How to Troubleshoot and Fix a Hot Tub That Won't Heat Up (2023)

Introduction: Nothing exceeds the experience of a relaxing hot tub bath on a chilly winter evening, but nothing can be more irritating than a stubborn tub refusing to warm up. Such a tub will leave only two residues: an angry owner and a less than satisfactory experience. However, before you go kicking the tub in rage, hoping your fury might heat it instead, there can be several reasons that may potentially be causing the problem. In this article, we will delve into the various troubleshooting steps and solutions to help you understand why your hot tub won't heat up and how to fix it.

  1. Electrical Element Problems: One of the most common reasons for a hot tub not heating up properly is electrical element issues. The electrical element is responsible for heating the moving water in your pool by gradually raising the temperature. If the element goes bad, your tub will not heat up past 95 degrees or might not even reach 95 at all. There are three scenarios to consider in this case:

1.1 Mineralization of Heating Element: Mineralization of the heating element usually occurs over a longer period, especially when using hard water. The minerals (Ca and Na salts) are deposited, forming an insulating layer that reduces heat transfer. To fix this issue, you can submerge the heating element in vinegar water or any anti-clog substance. If the problem persists, you may need to replace the heating element.

1.2 Cracked Heating Element: A cracked heating element can disrupt the proper flow of electricity, resulting in your tub not heating up past 90-95 degrees. To troubleshoot this, you need to get your element replaced or repaired by a professional.

1.3 Outer Coating Cracks: If the outer coating of your heating element gets cracked, it can cause electricity to pass into the water, leading to the heater tripping and less heat generation. The only permanent solution to this issue is to repair your heater as a whole.

  1. Control Panel Issues: Control panel issues are not uncommon and can arise due to various reasons such as someone tampering with it, power failure, or intentional programming changes. Here are a few control panel errors you may encounter if your hot tub isn't heating as per your needs:

2.1 Dry: The "Dry" error appears when the water entering the heater is insufficient to be adequately heated. The occurrence of this error might be due to any blocked or clogged hose.

2.2 SNA/SNB: These errors arise when the sensors are not working properly or have a circuit problem. If this occurs, it could be dangerous to use your tub as there could be electricity in the water. It is recommended to call a technician to fix this issue.

2.3 Flow: The "Flow" error appears when there is improper flow in your hot tub. It may be due to blockage, leakage, malfunctioning pump, or faulty jets. Properly inspect and troubleshoot these areas to resolve the issue.

  1. Bad Thermostat or Temperature Sensors: Most new hot tubs use a thermostat that has a temperature sensor connected to it. A bad thermostat or temperature sensor can lead to your tub not heating past 95 degrees. To check if your thermostat is working properly, follow these steps:

3.1 Thermostats with a Knob: If you have a thermostat with a knob, turn it to check if it's broken or not. Also, inspect the sensor bulb, as rusted bulbs signify a broken thermostat that requires replacement.

3.2 Thermostats with a Pointer: For thermostats with a pointer, check if it moves with changes in temperatures. Also, ensure the wires are properly plugged in.

  1. Hot Tub Cover Issues: Issues with the hot tub cover can also prevent it from heating up properly. Any breaks, cracks, or mineral deposits in the cover layer can allow heat to escape, leading to insufficient heating. Timely replacement of the cover is necessary to address these situations. Consider investing in a high-quality hot tub cover, such as the Hot Tub Cover by Classic Accessories.

  2. Wiring Issues: If your hot tub has been out of commission for a long time, rodents and pests might have made it their personal space, chewing and feasting on the wires. Any frayed or melted wires will not allow for proper electrical accuracy, resulting in inadequate heating. It is always best to get a professional checkup done if you're using your tub after a long time or suspect wiring issues.

  3. Wrongly Set Temperature: Sometimes, the issue with your tub not heating up may not lie with the tub itself but with wrongly set temperature preferences. Before delving into technicalities, always check your control panel and ensure the temperature settings are appropriate.

Conclusion: In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the various reasons why your hot tub may not be heating past 95 degrees and provided troubleshooting steps to help you fix the issue. From electrical element problems to control panel issues, thermostat malfunctions, hot tub cover issues, wiring problems, and even human error, we have covered it all. Remember, proper maintenance and regular checkups are crucial to ensure your hot tub provides the ultimate relaxing experience on those chilly winter evenings.

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