Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hot Tub Repair

After having the hot tub shut down for the winter, we drained, cleaned, and re-filled it... only to find the pump not working.  It wasn't much of a surprise - the tub is probably 10 years old and never had the pump replaced. give it a year of inactivity and it was likely frozen or rusted all inside.  So, after knocking it with a hammer to try and get it started, turning the motor shaft with a wrench, lots of penetrating oil, and no sense of it moving... we emptied it once again (it takes more than a few hours to drain... and lots of water).

Old pump and open side (hey, this at least gave us the chance to explore what our hot tub looked like inside)

So, I found a great website with lots of information and the best list of specs to compare to the old pump.  Plus, they had some great prices... so good that I found an excuse to order a new cover for the hot tub.

Here is the new pump installed... doh! less than an inch too short.

After 3 visits to the local hot tub shop (who were very friendly, even though they likely marked-up the plumbing parts 10 times more than they should have... but hey, I was in a bind and Home Depot didn't carry these parts)... I got it all together... and no leaks!

Overall, I made it extra difficult on myself because I wanted to eliminate a slice valve that seemed to have leaked before and was patched poorly, I didn't measure the pipes (hence the multiple visits to the shop because of a stealth reducer), and I didn't wire it properly to begin with (causing me to be challenged re-wiring it after it was installed and the tub filled with water).  The improper wiring wasn't all my fault - there just wasn't enough information anywhere, so I had to guess (and you would think that the common wire would be connected to the terminal labeled "c"... but no, that one just doesn't get used).

Now that it's done, we're happy campers - taking advantage of it almost every night since it came back online.  I learned a lot more about the hot tub and was relieved to not find a (literal) rats nest inside.  Plus, I got to use just about every tool I own.  Working on the hot tub is a crazy mix of plumbing, electrical, and other oddities.  The tools which were most valuable were:  an inspection mirror, multi-tool saw thingy (great for cutting the pipe inside the tight quarters), the ipad (camera and internet), and a circuit tester.

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