How to repair a jetted tub leak

Written by christina teter
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How to repair a jetted tub leak
A jetted tub leak can have many causes. (Bath Tub image by Ritu Jethani from

Relaxing in a hot tub can take away your headache; however, a leaky jetted tub can create a headache. Bigger problems, including tub malfunction, may occur if you don't detect leaks in a timely manner. Knowing where to start looking for leaks is key to eliminating them. Sometimes a generic leak sealant will do the job, but the majority of the time, a bigger problem exists requiring more work.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Food colouring
  • Silicone sealant
  • Pipe clip-on connectors
  • Jet gaskets

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  1. 1

    Determine the location of the leak. Fill the tub with water. Pour dark food colouring into the jetted tub and observe the location of the leak. Another method includes observing at what level the water quits leaking from the tub. The leak is then obviously above that point, possibly at a jet. Faster leaks may require a lengthier diagnosis. Three possible types of faster leaks include a vessel leak, a suction-side leak or a pressure leak.

    A vessel leak is in the spa shell itself while a suction-side leak is where the water enters the pump, and a pressure leak is after the water leaves the pump. To check for one of these three leaks, fill the tub with water and let it run for 24 hours. Note the difference in the water level. Refill the water to the original level and leave the jets off for 24 hours. Note the difference again. If the water decreases the same amount with the jets off as it does when they are running, more than likely you have a vessel leak. If the water level decreased faster with the jets running, this indicates a pressure leak. If the water level dropped less with the water running, you more than likely have a suction leak.

  2. 2

    Repair the determined problem area. Repair leaks at pipe connections with clip-on connectors. Shell leaks are actually associated with jets and fittings in the shell. The jets include gaskets, which can shrink and decompose over time, allowing water loss. Replace gaskets if they appear worn. Both pressure and suction leak repairs likely include replacing the pump or pipes that lead to the pump.

  3. 3

    Seal any repairs with a silicone sealant. Be sure you secure any work you perform with the proper sealant for the type of jetted tub you have.

Tips and warnings

  • Sealants are available at your local hardware store.
  • Turn off power to your tub if you are performing anything besides observation of the jets.

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