Hot Tub Parts: Spa and Hot Tub Valves
Spa & hot tub valves come in two forms - water valves and check valves. Spa water valves control the flow of water or air — to partially or fully shut off the flow, or to redirect it in different directions. Water valves placed before the pump control the suction inlets, like the skimmer and spa drain. Valves after the pump control the flow of water through different banks of spa jets. Valves also allow you to shut off the water flow when cleaning the spa filter or repairing spa equipment.
Spa check valves keep water from flowing backwards through certain pipes. Check valves are also called one-way flow valves, because that's what they do, allow water to travel in only one direction. Tiny check valves are also used on spa ozone systems, to keep the gas flowing in the right direction, and keep spa water out of the ozonator.
Spa Water Valves
Controlling the flow of water in your spa requires a valve that can handle temperature, chemicals and pressurized water. Spa valves also need to be able to hold a positive seal, or completely shut off the flow of water. There are 3 types of spa valve design: Ball valves, Guillotine valves and Diverter valves used on spas and hot tubs.
Ball valves have a ball shaped diverter inside, and are made with or without unions (the large nut that allows you to open the valve for repair or service). The pipe connections can be slip or threaded. Ball valves are only available as a 2-way valve - one pipe in, one pipe out. They may be installed on either side of the pool pump, to allow you to service or repair the pump or spa pack. We stock two sizes of a spa union ball valve, to fit 1.5" and 2.0" pipe.
Also called slice valves, a guillotine type spa valve has a flat blade that slides down to block water flow; pull up to open the valve. The end connections can be slip or threaded, male or female, with or without unions, and are only available as a 2-way valve. Slice valves are the most commonly used valve on hot tubs. We carry three brands: Magic, Valterra, and Waterway, to fit 1.5", 2.0" and 2-1/2" pipe.
With a rotating diverter design, the Jandy valve revolutionized pool and spa plumbing, by creating an easy to use 3-way valve. This design allows for configuration of 2 pipes in, 1 pipe out - or 1 pipe in and two pipes out. The Jandy Space Saver valve is used in many spas and swim spas, and has 3 slip ports to accept pipe size of 1.5" or 2.0".
We also carry Waterway diverter valves, 2-way, 3-way and even 4-way. The Ortega spa valve has a unique internal diverter design, available in 2-way, shown right.
Spa Check Valves
If your inground spa drains when the pump shuts off, you may have a bad check valve, designed to keep the water from gravity draining. Your spa air blower also likely has a check valve, to prevent water from entering the blower motor. Ozone check valves are used to keep water out of the ozonator unit.
Spa check valves are spring loaded, and use springs of different thickness, to keep the valve closed until a pressure minimum is reached. Available in 1.5" and 2.0", there are spa water check valves, and spa air check valves.