For some strange reason, I own a hot tub. When I bought the house, it seemed kind of cool. That lasted for about a year. Then, it became a headache. Finally, I drained it and unplugged it. That was a simplification. You can't just drain and unplug. There is no drain and there is no plug. I had to siphon the water out using a water hose, bleed the lines dry, then throw the breaker marked "spa" into an off position at the breaker box.
I did this about two years ago. Recently, due to circumstances beyond my control, I've been pressured to get the hot tub functional again. It's actually been fun. I've been working on my plumbing skills for when all the software jobs get farmed out to India. This was like practice for my second career.
A hot tub sitting out dry for the last two years does not just magically work with the addition of water. I mean, we tried that, but it immediately started leaking out of this strange metal attachment underneath the tub.
I had to do some research. I found this cool website called Spa Depot. They seem to have good prices on their parts, but even better than that is their instructions for how things work. I particularly like their Spa Simulator in the SpaCyclopedia.
Using the aforementioned Spa Simulator I was immediately able to determine that one of the pumps was leaking. Furthermore, by reading their instructions on pump repair, I determined that I would more than likely need a new pump. The rule of thumb is: if a pump is malfunctioning and is more than 3 years old, replace the entire pump.
The scary thing about my hot tub is I have two pumps. Both of the pumps are identical so one of them is not, what they call, a circulation pump. It's scary, because I don't think the other pump is working either. However, it's also not leaking. Pumps are going to cost around $250 no matter how you slice it. I've already ordered one.
Here's a picture of my removed leaky pump. I'm so proud. It's like a bouncing baby pump (that leaks). You can see the power cable to the left (kind of like an umbilical cord in my increasingly stupid analogy). I had to remove that so I can reuse it. Those puppies cost about $20.
pump from Spa Depot. I went from a 4 horsepower pump to a 3 horsepower pump. Maybe I'll regret it, but I doubt it. If anything the jets were too powerful before. It should be in by Friday and I'll update you on how the installation went. Because I know you will be very curious.
I'm hoping to install it into a section of the spa that's easier to get to. That one was a bitch to remove because of its location. Once I had it unscrewed I still had to manipulate it through a spaghetti mess of PVC piping. I guess plumbing is similar to coding.
I'm putting the odds at 90% that I'll be ordering another pump next week. Remind me to tell you about my less than $200 salt water conversion idea!