A common problem with aging spas is pump
failure. We'll guide you through the process of replacing a spa
pump... thus restoring your hot tub for many more years of use &
enjoyment. If your system is more than 2 or 3 years old, we recommend replacement of
the entire pump, not just the motor or wet end-- you'll have fewer
headaches in the long run.
Equipment Troubleshooting for details on repairing components.
repairs can be dangerous, especially around water. Repairs
must be made by a qualified
electrician or spa technician. Regardless of who performs
the work, make certain that all electrical power to the hot
tub or spa is disconnected prior to making any inspections
Shut the power off at the service panel,
and as a secondary precaution, disconnect the power to the spa as
well. Do not attempt to perform electrical repairs unless you are
Anatomy of Hot Tub Pumps
||Pumps are basically
comprised of two main components: the wet end containing an
impeller (which moves the
water) and the electric motor (the dry end) which turns the
Symptoms of Spa Pump Failure
There are several signs of hot tub pump failure:
- Malfunctions that
prevent the motor from turning, including frozen shaft or
bearings, may result in a humming noise.
- A jammed impeller
(inside the wet end) can do the same, as can a defective
- Badly worn bearings may cause a whining
- Leaks around the pump often indicate a failure of the
pump seals. You will likely observe a puddle of water below
the pump when these seals go bad.
You could replace these individual
components (if you can find the proper parts). But if your
pump is more than a couple years old, it is generally better to
replace the entire pump-- motor and wet end. This is a
cleaner and much easier repair, which results in a greater
reliability factor in the long run. Our quality
Spa Pumps are not expensive. In fact, we charge less
for complete brand-new pumps (motor and wet end) than others charge for
just the motor alone!
DISCONNECT POWER & READ SAFETY WARNING
Spa Equipment Access
The best way to assure obtaining the correct
replacement pump, is to remove the old unit prior to ordering the
new one. This will allow you to make inspections and
measurements to assure a correct match.
Photo courtesy: Belize
|After disconnecting the electrical power,
remove the spa's access panel.
Identified here in the hot tub's equipment bay:
- Hot tub pump
- Equipment control system
Some spas will have two gate or slice valves
installed at either side of the pump (1). If so, close these
valves prior to removing the pump. If no valves are present,
drain the spa.
Disconnecting the Old Spa Pump
- Disconnect the bare copper bonding wire
from the pump's ground terminal.
- Unscrew the pump's two unions. Some
residual water will drain out.
- Remove the mounting screws from the pump
Although the pump's power cable is still
attached to the control system, the pump can now be lifted out of the
The old power cable* will be used for the
replacement pump, if in serviceable condition. Loosen the
cable clamp screws. The pump end will also have an a
removable access cover with terminal connections inside.
Remove the cable, making a note of wire color
codes and connections. Make sure the wire ends are clean for a good
connection to your new pump. If necessary, snip off an inch or two, and restrip the wires. Most spa pumps are two speed
units, with the low speed used for filtration and heating
cycles. Two speed 240V pumps have 4 wires: red, black, white,
and green. Red is normally low speed, and black high
speed. The white wire is common and the green is ground.
If you are also purchasing a new
spa control system from us, there is no need to save the old pump
cable, as a new one is provided with the new spa pack.
Determine Pump Voltage & Horsepower
While all 110-120V spas use 120V pumps,
not all spas wired for 220-240V use 240V pumps. Some use 120V
pumps. So check your owner's manual, and look at the label on
the old pump to determine the voltage. The label should also
indicate the horsepower and amperage. See
pump specifications for a cross
Some people desire to increase the spa jet action
by upgrading to a larger pump. This is generally not a problem
if the spa's control system and the electrical service can accommodate
the added amperage. As a rule of thumb, do not increase the pump
horsepower more than one level of magnitude. For example,
upgrading a 1 HP pump to 1.5 HP, or a 3 HP pump to 4 HP is reasonable.
Avoid jumping from 2 HP to 5 HP as such a radical
increase may cause problems like
cavitation, uncomfortable jet pressure,
or excessive current draw.
Determine Form Factor: Side or Center Discharge
The two spa pump form factors refer to the outflow or discharge
fitting on the Wet End, as shown here. Your old pump will be either Center Discharge or Side Discharge.
||Orientation of Wet End
Pump wet ends can
be oriented in 90º increments. Loosen the
pump's four through bolts from the back of the motor and pull them
back enough to disengage. Then rotate the wet end to the
desired position, realign and re-tighten the bolts.
In most cases you need to match the existing
form factor to get the components to match up. If you can use
either form, select Side Discharge which is more efficient than a
Center Discharge pump of the same horsepower. See
|Continuous Circulating Pumps
In addition to the
main pump, some spas also utilize a small continuous circulation pump. Most spa circ
pumps have 3/4" barbed fittings for flex hose, which
makes replacement very easy. See Circulating Pumps
Motor Frame Size
The physical size of the spa pump motor is referred to as frame. Spa main pumps will have a size of either 48 frame, which are approx. 5.5" diameter, or 56 frame, which are approx. 6.5" diameter. Check the old motor's ID plate for frame size.
If in doubt, you can easily determine a motor's frame size by measuring the spacing between the through-bolts.
Bolt spacing on a 48 frame motor will be less than 4 inches. A 56 frame motor's bolts will be spaced more than 4 inches apart.
Note: Because of their lower cost and compact size, most spa pumps in service are 48 frame. Larger 56 frame motors are a little more expensive and somewhat stronger. They tend to operate a bit cooler than 48 frame units, which can mean longer service life.
Determine Pump Plumbing Size
by Measuring O.D. of Male Wet End Threads
Plumbing size is very important, but a lot of
people get it wrong and end up ordering the wrong pump. Most spa pumps use either 1.5" or 2" plumbing fittings, and a few have 2.5" intake suction. These are pipe call-out sizes, not fitting measurements.
||With the pump
unions removed, measurement is simple. The easy way to
get it right for most* brands of hot tub pumps is by measuring the overall outside diameter (O.D.) of the pump's threads:
1.5" Pump thread measures approx. 2-3/8" O.D.
||2.0" Pump thread measures approx. 3" O.D.
2.5" Pump (intake) thread measures approx. 3-5/8" O.D.
Note: These pumps normally have a 2.0" discharge thread fitting, which measures approx. 3" O.D.
*Note: Some brands of pumps (such as Hayward, Jacuzzi, and Sta-Rite) use
non-standard fittings with different dimensions. Please
contact our Parts Technical Help for assistance with these
if in doubt.
Installing the New
The installation of your
replacement pump is essentially the reverse of the removal process
described above. Once again, verify that the
power is disconnected from the spa before
Connecting Pump Power Cable
Most spa pumps are two speed units, with the low
speed used for filtration and heating cycles. As explained below, two speed pumps can easily be configured for single speed use.
- Remove a wiring plug from the new pump
motor end and install a cable connector clamp.
- Remove the wiring access cover from the
end of the new pump motor.
- Attach the pump power cable wires and
ground per pump's wiring diagram.
- Replace access cover.
- Tighten cable clamp.
Make sure the wire ends are clean for a good
connection to your new pump. Our replacement pumps have a label
diagram showing the wiring scheme.
Pump Speed Configuration
A two-speed pump requires 3 line connections, plus a ground wire. The typical color coding is as follows:
- White: common
- Black: high speed
- Red: low speed (left blank for 1-speed use)
- Green (or bare): ground
Refer to the wiring diagram on your pump, as some equipment systems use different color coding. Wire orientation may vary on different pump brands.
One Speed Pump Configuration: A two speed spa pump can serve single-speed duty (common in dual pump hot tubs) by using only the common and high speed terminal connections, while leaving the low speed terminal blank.
Note: After pump replacement, If your spa filtration or heating cycle comes on with high speed instead of low speed, this normally indicates that the high and low speed wires simply need to be switched.
Setting Up the New Pump
- Reattach the bare copper bonding wire to the
pump grounding terminal.
- Set the pump in place, carefully aligning it
to the union connections.
- Start the base mount screws, but do not
tighten them yet.
- Hand tighten the unions. Do not use a
- Tighten the pump base screws.
You may be able to
reuse your old unions, or you can order new ones to match your
plumbing size. We also have a special
which will convert a 2" pump to match 1.5" spa plumbing.
Most spa pumps are designed for below water level (flooded suction) installation, to make certain that they
fill with water. Their unions are compression fittings which should be correctly aligned with
the male wet-end threads to allow the integral O-ring to seat properly.
Flooding the Pump
After installation and wiring hookup, but prior to
powering-on the spa, make certain to open the valves (if so
the pump and prevent an air lock. If you have drained the
spa, refill it with fresh water.
Now purge the pump of any
remaining air pockets by loosening the pump unions until all air
has escaped (you'll hear it)-- then hand retighten.
Running a pump dry will
cause damage and void the warranty.
Testing and Inspection
- Inspect the installation to verify that
everything is properly connected.
- Mop up any spilled water.
- Reconnect power source.
- Operate spa for a few minutes and
observe for leaks or air locks.
- Replace equipment bay access door.
In the U.S., standard household voltage (the voltage at
regular wall outlets) varies from about 110 to 120
volts. TVs, computers, lights, etc. are designed to
run at this range. Major appliances such as water
heaters and clothes dryers, are usually wired at double that
amount, which will typically be in the range of 220 to 240
volts. Spa motors will be designed for one of these
two ranges, but keep in mind that a voltage specification of
115 volts actually means that it is designed to function correctly in
the range of 110 to 120 volts; a device which specifies 230
volts actually means it will function correctly in the range
of 220 to 240 volts.
Watts = Amps x
Volts. Amperage determines the size of wiring and circuit
breaker/GFCI required, and is also a factor in what your equipment
controls will accommodate. Wattage is the total amount of
power consumed. Note that a 120 volt pump drawing 16 amps
uses virtually the same amount of power (wattage) as a 240 volt pump drawing
Replacement Pump Specifications
Our replacement pumps are
designed to equal or surpass OEM specifications.
We use only premium-quality Waterway® pump wet ends
and brand new (not remanufactured) motors-- the best money
can buy. These 2-speed pumps are easily configured for 1-speed use if needed.
Low 1725 RPM
High 3450 RPM
subject to change without notice.