Spa Heater Troubleshooting and Repair

What You'll Need
Safety Glasses
Assorted Screwdrivers
Assorted Wrenches

If you suspect that your spa heater is not working properly, there are a few steps you can take to determine what the problem might be. Make sure that you give the heater enough time to do the job, and be certain that you have the correct power supply and that all switches are operating. Finally, you can replace the heating element. If none of these steps correct the problem, you may have a faulty spa heater and may need to replace it.

Step 1: Warmup Considerations

It takes many hours for a spa heater to make much difference in the water temperature. Most heaters will only warm the water by 2 or 3 degrees per hour, which could mean that heating the spa could take as much as a full day to complete. If the water seems to be warming up slightly, leave it alone for a few hours and check it again. Hopefully, you will find that the process is slow, but there are no other problems.

Step 2: Check the Switches

Check the switches for the hot tub heater and the motor or pump. The heater can not function properly unless the pump is running and water is circulating in the spa. Keep in mind that most supposed faults turn out to be some simple problem such as a switch that is caught partway between on and off settings. Turn off all of the switches and turn them back on again, making sure that they are fully engaged in the in ON position.

Step 3: Check the Voltage

Another possible reason that the heater for spa is not working properly is that it is not receiving the correct voltage. Check whether the heater requires 110 or 220 voltage, and then make sure that it is connected to an appropriate circuit breaker. Generally, a 220 volt circuit breaker takes up a double slot in the panel box or resembles 2 breakers that have been slaved together.

Step 4: Replace the Element

If all else fails to solve the problem, you may have to replace the heater element. On most units, the element can be accessed by removing 2 to 6 screws, setting the cover aside and pulling out the element. This will vary from model to model, but the new element will come with specific instructions. Make sure that you replace the heater element with the same make and model to avoid the potential for severe electrical problems.

Step 5: Replace the Heater

If you know the element is in good working condition, and you have verified that there is proper power coming to the unit, your only recourse may be to replace the unit completely. It is rare for a spa heater to becomes unusable, but it can happen from time to time. Remove the old one and install a replacement. If this still doesn't solve the problem, you may have a wiring issue between the switch and the heater.