Hot Tub Runs For A Few Minutes Then Trips Breaker, Even After Refill (6 Reasons And The Complete Guide To Fix It)

Your hot tub breaker keeps tripping, even after fixing it? Indeed, you may have fixed your GFCI breaker formerly only to observe that it has tripped almost immediately after the first fix. Perhaps you may experience that your hot tub cannot receive power; if this is the case, you should be sure that the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) breaker has tripped.

Causes associated with the hot tub‘s tripping of the breaker are very common. Here are some of the reasons why hot tub GFCI breaker trips anytime it’s powered on:

  • Faulty GFCI breaker
  • Exposure to moisture
  • Corrosion
  • Faulty electrical components
  • Bad connection/wiring problem
  • Flooded ozonator or air blower
  • Faulty heating element
  • Airlock
  • Old or worn out hot tub GFCI breaker

You only need to know what that exact cause and where precisely the problem may be coming from so that you can easily fix it once and for all. Although you may eventually need a more technical repairman’s service, be sure that you have tried your best to fix it so you can save yourself some bucks since you may frequently fix the problems associated with your GFCI tripping.

Where is the GFCI breaker located?

You will find a plastic switch/knob that can automatically flip when there is a sudden surge in electricity, this is your hot tub GFCI breaker, and it is possibly attached in a metal box. The switch’s flipping action causes a break in the transmission of electricity, and as such, the electric circuit is interrupted. Because of this interruption, you won’t get electrocuted whenever electrical appliances accidentally find their way into your water.

You can often do many of these things without any repairman and the associated additional expenses. You should, however, note that you may be embarking on a dangerous mission as you try to work with electricity and water. Try first to put off the electric power supply and ensure no moisture from the place you want to work. You may need to grab your flashlight and towel as you begin to examine where the tripping problem is emanating.

Why does my hot tub keep tripping the breaker, and how do I fix it?

Tripping of the hot tub may make you end up with the feeling of stress, especially if you have planned to use it for relaxation in your spare time. What may cause these? Below are the common reason why your breaker keeps tripping.

  1. Exposure to moisture

Moisture is usually not good for the GFCI breaker control box; it causes the breaker’s tripping action. Moisture gets inside this box mostly by rainfall or condensation, and such moisture may eventually damage the electrical parts of the GFCI breaker components.

The fix

Fixing a breaker that keeps tripping might be as simple as checking or aerating your hot tub components to changing the damaged electrical components. Go ahead and open the breaker box to find out if there is any moisture, such as splashes of rainfall water or any form of wetness. If you find such wetness, you can dry it out using a fan or humidifier to blow out the moisture; you can use your towel to clean it first.

Ensure that the GFCI breaker box is protected from additional moisture to stop further damage. If, after all, the breaker still trips, then you may need more troubleshooting; and if the cause is still moisture, you can either move the receptacle away from the spa or change it.

  1. Corrosion

When the various elements of your hot tub become corroded, you may notice the GFCI breaker tripping. Corrosion is a common problem, especially if you have been using your hot tub for a prolonged time. Corrosion can lead to further damage in the hot tub, such as damage to the filtering system or a break-in electric circulation.

The fix

Check the components of the hot tub which are liable to corrode. You can check the GFCI breaker box and other places near it to see if you will find any sign of corrosion. Such signs include a rusty appearance around the connecting components or the appearance of a whitish powdered-like substance. Also, ensure that you look at the ground wires, control pane, and other wiring connectors.

You can easily clear corroded parts using a wire brush or the more sophisticated electrical contact cleaner. After this, you may connect such parts again. Dripping water may be the corrosion’s cause; if this was the case, you could always repair the spa’s leak. You will need to replace the corroded components if the rust has eaten deep into its part.

  1. Issues with electrical components and other wiring problems

No spa comes without an electrical component; the heater and control panel accompanies the inflatable hot tub. If you are using a fashionable hot tub with special interior lightning, towel warmers, and a sound system, you will have to deal with a lot of these components. Any issues arising from several or a few of these electrical components may cause your hot tub GFCI breaker to trip.

While troubleshooting your spa for some of these electrical components issues, also ensure that you look at the several connecting wires whether they are in good condition or not. Check for any charred or burnt component as such may affect the overall function of the GFCI breaker. There may be a power surge if two wires are connected to any place other than where they are supposed to be connected. Besides, problems with wiring components may lead to an inferno if care is not taken.

Usually, you should expect that such wiring issues may develop if you move your spa from place to place or perform some works in its cabinet. Other than this, you may have pest infestation into these wires; these pests may cut loose the necessary connection of your spa and may even lead to a total break in electrical transmission.

The fix

The first easy fix for any breach in the function of the electrical part of your hot tub is to isolate such breached component from your GFCI. After this, start to connect back the individual component one after the other and flip the breaker.

If you observe any tripping action of the breaker at the connection of a particular component, then the problem emanates from such a component. If you are versatile with electrical connection, you can easily fix this, but if not, you may want to hire a service professional. Wires that are entirely burnt or melted should be replaced, while loosed connectors should be connected firmly again using screwdrivers.

  1. Your Ozonator/air blower may be flooded.

Your Ozonator or air blower is likely flooded. Flooding of the Ozonator is usually a result of the backward flow of water into it, and this may be caused by an overfilled hot tub or bad check valve. When this happens, it is highly likely to cause your GFCI breaker to trip. How do you know that your Ozonator is flooded? You can flip the breaker after you might have disconnected it.

The fix

You can replace the faulty valve causing the flooding of the Ozonator or drain the overfilled hot tub. You can replace the Ozonator if it is completely wet, as this may affect its functioning.

  1. Worn out hot tub GFCI breaker

One of the most common causes for a tripping GFCI breaker is its part is worn out. Age, undoubtedly, affects the breaker as such that any little power surge or mere lightning may render the breaker useless. The worn-out hot tub is also a common cause for repeatedly tripping the GFCI breaker even after you might have fixed it.

The fix

It is easier to know whether your breaker is worn out. You can determine this by flipping the breaker; if it drips almost immediately again, then you should know that the breaker may be worn out as a result of prolonged use. If you are not sure, you can disconnect everything from the GFCI and then flip it back on again. If you observe that the breaker trips without any connection, then it may be time you get it replaced.

  1. Faulty heating element

The heating element is composed of a coiled metal tube where the water is heated. If this heating element is not hot, it will not heat the water. Any malfunctioning of this element may eventually cause your GFCI breaker’s tripping. Many reasons may cause your heating element to be faulty, and they may range from short circuit and overheating to total damage of the element.

The fix

If the element is short-circuiting, remove it from the heater housing after you might have disconnected the source of power. A multimeter can test the two ends of the element for its resistance. If the resistance is overly high or low, then the heating element is faulty, and you should replace it immediately.

Overheating the element may cause a dry fire, especially if the water is not passing through it. You can easily notice this if you see any form of a burnt or melted appearance on the heater housing. Dry fire from overheating may also be caused by a faulty thermostat, high limit switch, and other safe-fail components in the hot tub. You could replace the heating housing with the heating element if this were the case. Ensure you also repair any related fail-safe component that has become damaged.

Why does the hot tub breaker keep tripping immediately after fixing?

It is one thing to fix your hot tub breaker, but what do you do if the breaker trips immediately after fixing. You may have tried to power it off and then on after few minutes, but you observe the same thing; this may be particularly irritating, especially when you have gotten ready for a good soak in your spa. But then, why does your GFCI breaker consistently trip after fix whenever you put on your hot tub?

One glaring indication of the GFCI breaker’s constant tripping is that there is a problem with the electrical supply. Still, most importantly, recurrent tripping is usually associated with faulty GFCI. Your GFCI may therefore need a total replacement.

Hot tub tripping breaker after refill and possible fix

Sometimes, you may experience your hot tub breaker trips, especially after draining and refilling the water inside the tub. Even when you try to request the jet mode during this period, you may find out that nothing will come out of the jets but the motor’s sounds. This phenomenon is usually known as “airlock,” which means that there is too much air that has clogged your spa’s pump resulting in restricted water movement.

Airlock may cause overheating of the heating element, which may eventually result in dry fire, especially if the type of spa you have doesn’t come with a pressure switch. To prevent the GFCI breaker from continuous tripping, you must find a way for the air to escape and the water flow. You can lose a part of the pump by observing a union or closing the pump by opening a valve.


Tripping of your GFCI breaker may arise as a result of many factors; it doesn’t matter the type of spa or hot tub you are currently using, you should know that the first and most common type of problem that may arise as a result of using your hot tub is if the GFCI breaker trips. This tripping may affect a whole lot of other components if you don’t adequately attend to it.

The GFCI breaker tripping may even be telling you of an underlying problem with your hot tub. Such tripping, therefore, gives you the necessary head-on start on how to repair both the tripping issue and any underlying faults you might troubleshoot while trying to fix up your tub.

Even if you may eventually hire a professional maintenance specialist, you may be able to save yourself from spending a few unnecessary bucks by the personal cross-examination you might have done. Moreover, you will find out how your spa works and further maintain after the general fix. Go on and enjoy your hot tub, save yourself that stress of always depending on your repairmen.

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