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Hot tub started leaking in weird spot, please help

Hot tub started leaking in weird spot, please help

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  #1  
Old 12-08-10, 04:05 PM
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Question Hot tub started leaking in weird spot, please help

Hi, I recently came home to my hot tub dumping water out of a strange pipe from below. I opened the door to the electrical stuff and there is three pipes comming down from where the controls are on top (jets/blower/light). The one that is leaking is a weird one, it feels like some sort of rubber releaf valve but its inside a hard plastic female (1 1/4?) threaded pipe that goes nowhere.
Its definately leaking right out of this pipe (see pictures) and it was flowing pretty steady (its now drained obviously).
Can anyone tell me what this pipe is for and how to fix it?
I also notice there is another pipe next to it (rubber) that just dead ends, not sure why. And then the third pipe there seems to be a pressure type control for one of the switches but I'm unsure.






Any help/advice is greatly appriciated, thanks in advance!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-09-10, 06:45 AM
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sorry, can't tell where pipes are going or coming from pictures.
 
  #3  
Old 12-11-10, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by todrut View Post
sorry, can't tell where pipes are going or coming from pictures.
I cant really tell either, when I open the door its just the electrical, everything else is blocked off by ?fiberglass? so you can't see anything. These three hoses come down from right underneath the controls (jets/light/blower) which all work (or did last time I used it but it also wasn't leaking). Like I said, there are two that go nowhere, one is just open, and the other is some kind of rubber re-leaf valve inside a plastic threaded piece going to nowhere. The third one coming into there is reduced to what looks to me like an air hose going to the controller panel (I'm sure this is coming from the switch and activates one of the features with an air type switch in the panel).
My guess is that the one that is leaking (far right in pictures) is also something for the switches, but like I said I can't see no more than what shows in the pictures. And if that where the case why would there be water coming out of it? So I'm not sure what the line is for either, I need help

Here is a picture of the tub, the three lines in the pictures come from right under the controls you see in this picture
 
  #4  
Old 12-18-10, 10:43 PM
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I'm still trying to fix this thing...any...I mean ANY information would be greatly appriciated. Someone has to have seen this type of fitting/valve before and understand what its for...
 
  #5  
Old 12-19-10, 06:11 AM
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It's pretty hard to tell anything from the photos but... It looks like a timer turn the main jet pump on/off occasionally for filtration? Was the water leaking all the time or only when the pump was running? Was the air leaking when the air for the jets was on or off?

Could that be a check valve in the right hand pipe? I'm wondering if the right pipe is where air is sucked in for the jets. They usually have a check valve to prevent water from being pumped out through the air intake system. If the check valve fails water could be forced into the air system plumbing whenever the pump runs and once the air plumbing is full of water a siphoning action could cause it to continue leaking after the pump is turned off.

The pipe on the left, does it have a small tube that leads to the main pump or filter housing?
 
  #6  
Old 12-20-10, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
It's pretty hard to tell anything from the photos but... It looks like a timer turn the main jet pump on/off occasionally for filtration?
First off, thank you very much for the reply. There is a timer but there is a switch for "timer" or "auto", I always have left this at auto so I don't believe the timer is used, BUT I have noticed (its always been like this) that the pump seems to pump water through all the time, even when the "heated" light is indicated and its not heating anymore it still pumps water throughout, not nearly as fast as when the jets are on, but it is always flowing.
Was the water leaking all the time or only when the pump was running? Was the air leaking when the air for the jets was on or off?
the water was leaking constantly without the jets on, but like I said water always pumps through the system even when already up to temp. Once I realized it was leaking I did not turn the jets on so I don't know if that would have effected it but I never noticed any air leaking anywhere.
Could that be a check valve in the right hand pipe? I'm wondering if the right pipe is where air is sucked in for the jets. They usually have a check valve to prevent water from being pumped out through the air intake system. If the check valve fails water could be forced into the air system plumbing whenever the pump runs and once the air plumbing is full of water a siphoning action could cause it to continue leaking after the pump is turned off.
I think you hit it on the head here...like I said its that right pipe that is leaking and I think your right, its probably suppose to suck in air for the jets and somehow a check valve went bad and its got water behind this one thats leaking.
What I don't understand is this...you say its suppose to just have air in it and thats where it sucks the air, that makes sense, but how could water be there? Are you saying there is ANOTHER check valve there (possibly) that is leaking causing water to reach this "air intake valve" if you will.? Still kind of confused, but definately understanding more!

The pipe on the left, does it have a small tube that leads to the main pump or filter housing?
yes exactly, its the controller for the switch I'm 99% sure.
 
  #7  
Old 12-20-10, 01:20 PM
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What brand & model is your spa?

Air is sucked into the jets via a venturi. If the water flow through the venturi is not fast enough, like when the main jets are not on, the venturi suction may not be strong enough to suck air in, allowing water to flow out. There is often no check valve or anything at the venturi. A restriction at the jet can also cause water to back flow through the air intake. This usually happens when someone inside the tub blocks or partially blocks a jet. Since the jet is blocked the flow slows/stops and all that water pressure is trying to force it's way out the air inlet.

The venturis can be mounted above or below the water line, and manufacturers run them as high as possible to help prevent water from leaking out but because the sides of the spa are often only 6 or 9" above the water level there is not much room to work with, and it's pretty easy for water under pressure to make it up and over a little 4-6" high spot.
 
  #8  
Old 12-20-10, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
What brand & model is your spa?

Air is sucked into the jets via a venturi. If the water flow through the venturi is not fast enough, like when the main jets are not on, the venturi suction may not be strong enough to suck air in, allowing water to flow out. There is often no check valve or anything at the venturi. A restriction at the jet can also cause water to back flow through the air intake. This usually happens when someone inside the tub blocks or partially blocks a jet. Since the jet is blocked the flow slows/stops and all that water pressure is trying to force it's way out the air inlet.

The venturis can be mounted above or below the water line, and manufacturers run them as high as possible to help prevent water from leaking out but because the sides of the spa are often only 6 or 9" above the water level there is not much room to work with, and it's pretty easy for water under pressure to make it up and over a little 4-6" high spot.
I dont really understand. First off no jets were blocked, no one was in it when it started leaking so I don't THINK (what do I know) thats the problem. As far as the venturi, this could be the problem but how would I be sure its the problem and how do I fix it? Should I fill it up and see if it stops leaking when the jets are on?
As far as what type and model the spa is, I have no idea, I can't seem to find it anywhere, I will check again as soon as I get home but I couldn't find any information on it before when I looked, wierd.
 
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Old 12-20-10, 05:38 PM
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Someone blocking a jet probably did not cause the problem. It is just one way water can back up into the air plumbing.

I think you will just have to fill the spa and look for leaks. It could be a bad check valve, a jet control valve leaking, a cracked fitting... Especially without knowing what spa you have there is probably no easy "it's this" answer. The good news is that spas are basically quite simple. The plumbing may be crammed into very inconvenient places but it's pretty simple stuff. The hard part is seeing and sometimes sticking your arm up into some crevice to feel what's going on.
 
  #10  
Old 12-20-10, 06:45 PM
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Maybe there is some miscommunication, I know where the water is leaking from onto the ground, its coming from that pipe far right in all the pictures with that "check valve" in it (threaded plastic external housing). What I don't know is if that little valve could be the problem or is there not suppose to be water behind that thing anyways? If it can be the problem, how do I get it out of the plastic threaded piece? Its like in between the plastic threaded piece and the white tubing it connects to...
Thanks again for all the help!
 
  #11  
Old 12-21-10, 04:57 AM
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It's hard to tell exactly what anything is from the fuzzy pictures but to answer your question, "no" water is probably not supposed to be behind the check valve (if it is a check valve). But, that is why the check valve is there. It is not uncommon for water to find it's way into the air plumbing so the check valve is there as an added measure of protection against leaks.

If the check valve is threaded, have you tried unscrewing it? Don't destroy the tubing/pipe by trying to unscrew it very hard with a wrench. It is common for the valve to be glued in place.

I forgot to ask if there is tubing/pipe below the "check valve" on the right hand pipe or does it end at the "check valve"?
 
  #12  
Old 12-21-10, 07:31 PM
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As far as water probably not suppose to be behind this "check valve", are there any other ways for water to be there (if this is the check valve your thinking) besides someone plugging a jet? Reason I ask is because it was steadily running out of that far right pipe, it ran for I'm guessing 8+ hours before I noticed, fludded the room (indoors) completely. So water had to be continously running into there.
It seems this valve type thing is glued in between the plastic female threaded piece and the tubing. There are also two holes in the plastic female threaded piece (one on each side) if that makes any difference, and it goes to nothing, just open dead ends about 2+ inches after the valve type thing. In the pictures the far right pipe has a red piece in it, thats the little valve type thing, only way I seem to be able to get to it is from the open end of the pipe, but don't know how to get it out.
What I'm thinking though is this...there is probably another problem if this isn't suppose to have water behind it, cause like I said this was a steady leak that kept comming many many hours after anyone was using it. No jets where on, but it was circulating like always.

Thanks again for all the help, its greatly appriciated!
 

Last edited by r6speed; 12-21-10 at 09:01 PM.
  #13  
Old 12-22-10, 04:45 AM
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I would not worry too much about how water got into the air plumbing. It is barely above water level and it's tied into the pressurized water/jet plumbing so it's very easy, and probably normal, for some water to get in there over time. If the jets are run with the air "on" it should suck the water out of the air plumbing and clear it out. If the jet are not run with air very often there is no way for the water to leave so it just slowly accumulates. The slight restriction of the jets can be enough to force a bit of water into the air plumbing each time the main pump runs, especially if the tub water level is high. Condensation also forms in the pipes, slowly accumulating water. Then once there is a slug of water in the air plumbing it can form a siphon if the check valve fails.

You can try refilling the tub with it unplugged or turned off. Fill it to the normal water level and see if you have any leaking. Then turn the spa on, but leave the main jets and air blower off, and check for leaks. Next turn on the main jets with their air off, and finally try turning the jet's air on. With any luck you will not have leaks until you turn the main jets on, then if it is leaking turn the jet's air on and see if the leaking stops. --- While doing this take the opportunity to check everywhere else for leaks in case you have more than one. ---

The good news is if it is just the check valve leaking it is a pretty generic and inexpensive part. Easiest would be if you can find your specific valve and try replacing the guts. Worst case you have to spend $15 on a replacement check valve, cut the old one out and glue the new one in place. It will be a pain because you have no room to work, but at least the parts are inexpensive.
 
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