Does a Hot Tub Heat Faster With the Jets On?


So you have bought your hot tub, set it up, filled it and you are now itching to get in it and start relaxing. But, frustratingly, you now have to wait for the water to heat up to temperature before you can. I bought my first hot tub during a UK winter so the faucet water I filled it up with was very cold and it took 18 hours to heat up!

So what can you do to speed it up for instance, does a hot tub heat faster with the jets on?

As a general rule a hot tub will heat up faster with the jets on as this will keep the water circulating through the pipes ensuring that no cold areas exist. Keeping the cover on to stop heat being lost into the air will also allow the hot tub to heat up quicker.

Read on to learn how it works and what other things you can do to heat up your hot tub quickly, how long it typically takes to get hot, and what you can do to keep the temperature up when it is not being used.  

Does a Hot Tub Heat Faster With the Jets On?

How to heat a hot tub up faster

Is there anything that can test your patience more than waiting for the hot tub to heat up?  Sometimes it can be hours before it’s warm enough to hop in for a soak. You’ve already gotten your swimsuit on and put your towel out.  Maybe you’ve got friends waiting, or maybe even a date.  

The last thing you want to be doing is waiting 6 or more hours for the hot tub to heat up to a pleasant temperature, especially if it shortens the time you have to actually use it.  Learn how to shorten your heating time so you can maximize your soaking time. 

If your tub is taking more than 4 hours to heat up, you can try a few different things to make it heat more efficiently.  

Turn on your jets

If you’ve been heating your hot tub without the jets on, then you have been missing out on an easy, effective trick to get it heated faster.  Having the jets on while heating your hot tub will cut the heating time down by distributing the hot water more evenly and efficiently throughout the tub.  They also can remove any cold pockets of water hanging out in the pipes or hose.

Check your filter

Sometimes a dirty filter can cause the water to heat more slowly as it restricts the flow of water. If you’ve noticed your hot tub struggling to heat up, this could be the problem. Luckily, there’s an easy fix.  All you need to do is take out your filter and give it a good, thorough rinse to clean it off. Then you can put it back and see if your tub heats a little faster.

Use a hot tub cover

A cover placed over the hot tub while it’s heating can keep the temperature heating up much more efficiently.  Think about it, if the air temperature is lower than the hot tub temperature, it will constantly be cooling it off, even if just slightly. You should also leave your hot tub cover on when your tub is not in use to keep the temperature up and will mean the heater does not kick in so often.

If the hot tub is outside, and in a windy position, having the cover on will reduce heat loss and also water loss through evaporation.

Update your heater

If you have an older hot tub, you may want to consider checking your heating element.  If the actual heater is past its prime efficiency or isn’t running as well as it used to, it may be time for a tune-up, or even an update. As hot tubs have developed so have the heating systems become more efficient.  

Things that affect the heating time

Hot tubs can take an average of 4 hours to reach 100 degrees but this depends on the temperature of the water used to fill of course.  Some hot tubs, under certain circumstances, can take up to 8 hours or more to reach that same temperature.  

There are a few factors that affect how quickly your tub heats up, and these include:

  • The outside temperature
  • The water temperature inside the tub
  • The hose water temperature pumping in
  • The voltage – 220v hot tubs heat faster than 110v.
  • The tub capacity
  • The power of your heater
  • The state of your filter
  • If you have a cover or not (if you haven’t then make sure you buy one)
  • The jets being off or on

If all of these things are working for you, instead of against you, then you can expect your hot tub to heat up at anything up to 6 degrees per hour.  This is optimistic and can result in a heat time of 3-4 hours to reach the desired temperature.  

If any or all of these things are working against you, you could be looking at a heating time of more than 8 hours.  Most people don’t have that kind of time or patience just for a quick soak in the hot tub.

More efficient heating = Lower cost of heating

When you find ways to shorten your hot tub’s heating time, you aren’t just saving yourself time. You are also saving yourself money. Every minute saved could put more change in your pocket or more dollars in your account.

When you are choosing, installing, maintaining, or heating a hot tub, you can take a few extra steps to increase your heating efficiency in the short term and long term.  

These things may seem like an investment, but they can pay off sooner than you might think. Especially if you are a frequent hot tub user.  

Always keep the cover on

hot tub heats up faster with cover on

This may sound like a repeat, but investing in a good quality hot tub cover can save you hundreds of dollars. You’ll want one that locks into place and hugs the sides and corners of the tub to avoid any heat escaping.  This can keep your tub substantially warmer between uses. 

Hot tub covers can also serve the dual purpose of keeping your hot tub cleaner.  It seals it shut and prevents any dirt, bugs and other debris from getting into the water.  It will keep it clearer and decrease the need for frequent cleanings. 

Keep the temperature steady

Even if you aren’t using your hot tub very often or have long stretches of no use, it is most efficient to maintain the tub at your preferred bathing temperature. The ideal temperature for most people is between 102-104 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Keeping your hot tub at that temperature will ensure the best use of energy and money. At the very most, you can set the tub to 5 degrees below your preferred bathing temperature, but it isn’t recommended that you set it below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The time and energy it would take to heat it to your preferred temperature each time are more than the maintenance requires.

Keeping the hot tub at the perfect temperature allows for one of the great things about them – taking a spontaneous dip. I often feel like going in my hot tub on the spur of the moment. If I had to turn the temperature up and wait for a few hours for it to heat up would spoil the moment.

Keep the hot tub on through all seasons

Many people wonder if they should be turning their hot tub off and on throughout the year, depending on their usage and their needs. While this may seem intuitive, it is actually not a such a great idea unless you will not be using it for a while.  

Keeping your hot tub on at all times ensures the most efficient use of energy for heating and also keeps it cleaner. Hot tubs have very good insulation on the inside around the tub shell so that, coupled with a good cover, helps to retain a great deal of heat. 

The circulation of water from the hoses and occasionally the jets keeps the water much fresher between uses. It can keep things like algae or bacteria from clinging to the shell of the tub as well.

Hot Tub Maintenance Course

I bought this course some months after I bought my first hot tub and was struggling with maintaining it. It was money well spent.

JP in Fuerteventura

I have had hot tubs for many years and a pool for the last 8 years. I had to learn how to clean, maintain and fix them the hard way. Since then I have helped many friends and neighbors with their pools and now I want to share everything I have learned with you.

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