In nature, wind naturally moves bodies of water, so they’re constantly flowing. There’s a good reason that most streams, oceans, and lakes have natural circulation. It keeps water fresh and at a consistent temperature. Your hot tub also benefits from having constant circulation. Just as wind does in nature, a circulation pump cleans and moves the water even when you’re not using it so you can enjoy the fresh and warm water.

Learn the many benefits of having a circulation pump on your hot tub and how to troubleshoot your pump when it’s not working correctly.

What Is Water Circulation?

Water circulation is a necessary part of hot tub maintenance that keeps your hot tub water moving through a circulation pump. The pump attaches to your hot tub filter. This freshens your water between the times you replace your hot tub water and between hot tub uses.

Your hot tub uses two types of water circulation—jet pumps and circulation pumps.

When you’re in the hot tub, your water uses the jet pumps to circulate the water faster. Then, a circulation pump uses low speed for a gentle and quiet circulation between uses for all the benefits of water circulation without using too much energy.

Why Does Water Need to Circulate?

Water circulation keeps your water in motion, even when you’re not using it, so it doesn’t sit stagnantly. 

Stagnant water is more prone to bacteria growth and buildup. This can lead to more work and maintenance. You’ll need to clean your hot tub more regularly, like removing algae and other contaminants from the water’s surface before using the hot tub.

Keeping a gentle movement also improves water quality by evenly distributing hot tub chemicals. The circulation pump then pushes water through your filter, cleaning out bacteria. That way, the hot tub is sanitary and ready whenever you want to relax.

Should My Circulation Pump Run Constantly?

If you want to experience all the benefits of a circulation pump, you’ll need it running constantly. By running it even when you’re not using it, you avoid bacteria growing on the surface, regularly clean out harmful particles, and keep the water warmer. That way it takes less time and energy to warm up your hot tub.

Troubleshooting Poor Circulation

When your circulation pump isn’t working correctly, you’ll notice some of these signs of poor water circulation:

  • Algae or dirt on top of the water
  • Cloudier than usual water
  • Little or no water movement through the filter
  • Too much noise (Water circulators should be quiet, so grinding or loud noises are a sign of an issue)
  • An error code or light on the circulation pump

If you notice any of these signs, here are potential reasons and how to fix them:

The Water Is Too Hard

If your water is too hard it can cause calcium or lime deposits on your pump. These can cause the pump to make loud noises or stop working altogether. Cloudy water can be a sign of hard water. You can also use a water test to determine your water hardness.

If scale deposits occur, you can gently clean your pump after unplugging it or request professional hot tub maintenance to safely perform a thorough check for buildup and clean the pump.

Your Filter Needs to Be Cleaned

Sometimes the cause of poor circulation isn’t the pump but the filter. If your pump sounds and looks normal, check your filter for buildup or clogs that might prevent water from moving through it.

If your filter looks damaged or clogged, clean or replace it depending on its condition.

There Is Air in the Line

Pumps sometimes get air caught in their lines, especially when you switch out your hot tub water. This can interfere with your circulation and cause the pump to make louder than normal sounds.

If your pump has an air bleeder knob, you can release the air by loosening the knob. However, you may also have to manually take the pump out and push the air out.

The Pump Is Malfunctioning

A well-maintained pump should last five to ten years, if not longer. However, sometimes the pump may run into mechanical issues. If so, you’ll need a professional to repair it. Contact us to set up service.

Remember, when diagnosing your pump, always unplug the pump first to prevent any additional damage and avoid hurting yourself.

The ClearRay® Bulb Needs To Be Replaced

ClearRay® Active Oxygen® Technology is a water disinfectant system used in Sundance®
Spas hot tubs that utilizes UV-C light to destroy contaminants and waterborne pathogens present in the water. Once water enters the ClearRay® System, 99.9% of water-borne bacterial and viral DNA is destroyed. Replacing the ClearRay® Bulb annually is crucial to maintaining its effectiveness. Replacing your ClearRay® bulb is important to ensure that your hot tub water remains clean and clear.

Add Water Circulation to Your Hot Tub

Circulating your hot tub water increases your enjoyment and the longevity of your hot tub. If your hot tub didn’t have a circulation pump, consider adding one to improve your water quality.

Is your water pump not performing as it should? Our professionals at Great Bay Spa & Sauna can help.

Contact us for water circulation pump maintenance and repair so you can enjoy the full benefits of water circulation.