How can I expand the life of my spa pump?

Spa pumps are the lifeline of your spa or hot tub and have the job of pumping water in and out of the shell. The pumping process mixes chemicals throughout the spa, filtering out any contaminants or debris, then runs through the heater and spa jets. Being the heart of your spa, the pump acts just as your body’s heart, by providing it with healthy maintenance that will help ensure a long productive life.

The Yin and Yang of Water

The first step to extending the life of your pump is regular maintenance. Ensuring that your spa has balanced water will prevent scale buildup and the erosion of your pool equipment. Balanced water is exactly what it sounds like – keeping a balance between the mineral components in your water. This balance will allow your sanitizer to work much more effectively while feeling softer and cleaner on your skin.

Testing your water balance can be done with simple test strips that will tell you if your pool has too much alkalinity/hard water (high pH) or too acidic/soft water (low pH). If you are new to the testing and balancing process visit our Guide to balancing your water article. High PH levels will cause scale build-up in and around the spa along with the pool pump and filter. This can cause your pump to work harder, making it less effective and ultimately reducing the overall lifespan of the pump. The opposite of this would be Low pH levels causing the water to become too acidic. This can be a big problem to not only the pump itself but all of the components of your spa, as it begins to corrode or eat away your spa equipment.

Keep Your Spa Free of Dirt and Debris

If your water pressure is low it may be due to debris building up in the filter or obstructions blocking the impeller from turning. It’s important to inspect your filter and spa for debris and clean it regularly. If the filter or impeller becomes blocked with debris your pump has to work harder, and like your heart, that will shorten its effective lifespan. If the “arteries” of your spa become clogged or blocked, it will definitely cause problems for the spa pump! To prevent this, regularly clean your filter and check for any buildup of debris within your spa.

Location, Location, Location

Be mindful of the location of your spa pump. Installing your pump in an area where dirt and debris collect can block airflow within your pump and cause the motor to overheat, shortening the lifespan of the unit. Another issue can be water around the pump. Water, believe it or not, can be detrimental to the life of the spa pump.

Once water gets into this area, it can’t decompress, and thus floods the equipment and requires the replacement of your spa pump. This makes it important to check for leaks on your pump. Often, leaks can easily be fixed by tightening a loose frame or o-ring.

At worst you may need to change a seal to ensure the end of the leak, but that’s still much more convenient than having to replace the entire pump.


Always keep an open ear for any humming, whining, or grinding noise as this can be the noise of worn-out bearings that need replacing. If this happens, check the bearings for any sign of corrosion or dirt that has built up. Replace the bearings if they appear to be worn.

When it comes to spa pumps, they naturally last from 5 to 10 years. The maintenance that goes into the spa and pump has a lot to do with the longevity of the pump.

Think of yourself as your spa’s personal trainer, responsible for keeping it healthy and productive. The better you take care of your spa equipment, the longer its helpful lifespan will be. It will run healthier and longer when correctly maintained. Not only will you get your pump to last longer if you follow these preventative measures, but you can enjoy your spa more, knowing that it’s clean, clear, and ready for fun and entertainment throughout the year.

If you have any questions about your spa’s pump give our knowledgeable staff a shout. We’d love to help you out with any questions you may have.