cut down on additional repairs. You can use a filter-specific cleaning product to get rid of debris. You should also replace it annually for best results.
Leaks: If you find a small leak, you can probably patch it with hot tub-specific products for sealing holes. If it’s a major hole, you will need to get a pro in.
Water Quality: Incorrect pH and sanitizer levels can create corrosion, scaling and mineral buildup. Regularly balance the water chemistry by adding sanitizer, foam reducer and a descaling agent. You should also drain and replace the water on a semi-regular basis.
Are hot tubs easy to maintain? If you have a quality tub with good parts, maintenance should be no problem. Many people have performed little to no maintenance and have seen theirs last for many years.
How much on average will I spend on maintenance? It depends again on the quality of the tub and its parts. Most electrical repairs will run between $10 - $20 with a good system, $50 - $100 for more complex issues. If your spa is low quality, you could be looking at $100 - $200 repairs on a regular basis.
Do I need more jets? No, it doesn’t. It’s about how they are placed and the appropriate pressure. You should focus more on a lower amount of jets with good pressure that can evenly spread the water.
Should I get more horsepower? It depends on the jets, pump and electricity. You can have a good flow with less horsepower. If you overdo it, you might cause issues with the whole plumbing and electrical system.