It’s winter, you want to use your hot tub, but you can’t because your hot tub is frozen. If that’s the case, then you need to know how to fix a frozen hot tub.
Most people don’t know how to protect their hot tub during winter, and they end up with frozen hot tub parts. Doing some simple things can help you unfreeze your hot tub, and identity any damages. Let’s check it out.
How To Fix a Frozen Hot Tub?
No one likes a frozen hot tub, but if you already got it, then it’s time to fix it. The process may take a while, and it will be cold. So, prepare yourself.
Turn off your Hot Tub
If the pump isn’t working, then you have to turn off the hot tub. I’d recommend to turn off by using the GCFI breaker. You have to complete all the steps below within a few hours. If it takes you more than that, and leave the hot tub OFF for a few days then that can do more harm than good.
If the pump is working, and some of the water is moving, then it’s a good idea to let the hot tub ON. Of course, if you have to remove the pump or any other parts from the hot tub, then you need to turn it off. You don’t want to mix water and electricity.
Heat The Pipes
Most likely your hot tub pump is frozen, and the first thing you need to do is to unfreeze it. The best way to do that is to use a heater. Get a heater and put it next to the pump and the internal pipes.
Don’t put the heater directly in front of the pipes lines, that can melt or damage the lines more. Pipes can take up to an hour to unfreeze. During that time don’t leave the heater unattended, and make sure to check time by time if the pipes are too hot.
While heating, you can use a wrench to open the pipes. Opening the wrench will allow the melted water (that was inside of the pipes) to drain out.
Break The Ice
If you have your hot tub outside, then your hot tub water will freeze. If that happened to your hot tub, then you need to break the ice. You don’t have to fully break all the ice, just use an ice pick to chip the center of the ice.
Break the ice until you reach the water underneath. After you touch moving water, it’s time to move to the next step. Note: Always be careful and don’t hurt yourself while breaking the ice.
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Add Hot Water
Once you create the hole (by breaking the ice), then you need to add hot water from that hole. Put the hot warm directly on top of the ice, and inside of the ice (using the hole).
To get rid of the cold water you can use a wet/dry ac. Get rid of the cold water, and add hot water, continue this process until all the ice is melted, and you can clearly see the hot tub water.
Drain The Water
Once you are completely melted the ice on your water, then you should drain the whole hot tub. Open the drain valve, and drain the water.
You should also drain the water from the pipes, pump, and heater. Open them all up and check if there’s any water. If you find water then you can use a wet/dry ac to get rid of it.
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Bonus Tip: Use a Heat Gun
If you don’t have a heater, or your heat wasn’t able to unfreeze the pipe and pump and you can use a heat gun. The heat gun is a very powerful tool, so keep a few inches of distance between the tool and the pipes.
Heat guns blow up to 1200-degrees of hot air, and that can easily melt your pipelines. While using the heat gun, move your hand, never direct the hot air to the same place for a long time.
How To Unfreeze a Hot Tub Without Draining It?
If your hot tub was turned off only for a few hours during winter, and it’s only starting to freeze up, then you can unfreeze it without having to drain it.
Add Hot Water
If the ice is just starting to build up, then add hot water directly in the middle of the spa. Keep adding hot water until your hot tub water is defrosted. Don’t add hot water near the edges of the spa, or directly to the shell of the spa. That can damage your hot tub shell, or even crack it.
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Check Your Pumps
Different hot tubs have different numbers of pumps. Mine has 4. Check all the pumps in your hot tub and make sure that they are circulating water. If they are not, then use the above methods to un-freeze them. Don’t move into the next step until all your spa pumps are working properly.
Water Heats Automatically
When all of your hot tub pumps are working properly, then they will notice the temperature of the water, and 2 of them will start running at HIGH speed to heat it. Usually, an error will appear to your control panel (IC or ICE), don’t worry about it.
Once the pumps (pump 2 and blower) heat the water above 7.5 degrees, they will stop. Pump 1 and the heater will start running at a low speed. As I said earlier, different hot tubs have different numbers of pumps. If your hot tub has only one, then you might need to manually start it at a HIGH speed.
Reminder– never leave your heating equipment alone. It can cause fire and burn your whole hot tub/space.
Related Read >>> How To Clean a Hot Tub Without Draining It?
How To Identify Hot Tub Freeze Damage?
You may have unfrozen the hot tub, but that doesn’t mean that you saved your hot tub. If your hot tub has been frozen for a long period of time, then most likely you will have to send it for a professional repair.
But, before you do that. You have to do a few things to check if your hot tub was damaged or not.
Check The Parts
Most of the damage is done to the heater body, a cylinder or anything that holds the filter may be broken, the pump body can also be broken. So, check these two things first.
The pipes usually don’t get fully damaged, but they might get a light crack that can cause problems in the future.
Test The Pump and Heater
First, start your hot tub. Don’t fill your hot tub, yet. Start your pump and the heater and leave them ON for 2-3 seconds (leaving them ON for more could damage them). If they start working and don’t make any weird sounds then move on to the next step.
Fill Your Hot Tub
Fill your hot tub and start everything, including the pump and heater. Check if the pumps are moving the water, if yes then they are fine.
Leave the hot tub ON for a few minutes and check if you see any water running or leaking. If you see any leaking water try to find the location. If there’s a light crack then you can try to seal it, if there’s a large crack then it’s best to send it for a professional repair.
While the hot tub is running, check for any weird noises that you haven’t heard before. If you hear a weird noise, then try to locate it.
If you don’t, and if everything is working properly, then most likely you acted fast and there’s nothing wrong with your hot tub. Congratulation, you saved yourself a few hundred dollars.