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How Do the Parts of a Spa Work?

Understanding how your spa works will not only help you maintain the equipment better, but also help you identify if there is a problem. The parts of a spa are similar to the parts of a larger swimming pool, but with a few exceptions. Let's discuss how a spa works and what functions each part serves.

How a Spa Plumbing System Works

You first use the control system to choose the action you want the spa to perform. Then, the spa pump circulates water through the inner plumbing system, sending the water through the filter first. Once the water passes through the filter, it's then pushed through the heater or heating element, followed by the spa ozonator or other sanitizer system. Finally, filtered, sanitized water flows out the spa jets. Below is a more detailed description of what each part of your spa does.

Spa Control Systems

Spa control system

As the brain of your spa, the control system manages everything that happens in your spa, including jet power, water temperature, lighting, aeration/bubbles, and more. Thanks to recent advancements in technology, spa controls are easier to use and more interactive than ever. Some controls even have the ability to communicate directly with your smartphone via Bluetooth, giving you ultimate remote access.

Most modern hot tubs have LCD displays or digital touch screens, and some even have control pads you can mount inside your home for more convenient spa management. Some older hot tubs have mechanical turning knobs or pneumatic air buttons as their topside control panel. No matter which style you have, the control panel connects to an internal control system, also called the spa pack, situated within the spa cabinet. The spa pack often houses the heating element and primary power circuit board, which directs every function within the hot tub.

filter cartridges are important parts of a spa

Spa Pumps and Filters

Similar to swimming pool pumps, spa pumps circulate water throughout the entire spa. These pumps consist of two main components, the wet end (which houses the impeller and handles the water) and a dry end (which contains the motor to turn the impeller). The pump draws water from suction ports, like main drains and skimmers, sending the water through the filter. As the water flows through, the filter cartridge traps dirt and debris before sending the clean water back into the tub through the jets.

Spa Ozonators

Many of the newer luxury hot tub models have an ozonator built in to help reduce dependency on sanitizer chemicals. The addition of a spa ozonator is an eco-friendly, efficient, and safe sanitizing solution for your spa. Ozonators produce ozone gas, which works in conjunction with the bromine or chlorine sanitizer in your spa to maximize the water's cleanliness. Ozone gas destroys microorganisms, harmful chemicals, and even frees up chlorine and bromine molecules. After the ozone gas takes care of the contaminants in your water, it breaks down into oxygen. If your hot tub has an ozone system, the water will pass through before returning to the hot tub.

spa jets

Spa Jets

Arguably the most enjoyable part of the entire spa, jets come in a variety of styles and functions. While spa jets are relaxing and therapeutic, they also serve a very important function in your spa. Jets are a key component of your hot tub's water circulation system, keeping the water moving and working after passing through the pump and filter.

Spa Air Blowers

Also known as air pumps or bubblers, spa air blowers create fun, soothing bubbles in your spa. An air blower is comprised of an air pump and a fan. These parts work together to send air through the spa plumbing and release bubbles into the water. While air blowers are not the same as spa jets, they work alongside jets to increase the pleasant and relaxing experience of the spa.

Understanding the parts of your spa or hot tub, as well as how they work together, is an important part of spa ownership. Knowing what each component does can make identifying a problem easier and save you the headache of a major repair. Whether you're a new spa owner or an experienced hot tubber, the pool and spa experts at Leslie's are here to help. Stop into your local Leslie's to speak with one of our associates about spa care today!

Essential Products

Spa Parts & Equipment

Spa Parts

Spa Jets

Spa Jets

Spa Controls

Spa Controls

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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.