Little Nozzles for Big Experiences: How Spa Jets Work

Spa jets are an important part of your spa. You may be having problems with poor water flow, or you may just want to find ways to improve your time in your hot tub. In any case, you’ll find the answers to all your troublesome questions here, because our article was created to satisfy them all.

We’ve spent dozens of hours researching how to prevent damage with proper maintenance, repairing your current jets, or choosing the best new ones for your spa and your needs. So after reading this article, you will have the “keys” to most problems you might have!

You can also learn all about safe temperatures to provide everyone in your spa with maximum comfort and safety!

What Are Spa Jets?

Spa jets are small nozzles that create a pleasing massage-like sensation. They’re powered by air or water pressure and can be adjusted to provide different intensities. Jets are typically the devices that distinguish spas and hot tubs from regular bathtubs.

How Jets Affect Your Spa Experience

Jets are one of the most essential features of any spa. Despite their small size, they define the spa experience you have. Jets create a powerful stream of water, providing a soothing massage that relaxes muscles and reduces tension. The jets can provide a softer, gentler, or more intense experience, depending on your desire. They can also be targeted at specific areas of the body that ache or need special attention. With the help of spa jets, you get a calming atmosphere as they block out all outside noises. No matter what type of spa you have, jets can be found in both above-ground and in-ground models, so you can enjoy their benefits either way!

How Do Spa Jets Work

Jets are located along the walls of a hot tub and force the water into a powerful, pressurized stream. Let us lead you (all the way) along with the water to understand how it is forced from the jet:

  1. The spa pump creates suction to draw the water out of the tub
  2. Then it is passed through the filter
  3. After the water is filtered, it is heated
  4. Then the water is directed to the entrance of the spa jet, which has an hourglass-like shape inside that narrows and widens again at the exit
  5. As the water flows through the nozzle, it mixes with air (picture below) before being expelled into the spa
Spa jets flow pattern
Spa jets flow pattern

Spa Jets Buying Guide: What To Pay Attention To

When considering the purchase of spa jets, the first thing you should think about is how the jets will be used. Do you want the jets to create a massage-like sensation, or are you looking for a general relaxation experience? Knowing the intended use of the jets will help you make the best decision about their placement, number and size, as we provide all the details you need!


When selecting a new spa jet, make sure it’s designed specifically for your spa model and is an appropriate size. The right size also depends on your preferences. For example, if you want to avoid putting too much pressure on one area of your body, it’s better to use smaller jets than average.

When buying a new jet, compare it with the old one to ensure you’re purchasing the correct size and model.


When it comes to placement, consider which spots on your body you want to pay more attention to. We might suggest placing the jets along the top edges of the spa and also in the lower back area. This way, the water pressure will be evenly spread out and feel more natural.


The number of jets you need will depend on the size of your spa, but we recommend at least five to six jets per seat (though there may be more jets for your specific needs). All in all, we think it’s optimal to have about 25 jets per spa pump.

How do spa jets work

Types of Spa Jets and Their Differences

When searching for spa jets, you will find that there are many different types of them available on the market, each offering a unique therapeutic experience. To avoid getting confused, we will give all the important information you need to know about the main types of spa jets.

Air Jets

This jet combines air and water to create a bubbling massage. Air jet bubbles give you a superficial massage, as they help to relax the muscles. 

In comparison, hydro jets work on the principle of the Venturi effect. That means that the water is accelerating due to pressure increase.

You can learn more about the differences between air and hydro jets to find out which is better for you!

Rotary Jets

Also known as a swirling jet, this type expels a powerful stream of water in a circular motion. Rotary jets are often used to massage wide areas such as the back and neck.

Directional Jets

This type of jet is designed for intense, targeted massage. It uses a combination of a large diameter, a high-pressure nozzle, and a grinding plate to create a powerful stream of water. Those looking for medical benefits from their spa will enjoy these jets, as they are best suited for deep tissue massages in specific areas.

We recommend you check out our list of the best inflatable hot tubs with hydro jets for a better experience!
How do spa jets work

Why Your Spa Jets Don’t Work And How To Fix It

Spa jets are a great addition to any hot tub, providing extra relaxation and comfort. Unfortunately, they don’t always work as intended, which can lead to an unpleasant experience. If your spa jet is not working, we’ll show you some possible causes that can be easily identified and fixed.

Possible Causes of a Malfunctioning Spa Jet

There are a few reasons your spa jet may not be working. The most likely causes include: 

  • Air getting into the water pipe, blocking the spa jet, which prevents water flow.
  • Debris or dirt blocking the flow of water to the spa jet.
  • A broken seal or O-ring.

How to Fix a Malfunctioning Spa Jet

If there’s something wrong with your jet, to diagnose and fix it, start by cleaning the jet and inspecting the intake pipe. If there’s any dirt, debris or other blockages, clear it out. Then check the O-ring and other seals around the jet to see if they’re whole or need to be replaced. Inspect for any air getting in the water line, and replace any cracked or damaged water hoses.

Your spa jet may not be working as it should, but now you have the basics to determine the cause and take the necessary steps to fix the problem!

Spa Jet Maintenance Tips For Better Performance

Maintaining your spa jets is important to ensure they work safely and effectively. Here are some tips on how to keep your spa jets in good working order:

Clean the jets regularly. It’s important to clean the jets regularly to remove debris and dirt. You can use a soft brush and mild detergent for better results.

Check the connections on the jets and make sure they’re tight and secure. If they’re loose, tighten them up to ensure proper workability.

Replace damaged parts. Replace gaskets, seals, and other details as needed over time. This will help keep your jets running smoothly, and prevent leaks or other problems.

Check the water pressure. Make sure the water pressure is set properly. If it’s too low, the jets won’t be able to provide a pleasant effect.

Check for leaks. Check regularly for signs of leaks or other issues. If you detect a leak, repair it as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the jets.

By following these tips, you can help keep your spa jets working efficiently and safely, giving you the best spa experience possible!

How do spa jets work

Replacement Process: All You Need To Know

It may surprise you, but replacing spa jets is not that complicated, and you can do it easily by following our instructions:

First, make sure the water is drained and the power is off. Remove the existing jets from the wall of the spa using a screwdriver.

Once you have the new jet (pay attention to this note), bring it to the spa and start the installation by placing the jet in the hole in the wall and tightening it with the screwdriver.

Finally, turn the power back on and let the spa fill with water. Test the jet to make sure it’s working properly. Congratulations, now you can enjoy the benefits of your new spa jet!


As we’ve already established, the most important task of spa jets is to give you pleasure and relieve pain and stress. The easiest way to get all the answers to your spa jet questions is to understand how they work. If your jets aren’t working or bubbling poorly, you now have clear instructions on what to do and how to prevent such causes!

Even buying new spa jets isn’t complicated now, because you know what to look for to have the best experience.

To sum up, we hope this knowledge will be useful to you in many ways, from proper maintenance to the right repair approach, and from finding the best new jets to replacing them.


💡 What are the benefits of spa jets?

Spa jets offer a form of hydrotherapy that helps you achieve physical and mental well-being. With the right set of spa jets, you can create a perfect spa atmosphere that suits your mood and needs.

⏳ Does a spa heat faster with jets on?

Spa jets can help to heat a spa faster, as they create a flow that helps to circulate the water. As a result, the jets ensure that cold water doesn’t remain in the spa pipes.

💨 How does air get in spa jets?

Most commonly, the air is drawn in and pumped through the jets using an air compressor. Also, air can be drawn in through the suction side of the spa pump, creating a vacuum-like effect. Some spa jets have a built-in air inlet that can be adjusted to create different air and water pressure levels.

⛲ Do hot tub jets shoot water or air?

Hot tub jets typically shoot a mixture of water and air, creating a powerful stream of water capable of providing a restful massage.

🔌 How often should you run the jets in a spa?

It’s important to run the jets regularly (even when not in use) to keep the water clean and to reduce the amount of energy used to heat the spa. In general, it’s recommended to run the jets several times a day for 15-20 minutes.

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Peter Rossi