Last Updated on December 14, 2020
A few of the most commonly heard issues from consumers of hot tubs are the noise generated by its usage.
To many it may seem that there is something wrong, however, this mostly has to do with poor noise insulation used to manufacture these tubs.
Quality insulation material used for manufacturing tubs is often found in premium hot tubs. If you do not own one, then there is nothing to worry about.
You can fix the noise generated by your hot tub simply by using DIY tools that are easily available at your local store. These include a spray insulating foam which can help create a dense layer on the outskirts of the tub and fiberglass panels that can condense the noise generated from the water pump.
To understand this from different scenarios, let’s dissect this issue into various sub-headings.
What Makes Hot Tub Noisy in General?
A hot tub is made of various mechanical parts that work together to help bring a pleasant experience for the users. When these parts move or become operational, they generate noise which can at times be a nuisance. If you have placed your tub on a wooden floor, you are more likely to hear noise when it is turned on.
You may have noticed often a time that when your hot tub is heating the water, that is when it generates the most amount of noise. This is generally the case because the pump and the heater work together to make the water warm.
Scientifically, the noise generated by most hot tubs varies between 41 and 67 decibels. For comparison, the amount of noise generated by trains is 110 decibels. This means that hot tubs are almost half as loud as a train.
You can, however, reduce this noise by keeping it at a distance or in a room that is properly insulated. The noise will still be generated but it will not be audible because the insulation system will absorb most of it.
Related Read: Why Can’t I Just Drain And Refill My Inflatable Hot Tub?
How to Handle Noise Complaints From Your Hot Tub?
Noise is normally generated from three mechanical parts in a hot tub. These include water pumps, bearings, and breakers. To address it, you need to diagnose the part that is generating noise and then address it through DIY fixes or replacing it altogether.
If you hear a grinding noise from the hot tub, that typically means that your water pumps may go out of service at any moment. Whenever water pumps depict an inappropriate behavior, that is usually an indicator of a tripped breaker. Before you do any electrical repairs, we highly recommend you to wear safety goggles, rubber gloves, and rubber boots.
To troubleshoot a tripped breaker, try disconnecting the heater first and flip it on. If the breaker still trips while the heater is disconnected, disconnect the pump from your hot tub and flip the breaker. If the breaker does not trip this time, it means that your spa pump is damaged.
You may also consider testing the fuse while you are troubleshooting a tripped breaker. Sometimes, a bad fuse can lead to tripping problems which can be easily replaced by a new one. Further, you should also cross-check the voltage of your motor. Sometimes a bad motor can also cause tripping problems. If the voltage delivery is within the prescribed range but the motor is not operational, this means that the tub’s motor needs replacing.
Related Read: Can I Clean My Hot Tub Without Draining It?
How Do I Reduce the Noise in My Hot Tub?
You can reduce the noise in your tub through the application of Spray Foam Insulation in the wall cavities. This makes the outer surface thick which enables sound absorption, thereby resulting in less noise during the pumping and heating process.
Before we jump into the realm of DIY tools that you can use to reduce the noise, let us first discuss user acceptance. While you are making a hot tub purchase, please carry a noise reader with you. This will help you in evaluating tubs that do not meet your preference criteria so you can simply drop them from your list. Also, if you do not have a decibel reader, just inspect the tub yourself. If you feel the noise generated from the tub is exceptionally loud, consider purchasing a tub made of high-quality insulation material.
But if you have already made the purchase and there is no going back, let us introduce the first contender that will solve your problem. The infamous, and one and only, “Spray Foam Insulation”. Yes! It comes in a spray bottle with a nozzle that can emit magical droplets on the outer surface of your tub which makes the surrounding dense, thereby, helping reduce the noise levels that bounce off it into your ear-drums.
The Spray Foam Insulation is a good solution but it does not offer you protection for a longer period. Also, you might get tired after the initial application since it is hard to press and apply on a hot tub.
On the contrary, if you are looking for a more long term solution, then make use of fiberglass for surrounding the compartment where the actual mechanical parts are operating. Leave some space for the air to circulate otherwise you might end up with a dead pump.
Fiberglass is easily available in utility stores and it can be easily cut using a sharp scissor. When the cutting has finished, you can attach the pieces to form a rectangular compartment open from the bottom half to cover the mechanical parts.
Whatever you do, never keep your hot tub on wooden flooring as it creates vibrations that lead to added noise levels.
How to Soundproof a Hot Tub?
You can soundproof your hot tub by placing it on a deck that is made from thick rubber and by ensuring that all the mechanical parts are properly mounted inside. Also, you can cover your equipment with sound-proof material to prevent sound from traveling long distances.
As an alternative, to sound-proof your hot tub, I have come up with a two-step process that can significantly reduce the sound to a point of no return.
Use a Spray Foam to Soundproof Your Hot Tub
Purchase a spray foam from your nearby utility store and apply it in tub cavities. This will make the outer surface denser which helps in sound absorption. Just be careful while applying the spray foam as you do not want to apply it on mechanical parts that tend to become hot as a result of operations.
If you end up applying it on any of the mechanical parts that become hot over time, use isopropyl alcohol and apply it on a piece of cloth to clean the foam. Make sure to let the mechanical parts dry off before using the hot tub.
Use a Fiberglass for Soundproofing
Purchase fiberglass or fiberglass panels and cut them into pieces following the dimensions of the tub. Once that is done, use a tape or glue solution to stick those sheets together to form a four-dimensional compartment that will cover the mechanical parts inside the hot tub.
Make sure to leave some room for air to ventilate properly otherwise the pumps or the heater may get damaged due to rising temperatures in the compartment.
Can You Soundproof a Hot Tub Motor?
You can make your hot tub motor soundproof by filling up the tub cabinet with foam, covering it up with insulation, or simply by spraying it. Caution, however, should be exercised to ensure proper ventilation inside to ensure the longevity of the motor’s life.
Have you seen air-condition outlets affixed outside the outskirts of your house wall? You may have noticed that they are wrapped with a grey colored material using tape. Have you wondered what is the purpose of covering these outlets? That is to minimize the noise produced by these outlets. The greyish material used to cover these is called an “insulated blanket”.
If air-condition outlets can be covered using an insulated blanket then why not we cover all the mechanical parts of a hot tub by using them? The idea is great and some-what safe to use and implement as well. However, you need to first test a few dynamics of your water pump and heater.
Using a thermometer or a camera that measures heat emissions, check the temperature of your water pump and heater in idle mode and operational mode. Once noted, apply the insulated blankets on the water pump and the heater. If the temperature output does not vary significantly after application of these blankets and stays below a hundred-degree Celsius, then it is safe to use them. Make sure to wrap it up carefully by making use of electrical tape.
If you want to further dampen the sound throughput, then you can create a four-dimensional compartment using fiberglass and cover the motor which is wrapped up in the insulated blanket.
To go a step further, you can make use of mass loaded vinyl that easily attaches itself to the compartment made from fiberglass. These can be easily purchased from a local utility store.
Whichever option you choose to make your hot tub soundproof, ensure to keep some space between the material you are using and the mechanical parts so that they have enough room to circulate the air and operate within their confined spaces.
Replacing a Loud Hot Tub Motor
To replace a loud hot tub motor you need to get hold of your tub’s dimensions, motor’s voltage, amperage, frame size, and discharge orientation.
In details, these terminologies are pivotal to get hold of due to the following reasons:
- Voltage: All mechanical parts operating inside a hot tub have a chemistry that is correlated in nature. Fitting a tub motor that demands higher voltage may require a power supply with higher offerings. The current power supply of a hot tub may not be sufficient enough to power up a more demanding hot tub motor.
- Amperage: Like voltage which is a measure of pressure that allows electrons to flow, amperage is a measure of the volume of electrons. The wiring inside your hot tub should be compatible to allow the new tub motor to function appropriately without any hiccups.
- Frame size: You do not want to purchase a motor that will not fit inside the hot tub. Measure the dimensions where the mechanical parts of a hot tub are stored before purchasing a new motor.
- Discharge orientation: Check the positioning of your old motor to evaluate the direction in which cavities are present.
- Plumbing size: Evaluate the number of water fittings that are connected to the motor. A high-speed motor typically requires a shorter distance so that it is highly effective and efficient in operations.
- Any name brands on the assembly: If there are any branded parts used inside your hot tub, it is recommended to buy the same as a replacement. This is because they are factory-tested and recommended by hot tub manufacturers.
If all of the above checks are met by your choice of motor, then you should make the purchase and install it as a replacement for the old motor. In the event where plumbing size is not compatible, you can get in touch with a plumbing company with a picture of the motor and your hot tub model so that they can manufacture customized pipes for the proper installation of the new motor.
If your budget is not restricted, it is recommended to go for brands like Waterway and AquaFlo pumps as they are known for their outstanding delivery. However, if you still want to purchase a quality pump, you can go for HydroMaster which is also a superior alternate.
Time to Wrap-up!
I hope that all the basics and the advanced mechanics of “sounds from a hot tub” are covered in this article. To reiterate, never put your tub on a wooden floor. If you do so, none of the above-mentioned steps is going to reduce the sound emitted by hot tubs.
Keep it on tiles or marble flooring, apply insulating foam, make a compartment out of fiberglass, and cover the mechanical parts with an insulated blanket.
Let me know which of the above steps helped you in reducing sound coming from your hot tub.