How to Repair a Whirlpool Tub

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How to Repair a Whirlpool Tub
Homeowners View a Whirlpool Tub as a Source of Comfort. (Brian Spencer.)

If your Whirlpool tub is not working properly, you might have no clue as to how it should be repaired. With a little bit of knowledge and a few ordinary household tools, that Whirlpool tub is only minutes away from providing you with a place to relax from your day.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver

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    Identify the Problem

  1. 1

    Check to see if the tub will start, and make sure the power is on at the service panel. This may sound rudimentary, but it is also a major cause as to why some tubs do not run. Also, check the drain for clogs if the water is slow to drain. Test both the motor and pump. Make sure there are not corroded terminals or loose/broken wiring exposed.

  2. 2

    Clear the blocked water intake if the jets are not working, as this could also be an indicator as to why the tub is not running. Broken jets will have to be replaced. Do you generally operate the hardware at a high temperature? If so, you will need to make sure you have not tripped the "high limit" reset switch. The same action applies for water that is too cold. Reset the switch if necessary.

  3. 3

    You may also want to take this time to replace your heating element. Disconnect the tub at its power source. Remove all screws that hold the heater housing cover in its place, and then mark and disconnect the element leads. Set the multimeter to resistance times 1 (RX1), and then clip each probe to the terminals. If your meter does not read low ohms, then replace the element by first draining the water from the tub. Disconnect all wires to the heating element, switches and sensors that are necessary so that you can effortlessly remove the element. Take out the used element, mounting plate and mounting gasket. Attach the new element to the mounting plate, install then and remount the remaining parts.

  4. 4

    If leakage can be seen under the unit, take a close look at the pump. Is your water level dropping too fast? Do the jets unevenly emit water or surge erratically? If your answer is "yes" to either of those questions, it is time to get a new pump union gasket.

  5. 5

    Replacing a pump union gasket is relatively simple. Check out your owner's manual to determine the replacement part number, size and device location. Unscrew the fitting and carefully remove the gasket. Install the new union gasket and then reattach the fitting.

Tips and warnings

  • Foul smelling, discoloured or cloudy water means that the water should be thoroughly tested and chemically adjusted.
  • If you have a wood-based tub that leaks between the staves, try tightening the bands around the tub. If this does not solve your leakage problem, apply silicone caulk, plugging the leaks at the base.

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