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Common Hot Tub Problems (and Solutions)

  |   Maintenance & Water Care, Ownership   |   No comment

When shopping for a hot tub as a means of relaxing after a hard day of work, or unwinding after an even harder day of play, it’s important to be proactive in finding out what possible obstacles or problems might crop up. Or maybe you already own your spa and have come across one of these already and need a quick answer or solution.
Whether you’re looking to buy a hot tub, or already own one, this article is going to break down the most common hot tub problems and some ways to solve them.


Common Hot Tub Water Care Issues

Water chemistry maintenance sometimes feels like that one science class you used to struggle with in school. There are so many formulas and possibilities for problems and answers. But lucky for you, water care technology is constantly evolving, and of all the problems associated with hot tub ownership, water care is generally the easiest to fix.


Cloudy Water

Cloudy water is most often an issue with the alkalinity or pH levels in your hot tub. If either of these levels becomes too high, your chlorine-based disinfectants won’t be as effective and can lead to mineral buildup, cloudy water, scales on the shell of your hot tub, and skin or eye irritation.
Cloudy spa water can also be caused by sweat, lotions, or a lack of proper chemical maintenance. To correct the issue you should:


  1. First, check your spa’s alkalinity and pH levels and adjust as needed.
  2. Next, test your sanitizer (chlorine or bromine) levels. If the sanitizer level is too low, add more.
  3. Wait two hours and test the water again.
  4. Repeat this process until the sanitizer levels are consistently correct. Always run the pumps for 15 minutes with the cover open after adding any chemicals.

If you’re using the FROG @ease for Bullfrog Spas water care system, you should:


  1. First make sure the SmartChlor cartridge is not empty. Replace the cartridge if necessary.
  2. If it is not empty, turn the dial setting up 1 number and monitor chlorine levels for a few days while maintaining water balance. If needed, turn the dial up again.
  3. The entire FROG @ease System, including a FROG @ease Mineral Cartridge, needs to be replaced every four months. Without the minerals, SmartChlor will not be enough to sanitize the hot tub.



The primary reason for foamy water is most often due to pH balance that is being thrown off by contaminants in your water, such as oils and lotions, soaps and detergents, or biofilm buildup. The good news is that foamy water is generally easy to treat with a pH balancer, and it can be avoided by attempting to eliminate allowing these contaminates from entering your hot tub water.
If your pH levels are too low (below 7.2), use a pH increaser to help raise the pH levels and balance the water. If the levels are too high (above 7.8), use a pH decreaser to help bring those levels back down into the recommended range.
Make sure you add the appropriate chemical and the amount recommended by the manufacturer to treat the correct problem. Take into consideration the body chemistry, bather load, and any outside materials being brought into the hot tub, such as mud, grass, and leaves, and treat accordingly.


Dirty Water or Water Line

Unfortunately, some bacteria and viruses are able to survive in warm water. For this reason, sanitizing your water is important to keep it disinfected, clear, and smelling fresh. The two most common sanitizers are bromine and chlorine. You might also try using a water conditioning kit, which has a pH balancer in the chemicals to help maintain these levels correctly.
If sanitizer just isn’t doing the trick, it’s time to shock your water. Shock treatments break down the organic contaminants that lead to cloudy, mucky-looking water and unpleasant odors by oxidizing contaminants and releasing them as a gas. Regularly treating your hot tub water with shock reduces the need for high chemical doses; aids in eliminating bacteria, viruses, and algae; and prolongs the life of your equipment.
To learn more about water sanitation and shock, check out the Ultimate Water Care Guide.


Common Technical Hot Tub Issues

Technology is the best—except when it’s not. The downside of technology is that sometimes it fails. But it’s okay, because humans are smart, and for every failure, there is a solution. More often than not, it’s a simple one. Here are a few to consider.


Hot Tub Error Code Issues

Error codes indicate something is wrong with the inner workings of your hot tub, but these codes can be confusing. If your hot tub is speaking in another language, check out your owner’s manual to see if the code or problem is listed there, or call your local Bullfrog Spas dealer for assistance.


Airlock in Pump

To prevent airlocks when filling your spa, be sure to open all valves in the JetPaks and all other jets in the spa before filling to allow air to escape from during the filling process.

Your hot tub’s pumps must be primed directly after filling to ensure the correct operation of your spa and to get rid of any airlocks. After initial startup, verify that the home status screen appears on the panel and follow the process of priming your pumps, one at a time, until the process has been repeated for all available pumps.
On rare occasions, priming the pumps will not get rid of an airlock. The next step is to remove the front panel and locate the pump with an airlock. The wet-end of the pump has a bleed valve—loosen this until all the air escapes and water starts to drip out, or loosen the union on the pump to let the air out until you see water. Do not attempt this while the spa pump is running. If you need help doing this or this does not resolve the problem, please contact your authorized Bullfrog Spa Dealer.


Spa not Heating

If your spa temperature is low, first check the thermostat to see if it has been turned down or set to low heat range. Adjust the thermostat to desired temperature or set to high heat range.
Another common reason for your spa temperature to be low is that the high-limit sensor has tripped. Press the reset button on your control panel to reset the system.
If neither of the above steps works, your heating system may be defective. Contact your authorized Bullfrog Spas Dealer for further diagnosis and troubleshooting assistance.


Small Leak

Leaks in a Bullfrog Spa are rare, due to the unique way each spa is plumbed, and how much additional plumbing is required thanks to the patented Jetpak Therapy System®. If you notice your spa is losing water, check all fittings and equipment in the equipment compartment for the source of leakage. If a leak is detected, tighten the fitting by hand. If the leak persists, you cannot find the source of the leak, or the leak is coming from the shell, contact your authorized Bullfrog Spas Dealer.


Common Hot Tub Part/Accessory Problems

If you are in need of replacement parts or accessories for your Bullfrog Spa, first reach out to your local dealer. This is especially important if your spa is relatively new to you. Additionally, some products are available online at


Spa Headrests Disintegrating

Headrest discoloration and/or degradation is accelerated by high sanitizer use and improper ventilation after shock treatments. To prevent your spa headrests from disintegrating, remove the them during and after shock treating the spa water or when sanitizer levels are high. In addition, leave your spa cover open for at least 30 minutes after shocking to ensure the headrests are not affected.


Broken Cover Clips

Broken clips are from strong winds or failure to undo them before opening the cover and is not a warranty part. Contact your dealer to get replacement clips or purchase them from our online shop.
To replace the cover clip, first remove the male end of the clip. Then, use clippers to make two small diagonal cuts on the clip loop. This makes an opening for the cover loop. Insert the cover loop into the opening and push the cover loop entirely into the clip.
There are a number of smaller problems that can easily be solved with a little bit of research, but those that can’t can be solved with the help of your local authorized Bullfrog Spas Dealer. Contact them with your hot tub maintenance questions.


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AUTHOR - Bullfrog Spas

Bullfrog Spas is a premier brand of personalized premium hot tubs. With proprietary hydromassage technology and an eye for contemporary design, Bullfrog Spas is revolutionizing the concept of the portable hot tub and providing a relaxation experience unlike any other. Discover the award winning spa of the future today.

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