UPDATED: Jan 03, 2020.
It’s amazing how little we think about a hot tub pump when our spa or hot tub is working fine. But once the pump stops, you realize you are just sitting in a big, cold puddle. A hot tub pump is responsible for circulating water or in other words, creating a blast of pressure that makes the bath so wonderful.
But to get the best experience, you need to choose the best hot tub. If you don’t know how to choose the best pump for your hot tub, don’t miss out the next section as we review the very best hot tub pumps available on the market.
At a Glance: Our Top Choices for Best Hot Tub Pumps that Feature in This Guide:
- Spa Circulation Pump for Watkins Hot Tubs by Laing (Top Pick)
- Waterway Plastics 3722021-1D Executive Spa Pump (Top Rated)
- Hot Tub Submersible Drain Pump Portable (Editor Choice)
- Hot Tub and Swimming Pool Drain Pump
- HydroMaster Hot Tub Spa Pump Side Discharge
- Waterway Executive Spa Pump Side Discharge
- Gecko Alliance 06115000-1040 Flo-Master Spa Pump
- 1 Best Hot Tub Pumps Reviews
- 1.1 1. Spa Circulation Pump E5 – 74427 for Watkins: Hot Spring, Tiger River, Caldera Hot Tubs by Laing
- 1.2 2. Waterway Plastics 3722021-1D Executive 56 Frame 5 hp Spa Pump, 230-volt
- 1.3 3. Hot Tub Submersible Drain Pump Portable Water Pump Koi Pond Drain Pump
- 1.4 4. Professional EZ Travel Collection Hot Tub and Swimming Pool Drain Pump with Hose Pond/Flood Pump
- 1.5 5. HydroMaster 1.5 HP Hot Tub Spa Pump Side Discharge 2-Speed 48-Frame LX Motor 120V
- 1.6 6. Waterway Executive Spa Pump Side Discharge 56-Frame 2″ 4.0Hp 230V 2-Speed 3721621-1d
- 1.7 7. Gecko Alliance 06115000-1040 Flo-Master 1.5 HP 2 Speed 115V Xp2 Spa Pump
- 2 How Does A Hot Tub Pump Work?
- 3 Hot Tub Pump Buying Guide
- 4 What’s The Right Size In A Hot Tub Pump?
- 5 How To Install A Hot Tub Pump
- 6 Summing Up
Best Hot Tub Pumps Reviews
Following are the best hot tub pumps sold by different brands. Read the pros and cons of each one to decide which one would fit your hot tub:
1. Spa Circulation Pump E5 – 74427 for Watkins: Hot Spring, Tiger River, Caldera Hot Tubs by Laing
- Easy installation
- Works without noise
- You will enjoy more pressure out of the jets
- It’s smaller in size and lightweight
- It’s pricey
Spa Circulation Pump E5 – 74427 hot tub pump comes with increased capacity and performance as compared to its predecessors. The magnetic drive makes the pump start slowly in the water.
It is water lubricated so it should not be operated without water. In case the pump is run dry, there is an internal safety device that shuts down the unit automatically if it overheats.
2. Waterway Plastics 3722021-1D Executive 56 Frame 5 hp Spa Pump, 230-volt
- The unit consumes less energy
- Takes just 10 to 15 minutes to install
- It can last for a long time
- Does not make noise when turned on
- Some users haven’t found the pump durable
Waterway Plastics 3722021-1D Executive 56 Frame 5 hp Spa Pump would be a great addition to your spa. It has a versatile wet end which can also be rotated at 90 degrees.
It produces 220 GPM flow rate so you will be enjoying your soak to the last bit. The unit has 2 double shielded ball bearings that are moisture resistant. This guarantees a quieter operation.
To provide it with more strength, there is a 56 frame motor. This also makes its temperature cooler when the pump is working. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the life of the motor.
3. Hot Tub Submersible Drain Pump Portable Water Pump Koi Pond Drain Pump
- The design makes it easy to carry
- Extremely easy to use
- It’s a sturdy piece of equipment
- The last bit of water has to be manually scooped out
This unit can pump up to 2000 gallons of water in an hour. It has a universal hose fitting that can fit drain hoses from 1 inch to 1.25 inches. The pump requires very little work to operate. There is an overheat prevention mechanism that shuts it off automatically whenever the water line becomes low.
It will do its job within a few hours. However, you might have to scoop the last bit of water from your tub manually.
4. Professional EZ Travel Collection Hot Tub and Swimming Pool Drain Pump with Hose Pond/Flood Pump
- Fast and efficient at its job
- Extracts even the last bit of water
- Strong motor provides enough power to work
- Watch out for cheap materials
You can count on Professional EZ Travel Collection Hot Tub and Swimming Pool Drain Pump to drain 3700 gallons of water per hour. It’s fast and efficient.
Your hot tub will drain within a few minutes and the best part is it doesn’t leave any water behind that would require manual work. It’s all possible because of its folding bottom feet design.
There is an overheat prevention system that automatically shuts the machine when the water line is too low. The unit has a versatile design and it’s easy to carry too.
5. HydroMaster 1.5 HP Hot Tub Spa Pump Side Discharge 2-Speed 48-Frame LX Motor 120V
- Simple installation
- Nice water flow
- Powerful motor
- The pump might freeze unexpectedly
HydroMaster 1.5 HP Hot Tub Spa Pump is one of the premium quality hot tub pumps. It’s very simple to install. Just clock the pump in its place and wire it. It will be ready to use then. Even though it has 1.5 hp, you will still enjoy a nice water flow.
With 1.5 hp 2-speed, it produces 155 GPM. It’s a great replacement hot tub pump. Plus, you will get a 1-year warranty.
6. Waterway Executive Spa Pump Side Discharge 56-Frame 2″ 4.0Hp 230V 2-Speed 3721621-1d
- The wiring is simple
- Doesn’t make noise
- 4 hp makes it a powerful unit
- Watch out for shipment mishandling
Waterway Executive Spa Pump is designed for 56 frame motor. It has double shielded ball bearings that are moisture resistant grease to provide a longer lifespan and ensure quieter operation. For a higher head pressure, the unit has 6-1/2” diameter wet end.
Since it’s a side discharge pump, it has an opening on the side of the wet end. The water propels through the openings and flows out through the jets.
7. Gecko Alliance 06115000-1040 Flo-Master 1.5 HP 2 Speed 115V Xp2 Spa Pump
- Easy to assemble and fits perfectly
- Energy efficient
- You will enjoy a higher water flow
- Gets hot when running
- Produces noise
Gecko Alliance 06115000-1040 Flo-Master 1.5 HP 2 Speed 115V Xp2 Spa Pump is not just suitable for spas and hot tubs but above ground pools too. It has a side discharge operation and multiple drain locations.
The pump is easy to install and requires very little maintenance. It is designed in a unique way to deliver a higher flow rate. With 1.5 hp, the water flow rate is 140 GPM. Even with such an hp, you will enjoy a nice water flow.
How Does A Hot Tub Pump Work?
A pump is an essential element of a spa or a hot tub. No hot water will flow through the jets without it. The water would just sit still. The pump is responsible for circulating water in the hot tub. Through the filter, the heater and then the jets.
Some tubs have 2 pumps; one for filtering at a low speed and one for sending water through the jets at high speed. The high speed water, however, throws narrow jets so that you can enjoy a nice water pressure overall. This pump is usually powered by a motor.
Hot Tub Pump Buying Guide
When you are about to replace your hot tub pump, there are a few things you must consider. Perhaps the following information will help you look for the right pump:
You can use a pump with a different horsepower than what was originally used but that would change the pressure of the water. Usually, manufacturers choose the hp considering the number of jets in the hot tub or spa. Experts suggest not increasing by more than 1 level in the horsepower. That means if you had a pump with 4 hp, switching to 4.5 hp would be fine. Otherwise, your hot tub might not function properly.
Your hot tub pump is either going to have 1 speed or 2 speed. In case you are unable to locate the pump’s speed, it’s ok, you can tell that by how the pump supplies water to the jets. Push the bottom and see if the jets come on low. Push again; does it take the jets to a higher speed? If yes, then it means you have a 2 speed pump. You can also check the AMPS to determine the speed.
Pump frame is where the bolts fit and attach the wet end to the motor. The frame is mostly 48 or 56. Check the label. The alphabet “F” represents the frame size. If you can’t find the frame size on the unit, don’t worry, you can measure it yourself too. A 48 size frame is less than inches between the bolts whereas a 58 frame size is more than 4 inches between the bolts.
Before buying a new hot tub pump, you must check the voltage of the pump you are planning to replace. Check the label or the instruction’s manual of the pump for that. Remember that not all spas or hot tubs are wired for 240V. Some use pumps 120v. If you don’t check the voltage before buying the replacement pump, you might not be able to use it.
Size of the plumbing
This is the final most important thing you must consider when buying a replacement pump. Plumbing is responsible for taking water into and out of the pump. If you don’t have prior experience in buying a hot tub pump, you might get confused here.
Don’t measure the size of the hole on the wet end to determine the size of the plumbing. Instead, you must figure out the diameter of the PVC pipe within the spa. This size is what you must consider when looking for pump fittings and the pump itself.
Most of the hot tubs have the same size for intake and outtake pipe. It’s recommended to double check that though.
Once you have all this information, you are ready to shop for a replacement pump.
What’s The Right Size In A Hot Tub Pump?
Wondering how to determine the size of the pump? Don’t fret, the process is simple. You first need to look at the sticker regarding specs on your old pump. That should give you all the information you need to pick the right size. They are pretty much the same elements you have already jotted down for buying the replacement pump already but let’s have a look at them again:
1. Frame size
Start by determining the frame size. You will have to measure the area between the bolts. If it’s less than 4 inches that means the frame size is 48 and if it’s greater than 4 inches than it means the frame size is 56.
What GPM will be appropriate to make the jets functions optimally? You can determine that by multiplying the number of jets of your hot tub by the flow rating.
The pump that has 2 wires in its power supply has a voltage between 110 to 120 volts. On the other hand, if it has 4 wires, you will need a pump with 220 to 340 voltage.
It is best to stick to the original horsepower of your pump. Follow the general rule of thumb, do not increase the HP above 1 over the original.
5. Plumbing Size
To determine the size of unions required, measure the pipe’s diameter from both the discharge and the intake.
How To Install A Hot Tub Pump
Once you are sure you have bought the right replacement pump for your hot tub or spa, you will have no problem installing it. In fact, the process is fairly simple. Here is how you can get started:
- Drain the hot tub before you do anything. It should be completely dry when you are about to remove the pump.
- Make sure you have some towels with you because some water is going to flow out from the pipes.
- Detach the copper grounding wire and loosen the fittings of the intake and the discharge.
- Unscrew the bolts in the frame. Reach the wires and detach them.
- Place the new pump and wire it properly. Tighten its fittings and bolt back the frame.
- Once the pump is set, it’s time to test the spa. Refill the tub and watch the water flow.
The way water will flow from the jets depends on what hot tub pump you choose. So, put all the effort you can into buying the right replacement. As you see, options in hot tub pumps are plenty, you just need to know what would best fit your spa.
Choose any of the above reviewed items, and you won’t have the buyer’s remorse.