Spa pumps, sometimes referred to as hot tub pumps, are pumps that transport water in a hot tub. In hot tubs, spa pumps are responsible for keeping the water bubbling which gives the illusion of moving water in the hot tub.
Spa pumps are usually either single speed pumps or two-speed pumps which are also called variable speed pumps. The pumps power the water jets at high speed, but circulate water at low speed. Spa pumps that have the ability to power the jets and circulate the water at the same time, are the two-speed or variable speed pumps.
Tubs which have single pumps usually need to have two of them because they need one for powering the motor and the other one to circulate the water at lower speed. The circulation pumps consume less energy than the pumps needed to power the jet.
Small variable speed pumps operate at 100 gallons per minute and even more, while the more powerful pumps can power as much as 260 gallons per minute. When a hot tub has only a single speed spa pump, the second pump has to be one of higher energy than the single speed pump.
Every pump, including spa pumps, has the wet part and the dry part. The wet part refers to the parts of the pump that are allowed to come in contact with water. These wet parts are parts of the pump that will not get damaged by water. For example, the suction part of the pump, the impellers and the propellers. The dry part on the other hand are the parts of the spa pump that will get damaged if they come in contact with water. Parts like the motor fall under the dry end category. The motor of the spa pump is housed inside an enclosure that prevents water from getting to the motor as this is the main power house of the pump.
When choosing a spa pump for your hot tub, you need to consider its horsepower, its speed, the voltage it requires to function, maintenance of its wet and dry ends and the discharge orientation of the pump.
Some spa pumps require 110-120 volts to power their motor. Others need 220-240 volts to power their mother, depending on the number of wires present in the control box of the pump. Typically, spa pumps that require less voltage to start their motor usually have only two wires in their control box ( green and white), while those that require 220-240 volts to power them, usually have up to four wires (green, red, white and black) in their control box.
The horsepower of your pump is also another important factor that determines the functionality of a spa pump. Spa pumps typically vary from ¾ horsepower to 5 horsepower. It is important to note pumps with larger horsepower would require larger pipes to function properly. Hence, the pipe work of the hot tub containing the spa pumps should be constructed having the horsepower in mind.
The discharge orientation of your pump is another important factor you need to check when getting a spa pump or replacing your old one. Although most spa pumps have their discharge outlet on top or at the sides, there is usually provision for you to turn the outlet in whichever direction best suits your needs.
Spa pumps are a necessary part of the hot tub components and a hot tub without spa pumps is no different from an ordinary bath tub.