Best way to seal hot tub jet

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Old 09-13-14, 12:35 PM
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Best way to seal hot tub jet

Looking for best way to reseal a hot tub jet on the exterior of the tub. It appears as if the seal ring where it meets the tub has gone bad. The tub is a 1994 catalina spa. I've attached photo for reference. Name:  image.jpg
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Old 09-13-14, 01:53 PM
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Welcome to the forums! The best way would be to remove the ring on the inside of the tub, replace the gasket and replace the ring. I would not attempt to seal it with anything like silicone or other stuff. The original lasted a number of years, so fixing it back to original is best.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 09:05 AM
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It looks like your jets thru-wall broke. They don't just pull away like that. There's no "seal ring", just a flanged fitting that slides through the side of the tub and screws into the backside...looks like the flange possibly cracked.

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Old 09-15-14, 07:45 AM
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Examine the other jets first

Looks like you have already dug out the back of the jet and loosened the nut that holds the jet to the shell???

You might be able to squirt silicone sealant in there and just tighten the nut again but that fails so often I usually don't even bother.

If the through-wall seal (a gasket or silicone sealant) has suffered chemical damage, all the other through-wall fittings in the tub are in the same shape and will probably start leaking.

Two good places to examine through-wall seals and gaskets:

1. Clear light lens
2. Top-load filter

You can usually see the gasket through the clear light lens. A top-load filter canister in an open skimmer bay (i.e., Waterway DynaFlo) usually has a big, fat gasket between the flange and the acrylic.

If either of these gaskets are deteriorated, you're fighting a loosing battle. The tub will eventually start leaking at every through-wall fitting.

If all the through-wall gaskets are all mushy or flaking apart, the flexible PVC pipe has also suffered similar chemical damage and your tub is living on borrowed time.

If the bottom of your spa cover is bleached out in the center but undamaged around the edges, that's a sure sign of over sanitizing/over oxidizing.

If the through-wall gaskets, spa cover, headrests and jet inserts all show signs of chemical damage, all the flexible PVC pipe in the tub has suffered the same kind of damage. Once this happens, the flexible pipe tends to crack causing even more leaks.

The most effective way to fix a leak at a through-wall gasket is to cut out and replace the whole jet assembly. If the plumbing is glued to the jet you don't really have much choice but to cut it out and re-plumb a new assembly.

If the plumbing is barb and clamp you might be able to remove and reinstall the existing jet. Just be aware some manufacturers also glue their barb & clamp fittings which pretty much defeats the purpose of barb and clamp fittings.

You'll need a new through-wall gasket either way. Silicone sealant on the through-wall gasket can make it squish out when the jet nut is tightened.

I usually install the through-wall gasket without sealant on the 'wet side'. I add silicone sealant to the back or dry side of the shell before putting the retainer nut back on the jet.

The jet is sealed on the wet side by the through-wall gasket and on the backside by the silicone.

I use 100% silicone that requires mineral spirits to clean up (avoid latex based stuff that cleans up with water) and I prefer the stuff that is ready to paint in 30 minutes or less. It sticks well to everything, sets up fast and tolerates a little dampness.

Any plumbing repair runs the risk of causing more leaks than you fix. If the flexible PVC pipe has become brittle from age and chemical damage, it's easy to fix a leak at one end of a pipe only to discover a new leak at the other end of the pipe because you wiggled it.

After a plumbing repair, I like to get the tub up to full temperature as soon as possible to see if it develops any leaks after all the plastic parts are heated up and expand a little.

You can replace any foam insulation you dug out with ordinary pink fiberglass from the hardware store. Spraying new foam into the tub is a hazmat issue, is substantially more expensive and you'll just have to dig it out again if there is another leak.

Best of luck.
 
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