How Do You Glue a Hot Tub Fitting?

If your hot tub water level keeps decreasing, you might think the heat is evaporating the water. That rationale falls flat when there’s a puddle around the cabinet that houses the tub’s plumbing. Whenever there’s a leak in your hot tub pipes, you should reach for the glue.

To glue a hot tub fitting, you must get PVC glue, locate the leak and saw a portion of the pipe off, cover the edges of the remaining pipe ends in the glue and add the fitting over the pipe. If the leak is in a previous joint, you can replace it with a tighter fitting.

In this article, you will learn how to glue a hot tub fitting in a step-by-step manner with a deeper dive into how you can

  • Get the appropriate glue for your hot tub pipes 
  • Find where the leak is
  • remove the leaking section
  • apply the right amount of glue over pipe edges
  • add the tub fitting over the pipe

Choose the Right Glue

The first step in gluing a hot tub fitting is to opt for the right glue. Safety and functionality are two dimensions on which you must judge the glue. You don’t want the glue to be unsafe, and you want to avoid glue residue in the water circulation. 

For this, you must opt for glue that’s not harmful to the human skin at any concentration and one that dries to produce zero residue upon contact with running water. This also feeds the practical aspect as you need glue that will cure with appropriate adhesion to hold together the fitting with the rest of the hot tub plumbing.

Here the best option is a pool primer used alongside regular PVC glue. The trick to getting zero residue adhesion is to let the hot tub sit unused after the hot tub fitting has been glued. The more time you give the glue to dry, the less glue will seep into the water that circulates through the specific area of the plumbing.

Locate the Leak

On the subject of plumbing areas, the next step is to locate the point where you need to glue the fitting. This is usually a point where there is a leak. In most cases, this is closer to the heat pump. The heat pump can compromise the integrity of a portion of the plumbing. Similarly, high-pressure water flow closer to the water filter can have a similar effect on the plumbing, though towards the joints. 

You’re either looking to place a fitting where a previous fitting has given way (happens at the joints closer to the filter pump) or want to see a piece of the pipe and add a fitting (happens closer to the heat pump). 

Either way, you have to bare the pipes and run the tub to see exactly where leaks occur. If the leak location isn’t visible, take a wet rag and add laundry detergent to it. Then rub the rag across the length of the pipe. When water goes through the plumbing, you can witness bubbles where the leak is located.

Please note that if your hot tub’s entire cabinet is covered in insulating foam, it is impossible to detect the leak or do anything with the plumbing. In such cases, it is advisable to get a fitting and glue, then call a pool professional to do the next steps unless you want to remove the entire insulating structure, which is rarely worth the trouble.

Saw the problematic portion of the pipe

Now that you’ve located the leak, you know that it falls into one of two categories. Either the body of a pipe is leaking, or the joint is leaking. This step is contingent on the type of leak. If the body of the pipe has a hole or a crack, then you will need to see the portion of the pipe that’s causing trouble. 

For this, make sure to take a quarter of an inch off the top and the bottom of the hole, but avoid making the gap too wide. If the gap is larger than the largest available hot tub fitting, you’ll need to attach a pipe portion with two smaller fittings. In most cases, leaks happen because of small holes, and sawing off an inch and a half is sufficient. A 2-inch fitting can be used to fix the pipe.

Remove the Previous Fitting

In case the leak occurs in the plumbing joint, you can skip the sewing part and instead remove the fitting. After this, the steps become the same as fixing a hot tub pipe that has a hole in it. In both cases, the fitting needs to be glued onto the main plumbing. 

However, you have one important decision to make before you partake in the rest of the recommended steps: are you going to replace the fitting? Here, you have to use your best judgment. If the reason why water was leaking out of the joint is that the joint is too wide, then you’ll need a narrower fitting. If the joint was improperly attached and you believe gluing it back on will fix the problem, you don’t need to purchase a new joint.

Apply PVC Glue to the Pipe and Place the Fitting on Top

This is the simplest step as you dab a thick layer of PVC glue on the exterior of the sawed-off edges of the pipes. The reason gluing the pipe and placing the fitting is consolidated into a single step is because the two activities are done back and forth. 

Once you cut the pipe, there are two ends. It is best to apply the glue to one end then place the fitting over it. Then you apply PVC glue to the second pipe-end and put the other open side of the fitting on top of the pipe. This takes a total of two repetitions with each side of the fitting and the corresponding pipe.

Final Thoughts

Gluing a hot tub fitting is like gluing anything over a PVC strip. You just have to be mindful of a few things. The most important steps to keep in mind are:

  • Get PVC glue 
  • Cut off only the section of the pipe that is leaking
  • Apply glue to the edges on which the fitting goes
  • Place the fitting on top and wait for the glue to dry.

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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