If your hot tub is making a loud buzzing or grinding noise, you can usually bet it’s the motor. This sound is not only obnoxious, but it’s also an indication that soon (if not already) your hot tub will be out of service. We’ll walk you through the steps to pinpoint to cause of the noise and how to fix it below.
My Breaker is Tripped
A tripped breaker is usually caused by either a bad heater or a bad hot tub pump. To determine the cause of the tripped breaker, try disconnecting the heater first, and then flip the breaker. If the breaker still trips with the heater disconnected, disconnect the pump and flip the breaker again. If the breaker does not trip with the pump disconnected, you’ve found the source of the problem – a bad spa pump.
NOTE: If your breaker is tripped but the pump does not hum when you flip the breaker back on, it could just be a bad fuse. In this case, use a multi-meter to test the fuse(s).
If all fuse(s) are good, testing the voltage on the back on the motor will verify if the motor is bad. If the motor gets the correct voltage, but does not run, it’s bad.
My Pump is Buzzing/Humming
A steady or intermittent buzzing/humming noise can be an indication of a seized hot tub pump. When the pump is seized, this noise happens in conjunction with the following symptoms:
- Tub will not heat
- Topside shows a code of OH, DR, FLO, or DRY (codes vary depending on equipment system)
- Tub will not circulate
A pump will commonly seize due to worn out bearings or trapped debris/foreign objects. The remedy is replacing the spa pump.
While there are companies that rebuild pumps, this is often as expensive, or more, than purchasing a new one with a warranty.
My Pump is Making a Loud Grinding Noise
A loud grinding or screeching noise is indicative of a motor with bad bearings. Bearings go bad over time due to wear and tear.
A loud pump will eventually stop working completely, so order a replacement sooner rather than later to avoid down time.
Note: There are companies that rebuild motors and/or offer rebuild kits. These are often just as expensive, or more, than purchasing a new complete pump and motor.
Hot Tub Pump Lifespan
The average hot tub pump lasts 4-10 years depending on pump quality and how well the water chemistry has been maintained. Low pH, alkalinity or excess bromine/chlorine can all cause premature pump failure.
Test and balance your water weekly to protect your spa equipment from unnecessary damage.
Replacing your Hot Tub Pump
Finding a replacement hot tub pump may seem difficult, but it is actually pretty simple. The label on your current spa pump will usually tell you everything you need to know. Gather this information:
- Frame size
- Discharge orientation
- Plumbing size
- Any name brands on the assembly
Some retrofitting may be necessary for non-standard plumbing. If ever in doubt, email us a photo of your motor data label and pump attached to the motor. We will happily help you find the correct replacement.
When shopping for a replacement pump and motor, pick a well-known brand. Waterway and AquaFlo pumps are best known for quality and durability, but HydroMaster high performance spa pumps take reliability and durability to a new level at an affordable rate.
Looking for more information? Read our Complete Guide on Spa Pump Replacement.
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