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OT- Hot tub Repairs

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  • OT- Hot tub Repairs

    Since we have so many thinkers here, I need some advice on a couple of hot tub repairs. My tub is an old 1988 Jacuzzi Corsica (600 gallons)

    1.) One of the suction lines from the skimmer to the pump intake manifold is leaking. It is made from some kind of flexible line, 1 1/2" diameter and about 18" long. Looks like the entire hose is unraveling. Problem is that it has been glued into both the skimmer box and the PVC Tee of the header. Skimmer boxes are no longer available and the Tee is too tight to cut out and replace. Question: Since this is not a pressure line (it is suction), is there a tape or coating or some other means of wrapping that I can use to seal this hose up? I must do all 18" with whatever I use.

    2.) The redwood siding is just plain shot. It is made up of thin (1"x36"x3/8" thick) planks. These planks are stapled to a plastic sheet from behind, and then screwed to the side with strategically placed screws. The plastic sheeting is brittle and useless. So, I need some kind of planking or siding to wrap around the sides. I have thought about using solid vinyl soffit run vertically, but I'm not sure how what to do at the top edge (3/8" inset). Since the tub is a square with for cut corners (radiused no less), regular J channel may not wrap around the top easily. Ideas?

    We were given this hot tub by a dim bulb 10 years ago and absolutely love it. I will not ever be without one again. The War Wagon and I went and looked at new tubs last week, but I cannot justify the major money. This old tub runs well and uses mechanical contactors and switches (no electronics). I can keep it going right near forever until the acrylic explodes.

    Open to all ideas, except a new unit.


  • #2
    Keeping old spas running often requires some creativity. My current spa was picked up off the curb a couple years ago and now with about $300 invested in parts and repairs, it is running as good as new.

    That internal plumbing stuff can really be a pain. On many parts of the tub, they apparently do the plumbing and then seal it all up with some industrial spray foam forever encasing it in the stuff.

    I'm not familiar with the model you have, but for the skimmer, might you be able to adapt a similar model for use? Here's a place that has parts... maybe something here is close enough to make it work...

    For the skirting, if you can get some sort of strip of something up behind the plastic and then screw your new skirting through the plastic and into the strip behind it, then it could be made to look nice again.

    Good luck! The manufacturors admit that they design these things to last 10-15 years and then expect you to buy a new one. I hope you can keep it running and "stick it to 'em"!
    Video meliora proboque deteriora sequor


    • #3
      Question # 1: best I can think of is "high friction silicone tape", like this at Lee Valley,110,43466

      the pics actually show it to repair a garden hose but also as a shock absorbing tape for hammer handles

      Question # 2: being a little dense this AM, not quite sure where the "problem" sounds like the wood, as you say, is "worn out" and if so why not replace it with same...if cost is the issue (my assumption is you are talking about the interior surfaces, i.e. holding water) my only thought is to completely line the inside with fiberglass unless you can think of another way to say mold a plastic to that complex a shape "in situ". If wood is a must then IMO the labor is worth spending $$$ to make it like original.
      Like I said being dense, have I missed the question completely?


      • #4
        In reading "Cobblers" answer, if it is the exterior, find some wood siding meant for a house, make the corners out of a square of a size that will allow the radius needed [siding run horizontally; you will have some overlap but suspect need for far fewer nails/screws]...

        just thinking that tongue and groove flooring or similar (click lock?) maybe easier to find, give you more choices, can come pre-finished, use a flooring underlay as sort of an intermediate layer (partially used to reduce squeaks when flooring)


        • #5
          If its the hose that is leaking, I would cut it off at each connection and slip the next size hose over what is left, clamp and see what happens...
          Who do I think you are...?


          • #6
            Hot Tub

            1.Get a tarp and line your pickup bed. Park in the sun. 2.Fill it up with water. 330 gallons for a full size bed - you're already saving half on the water. 3. Run a flex hose from the truck exhaust into the water. For more jet, have someone rev the engine. There you go - fixed for a few bucks!


            • #7
              Wrap it all in duct tape!
              Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


              • #8
                Already have some killer answers. Thanks guys!

                The wood is on the outside of the tub and is redwood. WAY too expensive for my budget. The only real function of the wood is to keep air from infiltrating into the tub cavity. I put 1" pinkboard insulation behind the wood when I first resurrected the tub, so insulation is not an issue. It just looks ugly without something over it. The vinyl soffit is the correct thickness and will serve well in a vertical position. It just won't finish off nicely around the upper lip of the acrylic. I'll ponder that issue a bit more.

                The tape trick is exactly what I will try first. I have access to a huge amount of silicone self fusing tape (I run the electrical department at work after all. And no, I'm not stealing it). If that doesn't work, I like the idea of cutting and inserting the next smaller size hosing. There are two skimmers and there will be plenty of volume in the header.

                As usual, I got what I came for here.

                Thanks again fellas,


                • #9
                  How about T1-11 plywood siding? Looks like planking, about the right thickness....there's also t-11, never been quite sure the difference...Lowe's has it...


                  • #10
                    PVC pipe is weldable. Use one of the cheap hot air plastic welders from harbor freight. I ran into this issue once on my salt water aquarium. After I got it all together I had a 2" PVC fitting start weeping. To redo the joint would have been expensive, valves, unions, etc. So I welded it. Never leaked after that.

                    Also had a PVC clam gun crack. Welded that up and its held so far.


                    • #11
                      Best solution-
                      Buy a New Used Hot Tub.

                      Once the plastic starts going, it all starts to rot, and it was never designed to be repaired. Age, heat, chemicals, and sunlight all take their toll on plastics.

                      And yes, the new ones are absurdly expensive.

                      But my local craigslist always has a range of used ones, from free to $5000, depending on the optimism of the seller. There are always a few dozen below $1000, and most will sell for much less than asking.

                      You will be much better off just finding a cheap used one that doesnt leak, and swapping out.

                      Some things just arent worth dicking around with.


                      • #12
                        Ries is right. Especially now considering the cost of utilities to run on. I had to turn mine down to save money.


                        • #13
                          However you go about repairing it, you'll want to clean well any surface where you would expect a glue, sealant, etc to stick. It's all too easy to skip this step because it's too hard to get to the spot- then you end up with a nasty looking repair job that still leaks, or leaks again after only a short time.

                          When I was doing field repairs on satellite systems, specifically the wiring, I used to use the 'compression' method of sealing. After physically repairing the faulty wiring and individually insulating the splices, etc, I'd wrap some window sealant strip around the entire bundle. That's a black strip maybe a half inch wide and 60 thou thick or so, comes with a peel-off backing- anyway after some of that is wound around the repair site, I'd overwrap it with electrical tape, stretching it as I went. The tape would apply pressure to the sealant as it tried to shrink, basically compressing it more or less equally all around. To ensure the electrical tape didn't unravel, I'd then put a couple of zap straps around it.

                          I've done a similar repair on a water line with good results. I lived there for a couple years after that and it didn't leak. I'm sure this method could be used in places where you can't get a good cleaning job done on the area.
                          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                          • #14
                            I used some marine epoxy putty I bought at Ace Hardware. You can actually use it under water. It did a great job.


                            • #15
                              For the tape, I would recommend "F4" tape. (For example,, although you can get it many places, including Amazon.)

                              It's self-sealing/fusing silicone tape that has a 500F temp rating. It's not stated to be waterproof, but in my experience, if it's applied properly, it is. Get the type with the tapered edges (called "triangular") and overlap it using the centerline stripe as the guide. Work carefully to keep wrinkles out, and it will hold literally forever.

                              Richard T Perry

                              My wife is convinced that I'm in danger of reaching Tool Critical Mass.