The Complete Guide to Hot Tub Heaters 2023

An Introduction to Hot Tub Heaters After a stressful day, there are few better feelings than getting into a hot tub full of warm water. A hot tub heater that is not working at maximum efficiency will quickly become an annoyance.Hot tub heaters heat the water quickly when they are working well. Simple maintenance can…



We research and rate the best products. As an affiliate we make money if you purchase a product through our links. Learn more

An Introduction to Hot Tub Heaters

After a stressful day, there are few better feelings than getting into a hot tub full of warm water. A hot tub heater that is not working at maximum efficiency will quickly become an annoyance.
Hot tub heaters heat the water quickly when they are working well. Simple maintenance can help your spa heater last longer and work well.

Disclosure: Our aim is to provide the best independent advice about services and products. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

How does a hot tub heater work

Most Hot tub heaters work by heating water as it passes through the assembly housing.

An electrical coil element inside the hot tub heater generates the necessary heat to warm the water.
Pressure pumps push the water through the heater, where it is heated.
The water then goes to a distribution center that sends it to the various jets around the hot tub.

There are some hot tubs that have a storage tank for the heated water, but these are a lot less common.

If the heating coil is operating without water in the system then it can overheat and cause a “dry fire”.

How To Replace a Hot Tub Heater 

YouTube player

Watch on

  1. How do I troubleshoot a hot tub heater?

    If your hot tub heater is not working properly there are a few things to inspect.

    1. If your water temperature is lower than expected then you could have a problem with your water flow. This may come up as a fault on your control panel as ‘FLO” or something similar. This could be a sign that your filter is clogged, try cleaning or replacing your filter.

    2. Using your hot tub in cold weather may simply be too much for your hot tub heater.
    This is very hard to remedy as hot tubs are built with a specific heater in mind.

    Replacing a hot tub heater with a more powerful one is not really an option as it can easily damage the inner components of your hot tub.
    Changing your hot tub position or using a hot tub enclosure could be an option.

    3. If you are sure your hot tub has electrical power but no heat is being produced at all then your heating element or hot tub heater is probably defective.

    If this is the case you are probably looking at purchasing a new hot tub heater.

    4. Hot tub heaters have a life expectancy of around 8 years, but this can be shortened by hard water or poor water chemistry.

    A hot tub heater that is affected by scale will be less efficient at heating your water, try to keep your water pH levels between 7.2 and 7.8.1.

    Simple Hot tub maintenance will help with the longevity of your hot tub.

9 Easy Ways to Extend the Lifespan of Your Hot Tub Heater

To avoid putting strain on your hot tub heater and ensure efficient heating, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Monitor the Ambient Temperature: The temperature of the surrounding air can affect how quickly your hot tub heats up. Warmer ambient temperatures will require less time to reach the desired temperature. Use a floating spa thermometer to compare the readings with your hot tub’s control panel thermometer to ensure accuracy.
  2. Utilize Cover Placement: Leaving the hot tub cover on while waiting for it to heat up can help retain heat and speed up the heating process. Ensure that the cover is secure and in good condition to maximize its effectiveness.
  3. Maintain the Hardware: Regular maintenance of your hot tub’s heater, pump, and jets is crucial for efficient operation. Conduct routine inspections and address any malfunctions or defects promptly.
  4. Optimize Spa Landscaping: Strategically landscaping around your hot tub can help block wind and weather elements, reducing heat loss. Planting trees and shrubs or installing screens can act as windbreaks, provide privacy, and improve heating efficiency.
  5. Improve Insulation: Enhancing insulation can prevent heat loss through tiny leaks in the hot tub cabinet. Consider adding wall or attic insulation to the inside of the cabinet panels or building a cabinet surround with additional insulation.
  6. Enhance Cover Efficiency: In addition to your main hot tub cover, you can boost insulation and heat retention by adding a floating spa cover. This blanket cover can increase the R-value of your hot tub and minimize heat loss.
  7. Keep Water Balanced: Maintaining balanced water chemistry helps prevent corrosion inside your hot tub, extending the lifespan of the heating element and the heater itself. Regularly test and adjust the water chemistry according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  8. Remove Air from the System: After performing maintenance on your hot tub, make sure to flush out any trapped air in the system. Air in the lines can lead to premature failure of the heating assembly.
  9. Clean the Filter Regularly: Clogged filters can restrict water flow to the heater, potentially causing damage and decreased heating efficiency. Check and clean or replace the filter as needed.

If you are uncertain or uncomfortable with performing maintenance or repairs, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure your safety and prevent any damage to your hot tub or its components.

By following these guidelines and investing in a high-quality hot tub heater, you can enjoy efficient and comfortable soaking experiences for years to come.

The Maintenance Required for a Hot Tub Heater

A hot tub heater is a necessary component to keep your hot tub running smoothly and efficiently. While the initial investment may be high, the maintenance required to keep a hot tub heater in good working order is relatively low. Here are a few tips to keep your hot tub heater running properly:

  1. Check the owner’s manual that came with your hot tub heater for specific maintenance requirements and schedules.
  2. Inspect and clean the filter regularly. A dirty filter can reduce the efficiency of your hot tub heater and cause it to overwork itself, which can lead to breakdowns.
  3. Keep an eye on the water level in your hot tub. If it gets too low, it can damage the heating elements in your hot tub heater.

Hot Tub Heaters – Wrap up

Hot tub heaters are relatively simple devices, but they will eventually need replacing.
Keeping your water within the recommended pH ranges will help to make your heater last longer.
If you need to replace your hot tub heater, the easiest way is to replace it with a like for like replacement. Just be very careful when making a note of the serial numbers on your heater.

With luck your hot tub will provide the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing soak after a hard days work.

Similar articles:
How To Care For Your Hot Tub – Easy Hot Tub Maintenance Guide 2023
Can Hot Tubs Be Used in Cold Weather?- 4 Epic Benefits
What’s The Best Hot Tub Cover in 2022? (Guide & Reviews)
How to Care For Your Hot Tub – Easy Hot Tub Maintenance Guide (2023)