Relaxing in your hot tub is a great way to relax. When your water temperature is running too hot or too cold, this is usually an indication of a hot tub heater problem. Learning how to spot and troubleshoot the rare problems with the electric heater in your spa can save you time, money and frustration. Here are a few telltale signs and solutions when your hot tub's water temperature issues could be linked to your hot tub heater. A common solution to problems with your spa heater is to turn it off, letting it sit for a while, then restarting the whole system. If the problem doesn't correct itself, try some of the hot tub heater troubleshooting tips below.

Water Is Too Hot
•    If the water is too hot to the touch, the problem may be as simple as checking the temperature setting and adjusting the thermostat. The standard recommended water temperature is 104 degrees F.
•    If the heating cycle is too long, the water temperature may continue to rise, even when the heater pump is off. To correct the problem, reduce the heating or filtration cycle.

Water Won't Reach the Desired Temperature
•    If the cover is off, cold weather and a stiff breeze can prevent your hot tub from heating up properly. Try putting the cover on and waiting an hour to allow the spa heater to do its job. If it has been quite some time since you changed or cleaned your hot tub filters, this is a good time to do so.
•    Check for scale build-up on the heater. Clean off the heater. If it runs like this for quite some time, it may burn out and will eventually need to be replaced.

Heater Is Not Working
•    One sure sign that the heater is not working at all is if the water is lukewarm or cool to the touch. It may warm slightly after you get in, but this is often due to body heat – especially if there are several people in the spa.
•    If the thermostat isn't set to a high enough temperature, the hot hub heater won't kick on. Before assuming it's broken, try adjusting the temperature setting on the thermostat and waiting a few minutes.

Is It Really the Heater?
•    If you have no heat, it may well be your that your hot tub heater has run its full life cycle. The electric heater element or filament may have burned out. This can happen if you have run your spa with very little water present or no water at all. It can also be a result of running your heater with no water flow – often caused by a faulty flow pressure switch or a debris blockage.

You can order one of the hot tub heaters for your brand and model here using our Hot Spring Watkins Parts Search. If you're not comfortable with making electrical repairs, you may want to call a professional.