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Pictured is a hot tub viewed looking down from a standing viewpoint. The jets are off to show a clear image of the inner shell. A cover can be seen behind the hot tub. There are some patio chairs and a small shed to the left of the tub, and a grassy yard to the right.

How to Check Your Hot Tub’s Shell for Damage

A hot tub’s shell plays an important role in its construction–without it, you wouldn’t have a hot tub. Being such a critical component, it is important to check the shell occasionally for any signs of damage. If there is an issue and it is found early enough, further damage is less likely to occur. Catching a problem early may also result in an easier and more effective repair.

What is a Hot Tub Shell?

The shell of a hot tub is the inner liner that forms over the entire inside of your hot tub. This includes the seats, floor, inner edges, and lip–basically every part that could be underwater or become wet. 

Hot tub lines are most commonly made out of acrylic, roto-molded plastic, or vinyl; although fiberglass, cement and even stainless steel are not unheard of. 

The job of the shell is to contain the water, retain heat, be aesthetically pleasing, and provide a comfortable surface for the user. 

Damages to Check For

There are a few different types of damage to watch for when inspecting your hot tub’s shell. The most important thing you will check for is cracks, especially in any part of the shell that is underwater. Cracks in your hot tub’s shell can be a serious issue because they allow water to escape, quickly lowering the water level and losing any retained heat. 

Scratches and scuffs are the next damage types to check for. While these types of damages may just seem cosmetic, a deep enough scratch or scuff can become a weak spot for an eventual crack. If you spot this type of damage, you still have time to make a repair before it turns into a pressing issue. 

Finally, fading can be an issue for certain types of hot tub shell materials. Fading may happen when your hot tub’s shell is exposed to high amounts of direct sunlight. This can be avoided by using a hot tub cover or keeping your hot tub under a gazebo or other similar structure. While fading is mostly a cosmetic issue, it can jeopardize the structural integrity of the shell, leading to damage further down the line. 

What Causes Hot Tub Shell Damage?

Most hot tub shells are built to last for at least 20 to 30 years; however, improper use or exposure to harsh conditions can cause early damage. 

The primary cause of hot tub shell damage is rough or improper use. While shells are designed to hold a lot of weight, high pressure on small points are likely to cause damage. Jumping down into your hot tub–particularly when there is no water–is an example of too much pressure on a small area. 

Sun exposure can be another cause of hot tub shell damage. Not only can too much direct sunlight cause fading for certain shell materials, but it can also weaken the shell, making it more vulnerable to cracks. 

An excess of chemicals can also cause shell damage in your hot tub. Certain chemicals can start to break down the shell material when used excessively. Don’t worry, as long as you use the proper chemicals appropriately, this shouldn’t become an issue. 

How Do I Check For Signs of Damage?

The best way to check your hot tub’s shell for signs of damage is by giving it a visual inspection every time you clean it. While there isn’t much routine maintenance associated with a hot tub shell, you should be wiping it down on occasion to get rid of any buildup. 

You can also run your hand along parts of the shell to feel for any scratches, scuffs or cracks that may be too small to see.  

Proper maintenance and routine checks can keep your hot tub running for years to come. By checking for damage often and taking care of any issues quickly, you can keep your hot tub in peak condition. Visit Bonnie & Clydes Pools and Spas for all of your hot tub and chemical needs.