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How to Replace a Circulation Pump in 4 Easy Steps

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In this post, we will show you how to replace a circulation pump on your HotSpring, Tiger River, or Limelight Spa. This repair can be done with the spa drained or full and it will require a few basic tools.

If you are more of a visual learner, you can watch our video below on how to replace a circulation pump:

Safety First

Before starting this repair, make sure the main power source to the spa is turned off. If you are uncomfortable working with electricity, please contact a local dealer in your area to do the repair.

Tools Needed to Replace a Circulation Pump:

  • Standard Screwdriver
  • Chanel-Lock Pliers
  • Hose Clamp Pliers (2) or Wine Corks

How to Replace a Circulation Pump

1. Disconnect the Circulation Pump Power Cord

Let’s start by removing the lid of the control box.

Note 1: This step is not necessary on spas made before 1997 because the circulation pump plugs into the bottom of the control box.

Note 2: If your spa was made before 1990, use the adapter kit to convert 1/2 inch plumbing to 3/4 inch plumbing.

The circulation pump is typically located near the heater. It is a small pump with 3/4 inch plumbing attached to it. With the power to the spa turned off, disconnect the power cord for the circulation pump from the control box.

how to replace a circulation pump

Typically the wires are connected with flag terminals and a ground screw (sometimes all three wires will use flag terminals).

After the wires are disconnected from the board squeeze the strain relief clamp together with a pair of channel-lock pliers and pull the clamp and wires out.

2. Prepare the Circulation Pump for Removal.


Next, using a Phillips head screwdriver, remove the screws holding the circulation pump to the floor of the equipment compartment. Once the screws are removed, the pump should be free from the equipment compartment floor.

If you drained the spa, go to step 3


Next, close off the water lines to the circulation pump with the hose clamp pliers. If you happen to have a couple of wine corks sitting around, you can also use those to plug the water lines. You’ll need to stop the flow of both lines going in and out of the circulation pump.

3. Remove the Circulation Pump


Remove the clamps for the input and output water lines on the pump. Usually, spring clamps are used that simply need to be squeezed together while moving the clamp out of position. There is a tool made specifically for squeezing the clamps open, but the channel lock pliers work great. Once the clamps are out of the way, you need to remove the pump from the spa.


Twist the pump sideways and it should break free easily from the hoses. If you didn’t drain the spa, you can use wine corks to plug the ends of the hoses to help keep water from getting everywhere.

4. Install the New Circulation Pump


Put the new pump in place and attach the hoses. Be careful with the quarter-inch tube coming off the elbow as it’s fairly easy to snap off (you will need this kit if this part breaks).

Note: If the cord is exiting the new pump in an inconvenient position, you can loosen the collar around the pump so the motor can be rotated to change the position of the cord. Be sure to retighten the collar after repositioning the motor.


Put the spring clamps back in place again using the channel-lock pliers and remove the hose clamp pliers. If the hoses remain flat after removing the pinching pliers use a pair of channel-lock pliers to massage the hoses back into shape.


Use the new screws provided to mount the circulation pump to the floor of the spa. If the position of the circulation pump makes it difficult to be mounted then leaving it unmounted is fine.


After double-checking that the power to the spa is still turned off, install the strain relief clamp and reconnect the power cord for the circulation pump to the control box. If the new cord requires a screw for mounting the grounding wire, it can be secured using the screw located next to any flag terminal grounding connections.

Lastly, reinstall the control box lid, turn the power back on, and the pump should turn on.

We hope this walk-through on how to replace a circulation pump was helpful!

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