How to seal hot tub leaks

Updated November 21, 2016

Owning your own hot tub can provide you with a enjoyable way to wind down after a busy day. Hot tubs can be very relaxing, especially when your're soaking in one in your own backyard. Like swimming pools, hot tubs do require routine maintenance, and they can develop problems. You may discover that your hot tub is leaking water, and you need to fix it quickly to avoid losing much water. Leaks are rarely in the shell of the hot tub, but instead are usually around the jets and in the piping. Once you find the leak, it is usually not difficult to seal.

Unplug the power cord to the hot tub.

Check the PVC piping connected to the hot tub. Look for puddles of water, or water dripping from the pipes. If you find a leaky pipe section, close the main water valve where the piping runs into the hot tub. There will be a twist or crank handle that you can turn clockwise to close. Wipe the pipe dry with a towel. Apply a PVC pipe sealant to the pipe section. Allow the sealant to dry overnight. Reinstall the pipe and observe if it still leaks. If the pipe still leaks, replace the section with new pipe.

Check the area around the jets for leaks. Squirt a small amount of food colouring around each jet. If the food colouring is sucked through the wall of the hot tub, then the jet fitting is leaking. Apply either a marine sealant or plumber's putty around the edge of the jet where it meets the hot tub. Some sealants can be used underwater, so you may not have to drain any water from your hot tub at all.

Examine the hot tub shell for cracks. Use a diving mask to look closely at the shell. If you find a crack, use the food colouring test to see if the crack goes all the way through the shell. If it does, you will have to drain your hot tub below the level of the crack. Wipe the crack area dry with a rag. Apply a coating of acrylic sealant with a putty knife. Allow the sealant to cure for 24 hours before refilling the hot tub.


Inspect the PVC piping for leaks before you close the main water valve. If you close the valve before you check the pipes, the leak may stop dripping and you'll have a harder time noticing it.

Things You'll Need

  • Food colouring
  • PVC pipe sealant
  • Marine sealant or plumber's putty
  • Acrylic sealant
  • Putty knife
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