Hot Tub Won’t Stop Running? (Easy Fixes Included)

If your hot tub won’t stop running, then don’t worry. Here is what it means:

It’s normal for hot tubs to keep running, so don’t panic. Most modern hot tubs have been designed with a constantly operating circulation pump which makes the hot tub run 24/7 without any trouble.

If your hot tub isn’t designed to run all day long, then there must be something wrong with the circuit board, the heating element, or some other electronic part of the tub. We have explained it down below.

What Could Cause a Hot Tub to Constantly Run?

If the circulation pump in your hot tub isn’t designed to constantly run and it’s doing so, there are a few reasons that could be happening.

If your hot tub is constantly running then you should check the thermometer, the pump, or the heating element. If one of these three is broken, then the hot tub will be running constantly

1. The Heating Element of the Tub May Have Burned Out

The problem could be from the heating element of your hot tub. Since the pump is running continuously, the heating element of the tub may have burned out.

The heating element of your hot tub works similarly to the electric water heater or boiler in your kitchen. The heater burns out quickly if there isn’t constant water around it. So, this could be why the tub keeps running.

Related Read: Intex PureSpa Inflatable Hot Tub Error Code E90 & E96 (FIX)

2. Faulty Timer

Another possible reason could be a faulty timer. If you are using a hot tub that is designed with a timer, it means the timer controls the time for which the hot tub will run.

If that time expires, the hot tub will stop running. However, if your tub’s timer is faulty, then the tub will continue running because there isn’t any set time for the tub to stop.

Other issues could include a fault with the tub’s circuit board, the filtration settings, a faulty thermostat, or some other electrical glitch with the hot tub’s settings.

If you suspect any of this is the problem, you need to put a call through to your hot tub’s electrician or get one to come and check the tub out.

Unless you are an experienced hot tub electrician, I wouldn’t advise you to try and fix this yourself.

How To Fix a Constantly Running Hot Tub?

You should bear in mind is that it is good for hot tubs to run constantly as earlier stated. If you have one that runs constantly, it might not be such a good idea to alter the tub’s settings except you would be going away for a long time.

However, if your hot tub isn’t designed to run constantly and it is doing so, there are a few ways to correct the problem.

I would strongly advise you to contact a hot tub electrician to help you out. But before the electrician gets to you, there are a few steps you can execute to kick start the fixing process.

1. Check the Circulation Pump

Check the Circulation Pump

The first thing to do is to figure out what is wrong with the tub’s circulation pump. If your tub’s circulation pump is running, it could be a burnt-out heating element, a glitch with the circuit board, a faulty timer, or something is wrong with the tub’s electrical setup. When you find out what is wrong, you know how to address the problem.

2. Check the Hot Tub Heating Element

Check the Hot Tub Heating Element

A possible reason is the hot tub’s heating element. A burnt-out heating element is a common problem with hot tubs and this can cause the tub’s circulation pump to keep running.

To know if this is the case, turn off the thermostat or set it to a low setting to see if the pump goes off. If the pump continues to run after this, then the fault isn’t from the heating element.

3. Check The Faulty Timer

Check The Faulty Timer

Another plausible reason your hot tub is constantly running could be a faulty timer. As stated earlier, older hot tubs use a timer-mode to control the operation of the hot tub’s pump.

When you set the timer to a specific time, the hot tub will stop running when it gets to that time before it runs again.

If you have one of such tubs, the problem could be from the timer. A faulty or wrongly set timer will keep the pump running.

To know if this is the case, check the timer on your hot tub. If it is wrongly set, simply adjust it to correct the problem. If the timer is faulty, you will need to replace it. Contact a professional to do this for you.

4. Check the Circuit Board

Check the Circuit Board

Another possible cause could be a glitch with the tub’s electrical set up or circuit board. The circuit board is the part of your hot tub that controls the electrical functions of the tub.

If the heating element and timer aren’t faulty, then the problem should come from the circuit board.   The circuit board is made up of different complex wires, small panels, and the lot. It is also not easily accessible to you.

This is why it is advised to have a hot tub professional come and help you out if you suspect the circuit board is faulty.

How Often Should My Hot Tub Be Running?

The hot tub should be running 24/7. This allows the hot tub to keep the water clean even when you are not using it.

The circulation pumps are the ones that activate the filtration system to keep the water clean. Most circulation pumps are set to a low setting to keep the water running all the time.

The filtration system is also set to get active 2 times per day for 3 or 4 hours. However, you can change the time if you are worried about electrical costs. You can also increase the filtering time if you see that the water is getting dirty,

A running tub helps to maintain water cleanliness, keep the water warm, circulate water chemicals and oils through the tub, and filters debris and filth that find a way into the hot tub.  Hot tubs are usually placed outdoors.

This makes it possible for bugs, dirt, dust, and different debris to get in the water especially if you leave the tub open. Not to mention the body oils, sweat, and lotions that get into the water from our bodies. This means you have to constantly keep the water clean.

While the chemicals like chlorine and bromine that you put in the tub will get rid of bacteria and stop other germs from growing in the water, the chemicals won’t dispose of the solid filth in the water. This makes it essential for the water in the tub to keep moving so the filters in your tub trap any solid filth in the water.

Why Should the Circulation Pump Constantly Run?

With the circulation pumps constantly running, it makes it very difficult for bugs and flies to drink and breed in the water. Bugs and flies are drawn to the warm water in your tub.

They want to drink from it and lay eggs in it because the temperature is good enough for them. But if the water is constantly moving, it makes it difficult for these pesky insects to settle on the water and contaminate it.

A running hot tub also makes it easier for the chemicals, hot tub oils, and other products you put in the water to be distilled and circulated in the water evenly.

The chemicals serve as a guard against germs. Without movement in the water, it takes more time for these chemicals to be distilled evenly and quickly.

This is the reason hot tub manufacturing companies have created circulation pumps that can run 24/7 to ensure your tub is clean and safe for you. So leaving your tub running is a very good idea. Now let’s get to the problem of constantly running hot tubs that aren’t designed to do so.

What Type of Hot Tub Isn’t Designed to Run Constantly?

The opposite of the modern tub will be older models. These tubs aren’t designed to run all day long. The pumps are designed to work on intervals.

Kind of like taking a break now and then so they don’t overheat or get damaged quickly. Traditionally, hot tubs were designed with a timer mode or automatic mode.

If your hot tub is constantly running while not designed to do so, chances are your hot tub is an older model designed with one of the timer mode or automatic mode.

With the analogue timers, you can set a specific period you want the water to be heated and circulated for. Once the time expires, the heating mechanism and circulation pump of your hot tub automatically go off for a while before coming on again.

If you have one of these and the pump keeps running, you should contact a professional hot tub electrician immediately because your tub isn’t designed to run for long.

With the Automatic mode, you can set a specific temperature you want the hot tub to reach before going off. When the temperature of the water reaches that set temperature, the heating element and circulation pump of your hot tub automatically goes off.

To know which type of hot tub you have, you can check the spa manufacturer’s manual if you still have it to know the type of tub it is. You can also check the control or temperature panel for an analogue timer. If you see one, then you have an older model. Don’t feel sad, they work pretty fine and are durable too.

Related Read: Do Hot Tubs Attract Bugs?

Does It Cost More to Operate a Constantly Running Hot Tub?

Contrary to popular beliefs, it doesn’t cost more to operate a constantly running hot tub. Many people believe switching the pump off when not in use and turning it on when intended to be used saves money. It doesn’t. It costs more when you do this.

Why? Because it costs more to heat your tub from scratch than it does to keep the water hot after it has been heated in the first place.

Hot tubs can contain between 300 to over 500 gallons of water depending on the model you have. It would take a huge amount of electricity to heat that amount of water to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you heat the water in the tub once, all you have to do is keep the hot tub running so the water remains at that temperature for days or even weeks. If you turn the tub off till a later time when you want to use it, you would have to reheat the water all over again.

Not only would it tell on your electricity bills if you keep heating that amount of water every time you want to use the tub but it would waste so much of your time too.

If you must turn off the hot tub, then you can use the “sleep mode”.

Related Read: What Are The On-going Costs Involved In Running An Inflatable Hot Tub?

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