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Do Hot Tubs Lose Water? (How to Fix)

If you own a hot tub you might have noticed that the water level drops, sometimes by inches over the course of a day or two. Sure when it’s running the heat causes it to evaporate. But, even when hot tubs are turned off they seem to lose water over time. You might be wondering, if it’s just in your head or do hot tubs lose water with time? 

Yes, hot tubs do lose water from time to time and there are many factors why. Temperature of the environment can influence this depletion of water. Also, plumbing issues can also play a part in this. 

In the rest of the article, I will talk about some causes of hot tubs losing water and their solution. So, keep reading till the end for a proper idea on the topic. 

Reasons Your Hot Tub Might be Losing Water 

I will explain the aforementioned reasons further here. Make sure you give them a thorough read as they are the prime causes. 


Temperature is a very obvious cause. Generally, a hot tub loses 1 inch of water per week due to different degrees of temperature. In the winter, water is more reduced thanks to the dry ambiance. This is because the dry air sucks some of the water from your tub. As a result, water may evaporate up to 2 inches or more.

In a more humid region, the air has less space for vapor. So, you can expect less reduction of water here.  Proper knowledge of the temperature around you is necessary. Therefore, try to have a clear idea of it.      

Plumbing Components

Plumbing components are the inner workings of a hot tub. These parts result in the hot tub’s ideal performance. They circulate the water all the time and dish out warm and airy water which relaxes your muscles.

These modules are neatly tucked away inside the shell of a hot tub. Hence, you really need to get in there to see the pump, heater, pipes, valves, PVC pipes, manifolds, and other important things. 

Often these small components leak owing to janky or loose pipes that go in and around the heater, pump, and jets. These can cause a proportionate reduction of water. 

How to Solve Your Hot Tub’s Water Issue

After identifying the problems of your hot tub comes the solution. Here are a few issues that may need tinkering. In case of temperature, a simple covering or lid is good enough to retain the water. But in the case of component issues, these are the things you should do to minimize leakages. 

Pump Issues

The pump is the heart of a hot tub. It is connected through suction lines and skimmers. Suction lines suck out the water from the tub and into the pump. Skimmers also suction and take in foreign particles such as leaves, hairs, or small debris. The pump’s job is to circulate water into the filtration process. 

As these pumps are connected via different pipes they are adjoined with different seals. Sometimes these seals loosen or corrode. Here are a few steps to resolve this.

  • Open the equipment compartment of your hot tub which is located inside the seal.
  • Using a flashlight, check for dampness near the pumps or the seals. If you see the seals to be loose then tighten them using a wrench.  If the seals corrode then replace the seal. 
  • Furthermore, the circulation power of the pump might get weakened if it is old. Instead of fixing the pump, it is recommended that you opt for a better one.  

Follow these instructions and your pump issues will be gone in a flash! 

Heater Problems

The heater’s role is simple. Heat the water to the ideal temperature of your desire. After the filtration process, water transfers to a heater through PVC pipes. You will see the leakage all around the heater because of the heating element. There is not much to do here other than to replace it. 

Moreover, the heater is connected with the pump by valves and union pipes. Pipes often face leakages. They could get loosened due to pressure and hence a simple tightening of these could be an easy fix. If not, then replace the unios, bolts, and gaskets for a more long-lasting solution. 

Manifolds are distributors that take the water to the jets of the hot tub. The single or many lined manifolds are also a part of the heater. Sometimes corrosion, overheating, or very low temperature could break them. You should give an in-depth inspection to see whether these are fine or not. If you see any faults, replace them as soon as possible.

Valves and Pipes

Valves are like switches that control the flow of water inside the hot tub via the pipes. Sometimes they become faulty. Even when you turn off the valves properly leakage can occur around them. These valves are connected with strong bolts and nuts. Using a wrench, you can easily fix them or get a proper replacement.   

Pipes are all around the hot tub. Check the special PVC pipes around the heater especially during the winter. They might form cracks or get overheated. Do not use a wrench as it can be sensitive. So, try to tighten them using your hands. 

Damaged Shell

The outer shell is an obvious cause of leakage. If you do not find any leakages inside the hot tub then the shell is probably cracked in places. Shells are made from cement, stainless steel, acrylic, vinyl, and many others. Properly inspect your shell according to the material they are built. Follow these steps to fix your shell.

Things you will need:

•          Acrylic Repair Kit

•          A Drill

•          Shell Cleaner

•          Towels

Use the towel to remove excess moisture from the damaged area. Then apply the patch material of the repair kit on the area. Follow the instructions given by the repair kit and work accordingly. Leave the plaster to dry. Again, clean the area and remove any residue plaster. If you did everything correctly, you can test out your tub by filling water. Hopefully, there will be no leakages. 

Note: If you have a large crack be sure to use the drill! Attach the plaster to the drill and crush the corners of the crack creating a “v” shape. The bottom of the “v” will act with the bottom of the crack also and will provide an area for your plaster.


Jets are small nozzles with tapered ends which are situated around the hot tub. It is this component that gives the streamflow feel of the hot tub and provides the aerated water that helps your body relax.  

Jets also have unique connections and fittings. Subsequently, they become prone to problems like leakages. 

After filling your hot tub, speculate the level of water. If it is on a suboptimal level then the jets could be the culprit. Head over to a nearby store or call a technician to replace the jets as quickly as you can.

Note: Hot tubs contain several electrical components, circuits, and pipes. And that’s why never forget to turn off your hot tub before touching any components inside.       

Best Way to Find a Leakage 

The detecting dye is very nice to use as it helps to find leakages in your tub. Drop some dark food coloring in the water of your hot tub. Water goes where the path is easy so keep an eye out. You may see the colored water flow out of the jets.

If not then look for the colored water to come out on the outside of the tub’s shell. Inspect the seals, pipes, and valves. If you still haven’t found the cause of your leak, apply a leak-detection dye to your hot tub’s water. Wait for the dye to appear around a seal or fitting. Sooner or later, you will find the area where water is leaking. 

Cost to Repair Tub Leaks by Professionals    

Not everyone is comfortable with getting hands on with machinery. Especially something as complicated as hot tubs. Most people are afraid to tinker with expensive machines. So, there’s a good chance for you to be the same as well. In that case, I highly encourage you to hire a professional. But, you might be wondering how much it could cost you. Well, let’s find out. 

Pump cost estimates up to $1,200 starting at $200 depending on the type. The new circulation models run $200 to $500 excluding installation charges. A budget around $200 to $500 for pump repairs. Professionals will handle the rest.

The price of heaters range from 225 to 650 USD, including 150 to 500 for the heating element. They can last up to five years before developing any actual problems. 

For leakes the price fluctuates anywhere from $230 to $1,700 with a mean of $720. Leaks can be an easy fix by tightening the union fitting, pipes, application of a leak sealer for minor leaks, or replacement of a gasket.

On top of these there is also the cost of the professional you hire. But, it’s highly unlikely that your hot tub will have all three sorts of issues at once.  

All in all, on average you will need 500 to 1000 USD to repair your hot tub and avoid water loss. It can be a bit expensive I know but it will ensure solid repairs that will last for a long time.  

So, do hot tubs lose water? In the right climate or for technical issues, they can lose water. Temperature can play a small role but it is the tub’s components that contribute the most. Especially the heater, pump, jet, and the array of pipes. These must be maintained and repaired accordingly.

Finding the core of the issue and taking necessary measures can help. But, if you are afraid of tinkering with your hot tub, I suggest you call a professional. Thanks for reading and until next time, farewell. 

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Written by Ferdi Vol
Ferdi Vol is a pool and hot tub owner who has been working in this industry for over 5 years. He has learned all the ins and outs of maintaining pools and hot tubs, as well as how to privately own one. Ferdi Vol is also passionate about blogging, researching topics that he shares with his readers online via this blog.
About Ferdi Vol
About Pool Uncle
Pool Uncle is a blog that focuses on helping pool and hot tub owners get the right tools, maintain their pools and hot tubs, and learn about how to care for them. It provides readers with all of the information they need to keep their pools clean, safe, and looking great. The website also publishes original articles about pool maintenance topics such as filtration systems or algae prevention techniques.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has been in the swimming pool and hot tub as an owner for over 5 years. His experience ranges from owning a pools and hot tubs and maintaining them. He’s learned about pumps, filters, chemicals, cleaning products, treatment systems… you name it!
About Ferdi Vol
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