Affordable Hot Tub Repair

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San Diego, CA

Typical Hot Tub Lifespan:
15 to 20 years

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Stiff and brittle hot tub plumbing will eventually crack and leak

Hot Tubs and Cyclic Surge Fatigue

Every time you turn on a jet pump a sudden, powerful burst of high-pressure, high-velocity water surges through all the complex pipes and plumbing hidden deep inside your hot tub.

In residential water systems like the rigid water pipes hidden inside the walls of your home a sudden surge or the sudden cutoff of a surge is called 'water hammer'.

Find out if your hot tub is worth fixing. Schedule a complete inspection and evaluation before you spend money on a hot tub repair!

If you hear a banging or rattling noise when your dishwasher or laundry machine starts and stops filling you should get it fixed immediately because water hammer can eventually burst even rigid copper pipe.

Hot tub surge fatigue video

(Coming soon: Hot tub surge video)

Like the walls of your home, your portable hot tub has a lot of hidden pipes and plumbing inside the cabinet but water surge in your hot tub is unavoidable which is one of several reasons why modern hot tubs are built with flexible PVC pipe.

The flexible pipe can curve and bend to fit into the complex plumbing and confined space inside your hot tub cabinet and it can also expand and stretch to absorb the stess created by powerful hot tub jet pumps.

Every time you turn on the jets, that sudden surge of water forces every inch of flexible pipe to expand in diameter and stretch in length. When you turn off the jets every inch of pipe immediately relaxes and contracts.

This repetitive cycle of expansion and contraction stresses all the plumbing in your hot tub and causes accelerated aging that mechanical engineers refer to as "cyclic fatige" or "surge fatigue".

Find out if your hot tub is worth fixing. Schedule a complete inspection and evaluation before you spend money on a hot tub repair!

Complex plumbing inside your hot tub

Surge fatigue stresses the structure of the plastic pipe at a microscopic level and eventually makes all the flexible pipe in your hot tub stiff and brittle.

Surge fatigue and stiff, brittle plumbing limits the maximum useful lifespan of most portable hot tubs to 15 or 20 years.

Once all the flexible pipe in your hot tub becomes stiff and brittle it's only a matter of time before a pipe cracks and leaks.

If your hot tub springs a leak due to stiff and brittle pipe the first leak can sometimes be repaired but all the pipe in your hot tub is in the same condition so it's just a matter of time before you have more cracks and more leaks.

Old, brittle hot tub plumbing eventually cracks and leaks

Find out if your hot tub is worth fixing. Schedule a complete inspection and evaluation before you spend money on a hot tub repair!

If the pipe in your hot tub is too stiff and brittle, repair may not be feasible. Any repair attempt in the complex plumbing of a portable hot tub will unavoidably disturb nearby pipes so attempting to fix one leak in old, fatigued plumbing can inadvertently create new leaks.

Your hot tub might be bigger and more expensive than other appliances in your home but it was built on an assembly line like every other mass produced item and it has a similar useful lifespan.

Nobody even considers rebuilding, restoring or refurbishing a worn out dishwasher or laundry machine after decades of use so an old, worn out hot tub with stiff, brittle pipes should be no different. Don't forget your hot tub is just a big appliance.

Replacing all the stiff and brittle plumbing in your hot tub is not practical or feasible

Portable hot tubs are built on an assembly line up-side-down so workers can install all the complex pipe and plumbing systems. After the frame and cabinet are installed, all the pipes and plumbing are usually covered with spray-foam insulation which makes replacing all the pipes in a portable hot tub impossible.

Replacing all the complex pipe and plumbing inside a modern portable hot tub is not practical or economically feasible. Once all the flexible plumbing in your hot tub becomes stiff and brittle and starts leaking, it's time to pull the plug and get rid of it.

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Chemical damage shortens hot tub lifespan

Chemical overdose damages hot tub pipes from the inside accelerating surge fatigue

Hot Tub Chemical Damage

Surge fatige eventually makes flexible pipes in your hot tub stiff and brittle but this process typically takes 15 to 20 years.

Chemical damage caused by chemical overdose can dramatically accelerate aging of all the flexible pipe in your hot tub and can significantly shorten the useful lifespan of your hot tub.

Learn how Simple Hot Tub Chemistry can prevent chemical overdose and prolong the useful life of your hot tub.

In extreme cases, chemical overdose can damage your hot tub beyond repair in just a few months which is why every factory warranty specifically excludes and denies coverage if failure was caused by chemical damage.

Chemical overdose attacks all the flexible pipe in your hot tub from the inside. Every time a surge of water stretches and stresses the pipe, aggressive chemistry in the water can attack the already stressed plastic on a microscopic level causing predictable and permanent damage.

New hot tub pipe is soft and flexible with a shiny interior

The new pipe sample above is flexible with a smooth and shiny interior finish.

Old hot tub pipe is stiff and brittle with a rough, dull and pitted inteiror surface

The 20-year-old pipe sample above is stiff and brittle from two decades of surge fatigue and has a rough, discolored and pitted interior finish caused by long-term exposure to normal hot tub chemistry.

Chemical overdose can dramitically shorten the lifespan of your portable hot tub but even "normal" chemistry eventually causes predictable and permanent damage to every inch of pipe in the complex plumbing hidden inside the cabinet.

The first and most obvious sign of chemical damage in your portable hot tub is usually the bleached-out bottom of your hot tub cover. If you lift the lid and see a bleach mark that's the same shape as the waterline... you have chemical damage.

Hot tub cover bleached by chemical overdose

Your hot tub cover sits just inches above the water and traps vapor that condenses and collects on the bottom surface of the cover.

Most hot tub covers eventually bleach out on the bottom but the process typically takes 3 to 5 years. A single sanitizer overdose can instantly damage an expensive cover and prolonged exposure to excessive chemistry can destroy a cover in just one season.

Learn how Simple Hot Tub Chemistry can prevent chemical overdose and prolong the useful life of your hot tub.

The same bad chemistry that can bleach out the bottom of your hot tub cover and damage hot tub plumbing from the inside will also damage all the gaskets, seals and o-rings that keep water from leaking out of your hot tub.

When all the gaskets, seals and o-rings deteriorate, your tub can start leaking at every mechanical joint in the equipment area and at every jet in every seat.

Each jet in your hot tub starts off with a hole drilled right through the shell so a gasket or silicone is used to seal around the jet body to prevent leaks. The gasket around the jet body below was damaged by prolonged exposure to excessive sanitizer levels and eventually started leaking.

Hot tub jet gaskets damaged by chemical overdose

Replacing all the damaged seals and gaskets in a portable hot tub is simply not practical or economically feasible. If your hot tub starts leaking at one jet gasket due to chemical damage all the other gaskets and seals have been exposed to the same harsh chemistry.

Learn how Simple Hot Tub Chemistry can prevent chemical overdose and prolong the useful life of your hot tub.

The gasket around this jet body was damaged by harsh chemistry and started leaking. All ten jet bodies in this seat had to be cut out and replaced which cost the hot tub owner over $600.00 in repairs for just one seat.

Chemical overdoce can damage every jet gasket in your hot tub

Every year for the past decade portable hot tub manufacturers have found ways to cram more and more jets into even the smallest hot tubs so replacing 30, 60 or 90+ jets in a tub damaged by chemistry is simply not practical or economically feasible.

Learn how Simple Hot Tub Chemistry can prevent chemical overdose and prolong the useful life of your hot tub.

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Prolonged hot tub leaks cause rust, rot and mold

Hot tub heater rusted out by a small, prolonged leak

Hot Tub Leaks: Rust, Rot & Mold

Leaks in your hot tub equipment are inevitable. The vibrations you feel when you turn on a jet pump eventually loosen pipe connections between components which causes leaks. Loosened fittings are easily fixed so Routine Hot Tub Service can prevent these types of leaks from ever happening.

A big leak in your hot tub is usually pretty obvious. If you see a big puddle next to your hot tub and lift the lid to find half the water missing...you have a big leak and know right away you need to schedule a repair.

Big hot tub leaks are obvious

Small, hidden leaks usually cause bigger, long-term problems becasue you may never notice a puddle outside your hot tub or see enough water loss to raise concern so a small leak can go on for weeks, months or years before it gets repaired.

Learn more about Routine Hot Tub Service

Most hot tub cabinets are well insulated and essentially sealed to improve heating efficiency. If your hot tub develops a small, hidden leak the sealed environment inside your hot tub cabinet can trap moisture which will eventually rust every metal surface inside your hot tub.

Hot tub frame rusted out from prolonged leaks

While it's true metal frames are impervious to wood boring insects like termites and carpenter ants a metal frame hot tub can rust into dust in just a few months when exposed to prolonged leaks and the chemistry found in hot tub water.

The hot tub above had a small, slow leak at the jet pump which eventually rusted through the metal frame compromising the structural integrity of the entire hot tub.

Hot tub circuit board rusted by prolonged leaks

A small, hidden leak inside the cabinent of this hot tub created a damp environment that eventually rusted the exposed relays on this expensive circuit board.

Learn more about Routine Hot Tub Service

The same kind of small, prolonged leak that can eventually rust out a metal framed hot tub will eventually rot out a wood framed hot tub. A damp wood frame is also more likely to attract wood boring insects such as carpenter ants.

Prolonged leaks rotted out hot tub frame

A small leak at a loose fitting created a standing pool of water inside this hot tub. By the time the owner noticed the wood rot on the outside the entire bottom frame was rotted through on the inside and the hot tub wasn't worth fixing.

Learn more about Routine Hot Tub Service

Molds are fungi that grow best in warm, damp and humid conditions like the inside of a hot tub cabinet with a small, slow leak. Mold reproduces by releasing spores that can spread throughout the insides of your hot tub cabinet.

Some people are sensitive to mold spores and can have adverse reactions such as stuffy nose, red and itchy eyes and wheezing or other respiratory problems especially people with asthma or other respriatory issues.

Prolonged leaks cause mold throughout your hot tub

Most hot tub equipment areas are vented to release excess heat when the jet pumps are running so if your hot tub cabinet is full of mold it could be spewing a plume of spores every time you turn on a jet pump.

If your hot tub is equipped with an air blower it deliberately sucks warm air from inside the cabinet so it could be sucking in mold spores and blowing them directly in your face as you sit and soak with your nose just inches from the water surface.

Learn more about Routine Hot Tub Service

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Got nasty neighbors nesting in your hot tub?

Hot Tub Rodent Damage

People who sell them will tell you a hot tub in your backyard promotes family bonding and social relationships but sometimes your hot tub attracts unwelcome neighbors who like your tub so much they're hard to get rid of.

If you live anywhere in San Diego County and own a portable hot tub, you have surely had mice and rats looking for a way into your hot tub cabinet especially in the winter when it's cold and wet outside but warm and dry inside.

The inside of your hot tub cabinet is safe and secure and pretty much the ideal place for rodents to set up house and raise a family. Under ideal conditions a pair of rats can become 15,000 in just one year turning your hot tub into a non-stop rat factory.

National Geographic: How two rats become 15,000 in one year

Hot tub rat nest

Your hot tub is full of ready-made nooks and crannies that are ideal for setting up a nest and raising a rodent family. The space is rent-free, there's no credit check and the month-to-month lease even includes free heat.

Learn more about Routine Hot Tub Service

Most modern hot tubs are insulated with spray-foam insulation which makes digging tunnels and nesting chambers almost effortless. Rats can live in social colonies so a single alpha male can mate with several females kept in separate nests in different parts of your hot tub.

Rats can dig tunnels in hot tub insulation

The first signs of nasty neighbors in your hot tub is usually a foul odor and popcorn bits of the spray-foam insulation scattered in the equipment area or on the ground outside the cabinet. The rat-flavored popcorn is saturated with urine and peppered with feces so you can smell a heavily infested hot tub from a few feet away.

By the time you notice the odor it usually means several generations of the same rat family have used your tub as a toilet on a daily basis. By the time you notice bits of insulation it usually means rats have dug tunnels and nesting chambers throughout the foam insulation in every part of your hot tub cabinet.

Learn more about Routine Hot Tub Service

Rats have incisor teeth that never stop growing so they must constantly gnaw on things to keep their front teeth from growing too long. That's why a motivated rat can chew a hole right through the siding on any portable hot tub to gain access to the ideal nesting environment inside.

Rats chewing in pipes cause hot tub leaks

Good news: When rats chew on pipes and finally cause a leak they usually vacate the premises in the middle of the night without giving notice.

Bad news: When rats chew on pipes and finally cause a leak they usually leave behind a lot of damaged pipe just waiting to leak sooner than later.

Fixing leaks caused by rodent damage in a portable hot tub can quickly turn into a bad game of chasing your own tail fixing one leak after another after another until you finally decide to pull the plug and send the whole mess to the dump.

Learn more about Routine Hot Tub Service

As if rats chewing on pipes wasn't bad enough, they also chew on electrical wiring. Rats chewing on wires can short out expensive hot tub equipment and can occasionally start hot tub electrical fires.

Rats chewing on wires caused this hot tub fire

The hot tub above was turned off at the breaker for over a year so a dirty, rotten rat had time to chew insulation off the wiring without getting electrocuted. When the power was turned on it started a fire that smoldered for several hours and then suddenly burst into flames. Want to bet the dirty, rotten rats got out alive?

Learn more about Routine Hot Tub Service

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Closed factory

Almost half of U.S. hot tub manufacturers have closed their factories

Obsolete Hot Tubs & Out-of-Business Manufacturers

"Following the downturn and recession, many manufactures and dealers were shuttered. In fact, the number of spa manufactures was almost cut in half, according to industry research firm IBISWorld: Between 2006 and 2013, the number of producers dropped from 100 to 56."

Pool & Spa News, State of the Market: Portable Spas, August 15, 2016

Good news: Many hot tub manufacturers used commonly available parts from supply chain vendors that are still in business so repair parts for your older hot tub are probably still available.

Factory for sale

Bad news: Some hot tub manufacturers used proprietary or 'dealer only' parts so certain repair parts for your older hot tub may not be available.

Schedule a complete Hot Tub Troubleshooting, Testing & Inspection to find out if your hot tub has obsolete parts from out-of-business manufacturers

Hot tub control panels tend to be a problem when it comes to obsolete parts. The control panel is the part you look at the most so it usually includes the company logo and may have a proprietary shape or unique button layout that can only come from the original hot tub manufacturer.

Hot tub control panels are sometimes obsolete

If your control panel is no longer available what should be a simple, relatively inexpensive repair can turn into replacing the entire control system which includes the control panel, any auxillary control panels, the control box and the heater which can double or triple repair cost.

See Hassle-Free Hot Tub Estimates for more information on typical repair costs

Manufacturing hot tubs requires some highly specialized equipment so when a factory is shuttered and the assembly line shuts down it can turn into a feeding frenzy as the rest of the industry races to acquire the assets of the deceased.

Specialized hot tub manufacturing equipment

During the recession and shortly thereafter news about bankruptcies, layoffs, mergers & acquisitions was almost a weekly event and some people who kept their jobs working on hot tub assembly lines had trouble keeping track of what brand they were building and who signed their paychecks.

https://www.poolspanews.com/tag/mergers-and-acquisitions

When the supply chain experiences a major reorganization a manufacturer may survive but under-performing brands can be discontinued. Remember the discontinued brands Hummer, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Plymouth & Saturn?

Obsolete automobile brands

Even if your hot tub manufacturer is still in business your particular brand or model of hot tub may be discontinued and "no longer supported" just like an obsolete car or an old version of Windows.

Schedule a complete Hot Tub Troubleshooting, Testing & Inspection to find out if your hot tub has obsolete parts from out-of-business manufacturers

"Based on the latest data from the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, residential portable hot tub sales peaked in 2004, with 417,000 units sold. The numbers have declined steadily since, bottoming out in 2009 at 175,000 tubs; in 2010, sales ticked up slightly to 182,000"

Pool & Spa News, Quarterly Market Report, December 30, 2011

Hot tub unit sales 1990 - 2006

https://www.hearthandhome.com/magazine/2017-07-13/hot_tubs_are_hot_again.html

When production in an industry drops by more than 50% in just five years, manufacturers and supply chain vendors cinch up the seat belts and white-knuckle the steering wheel hoping to make it through the storm.

That usually means downsizing the workforce and limiting production to the most profitable product lines. Since selling parts for old hot tubs is not nearly as profitable as selling whole, new hot tubs, supporting older product lines with repair parts is usually a low priority.

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