Hot tubs are lovely to relax into and let the muscles and mind unwind. Finding a crack in the tub can ruin the experience and seem daunting to fix. We have researched and found that most hot tub cracks can be repaired independently without a professional.
Regain the spa experience by following these steps:
- Verify the tub material by checking the owner's manual. Gather the materials, tools, and safety gear.
- Drain the tub to below the damage or until empty.
- Clean the area.
- Inspect for the amount of damage. Small cracks are a simple apply the patch, then let dry and cure. Gently grind the edges of larger cracks into a V-shape, then patch, and let dry. Sand until smooth, then buff with a soft towel.
- Let the area dry and cure.
- Clean the entire tub. Feel free to flush the lines during this step.
- Refill, and watch for any leaks.
- Climb in and enjoy!
With these steps, the hot tub can be operable again. Continue reading as we explore the repair steps in detail and look into other valuable information.
1. Preplanning & Gathering Materials
Check the owner's manual to verify the tub material. Most hot tubs are a fiberglass base with an acrylic coat. Repair these tubs easily with a patch kit.
Other materials include stainless steel, cement, and PVC (inflatable). The steps are mostly the same as the fiberglass base; the difference is what style of patch kit is needed.
Get the materials in one place for ease of use.
Use an old towel from the back of the closet that is soft, or use one of these microfiber towels. The key is a soft towel so that it doesn't cause more scratches to repair.
The repair kit should dry clear so that it doesn't impede the visual appeal of the tub. Use adhesive strips for small cracks in fiberglass tubs.
Cement tubs will need a plaster filler.
Stainless steel tubs will need steel-reinforced epoxy.
Hot Tub Cleaner
Use a heavy-duty cleaner for this project as it will help clean the damage for a better repair, and it's convenient to use while the tub is empty.
Drill and Rotary Tip
Use the drill and rotary tip called a rasp for larger cracks.
Use 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repair before buffing.
Wear goggles and gloves, and use a respirator for protection while working.
2. Drain the Tub
At the very minimum, drain the tub below the damaged points. Turn off the power to the jets and pumps to avoid any accidents.
There are three ways to drain the tub. All three take one to two hours.
The first is to use the drain spigot, connect a garden hose, run it to a drain or sewer and let the tub drain. Check the owner's manual for the location of the drain. The chemicals in the water can destroy a lawn, so do not drain onto the lawn. Check with your local ordinance, as they may have guidelines for where the water should be drained.
The second way is to use a submersible pump. The pump may not get all of the water out as it does need to be submersed. Keep an eye on it when the water level gets low to ensure the pump doesn't run dry.
The third option is to use a wet/dry vacuum. Put the hose into the water from the top of the hot tub, turn the vacuum on for a moment to start the water moving, turn it off, disconnect the hose from the vacuum unit and let gravity finish draining the water onto the ground.
3. Clean the Area
Clean the crack and surrounding area. This is a good time to do basic cleaning of the tub with a cleaner recommended in the owner's manual. Don't try to flush the lines at this point, as water would need to be added. Flush the lines after the repairs are complete.
4. Inspect for Damage & Patch
Inspect the crack for size. The tub will need extra preparation for large cracks.
- Wipe down the small crack to remove any debris, lightly sand if needed with 400 grit sandpaper. Use goggles for the eyes and a respirator for the mouth to protect against any fiberglass particles.
- Stainless steel and cement tubs will need to be sanded with a drill and sandpaper.
- Mix the patch material per the instructions on the package. For small cracks, the patch material may be a simple piece of waterproof tape-like material.
- Let the area dry and cure per the repair kit instructions.
- Sand the rough edges down. Use caution if using tape as sanding can pull up the hard work that was just accomplished.
- Use a towel to buff the area.
- Don the safety gear. When grinding into the fiberglass, particles will be in the air, protect the lungs with a respirator.
- Gently shape the edges of the crack into a V-shape with the rotary drill bit. Do not deepen the crack.
- Wipe out the debris. Do not smooth as the rough edges will bond better with the epoxy.
- Blend the components of the repair kit according to the manufacturer's instructions. There is usually a part A and a part B.
- Apply just enough material to fill the crack.
- The epoxy will take 24 hours to cure. Lightly cover without touching the repaired area to keep debris out of the epoxy.
- Sand the rough edges around the crack with 400 grit sandpaper until smooth.
- Buff the area with a towel.
5. Let the Area Dry & Cure
Dry thoroughly, then go over the rest of the shell and make sure there aren't any other cracks or scratches that can be fixed at this time. Now is an excellent time to think about any upgrades you would want to do. Here are some ideas in "How To Update An Old Jacuzzi Tub."
6. Clean the Tub Again
Remove any residue by cleaning the tub again. Feel free to flush the lines.
7. Fill with Water
Fill the tub, watching for any leaks around the repairs.
That's it. Grab a towel, a favorite refreshment, and climb in for a good soak. Fix the cracks as soon as they appear. Cracks will grow with time and can eventually become unfixable.
Where Do Hot Tubs Usually Leak?
A circulation pump is commonplace for a hot tub to leak. Check this by turning off the power and looking under the pump for any water or wetness.
Can You Use Gorilla Tape On A Hot Tub?
Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal tape can be used on a hot tub crack. Make sure that the area is completely dry before attaching.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Crack In A Hot Tub?
Repair kits and sealants run between $10 and $20. Then if any tools are needed, the dollar range can be from $10 to $100, which includes a drill, bits, safety gear, and the repair kit. The time investment runs about two days, including the draining of the tub, then the curing of the repair material.
If hiring a professional, the repair can run from $200 to $1500. Add $500 if there is a cabinet around the tub as it takes more time to get to the frame. Hire a professional if the crack feels unsurmountable.
How Many Years Does A Hot Tub Last?
The lifetime of a hot tub can go from five years to 20 plus. When buying a new tub, invest in a high-quality tub. The cheaper versions are usually made with lower quality materials and will not last as long.
Read more with "How Often Should You Clean A Jacuzzi Tub?"
The hot tub will last a long time with proper care and maintenance. Catch the cracks as they start so that they don't grow into non-repairable issues. A basic repair kit is easy to use and low in cost and time investment. Go forth and enjoy a worry-less time in the spa, knowing that you can easily fix it.