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Home Hot Tubs Hot Tub Accessories The Ultimate Guide on How Hot Tub Jets Work & Break

The Ultimate Guide on How Hot Tub Jets Work & Break

You’ve bought a new hot tub but don’t know how jets work? We’ve answered this and other questions in our article. Bonus: how to prevent them from breaking.
hot tub jets work

Hot tub jets are a source of relaxation that provides a pleasant massage experience. However, have you ever wondered how it works and how hard shell or inflatable hot tubs with jets provide body massage?

At first glance, it may seem that this is not necessary for the average hot tub user to know. However, this knowledge will allow you to understand how to use them and avoid breakage.

In this article, we have highlighted 5 main types of hot tub jets, explained how they work, how to repair them, and how to change their pressure to provide the most comfortable massage.

💡 Note
Want to find the best inflatable hot tubs with hydro jets? Check out this article and choose the most suitable one.

How Do Hot Tub Jets Work?

How Do Hot Tub Jets Work?

The principle of jets working in hot tubs is based on the Venturi effect, which was discovered by the Italian scientist Giovanni Battista Venturi in the 18th century. Before explaining the magic of this effect, let’s learn about the pump’s role in creating a massage with jets.

The pump supplies water into the hot tub and passes it through a filter. Then the water flows through the heater and the jets. Everything is simple and clear at this stage, so let’s learn about the Venturi effect in more detail. 

💡 Note:
There are separate drain pumps for hot tubs to make them drain quick and easy. They can empty your hot tub in less than 10 minutes! Check them out in our other article.
Structure of the hot tub jet
Structure of the hot tub jet

The jet through which water passes narrows at the end. In the same place, the tube which supplies a stream of air joins it. Two streams mix and create water with bulbs. Due to the narrowing of the tube, the water flow pressure decreases, but the speed increases. It provides a pleasant massage that does not cause you pain.

Also, the jets must be turned towards you at about 30°. If they are located at >30°, the fast water flow can damage blood vessels and skin.

💡 Note:
There are inflatable hot tubs with hydro jets. They also provide massage thanks to the Venturi effect. You can learn more about them in our article.

5 Main Types of Hot Tub Jets & Their Distinguishing Features

5 Main Types of Hot Tub Jets & Their Distinguishing Features

The principles of water supply and formation of a flow with bubbles are the same for jets. Also, the existing principle of jets’ working based on the Venturi effect is great and does not need to be replaced.

However, each jet has its features. For example, they can turn or supply a stream of water with a given periodicity of time (pulsating flow). Understanding jets’ distinguishing features will allow you to choose the hot tub with the most suitable jets. Let’s get into a detailed review of the different types of hot tub jets.


hot tub jets

Directional jets are one of the most popular in hot tubs. They have one nozzle in the middle that is established on a rotating head. They allow you to set the water flow in a specific direction and can be adjusted manually by turning the nozzle head.

Troubleshooting: Why Do Hot Tub Jets Not Work?

However, in the case of low-cost hot tubs, the pressure in directional jets can be low. Therefore, they can be located closer to the pump and more inconvenient for massage. Therefore, when buying a hot tub, take a wet test, and pay attention to the jets’ location and water flow speed.

💡 Note:
If you want to find a hot tub with directional jets, check out our detailed review of the most popular model.


hot tub jets

Rotating jets are similar to directional jets. They also consist of one nozzle fixed on a moving head. However, they have one striking difference. Rotating jets automatically spin and create a circular flow of water with bubbles, unlike the direct flow of the previous type of jets.

Rotating jets are most often installed in the back area of a hot tub shell. They are great for relieving tension from the back and neck because the circular streams of water with bubbles are evenly spread over a large body area.


hot tub jets

Pulsator jets are different from the previous two types. Firstly, they have two holes in the nozzle. Secondly, they create a pulsating effect due to the intermittent water flow. There is a rotating element inside the nozzle head. The water flow makes it rotate and closes one or the other hole of the nozzle.

It turns out that the water flow alternately comes from different holes, as if it creates a pulsating effect during massage for two points on the body at once.

Also, some jets create a pulsating effect by changing the pressure of the water flow. Because of this, it moves either faster or slower.


hot tub jets

Cluster jets are smaller than others and designed to be set up in groups. They produce a directed flow of water through fixed or moving nozzles. Such jets are remarkable because their average price is 2 times less than other types ($20 vs. $35-40).

Therefore, with their help, you can more flexibly adjust the massage effect in your hot tub with hydro jets. You set them in groups in an order convenient for you regarding height and weight.


hot tub jets

Multi-massage jets have many holes in the nozzle. They divide the main water flow into several smaller ones, created in the jet using the Venturi effect. 

Also, smaller jets of water with bubbles provide a more flexible body massage. They have an effect on the capillaries and small areas of the skin, relieving fatigue and improving blood circulation.

However, multi-massage jets often have fixed nozzles. Therefore, you cannot rotate them and direct them to individual areas of the skin.

💡 Note:
In addition to relieving fatigue and improving blood circulation, the hot tub has other health benefits. You can get acquainted with them in our other article.

Troubleshooting: Why Do Hot Tub Jets Not Work?

hot tub jets

With regular or periodic use, hot tub jets may stop working correctly. There can be 5 different reasons for this, which we will tell you in more detail below.

  • Clogged suction pump cover. Any object near the cover or that gets inside can deteriorate the performance of the suction pump. In this case, you need to check whether there is debris on its surface or inside (if they are removable). If there is such, remove the cover and clean it.
💡 Note:
An all-in-one guide on how to clean a hot tub will help you to keep it crystal clear.
  • Air leak. The problem may be with the pump valve or pipe connection because cracks or loosening of the seal may occur. Since the water is moving under high pressure, you will be able to see drops or small streams flowing out. In this case, you need to check these components and replace worn ones.
  • Dirty filter. Debris can partially or entirely block the water flow. Also, a worn piece may begin to leak dirt. Then, other parts of the hot tub may also be damaged. It is necessary to clarify that the filter must be changed at least once a year. Also, vacuum your hot tub and use chemicals to clean up the dirt to avoid clogging the filter.
  • Low water level. If the water level in your hot tub is lower than the pumps’, they will not be able to pump the required amount of water. In this case, you will need to turn off the hot tub and fill the shell with water.
  • Not working pump. This problem can occur if it fails or an error occurs. You may have to purchase a new pump in the first case, and in the second, you can try to fix the error yourself.

How to Increase Pressure in Jets?

Increase Pressure in Jets

If your jets are working correctly but the pressure is still not enough, here are three possible solutions: 

  1. Turn off the waterfall. The pump needs to provide water to it. It reduces the pressure in the system. Turning off the accessory will remove additional load from the pump and increase the pressure in the jets.
  2. Close unnecessary jets. For example, if jets in your hot tub are located on both sides of the shell, you can cover the second group with something so that water does not flow through them. It will increase the pressure in the open jets.
  3. Open the air valves. On the top of the shell of your hot tub are valves that suck in air. The more they are open, the more air will enter the water, and the higher the pressure in the stream will be.


The main responsibility of the hot tub with jets is to massage your body and provide relaxation. All of them are up to the task. Some hot tubs do acupressure on certain small body parts, while others interact with larger ones. Which one you get depends only on the jets installed in your hot tub.

To find a hot tub that matches your needs, you should learn how jets work and what types are available. To make it easier for you, in this article, we have answered the following questions:


🌬️ How does air get into hot tub jets?

The pump draws air through the valves on top of the hot tub shell.

⌚ Do hot tub jets run all the time?

You can set up your hot tubs to have jets running 24/7. However, remember that the electricity bill will increase significantly.

💦 Do hot tub jets shoot air or water?

Hot tub jets release a stream of water with air. However, bubble jets only release bubbles without a stream of water.

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