Category Archives: Jetted Bath Spa

Before you call us to repair your jetted bathtub…

Jetted Bath Tub

Jetted Bath Tub / Bathtub Spa.

If it’s a leak, go ahead and call…

If you turn the tub on and hear a hum, turn it back off and call…

However, if you attempt to turn it on and you hear NOTHING, do this first (it could save you $Money):

Normally, a jetted bathtub (or Jacuzzi brand Whirlpool Bath) is supplied by an electrical circuit that has a GFCI circuit breaker, or a GFCI type electrical OUTLET.  The latter is more often what is referred to as a ‘BLANK FACE GFCI’, meaning, it looks like it would be an outlet, has the test and reset buttons, but there are no holes to plug into it.

Frequently, these are found in the bathroom.  If your toilet is isolated from the rest of the bathroom, and it is next to the jetted bathtub in its own room, look in there first!

Otherwise, look for one somewhere by itself in an odd location, like at eye level (to prevent children from playing with it).  That said, I was at a house the other day and the GFCI for the bathtub was about 18″ from the floor – (go figure).

If you have one of these, you need to push TEST, and then RESET.  Sometimes you may need to use something like the head of a pen to push the reset especially with newer ones.  If the GFCI will NOT reset – then I would first recommend having the GFCI replaced before calling.  $20 bucks can go a long way at Home Depot, Lowes, or your local hardware store.  These GFCI’s are cheap and are much more prone to fail on their own, than a pump having an actual ground fault (which is very very rare).

If you can’t find a wall mounted GFCI, then you probably have a GFCI circuit breaker in your main box – it will have a ‘TEST’ button on it.

Cutler-Hammer GFCI

These things can be a little tricky. A standard Cutler-Hammer GFCI (Tan/Brown colored handles), will absolutely shut the handle back to the off position when they trip.

Standard GFCI Circuit Breaker

But others, such as GE, Siemens, Eaton etc, will not.  If one of these is tripped, you can push it on, but it just kind of ‘mushes’ to the on position. If you jiggle the switch handle a bit it may come to rest in a middle position – indicating that it is tripped.  It can actually trick you to think that it’s actually ON, when it is off.

These types of breakers ALSO FAIL. Having seen perhaps TWO bathtub pump failures in over 20 years that would actually cause a ground fault condition – I highly recommend replacing the breaker FIRST.  These breakers are anywhere from 35-80 bucks.

If you can’t get this figured out for yourself or are in a hurry, just give us a call!  Real Estate closings and short timing issues go to the top of our list.

 

One of the greatest tools ever created.

I do a lot of bathtub spa repairs, and on one particular job the pump fittings were faced away from the service ‘port’.  They (pump unions) were almost impossible to get to, and definitely impossible to loosen. There was very little room to put any conventional tools – I mean, anything that would fit, would be too long to even manipulate inside that small space.

Well, yesterday I was at Harbor Freight looking for a different version of a channel lock style pliers, that would have jaw openings large enough, but handles that I could possibly make shorter with a sawzall.  Right when I came up to the check-out counter, the end-cap display had these things:

For like 8 bucks. Hmmm, this looks very interesting- I like the ‘teeth’ on this sucker. The jaws are designed for circular fittings, the handles are SHORT!  It’s an OIL FILTER WRENCH!  I’m guessing this product is new as I cannot find it on the Harbor Freight website.  I put back the channel lock set I was planning to chop up and bought this thing instead.

Once I got out of the store, I got a 1.5 inch spa pump union and wrapped this thing around it. Holy COW! It grabs the outside of a pump union perfectly, the teeth on this tool are fantastic for this particular application!

Little did I know when I went back to this job today how essential these teeth are.  Normally with channel locks, you need to be at a 90 degree angle for them to be effective.  And based on how much access I had there was no way this was going to happen.  Access and difficulty for this today was a 10 on a 1-10 scale and I could not take a picture because it was just too small an area.  So to make the point, here is shown on a later job today how effective these oil wrench pliers are on a pump union fitting, without being at a 90 degree angle:

These pliers grab and loosen/tighten this fitting with very little effort. Here I’m at about 45 degree angle to the fitting and those ‘teeth’ are hanging on to the pump union perfectly.

Another angle.

Without the ability of using this very high ‘angle of attack’ on a pump union in an extremely tight space, this bathtub would have had to been removed just to change the pump, as the left side was the outside wall of a commercial/residential building.

Successful job completed. Thank you Harbor Freight! This crazy oil filter wrench is PERFECT and will forever be a mainstay in my tool box!

UPDATE:

I just checked the Harbor Freight website for this tool. They must be just about ready to publish the product, as the URL comes out as:

http://www.harborfreight.com/2-inch-to-4-1-4-quarter-inch-oil-filter-wrench-36778.html

But says the page can’t be found.  So the page is on the way!

Older bath spa leaks, Common Problem!

This is like the fourth in our series of Sealants and Epoxies are your friend.

Below is a photo of a VERY common leak problem in bathtub spas, also known as ‘jetted bathtubs’.

The most common bathtub spa/jacuzzi leak ever

This tub uses the most common type of spa jet – a simple hollow ball with a nozzle.  Where these things most often leak, is from the flange edge that you can see in the photo above – that is visible.  At the junction of where that flange touches the tub, behind that is either silicone sealant, a gasket, or both.  Both is rare.  The customer that owned this bathtub had already removed everything around the tub for full access and diagnosis of the leaking problem he was having.

The solution is simple. Simply seal the area of the outside edge of the jets – all of them! Not just the 3 we had leaks on.  If the other 3 aren’t leaking now, they will be soon. It’s a quick and easy procedure and took less than 45 minutes to perform.

Enter our un-sung hero, Loctite Marine Epoxy – with a paint brush, and pvc pipe cleaner, which is nothing more than a mixture of acetone and MEK.  The small paint brush is used to ensure accuracy of application and limit excessive waste and over-application of the epoxy.

The magic toolkit - Epoxy and PVC Pipe Cleaner

Using the clear Oatey pipe cleaner around the edges of the jet flange and the tub, then drying it out with a paper towel – it ensures a great bond for the epoxy.  This is a really simple, quick and easy repair – I did 6 jets in less than 45 minutes.  Just take your time and use common sense. Typical home-owner repair cost? Less than 15 bucks!

Here’s how it looks!

Re-sealing Bathtub spa jet!

Note that the above photo shows the epoxy applied to the bathtub jet, with the jet insert removed.  In this style of installation, it’s usually pretty easy to unscrew the outside of the jet flange, and remove the flange and the jet nozzle which makes the repair easy.  Once finished, simply re-install the jet nozzle and the flange.  Any questions? Give us a call we’ll give you a hand with this.

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Leaking Bathtub Spa – Hard core problem!

This one was epic. Take a look!

Broken flange on jacuzzi bathtub jetOnce you see something like this – you think, OMG, the tub needs to be replaced – $6000!

Well yes and no. In this particular instance, ALL 6 of the bath spa jet flanges were broken completely off, which begs the next question:

Can the jet flange be removed? (Unscrewed?) The flange is the part that holds the jet body (back part) to the bath tub.  During assembly, silicone sealant is used to seal the body to the tub to prevent leakage.  The good thing about this particular tub is that the silicone sealant was actually holding well, which means a small chance of leaking in the future, as long as the front part of the flange is properly secured to the tub.

Here’s another:

Face flange broken on a jacuzzi bath jet.Like I said, seeing a flange completely disintegrated like this can lead to horrifying expense, but in this case – again – the jets could not be pushed out of their place. The silicone on the back side was continuing to hold them where they were installed.

So – in this case basically we need to provide a sealing surface on the front of the jet – and a mechanical aid to continue to keep the jet attached to the tub.  Enter our hero – White Marine Epoxy.

The solution is quite simple. Clean the cracked surface and the adjacent area of the tub surface with clear pvc pipe cleaner – then with a paint brush apply it around the cracked area and join with the surface of the bath tub.

The magic toolkit - Epoxy and PVC Pipe Cleaner

This is in no way a perfect fix, but if you cannot remove the flanges then it is the ONLY option possible.

Here is what the finished repair looks like:

Repaired Jacuzzi Jet with Marine White Epoxy

Of course this is not an elegant solution in appearance, but it is an elegant solution on the wallet!  It provides for both a water-tight seal for the jet flange and body, plus it reinforces the jet body to the bath tub, negating the need for a removal and complete re-plumb, or worse – a bath tub replacement.

If you do this yourself, the repair’s total cost is less than $15!  Call with questions any time.

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Leaking bathtub spas – Part Two

This is part two of the Sealants and Epoxies can be your friend series.

In this example of a leaking jetted bathtub, what I found was that the internal jet bodies were leaking.  Additionally, it was discovered that this had been repaired in years past, and the silicone that was used was peeling off.  Note these were not cracked jets, it’s just that the internal body parts were glued together and it had partly failed, leading to a very leaky tub.

It is important to note that whenever you use a silicone in a submerged situation like this and it is applied to the surface of a leak, that periodic re-sealing of the area may be required.  IE the more often the tub is used, the more frequent the replacement.  That said, if silicone is used in a joint/flanged situation, as long as it has been given enough time to cure, it should last for many years.

Jacuzzi bath jet that has old silicone causing a leak.

Looking closely at this Jacuzzi jet body it appears there has been some silicone applied at some time in the past and it is visible at the bottom near where the jet nozzle flange is screwed in.

 

 

 

Jacuzzi bath tub jet that is leaking

On another jet, I can see what appears to be some white silicone sealant in the back (between 9 and 11 o’clock in the back) of this Jacuzzi bath jet, and it’s apparent that pieces of that white silicone have come loose also; (not visible in photo).

 

 

The solution is really simple – unscrew the jet nozzle, clean it out, prime it (using pvc clear primer), and add new silicone sealant.

Jacuzzi bath nozzle and jet body assembly - nozzle is removed.This is not difficult for the average home-owner to do. It’s quite simple.  Using a screwdriver in the base of the ring that holds the nozzle, you have to ‘un-screw it. The nozzle assembly will come right out (but you may have to fight it a bit to get it to initially rotate).

The above is what a Jacuzzi bathtub spa nozzle assembly looks like. With the flashlight, you can also see where the previous silicone when it was installed – is flaking out, causing the leaks with this tub.Silicone flaking off a seal joint in a bath tub spa.

 

Here’s a close-up of the Jacuzzi bath tub jet. Note the failing silicone.

 

 

 

Silicone removed from leaking Jacuzzi jet

 

Another jet where the silicone came completely out of the threaded body, causing a leak.

 

 

 

This is how I set this up for re-sealing. Using the dauber for clear pvc pipe cleaner, swipe the internal part of the Jacuzzi jet body and then be sure it’s dry.  getting ready to use silicone to seal a jacuzzi jet.Then I put clear silicone caulk on a paper towel, and use a small paint brush to swipe it into the area where it needs to go to seal the bath-tub leak.

This is actually easier said than done,  because of the density of silicone, but the brush is infinitely better as an initial applicator, than the nozzle of a caulk gun – and definitely better than using your fingers.  The paint brush provides accuracy and cleanliness, which is an absolute requirement when you have to do more than 1 or 2 jets.  I always keep a few of these paint brushes with me because you have to throw them away when you’re finished.

Here is what the removed Jacuzzi bath nozzle assembly looks like completely disassembled.Jacuzzi bathtub jet nozzle removed from the body.

There were no final photos taken of this job but I will say that after the silicone was place where I wanted it to go, I did use my index finger to ‘smooge-it’ in a circular fashion to cover the leaking joints completely.  It works, and it’s cheap to do!

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Sealants and Epoxies are your friend

When it comes to repairing ‘broken’ or cracked things on your tub – because replacing them may not be a viable option, too expensive or too troublesome to do – there are a number of cases where a simple two part epoxy, or even ordinary silicone sealant can be a massive time and money saver.

Bathtub spas, and those that go by the manufactured name ‘Jacuzzi Whirlpool’, are frequently an example when having sealants and epoxies are a serious part of your tool-box.

Let’s take a look at this first example, it is a Jacuzzi Whirlpool bathtub that has a couple of cracked jet bodies.  Many people would think that it would be a requirement to cut out the broken jet, replace it and then replumb it.  But what if just getting access means taking the entire tub out?  Ouch! That can get expensive really quick!

Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bathtub

In this example, you can see I’ve got Plast-Aid, as well as Marine Epoxy (white) you can see on the above Jacuzzi Bath to the right.

20161009_162922With the bathtub spa jet internals removed (only takes a phillips head screwdriver), the cracks in the jet body are easy to locate.

Once found, I prep the area with a swipe of pvc pipe cleaner, ensure it’s dry, then apply an amount of Plast-Aid directly over the crack.  That will be cured in about 15 minutes. Then a follow up with a coating of white Marine Epoxy.

It can be a little tricky spotting what I call a ‘micro-crack’ – but if you can locate the leaking jet body first, then it will give you a target to focus on. Jacuzzi Whirlpool bath with a cracked jet body.In this jet body, that small slotted area to the right (behind the green cement), there is an arched crack that appears in the concave swivel ball (jet nozzle) seat, and stretches across that slot to towards the bottom.

Sometimes, because these things can be really TINY and difficult to see, using a camera on hi-resolution, then zooming in with the screen will help you locate cracks like this. To repair this crack, Clean the area with pvc pipe cleaner (Clear!).  Then I simply mix a two part epoxy (I prefer the Marine White) and use a small disposable paint brush to accurately paint the epoxy over the crack.  Overlap is important and will determine how strong your repair will be.


For the next example, Click Here!

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Bath Spas & Jetted Bath Tub Repairs, Service.

We service all bathtub spas and ‘jetted tubs’ in the Metro Atlanta area.  Most often, we receive calls on these bathtubs when a house is being sold, or going up for sale soon.  More often than not, jetted bath tubs are seldom used for the original intent.

Jetted Bath Spa

Jetted Bath Tub Spa

Most common faults are:

1.  Switching (pump on/off) mechanisms, circuits or push-buttons are inoperative or broken.

2.  Pumps are locked up from lack of use.

3.  Leaks have occurred in the plumbing fittings at the bath pump or the jet fixtures.

Jetted Bath Spa Pipe Leak Repair

Jetted Bath Spa Pipe Leak Repair

 

Bath spas are their own unique animal, and quite rightly so.  Usually there is simply a small access hole to get to the pump, and it can be really tight to get into these spaces to affect proper repairs.  We do the best we can, as fast as we can to get your bath tub spa up and running again quickly to pass inspection and be used the way it was intended.

We have great relationships with a lot of real estate brokerages, agents, and regular customers all over the metro area, and are quite understanding of the expediency of getting your bath spa repaired quickly.

Leaking jet joint repair with pvc pipe and flex pvc in a bath spa / jetted bath tub.

Leaking jet joint repair with pvc pipe and flex pvc in a bath spa / jetted bath tub.

If you’re one of those people that’ve made a lot of phone calls looking for help and gotten no-where, we’re here for you!

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Phone above or you can use the contact form at the upper right of your screen and we’ll get back to you asap.  We have a pretty quick turn-around time, (especially when real-estate closings are imminent).