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There are three main things to tackle when cleaning a hot tub or whirlpool bath. Those things are:
3. Grime and dirt
To address all three of these issues you'll likely need separate products. There are liquid versions of the degreaser and cleaner, and there are tablet versions for sanitizing.
Simply fill up the whirlpool bath with warm water, put the cleaning liquid in the cleaning outlet (or if you don't have this, just pour it into the bath). Put the tablet in the bath and then just run it.
There are no filters on jetted bathtubs. There is a screen with dozens of holes located in the footwell of the tub. that is the suction cover. the water flows through that screen into the front of the pump and then out through each of the water jets.
Surging is caused when the pump doesn't have enough water to push to the jets. this is usually a problem caused by air being drawn into the suction of the pump. take a look at the jet(s) facing the suction cover. I have seen cases where the water with the air mixed in causing bubbles gets sucked into the suction of the tub and causes the surging because the pump is pulling in too much air. try rotating the nozzle of the jet facing the suction away from it. point it another way. turn the air control knob closed and see if that is the problem. the only other issue that could cause this 'surging' problem is a leak in the suction line and could be the source of the water you see under the tub.
i don't have a solution for the manual however, the pump needs to be installed such that the bottom of the suction line going into the pump is 1/2" higher than the bottom of the suction elbow (coming out of the tub) thereby providing the pump with a flooded suction. This will provide the pump enough water to start pumping to the jets.
It is called the suction intake- the pump sucks the water in through the suction intake. It serves as a hair and particle trap (safety device). Some suction intakes can be unscrewed counter-clockwise, others have a round cover that can be popped off with a flathead screwdriver (the cover conceals a philips head screw).
It sounds like something got sucked into your pump impeller, you can try sucking it back out with a wet vac but my bet is that you'll have to open the pump to clean it out. If the marble skirt is the only acccess to the pump it will need to be removed but look for another way first, they can be difficult to reinstall and make look good. If your careful, the pumps can be opened and cleaned without much trouble, Use your wet vac to suction anything left out of the pump suction line and make sure the pump discharge and distribution lines are clean as well. Pump case should have an "O"Ring seal that should be replaced but may be cleaned, lubricated and reused if not dammaged
Good Luck, this is the kind of job the service tech's make there money on.
The soapy water will fill all of the jets, tubes and the pump assembly. Will it hurt the tub if the jets are not running? The soap film will build up in the jets, tubes and pump assembly and can possibly cause damage if the tub is run at a later date. Contact the tub manufacture and see if there is a safe bubble bath you can use.