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How To Replace a Hot Tub Blower

The hot tub blower provides the champagne-like air bubbles that make a Jacuzzi or spa come to life.  Hot tub manufacturers do not make their own blowers, but source quality components for this job.  If the blower goes out, then it is usuallly best to replace the entire blower as the brushes and other parts can get worn down over time. 

Causes of Blower Malfunction

bloweroutput.jpgThe air blower takes in the cabinet air from your spa and blows it through dedicated air injectors into the spa shell. The air rises as bubbles in side the hot tub giving you that pringly sensation.  Now water and air are mixing, so the challenge to hot tub manufacturers is to prevent the hot tub water from finding its way back into the blower.  

This is done with a Hartford Loop which is a sequence of plumbing parts, part of which rise above the water line to use the gravity method of preventing water seepage back into the blower.  Closer to the blower, a check valve, or one way valve is usually found in the plumbing line to provide a final safety gate so that air can flow into the plumbing, but water cannot flow back into the blower.

If water should find its way into the blower, chances are the blower motor will short out.  Water can also find its way into the blower by accumulated condensation.  In any case, if the motor is gone, it is time to replace the blower.

Horse Sense
Warning: Working on your own appliances, cars, covered wagons and hot tubs as well as anything else electrical or mechanical carries with it severe risk of injury or property damage. These tips and suggested procedures are free and for informational purposes only. Proceed at your own risk. It is best to use the services of an electrician or tech. Hot Tub Outpost is not liable for any damage or injury that may result.

Hot Tub Blower Replacement

Caveat: hot tub repairs should only be performed by experienced persons because of the dangers of working with electricity, moving components and other items found in a hot tub that can cause severe injury or worse. 

The repair person will first test the blower to be sure the component actually needs replacing.  A test of the voltage supplied to the blower from the circuit board will confirm if the blower is receiving the 120 volts (if it is a 120v blower) or proper voltage.  If it is, but is not working or even causes the breaker to trip or a short circuit, then chances are the blower is bad.    Once determined that the blower is the culprit, the power is turned off to the spa and the breaker is shut off to avoid a nasty shock. 

To find the air blower, the access panel in the spa cabinet will need to be removed at the equipment bay. Sometimes the blower is under a different part of the spa skirt.  The blower will typically have a thicker air hose coming out of it and going to an air manifold.

bubbbles.jpgHave a look at the blower check valve - which prevents water from backing up into the blower - to be sure the area is dry.  Inspect the existing blower for moisture or dampness.  If water is found in the existing blower, then be sure to replace the check valve as well.  There is no point in ruining the new blower if the problem was water leakage due to a faulty or damaged check valve. 

Note these check valves are one way valves and there is a little arrow on them to show the direction of air flow. They should not be installed backwards or the air won't be able to leave the blower and water will be welcomed into the blower to quickly damage the new one.  So when replacing the air check valve, be sure it is installed the correct way.  You can also blow into the check valve to verify air flow direction if you can't see the little arrow on the side of the valve.

Blower Cords

blowercordstandard.jpgMake note of the blower connector. Sometimes it is a white AMP plug and sometimes it may be a gray MOLEX type plug or mini plug.  Many times, if the problem is not that a mouse or other critter chewed through the existing blower cord, the cord from the bad blower can be reused as that will fit perfectlly into the circuit board or spa pack.  If the cord is bad, be sure to order the correct cord type (length and plug style) as well.   A replacement spa blower from the Hot Tub Outpost comes standard with a white AMP plug and cord.

Steps to Replace a Spa Blower

1) Turn Spa Power Off - Make Sure Power is Off

2) Unplug Blower from Spa Pack or Circuit Board

3) Unscrew Blower if it is screwed to the floor of the spa

3b) Unscrew or unclamp blower from the air hose it is connected to

4) Remove Blower from spa and Set New Blower in its Place

5) Plug New Blower into Spa Pack or Circuit Board

6) Turn Power On and Test

Now enjoy your new air blower.

About Spa Blowers

These little air pumps are made up of a motor, cavity for pushing air and a fan blade that causes the air to move.  Note that most spa blowers operate at 120 volts (110v-120v) and that may be the case even if the spa operates at 230 volts.  In that case, there is a voltage divder on the circuit board or spa pack that supplies the blower with 110-120v.  Be sure to look at the existing spa blower's label to make sure the operating voltage of the replacement blower is correct.

Blowers will match up to your 1 1/2" or 2" air plumbing connection. Sometimes there is a set screw that holds the hose or pipe in place onto the blower end.  You can see how your current blower is mounted, and install the replacement unit the same way.

Blowers have horsepower ratings too and the most common is a 1 1/2HP or 2HP blower. 

Some spas allow for three speed blowers.  This is usually a function of the spa pack and circuit board, and not the blower itself.  The speeds are controlled by various voltages passed to the blower.

 

BLOWER TIPS

My blower was destroyed by water flowing into it from the blower channel.  I've replaced drained the water out of the blower line, and none appears to be coming out.  The blower has been working fine for the last couple of weeks.  Do I need to be concerned about water coming back into the blower again?

In most cases, you don't.   Water finding its way into the blower can be cause by a number of factors, and depending on how the blower loop (the loop that rises above the waterline to prevent this = Hartford Loop) is designed, you could probably consider it a rare occurence.
There are several things that can be done to prevent a destroyed blower again.

1.  Be sure your spa is connected to a GFCI.  If even the slightest bit of water creeps into the blower, it'll trip that thing in a second, and you should be able to figure out what's happening before the water has a chance to really damage the motor again.  (Let the blower sit disconnected for a few hours and let it dry out, or use a blow dryer to dry it out).

2.  Watch your water level!  Be sure that you keep your water level no higher than 1/2 way up the skimmer.  If you load up the spa with a lot of people, and water starts spilling over the side, then there's probably a good chance that you may flood the blower loop.  Then the last line of defense to protect the blower is just that one way spring loaded check valve.  If that fails, then water will get into it and a short circuit is imminent.

For those who want to go to more extremes: you could install a 2 inch PVC "T" at the blower port, with the bottom of the T plugged with a PVC plug, pointing downward, with a small 1/8" hole drilled into the plug.  Any water that gets past the loop and the check valve, will usually seep out the hole, or get blown out of it when the blower turns on.  This is an insider tip and is not really necessary but there if you are experience repeated problems with water getting into your blower.

For the techies:  Hot tub blowers come in 120v or 240v versions. If the blower voltage is not marked, you can see the amperage/motor rating/wattage on the label of the existing blower and then use the formula:  Watts/Amps = Volts.    So if blower is 265 Watts/2.3 Amps you get 115 volts which means it is a 110v-120v blower.  This to be sure you are hooking the blower up to a correct power source.  But in practise, if you plug the replacement blower into exactly the same place as you unplugged the existing blower from, then all should be fine (if your replacement blower is the same voltage as the existing blower!)

Get a replacement hot tub blower at Hot Tub Outpost.