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.
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
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:
- Unzip the vinyl jacket (zippers are usually located in the fold) and remove the foam inserts.
- 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.
- Next, patch any holes in the vinyl jacket and slip the foam inserts back in the cover.
- 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!