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Replacing Your WaterWay Pump Seal

Unfortunately, it happens to most spa owners from time to time: you’re planning to relax and enjoy a few stolen moments in your investment, only to notice water around your equipment pack or pooling under your pump. Is your pump leaking? If so, you may need a replacement.

While the pump can leak from a few different places, the seal is typically where the trouble begins. Seals wear out over time and leaking is a common problem. Luckily, replacing the hot tub waterway pump seal isn’t as complicated as you might think, but does require following a few steps. If you’ve looked over the pump, and you’re sure you’ve correctly identified that your hot tub pump seal is leaking, here’s what to do.

Hot Tub Pump Seal Replacement

If your spa has 2 pumps, it’s advisable to consider replacing both pump seals now to avoid the possibility of having to do this again in the near future.

Before doing anything, disconnect all power to the spa. Remove the access door to the equipment area and unplug the motor at the electrical control can. Close the slice valves on both sides of your pump if your spa has them. (Otherwise, drain the spa.) Unscrew the unions on the pipes that come out of the pump. Don’t worry if you see water, some spilling is normal. Loosen any mounting bolts and remove the pump assembly from the equipment box.

Before doing anything, disconnect all power to the spa. Remove the access door to the equipment area and unplug the motor at the electrical control can. Close the slice valves on both sides of your pump if your spa has them. (Otherwise, drain the spa.) Unscrew the unions on the pipes that come out of the pump. Don’t worry if you see water, some spilling is normal. Loosen any mounting bolts and remove the pump assembly from the equipment box.

  • Large flathead screwdriver
  • Large flathead screwdriver
  • Philips head screwdriver
  • 1/4” socket.
    • 1. First, loosen the screw and remove the shroud.

    • 2. Next, loosen the 4 thru-bolts.

    • 3. Pull the bolts back a few inches, but there is no need to remove them.

    • 4. Remove the 8 screws on the front case.

    • 5. Remove the front plate.

    • 6. Grab the impeller with one hand. Use the flathead screwdriver to hold the large socket at the other end of the motor. It takes a bit of patience, but you should be able to stop the shaft from turning and loosen the impeller by hand. Do not loosen the socket, just the impeller.

    • 7. Remove the impeller and back plate from the shaft.

    • 8. Separate the impeller from the back plate.

    • 9. Using a flathead screwdriver, carefully pry the old seal out of the impeller seat.

    • 10. Slightly lubricate the shaft and rubber seal with pump lube or a mild liquid detergent from the kitchen, and install the new assembly as shown. Try to avoid touching the white surface.

    • 11. Using the screwdriver again, push the spring assembly out of the back plate.

    • 12. Wipe the spring assembly seat with a clean rag to remove all dirt and debris.

    • 13. Slightly lubricate the spring body with pump lube or a mild liquid detergent from the kitchen as shown

    • 14. Push the spring assembly firmly back into its seat. Try to avoid touching the smooth surface with your fingers by using paper or cloth.

    • 15. Wipe the white ceramic disc seat and face of the spring assembly with a clean rag, again to remove any fingerprints or other oils.

    • 16. Remove the large O-Ring, clean its seat, lubricate the ring, and replace. Use a new O-Ring if the old one shows any sign of wear.

    • 17. Reinstall the thru-bolts and back plate.

    • 18. Thread the impeller assembly onto the shaft until it begins to spin. Use the screwdriver again to stop the shaft from spinning, and hand tighten the impeller until it’s snug.

    • 19. Re-attach the front plate.

    • 20. Reinstall the shroud.

    • Reinstall the pump, open the check valves if your spa has them, or refill the spa. Turn the power on at the GFCI.

      Remember, never run your pumps dry. Pumps should only run with water in the spa or there is a risk of damaging the seal and overheating the motor.

      Pump seals may take time to “seat” themselves, so don’t be surprised if there is a small amount of dripping water for about ½ a day.

    Now that you’ve gone through the trouble of replacing your waterway pump seal, you probably want to know how to avoid doing it again in the future. Here are a few preventive measures that can help you get the most out of your new seal.

  • Never run your pump dry
  • Be sure to keep the proper level of water in your spa at all times.
  • Keep water chemistry balanced.
  • Practice routine pump maintenance.

  • If you’ve only read through the steps to replace your hot tub Waterway pump seal and you’re thinking it looks a little too complicated, give us a call. Our team of professional technicians is always here to help answer your questions and guide you through the process.