Why Are My Bathtub Jets Not Working? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Having a jetted tub can be an awesome addition to any home. The ability to soak and relax during a bath can completely change the way that you view your tub. But there is a chance that something could go wrong, and the jets will stop working.

Your bathtub jets won’t work if the pump fails or the water intake area is clogged. Clear debris from the filter and plumbing line if your bathtub jets won’t work. Bathtub jets won’t work if the water level is wrong or if the jet nozzles are dirty.

So, what do you do when the jets aren’t working properly? Use this guide to troubleshoot the various issues that can creep up and get your bathtub working again the way that it was meant to. Depending on the level of issue with your bathtub, the fix can be relatively easy.

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Before You Start

Before you get started on trying to figure out the issue with your jetted tub, it’s a good idea to have the user manual on hand. If you didn’t keep it when you purchased the tub, there is a good chance that you can find a downloadable version of that user manual online, often through the manufacturer.

Having the manual on hand can be a great reference tool as you attempt to troubleshoot the various potential issues that the bathtub may have. Give yourself all of the tools needed to figure out the problem and get it done in short order.

Check the Power Supply

If your jetted tub won’t turn on or the pumps aren’t starting up at all, there is a good chance that there is an issue with the power supply or the wiring. Start by turning the tub off and ensuring that it is connected to a power supply. Verify that the breaker hasn’t tripped and that the power supply is working properly.

A good way to troubleshoot this is to make sure that the “on” button has been completely depressed. Far too often, users will realize that the button hasn’t been pushed in all the way, resulting in a jetted tub that is not operational.

You will also want to check out the voltage level of your pump; this will be covered in the user manual. If there’s voltage and your tub’s jets aren’t working, the pump is likely broken, and you will need to replace it. If there is no voltage, the pump has no connection to your power supply and will need to be reconnected.

Check the Water Level

There are some jetted tubs where the jets will not work unless the bathtub has a sufficient water level to. Check out your user manual to find out what the required water level is and make sure that your tub’s water level meets that requirement.

Fixing the jets could be as simple as filling the tub up so that the water level exceeds the requirements. If the jets still won’t work, you can feel confident that the water level is not the issue and you can move on to other potential issues.

Clogged Air Problem

Another possible problem is that there may be clogged air in the filter and plumbing line. Start by letting out any trapped air from those two components. If you have recently drained your tub, there is a chance that you may have what is known as an air lock.

Turn off your tub and find the bleed screws at the top of the filter and the end of the pump, loosening them as you go. When you’ve properly loosened those screws, turn the tub on. Repeat this a few times so that the jets can properly function as they were meant to once again.

Look for Any Obstructions

Another common reason that a jetted tub’s jets may not be working is due to an obstruction. Even if the tub seems to be working normally, there is a chance that you may not be getting the proper amount of pressure than you would normally get.

In this case, turn the power off, find the pump and examine it. Your user’s manual should have a second about obstructions; use this as your guide for checking out the pump and filter for any potential clogs. A good test for the filter in particular is to run the tub without that filter. If the pressure improves, you can feel confident that the filter is either clogged or dirty.

Try cleaning the filter (make sure to check manual specifications first) and then returning it back into the tub to see if that fixes the issue. Also, check for a potentially broken impeller, as well as any leaking cracks or broken valves that might be bringing down the amount of water pressure.

Potentially Closed Jets

Maybe you’ve got an instance of some jets working while others do not. If this is the case, there is a chance that some of the jets could be closed. Take the time to ensure that all of the jets are opened or adjust them according to the specifications of the user manual.

When you are looking at the jets, take a look for any obstructions in the nozzles or any potentially loose seals. Depending on their condition, you might have to repair or replace them accordingly. The manual should be able to walk you through the process.

Clean the Bathtub Jets

Another reason that your bathtub jets could be improperly functioning is that it is overly dirty. When that is the case, make sure that you clean out all of the jets accordingly. All you need to do is fill the tub up using hot water and make sure that all of the jets are completely covered with at least 2 inches of water.

Add ¼-cup of dish detergent into the water and turn the jets on. Let them run for 15 minutes or so (but not way too long) to allow the detergent to work out all of the debris and dirt that can build up in the jets. When the process is done, drain out the water and fire up the jets once again.

How To Clean A Jetted Tub

Can You Tell if the Pump is Bad?

A defective pump is one of the most common reasons for your bathtub’s jets to not work. But how do you see the signs of a bad pump before everything stops working? Thankfully, there are a few signs that will give you the head’s up that your pump isn’t working properly.

If you hear a humming noise, it is because the motor isn’t turning properly, the shaft is frozen, a defective starting capacitor, or a potentially damaged pump. Likewise, you may notice that there are leaks under the pump; this is the result of a failure to seal. It is imperative that the pump seals

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Are Jetted Tubs Sanitary?

Yes, absolutely. There is no water that sits in the pipes and the water properly drains so that there isn’t a chance for the bacteria to build up. Not only that, but the heat can kill any bacteria that may be growing in the tub as a result of external factors.

It is a good idea to clean somewhat regularly, though, as there can be a film of gunk and debris that can make the water in your jetted tub look a bit unsightly. You can use several household cleaners to get the job done or you can get a cleaner that is specific to cleaning tubs and hot tubs.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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