Hot Tub Circulation Pump Clicks But Won’t Start?


Hot tubs are some of the most popular relaxation activity people tend to use and it is always on the hype when it comes to the chill mood for all kinds of people around the world. But all the fun and excitement could be washed away if it doesn’t start, right? It is a major problem for the users of it. However, not a big bug yet in times it becomes. One common symptom is when the hot tub circulation pump clicks but won’t start.

This can be caused by a variety of issues, ranging from a faulty capacitor to a blocked impeller. There are some troubleshooting steps you can take to diagnose and fix the problem, without the need for a professional repair (to an extent) throughout this article we will explore some of the reasons why your hot tub circulation pump may be clicking but won’t start, and provide some tips on how to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

Key Takeaways

  • Take a quick look at how it actually works to understand better for further inspection of the hot tub.
  • There are some possible reasons which might find to find out why it is not working after clicking.
  • Take notes of the fixing methods and try to implement them accordingly and measure the maintenance.

Understanding the Workflow of Circulation Pump

Understanding the workflow of circulation pump

Before we dive into troubleshooting the hot tub, let’s take a moment to understand what the circulation pump does.  A circulation pump, also known as a recirculating pump, is a device used in a hot water system to continuously circulate the water in the hot water lines. This pump is usually installed at or near the water heater and it helps to keep hot water flowing to all parts of the household, including the hot water tub.

In a hot water tub, the circulation pump is essential as it ensures that the water remains hot and ready for use at any time. Without this pump, the water in the tub would become cold and users would have to wait for it to heat up again. The circulation pump saves water and energy by reducing the time and amount of water that is wasted waiting for hot water to flow from the water heater to the tub. Now let’s get into the possible causes that could make it stop working even if it takes the click start.

6 Reasons Why Circulation Pump Stops Working

There are several reasons why your hot tub circulation pump may be clicking but not starting. Here are some common causes to consider:

1. Power Issues

Power issues

If your circulation pump is not getting power, it won’t be able to start. Check your hot tub’s circuit breaker to see if it has tripped. If it has, reset it and see if the pump starts up. If the breaker continues to trip, you may have an electrical issue that needs to be addressed by a professional.

2. Blocked Impeller

Blocked impeller

The impeller is a small, spinning device inside the circulation pump that helps to move the water. If the impeller becomes blocked by debris or a buildup of minerals, it can prevent the pump from starting up. Check the impeller for blockages and clean it if necessary. It looks like a fan or water wheel. Sometimes tapping the pump can get the water circulating again. If that doesn’t work. To get sure about it mostly you’ll get no water at all.

3. Pump leaking water

Pump leaking water

Leaking water is also a sure sign that something is wrong. You may notice a related drop in water pressure along with this symptom. If you see rust on the exterior of the pump or nearby, you know the leakage has been going on for some time.

4. A Long Wait for Hot Water

A long wait for hot water

The purpose of a hot water recirculation system is to provide you with hot water faster, so if you find yourself waiting for hot water when you turn on the tap, there could be something wrong with your system. The pump is not working. If the pump fails, you’ll be waiting for the hot water to reach you from wherever you have the thankless water heater installed. You may need a new pump or your existing pump may need to be maintained.

5. Low Flow Rate

Low flow rate

Another reason could be that your pump is not compatible with your system. Many recirculation pumps have low flow rates which might not be powerful enough for your system. This problem is related to the problem with the bypass valve. The bypass valve opens when the hot water in the pipes cools, allowing the pump to push it into the cold line so the hot line can fill with freshly heated water. If the valve isn’t opening when it should, the water in the pipe will continue to cool and you’ll have to clear it out of the way when you turn on the tap.

6. Malfunction


If you get hot water instead of cold water when turning on the tap, the issue may not necessarily be with the pump in your hot water recirculation system. Instead, it’s possible that the bypass valve, which is responsible for keeping the hot water in the pipes when it’s heated up, is malfunctioning. The valve opens up and allows the cooled-down water to flow back into the cold lines, making way for newly heated water in the hot pipe. However, if the valve stays open when it shouldn’t, hot water could end up flowing into the cold line.

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4 Troubleshoot and Fixing for Hot Tub Circulation Pump

Now that you have an idea of what could be causing your hot tub circulation pump to click but not start, let’s walk through the troubleshooting process step by step:

1. Starting Issues

Starting issues

It is the first thing to start inspecting the pump for the hot water tub. Just start by checking to see if your hot tub breaker has tripped. In this case, if it happens you can try resetting it back to back. There’s another way to deal with this if this method doesn’t work at the first shot. Spot the side panel of your circulation pump and remove it to check the equipment.  Try stating it again to see if the breaker stumbles and if it does then cut the connection and reset again. However, if the issue still shows even if the breaker is not stumbled then it requires an expert inspection.

2. Turn on but Not Working

Turn on but not working

This problem usually occurs if the pump is clogged with junk. It can usually be in the impeller area. There are various reasons and one of them could be minerals like calcium, debris, etc. and they can make the impeller stop working. It could not be this same exact match however, to fix such issues by yourself you can turn off the power and clean out the pump as best you can. If the impeller still won’t move after you’ve cleaned it, it’s probably due for a replacement. You can clean out your filter since, debris could be stuck in it and causing the clog, impeding the flow of water back to the tub.

3. For Noise

For noise

Well, making noise for the circulation pump for a hot tub is not normal at all. It usually works without making much of any sound at all. Since there are many reasons for it to happen, and the most common one is, there could be trapped air somewhere in the filtration system. Generally, it happens after you’ve drained and refilled your hot tub, as the refill process can introduce an air bubble in the tub’s pipelines. If this is not the case, then the second reason could be the pump that randomly loses power which makes the motor stop. You try resetting again, it’ll work.

4. Weak Performance

Weak performance

If a pump suddenly underperforms with weak flow it is a sign that there’s either any leak or obstruction. By an airlock bubble, debris in the filter, or a clog in the pump’s impeller, can cause obstruction and to make things smooth you must maintain proper regular filtering. It’s also a good idea to use a line flush product to clean out the pipes and re-prime the pump so it can start pulling water again. Remember to keep the jets open during this cleaning process. And for leaks, the spot where the O-rings and rubber gaskets are and fix the joint there. It is simple and easy to do.

4 Maintenance Tips for Circulation Pump

To avoid running into circulation pump issues in the future, it’s important to practice regular maintenance on your hot tub. Here are some preventative measures you can take:

  • Clean the filters regularly
  • Check the water chemistry and adjust as necessary
  • Keep the water level at the appropriate level
  • Schedule regular maintenance with a professional hot tub technician

9 Common Problems of Hot Tub Circulation Pump

Along with the pump issues, there are some more problems that are commonly faced by the users of hot tubs around the world. Some of them are major and minor as well, it depends on the expertise, the problem level, and the availability of solving options.

  1. A faulty capacitor can cause the heat pump to make a clicking sound. This component provides the necessary electrical charge to the motor, and if it’s not working properly, the motor won’t start and the heat pump will make a clicking noise.
  2. Sometimes debris, such as twigs or leaves, can get stuck in the fan blades or other moving parts of the heat pump. This can cause a clicking noise as the debris obstructs the movement of the fan or motor.
  3. Over time, the bearings in the motor can wear down, causing the motor to make a clicking noise as it struggles to turn.
  4. Rapid temperature changes can cause the heat pump’s metal components to expand and contract, which can lead to clicking sounds.
  5. Some heat pumps make a clicking noise as a normal part of their operation. These sounds are usually not cause for concern.
  6. Issues with the fan blades or motor can cause the heat pump to make a clicking noise. The fan may need to be replaced or lubricated.
  7. Vibrations or wear and tear can cause components in the heat pump to become loose, resulting in a clicking sound.
  8. Very cold or very hot temperatures can cause the heat pump to make unusual sounds, including clicking.
  9. Obstructions or damage to the heat pump’s internal components can cause it to make clicking noises as it struggles to function properly.


1. Why is my hot tub making a clicking noise?

There are several reasons for that, It could be for improper water flow, or from the contractors.

2. How do I know if my hot tub circulation pump is bad?

There are several signs of hot tub pump failure, for instance, bearing noises, under-pump leaks, optional defects, and much more.

3. What happens when a circulation pump fails?

If the circulation pump fails, then water will not be able to circulate properly and will take longer to heat up.

Final Thoughts

For sure a clicking but non-starting hot tub circulation pump can be a frustrating issue to deal with but the methods we shared to inspect and fix would assist you to get it done you’re yourself whether you are a professional in this task or not. Those tips and methods are suitable e for all kinds of people. Remember to always follow proper safety precautions when working with your hot tub and its components, and don’t hesitate to call a professional if you’re unsure about any aspect of the repair process.

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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