Hot Tub Jets Troubleshooting (7 Common Issues and Solutions)

Only the jets turn your hot tub into a hot tub. Otherwise, the hot tub would only be a large bathtub. But how do you fix problems when the jets switch themselves on and off?

In most cases, the hot tub jets go crazy when the GFCI breaker has been worn out, or moisture gets into the breaker box. Another cause is corrosion, loose wires, or damaged components such as the blower or the pump. Or maybe the heating element is defective, which is easy to replace.

In this article, I will explain why hot tub jets go crazy and how you can perhaps fix the problem yourself.

Do hot tub jets turn off automatically?

The jets in most hot tubs are designed to turn off after a certain amount of time. High-speed jets, for example, usually shut off after 15 minutes of use, while low-speed jets shut off after two hours. 

Other hot tubs have the option to set up the jets so that they do not turn off or so that they only turn off after a certain period of time.

If hot tub jets do not turn off automatically, it can indicate an issue with the water heater, filters, or pumps. This lack of hot water flow can cause hot tub jets to clog or burn out.

It also increases energy use and costs.

Hot tub nozzles also generally turn off when the cover is opened, so hot tub safety may also be an issue if hot tub jets do not turn off automatically.

However, there are a number of factors that can influence when the hot tub should be switched on or off.

Some of them are straightforward to guess, while others are dependent on how often you’ll use your tub during the year.

Hot tubs must be drained on a regular basis. I recommend draining the hot tub every three months for domestic tubs and more frequently for those in vacation rental properties. 

If you know, you won’t be using your tub during certain times of the year, draining and turning it off may be a good idea.

Many customers like using their tub in the winter, and I urge that you do so before opting to turn it off. 

But if you decide not to use your tub during the winter, you can drain it and turn it off.

Draining a hot tub during the winter should be done right because there are risks to pumps and pipework when draining a hot tub during the winter. 

Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a summer house, and you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, then you should consider turning off your hot hub while you’re gone.

When will hot tub jets turn off automatically?

If your hot tub keeps shutting off, it’s most likely tripping the breaker. 

There are seven common causes for this to occur, including: 

1. A GFCI breaker that has been worn out: The GFCI breaker tripped because the water temperature fell below 104 °F. Reset the GFCI breaker by pressing down on the center button of the device for at least 60 seconds. If this does not work, consult a professional hot tub repair expert.

2. Moisture in the breaker box: This can be fixed by drying the inside with a dehumidifier or a towel and then resetting the breaker when it is dry.

3. Corrosion: You can get rid of a minor corrosion by removing it with a brush. If the corrosion is severe, you will need to employ the service of a hot tub repair expert to have the wiring redone.

4. The motor that turns the pump on and off has an overheating problem: This basically means that the engine is too hot to function correctly. Check the water level in your tub, as well as the remaining time on your filter cycle timer, for other possible causes of overheating.

5. Damaged or loose wires: The most common reason for a hot tub shutting off is are loose or damaged wires, which can also cause the GFCI circuit to trip and turn off your spa. A professional hot tub repair expert will be able to quickly identity breaks or char marks in the wiring and then repair them.

6. Defective components: Any defective components in your hot tub must first be identified. You can then replace each such as blowers, pumps, Ozonator, etc., for effective functioning of the hot tub.

7. A malfunctioning heating element: You can fix this by changing the heating element, a fairly simple process.

8. An Ozonator or flooded air blower: This can be fixed by replacing the Ozonator with a new one. To do this, you’ll need an person to hold the old one in place while you unscrew it.

Hope this helps!

If any of these events occur, the breaker will trip, alerting the owners to the problem.

Rather than simply switching a breaker, the issue should be located and treated in order to prevent the hot tub from shutting down repeatedly and causing irreversible damage.

Why do hot tub jets turn on by themselves?

The jets will automatically switch on if the internal temperature goes below the temperature you select.

If the temperature is set to 104 °F and the internal temperature drops to 103 °F, the jets will automatically turn on until the temperature rises to 104 °F and then turn off.

But that only happens if the spa is set to Low heat. If it’s set on High heat, it will never automatically turn jets on, no matter how cold it gets.

Tip: If you want your hot tub jets to stay on, set your hot tub to “High” heat. If you don’t want them to turn on themselves, set it to “Low” heat.

How to turn off the air to the hot tub jets?

The force of the hot tub jets, the air to water ratio, and the mix are all controlled by the hot tub air controls, which are positioned at the top of your hot tub.

They function as an air valve, allowing the hot tub user to dial in the ideal mix and ratio, enhancing the activity and pressure of your hot tub jets. 

Turn the air induction valves fully clockwise to turn them off. This restricts the water’s circulation to the tub’s interior plumbing, concentrating the flow and allowing it to clean more thoroughly. 

If your tub’s maker recommends it, leave them open.

When should you manually switch off your hot tub jets?

Manual shut-off for hot tub jets is not really required unless you feel like it.

However, there are some situations when a manual shut-off may be necessary.

  • If you’re cleaning the hot tub, you can turn off the therapy pumps before starting. However, the circulation pump does not necessarily need to be turned off. Cleaning agents will be dispersed through the pipes and the remainder of your hot tub with the help of the main pump that circulates your water. 
  • When the hot tub is not in use: When the hot tub is not in use, use the control panel to turn off the therapy pumps/jets. This will help save energy. Turning off the hot tub circulation pump, on the other hand, is not advised. When not in use, the hot tub circulates the water through the system to keep it clean, prevent algae growth, and distribute heat evenly. If the hot tub is turned off for a lengthy period of time while water lingers within, algae and other particles will grow, making the water hazy and unsafe to use. Keep the circulation pump going as long as there is water in your hot tub. 
  • To change the water in the hot tub: You can turn off the power at the breaker if you’re draining the hot tub in order to move it, close it for the season, or completely change out the water. You don’t want to pump air with leaves or other debris that may enter your pump system while the hot tub is empty since the circulation pump will have no water to pump. 
  • To replace electronics: When replacing electronics such as speakers, control panels, or lights, the breaker can be turned off in order to avoid any risk of injury. 
  • To replace a damaged jet: Turn off the pump before replacing the hot tub jet. If a jet body has to be replaced, drain the hot tub partially to reveal the jet body. You can turn off the hot tub by turning off the breaker during this period. 
  • To change the hot tub filter: Turn off the therapy pumps with the control panel to prevent unfiltered water from entering the pumps. The pumps can be turned on back after changing the filter, and any particles will be cycled back to the hot tub, where they will be collected through the filter.

The proper way to turn off a hot tub

Turning off the hot tub is simple with or without a touchscreen control panel.

Although the panels from one model to the next may appear different, they always function in the same way. 

If your control panel has a touchscreen, press the Settings button.

It will then reveal which jets are running on which pump, depending on how many pumps you have in your hot tub.

For example, you might have a button that says Jets 1, Jets 2, and Jets 3 if you have massage jets with treatment pumps and the standard circulation jets. 

Simply press the jets you want to turn off to turn the pumps on and off. 

The therapy pump you specified will be turned off as a result of this.

Info: Note that the circulation pump on the touch screen cannot be turned on and off because it is designed to run continuously to keep the hot tub functioning efficiently. 

The electrician will have connected the hot tub to a breaker at your location when it was first installed.

When this breaker is turned on, the original start-up mode for your hot tub will be activated. All of the pumps are automatically turned on and off during this mode.

This is done to remove any particles or debris from the pump lines.

When you flip the breaker that connects to your hot tub, the circulation pump will shut off, and the hot tub will lose all power.

Why won’t my hot tub jets turn on?

If your hot tub isn’t getting enough water flow, or something else makes its way into the system and impedes water flow, the jets won’t work.

This is to prevent the spa from overheating or catching fire.

Hot tubs are designed to be left on all of the time, which is the greatest way to use them.

Of course, they’ll need to be drained regularly, but for the most part, they’re left on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

It takes time and energy to heat a tremendous amount of water, so it’s much more cost-effective to keep your tub at the same temperature rather than starting over.

If you had to heat up your hot tub from cold every time you wanted to use it, your hot tub operating costs would skyrocket.

You’d also have to waste a lot of time waiting for it to heat up! 

The good news is that because hot tubs are designed to be left on, they include a number of mechanisms that assist them in maintaining their temperature and so saving money.

This is where you’ll notice a significant difference in performance between a high-quality tub and a low-cost tub. 

Tubs that are inexpensive to purchase initially have substantially greater operating costs in the long term because they are inefficient.

Quality hot tubs contain insulating side panels and covers to keep as much heat in the water as possible.

They also contain more efficient heating elements, saving time and energy when adding heat when needed. 

Do you have any further questions about the hot tub jets?

Contact me at @contactswimfool on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest – I’ll be happy to help.

Have fun in your clean hot tub!

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Hi. I'm Max Berg. I've been in the pool industry since 2015 and have always felt drawn to water. I'm the author behind swimfool.com, where I share my years of experience in pool maintenance and give helpful tips on keeping a swimming pool or hot tub clean. My tips reduce the costs of water treatment and protect the environment.

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