How to Fix your Hot Tub after a Hurricane, Storm or Flood

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Every year thousands of hot tubs are damaged or destroyed by floodwaters and high winds. The aftermath of this devastation can leave anyone baffled on how to begin picking up the pieces. But, after the water subsides and your lawn ornaments are back in their place, normalcy starts to feel attainable again. However, many of us remain unsure of how or even if some things, like hot tubs, can be fixed. With so many home insurance policies excluding flood damage coverage, the answer to this question has never been more important.

Cut the Power

The most important thing to do before getting anywhere near the tub after a storm is to cut off all power to the unit. Turn off the circuit breaker, and any sub-panel circuit breaker. If the spa is 120v, unplug it from the outlet. If in doubt, have an electrician perform this task for you.

Assessing Damage

Once the spa is unplugged, open the equipment panel so that you can inspect the electrical connections and equipment. Look for any burn marks or areas of corrosion. If present, these parts will need to be replaced before the hot tub can be safely used again. Parts most commonly affected by water damage:

  • Spa Packs
  • Pumps
  • Blowers
  • Ozonators

Wiping everything down with a rag, especially if the parts have been in contact with salt water, is good practice to prevent further corrosion.

Dry Out the Equipment

It is important to let the spa equipment dry completely before firing it back up, or you could risk further damage to the electrical components. Vacuum out any excess water inside the equipment compartment with a wet/dry vac. Leave the door to the equipment area open with a fan blowing inside during dry days to allow moisture to evaporate, and prevent mildew.

Repairing the Cabinet

If the wood cabinet of your spa is faded but otherwise structurally-sound, the best thing to do is re-finish it. Replacement cabinetry is nearly impossible to find, and usually pretty expensive. Tools needed to refinish the wood cabinet:

  • Electric Screwdriver
  • Sanding Block
  • Orbital Sander

For instructions and great tips on refinishing your wooden hot tub cabinet, check out our blog on Restoring Wooden Hot Tub Cabinets & Furniture.

Inspecting the Shell

After a flood or storm, the inside of your hot tub is probably pretty dirty. Vacuum out all the water and thoroughly wipe down the spa shell with a non-abrasive non-foaming cleaner. Once the shell is clean, you will be better able to inspect it for damage. Superficial scratched, small cracks and dents can all be fixed with an epoxy-like acrylic repair kit. However, if the shell has extreme damage, it will need to be replaced.

Repairing your Spa Cover

Cuts, tears, and small punctures can be remedied with water-proof patches. To get started:

  1. Unzip the vinyl jacket (zippers are usually located in the fold) and remove the foam inserts.
  2. Carefully inspect the plastic wrapping over the foam and patch over all defects, if the foam is broken or cracked, it will need to be replaced.
  3. Next, patch any holes in the vinyl jacket and slip the foam inserts back in the cover.
  4. Replace broken plastic cover strap clips with new ones.

If your spa cover has collapsed or the core is broken, it will need to be replaced.

Have questions or comments about fixing your hot tub? Please comment below and let us know!

9 comments

  1. What a helpful article, especially welcome in this region of the country where we are cleaning up and powering up after Hurricane Sandy. This information is headed right to Evernote!

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  2. Thank you for your feedback, Matt! Hopefully this will help folks get back to relaxing and enjoying their tubs. Please feel free to post any questions here, and I will respond as quickly as possible.

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  3. I have a few questions about a Sandy flooded hot tub. Before storm, hot tub was turned off at the breakers and left full of water. Sandy came thru and water was at the hot tub cover level. I decided i should replace the motor (Wavemaster 9000 Version 2) as it was completely submerged in salt water. I replaced the pump last year, but the pump looks water tight. Is there anything else i should replace? I see there is a Fresh Water III High output Ozone Systerm in there as well. Should i replace that as well? The motherboard has been dried out and there is no rust on any of the connections. Thank You for reading this and have a Happy New Year!.

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  4. Hello Pete Smyth, This is from one of our Spa Techs: Any submerged motor, such as pumps and blowers, should be replaced as the internals will become corroded in near future. Any ozonator with a light, chip, or circuit board may work for short time, if properly and completely dried out prior to powering them. Any and all electrical boards, relays, sensors, and sensor connections should be cleaned with electrical contact cleaner spray. This will remove any corrosive debris and protect against further corrosion: Description: The CRC 2-26 5 oz. Multi-Purpose Lubricant is a plastic-safe lubricant, penetrant and corrosion inhibitor. This lubricant helps prevent electrical malfunctions and restore damaged equipment caused by water penetration, humidity, condensation and corrosion.

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  5. Thank you for the advise thespadepot. Unfortunately i didnt get a chance to dry out the motor right away, only the mother board which seems pretty dry. I took apart the motor and everything seems to be ok, no corrosion on the copy wires or connections. Bearing seeems to work fine and I will go thru all the rest of the components and spray the CRC and wish for the best. Happy New Year to all!!!

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  6. Alright, Let us know if you have any more questions or concerns. You can chat with one of our Techs via live chat by clicking the “Chat Now” button at the bottom right side of the page. Happy New year to you and yours as well!

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  7. Hi Pondeli, Great question! Good ventilation is key for a successful indoor hot tub set-up. Also, be sure the floor is tiled and has a drain for excess water to escape. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you, Kaisa The Spa Depot

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