How to Repair Hot Tub Scratches and Cracks

Even a minor scratch or crack on your new hot tub is a bummer. Luckily, there is plenty that can be done to restore your hot tub to good-as-new! We’re going to walk you through the decision process and how to fix each damaged area.

It’s important to realize that even small cracks or abrasions should be handled hastily. Scratches and cracks can start out small and quickly get worse if not dealt with soon after they’re discovered. If left for an extended period of time, you’re putting the inner electronic workings of your hot tub at risk for exposure to the elements – namely water.

Diagnose the Problem

Any good doctor takes their time to examine their patient’s symptoms before taking action. Examine the damage and ask yourself – is it just a surface scratch, or a gash that extends into the fiberglass or ABS-backing material below the acrylic? Once you’ve made an assessment, take a look at your hot tub’s warranty information. In the event you attempt to make a repair and fail, your warranty will likely no longer be valid.

With that in mind, decide if you are comfortable repairing the damage yourself. We highly recommend contacting your local dealer for assistance if you’ve got a gash or large crack to deal with. An experienced and licensed technician should be able to help you get things squared away rather quickly.

If your hot tub simply has a surface scratch and you’re comfortable repairing it, we’re going to walk you through the equivalent of applying antibiotic ointment and a Bandaid to a scrape!

Gather Supplies and Prepare Your Workspace

Most of us can attest that it’s quite a pain to begin a project, whether it’s a repair, craft or recipe, only to realize we don’t have the supplies we need. Before beginning your repair job, make a list and gather your supplies. Then prepare an area that’s clean and easy to work in and arrange your supplies and tools in an orderly manner. You will need the following:

  • An Acrylic Repair Kit. Pick up an acrylic repair kit from your local spa or pool dealer. If you are unable to find one, it’s alright to use an automobile acrylic repair kit.
  • A Drill and Rotary Bit. These two supplies are only necessary for larger cracks, for which they will be used to grind down the edges of the crack.
  • Hot Tub Cleaner. It’s a good practice to keep hot tub cleaner in your cleaning supplies rack or hot tub accessories box. If you don’t have any, your local hot tub dealer will have some.  Another option is to use a comparable acrylic cleaning product from the hardware store.
  • A Soft Towel. Soft towels are less abrasive than rough towels. A microfiber towel is preferred, but an old, soft towel from the top shelf of your closet will also do.
  • The most common grain of sandpaper will likely work for your project. You can find a pack of sandpaper sheets for a couple of dollars at any hardware store. For those looking for more control, pick up a variety of grains – some coarser, some finer.

The supplies listed above will work for repairing scratches and cracks in the acrylic. In the event that the damage has affected the fiberglass or ABS-backing material that’s underneath the layer of acrylic, you will also need protective glasses, gloves, and fiberglass repair equipment.

Before you begin, drain your hot tub and disconnect its power source. We all know that electricity and water never mix. Play it safe and take this extra step.

Perform the Repair

Now that your materials are prepared and your hot tub is drained and unplugged, you’re ready to begin. Follow these steps:

  • Dry off the damaged area with the soft towel to ensure there’s no excess moisture.
  • Clean the damaged area with hot tub cleaner. If you have the time, clean the rest of the tub as well to create a more sanitary work space.
  • Open the repair kit and apply the patch material to the damaged area by following the instructions on the package. If you are repairing a small scratch, you may not need the entire kit. If you’re repairing a medium to large crack, you will need the drill. Attach the bit to the drill and grind the edges of the crack into a “v” shape. The bottom of the “v” will correspond with the bottom of the crack, sloping out to provide a seat for your plaster.
  • Apply enough plaster to the crack to fill it, but no more.
  • Allow the patch to dry according to the length of time listed on the instructions.
  • Once it has dried, sand down the rough edges and any uneven areas of plaster using the sandpaper(s).
  • Buff the repaired area with the soft towel.
  • Once again, clean the area. This will remove any plaster residue.
  • Refill your spa with water and check for leaks around the repaired area. If you do find a leak (fingers crossed you won’t), you will have to drain the spa and start over.
  • If all is clear, enjoy a nice soak to celebrate!

After you’ve made the repair, it may occur to you that the part that took the longest was actually draining and refilling your hot tub! Most repairs are pretty quick and simple. We hope you found this guide helpful!