Hot Tub Leak Repair using Leak Sealer
Welcome back, students of spa! Today we tackle one of those topics that can keep spa owners up at night - a leaking hot tub.
The most common leak for spas and hot tubs is probably pump shaft seals, thermowells, spa unions and spa jets. Wooden hot tubs can seep and weep water from between the wood staves, especially during temperature swings as the wood expands and contracts.
If you have an obvious mechanical failure of seals, gaskets or plastics, the best solution is to buy the correct spa parts, and fix the leaking spa properly. However, in cases where there is no obvious puddle beneath an obvious drip - you may want to try a leak sealer.
I've used Leak Seal for a spa leak on my own spa, and I can tell you it works, but I can also tell you that it doesn't work - let me explain. Leak Seal works great for dripping glue joints, seeping gaskets, weeping o-rings and oozing wooden hot tubs. Leak Seal will also seal up cracks in filter housings or pinhole leaks in flex pipe and spa hoses - but it's no miracle worker! If you have a real 'gusher', don't waste your money on Leak Seal, but replace the offending gasket, manifold or jet body.
Leak Seal is made from Sodium Silicate, sometimes called "Liquid Glass", which behaves a bit like blood in it's ability to clot together. Strong bonds stack the silicate together at the source of a leak. The process takes many hours of circulation to build up layers of the stuff, until the leak is sealed.
Leisure Time Leak Seal Instructions
- Fill Spa to normal water levels.
- Remove the spa cartridge filter(s).
- Open all valves and all spa jets.
- Shut off spa heater, blower and ozonator.
- Pour 1/2 bottle (16 oz) into spa skimmer or near drain.
- Run jets on high for 4 hours to circulate (slowly add water if needed)
- Switch pump to low speed for 20 hours.
After 24 hours (adding water if needed, to keep the tub full), inspect closely for any continued water loss. At this point you will notice one of three things. Either the leak has stopped completely, partially, or not at all. If the spa has stopped leaking, then alright! :-) If the leak has slowed, but not stopped completely, a second treatment (all 7 steps above) is recommended. If it didn't work at all, you have a leak that is too large for Leak Sealer to fix. :-(
As a final step, and whether or not it worked to fix your leaking spa, you should drain and clean the tub to remove the remaining silicate, which will clog up your filter and leave residue around the water line. Drain the tub completely, and wipe down all surfaces before refilling with fresh water.
After refilling, operate the spa on low speed only for a day, with the heater Off - especially if leaks were suspected to be in the plumbing or around spa jets. The leak sealant silicate patch will continue to harden, becoming fully cured in 48-72 hours, depending on water temperature.
As I mentioned at the outset - Leak Seal is not a miracle product, but it does work for small leaks and drips, and can form a permanent repair. If it doesn't work in your case, please don't get upset and write reviews entitled "complete waste of money", or make comparisons to snake oil - it's just that your spa leak requires a more 'mechanical repair'.
And at $20 a bottle, Leak Seal is a bargain, especially if it seals the leak - which it does, over half of the time, by my estimates.