Hot Tub Freezing
Yes you wanted to avoid it for sure! But the power went out in the middle of a blizzard and now you have a mess of frozen pipes. First things first!
- Turn off your hot tub breakerÂ You do NOT want your hot tub energized if you have frozen pipes! It can cause a whole lot of other problems.
- If you have a mechanical type thermostat, turn it to the off position. Time clocks too. When you do re-energize the tub, you do not want the heater to come on unitl you are certain you have water flow through your system, AND that you don’t have water spraying from a cracked pipe or manifold.
- If you have a digital system that is going to boot up and start no matter what when you energize, you want to be sure all pipes are thawed. before you return power to the system.
Depending on where you live, it may be awhile before you can actually go through a thaw process. But when its time you can start by putting a worklight inside the hot tub cabinet for warmth and to slowly start the thaw process. Be sure you use a GFCI protected outlet to plug in your work light. If there are cracks in plumbing the area will get wet as it thaws. Use a clamp on type worklight and clamp it in an area where it will not get wet as the thaw begins. Make sure it isn’t touching or too close to anything that could burn. They do get quite hot.
As the thaw begins you are going to notice your problem areas pretty quick. There are several areas you will want to inspect closely.
Manifolds. These are the pipes with spokes that feed your jets. Typically the barb fitting at each spoke is the part that cracks. This can be a multiple problem if you have manifold cracking. Most hot tubs with lots of jets have lots of manifolds. If you click on the image, you can see your various choices for manifolds at SpaPartsNet.com. Some are male to female and you can connect several together. Some are female female so you can run pipe in between.You’ll want to check your jet bodies as well because the area where the tube attaches is just as vulnerable as the manifold spoke area.
Jet Bodies. The 3/4 inch barb connector on jet bodies is also often prone to cracking in freezes.
Unions. The female threaded part that connects the pump and heater to the plumbing can crack under the expanding stress of ice. There are split nuts available so that you dont have to replace your entire union, but if this is from a pump fitting, we need to know that in order to provide the proper split nut.
Heater Nuts. Also a union fitting many are replacable with a “split nut” rather than a complete new heater assembly. Most straight flow through heaters are flanged at the end so that the removal of a one piece nut is impossible. The “split nut” allows you to replace the one piece nut without replacing your heater assembly. Cool huh?
Filter Lock Rings. This is also a common item affected by freezing weather. This lock ring holds the filter lid in place. ALWAYS INSPECT BEFORE START UP! If it fails the lid can blow off with excessive force! Check the filter lid itself and the cannister as well before sending water through your system! Click the image for access to all filter parts and complete filter assemblies on SpaPartsNet.com
Pump Wet Ends. These can often crack as the result of cold. The best thing is you can actually replace most wet ends without having to replace the complete pump and motor assembly. If your wet end is leaking this might be the right option for you. It is a fairly simple replacement task as well. See all of our wet ends by clicking the image to visit SpaPartNet.com
Final words of wisdom? Go slow as you inspect your hot tub after a freeze.. always be aware that things under pressure can come loose with amazing force that can be dangerous! Inspect anything under pressure like top load pressure filters! Always start your hot tub on low speed before turning on your pump at high speed. You want to see leaks at low speed, not exploding parts on high speed! Know we are here for you after the cold is gone!