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Hot Spring 2006 Vanguard - Can this leak be fixed?

Hot Spring 2006 Vanguard - Can this leak be fixed?

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  #1  
Old 09-22-20, 06:34 PM
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Hot Spring 2006 Vanguard - Can this leak be fixed?

I've had a slow leak in this tub for a few months and finally got around to tracking it down. The basic question, can this even be fixed? It's not a "part" that's leaking that I can just replace, I don't think. It doesn't look like much of a leak but it's about half the tub every 3 weeks.

See photos for reference. The 3rd photo is the main one showing the actual leak and where it's leaking from, circled in red, and the darker black coloring pointed to by the red arrow is the small stream of water. The first two photos are for showing a frame of reference for exactly where this is in the compartment.

From what I can tell, it's leaking from the hole that that hose goes though. It MAY be the hose itself that's leaking but I can't tell. I believe this is the small hose that comes off of the front of the rear jet pump, just as that front small hose is coming off of the front of the front jet pump and feeds in through that small front hole on the left.

Even if I could somehow get back in there and maybe caulk around the hose, does that mean there's a larger issue inside there?

Or even if it is the hose itself leaking, can that hose be replaced? Where does it go once it gets down inside the frame, and how would the other end be accessed to replace it?

Thanks much!



 
  #2  
Old 09-22-20, 06:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If I'm not mistaken that's an air injection line. The water rushing past that hose fitting draws air in for bubbles in the tub. So that would mean that hose would go up to the top deck for user adjustment.
Does that make sense ? Are your air injectors working properly.

Now..... why is water leaking there.
Usually an air injection line would be be above the water line.
The water could be leaking from somewhere near where the line passes.

Do you constantly use the spa ?
The best way to find a leak is to allow it to leak until it stops.
The level it stops at is the level the leak is at.
 
  #3  
Old 09-23-20, 04:05 AM
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doesn't look like much of a leak but it's about half the tub every 3 weeks.
That is a substantial amount of water!

Can it be fixed, yes, is it a royal pain in the azz, you bet.

I had a leak in my 4 year old Master spa that took an entire month to fix, had to remove so much crap just to get to the bad "T" that was installed at the factory which they would not warranty even thought was clearly a defect.

Personally I cant tell from the picture what the leak is, can you get a closer picture, is the pump feed line?

There is no patch, it's all PVC pipe that will need to be cut and replaced, if you can get to it it can be fixed.
 
  #4  
Old 09-23-20, 05:56 AM
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Yes, anything can be fixed. The question is is it worth the trouble?

I can almost guarantee that the hose itself is not the leak source. I also do NOT think that caulking around the hole will solve the problem. It will just cause the water to leak out somewhere else.

I would probably dump some food coloring into the water and let it leak a few days. Then drain the spa. Stand it up on it's side so you have access to the bottom. Then start opening up the bottom to find the source of the leak. Hopefully the dyed water left a trail you can follow to its source.
 
Drangd voted this post useful.
  #5  
Old 09-25-20, 11:18 AM
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Thanks everyone! I'm a pretty good DIY'er, but I'm no hot tub expert. I've already replaced the heater and the circulation pump in this tub myself, but this may beyond me, or at least beyond the effort I'm willing to put into it. Is this something an authorized Hot Sprint service center would touch? (Though I'm not sure I want to pay what I'm sure will be an outrageous labor cost.)

I thought the rest of the tub was sealed, so I wasn't sure how to get at where the leak would be to even fix it. But sounds like that's accomplished from the bottom? I didn't realize the bottom was open. (I wasn't there when they delivered it 14 years ago so I never saw the underside of it.)

@PJmax,
The best way to find a leak is to allow it to leak until it stops.
Good suggestion. I hadn't thought of that. I will let it continue to leak and see if it stops at a specific level.

@Marq1
Personally I cant tell from the picture what the leak is, can you get a closer picture, is the pump feed line?
Did you click on the original picture to see the larger view of it? That should show it better, but below in this post are two additional pics that should a closer view. As I described in the original post, compare to the smaller hose you see in the foreground. That hose comes off of the front jet pump. Imagine the leak was coming out of the where that hose feeds through the side of the compartment on the left side of the foreground. Except, where the leak is is really the hose that comes off of the rear jet pump (that feeds the back corner moto-massage jets).

@Pilot Dane, thanks for the info about the food coloring and looking at it from the bottom. Though that may be more work than I want to do. We'll see.

The additional pictures with a closer view:




 
  #6  
Old 09-25-20, 12:13 PM
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Actually this will be a technically simple repair. It is only difficult because of the difficulty accessing the area. Any spa store that does servicing and certainly a Hot Springs dealer could do this. It would be less expensive if transported to their shop for the work but it can be done in the field if needed. Yes, this will be a sorta expensive fix in relation to the actual problem. You may be out many hundreds+ just to replace a $10 fitting.

---
Here's what I would do.
1. Call the service department at your local Hot Springs dealer and ask their advice. I have never owned or worked on that particular model but in the past 30 years all my Hot Springs dealers and their service dept. have been very helpful diagnosing problems and pointing me in the right direction for repair. They have been willing to fix it for a price but they also have been a great help for me to DIY. Specifically ask where that flex tubing leads and what it does (post back and tell us because I don't know and I am curious). as I suspect the leak is at a fitting on the other end of it.
2. Let the spa leak until the water stops dropping. Note the height at which it stops as that will provide a clue to the leak location. That is not an absolute tell all as a leak will slow as the water level drops and may even stop altogether without enough water pressure behind it. Then drain the spa.
3. Tip the spa on it's side, equipment compartment down. If doing it yourself work like an ancient Egyptian with a lever and fulcrum, but a few strong guys can do it in 30 seconds. If doing it by yourself NEVER get ANY part of your body under the spa. If it slips and falls you don't want to get squished like a bug.
4. Start digging out the foam where you think the leak might be. This is the worst part of the job because the foam is seriously stuck to everything. I use a shop vac to suck up the foam bits as I carve otherwise little bits get everywhere. Tools you can use might be: garden trowel, ice cream scoop, a big old sturdy knife (doesn't have to be sharp at all)...
5. Make the repair. If your spa is inside or you live very far south you might not bother re-insulating. You can also stuff the repair area with fiberglass batt insulation or get a two part spray foam kit and re-foam it properly.
 
  #7  
Old 10-01-20, 06:45 PM
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I should clarify, I'm not paying anyone to fix this. I'll either fix it myself or get rid of the tub (I don't use it much anymore anyway and I feel like it's getting to be like a used car, nickel and diming me to death). My question about the dealer service fixing it was more to verify it IS something that I could really do myself. I.e., if a dealer wouldn't touch it...

Hmm, are these things really not that heavy when empty? I've never tried to lift it when empty (like when I drain and refill), and I wasn't here when they delivered it 14 years ago so I didn't see how they moved it in or around to set in place. I've always just kind of assumed they were still very heavy even when empty. But if only 2 or 3 friends and I will be able to tip it up easily, I'm more inclined to attempt it.

A response to a post on another forum said the wood side panels CAN be removed on the Hot Spring spa. They suggest removing the panel on the side I think the leak is and poke into the foam with a rod of some sort and see if water leaks out the hole I just poked (repeat to pinpoint the leak). The down side of this is that the side I think the leak is on is up against a wall so I'd need to move it out from the wall before trying this. Which of course means draining, then refilling at least partially to find the leak.

ONE SIDE NOTE, the leak does not seem to be any worse with the jets running, so I don't know if that means anything. I've let the jets run a few hours and the leak (amount of water coming out) does not seem to get any worse.

Still waiting for the spa to stop leaking. It takes 3 weeks just to get down to half-level and I had just filled it right before posting this. So we'll see.

The spa is outdoors, and I live in Iowa, so it will need to be reinsulated. Do I just get standard spray foam like at Lowe's or Home Depot, or do I need a special foam that I should maybe buy from my local Hot Spring dealer?

Thanks much for all the tips!
 
  #8  
Old 10-02-20, 01:44 AM
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Spas are heavy but not as heavy as they look but your probably going to a couple buddies to move around plus disconnecting all the electrical, it would be a last resort.

A spa is nothing more than pumps and plumbing, they are simple but with everything crammed in the box the repairs are a pain.

After removing foam you will need a Froth Pak to reinsulate!

 
  #9  
Old 10-02-20, 05:44 AM
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Have you called your local Hot Springs service dept to ask them where that tube goes and what it does? That is the first step.
 
 

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