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How to Quiet Down a Hot Tub Pump

Updated March 23, 2017

Having a hot tub or sauna provides a luxury for water fun, relaxation and warm water enjoyment on cold days. However, these backyard accessories are machines, and they do come with nuances. Generally, hot-tub pump noise is a result of the strength of the motor and how fast the water is being pushed. Hot-tub pump noise can increase for a variety of reasons; the issue can range from something as simple as the amount of water in the tub to the pump itself. However, after a bit of troubleshooting and diagnosis, you can correct much of the problem by yourself.

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  1. Pull the filter cover off and check the debris basket inside. Remove any items or leaves that may have got sucked into the basket; these items impede water flow. Remove the basket by hand and inspect the cavity above the spa filter itself. Twist loose the spa filter and pull it out with the spa pump off. Wash it clean, spraying water on it with a hose at a 45-degree downward angle. Re-install the filter and try the pump again to check the noise.

  2. Use a wireless hand drill to remove screws holding on the engine side panel. Remove the panel and place it aside. Run the pump to listen to the sound. See if the engine is uneven or vibrating. Turn the power and engine off. Unscrew the anchor bolts holding the pump engine feet to the base board using a socket wrench. Slide rubber mats underneath and re-bolt the feet. Check the noise again with the power on.

  3. Listen for a whining sound in the pump; this could indicate bad bearings. Disconnect the emergency power bridge to prevent electrocution. Turn off the power and drain the hot tub. Twist off the engine pump input and output hose clamps using a towel and plumber's wrench. Slide the clamps away from the engine. Disconnect the pump engine wiring with a screwdriver. Unbolt the engine from the base board with a socket wrench. Remove the engine and place it on a work table.

  4. Disconnect the impeller section of the pump with a screwdriver and socket wrench. Examine the part to determine if it is wobbly or falling apart; replace the impeller if so. Replace the pump engine if you heard whining when it was running. Reverse the processes of Step 3 to install a new engine.

  5. Fill up the tub with new water to the fill mark. Reconnect the emergency bridge for the power. Turn the spa on with the new engine to test it. Close up the engine side panel and reconnect the screws to keep it closed.

  6. Tip

    Average spa-pump engine lifespan is around eight to 10 years. If you replace it, make sure to get a stronger engine so it will last longer.


    If you are not mechanically inclined, let a professional spa technician perform the troubleshooting and engine replacement.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wireless power drill
  • Socket wrench and sockets
  • Towel
  • Plumber's wrench
  • Screwdriver

About the Author

Since 2009 Tom Lutzenberger has written for various websites, covering topics ranging from finance to automotive history. Lutzenberger works in public finance and policy and consults on a variety of analytical services. His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Saint Mary's College and a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from California State University, Sacramento.

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