SignlaR multi user live chat desynchronisation

I have a live chat in which multiple people would be connected simultaneously. All public messaging works fine, but sometimes private messaging to a specific id doesn’t work. I believe i narrowed it down to when people disconnected and reconnected that they connected to a different instance (perhaps IIS had recycled and started a new hub).
I thought I had fixed it, but I haven’t and now I’m here because I’m stuck. What I thought would fix it was changing the connection variable within the startChat() function to refresh it with the correct information.
This is a cut down version of the code, as I didnt thing the rest would be necesary.

Issue is that when connected to signalR recipients of a message directly to them doean’t come through, even though the chat Id it’s being sent to it correct. Possible hub/socket mismatch?

var chat = $.connection.chatHub;

$(document).ready(function () {
    // Start the chat connection.

    //restart chat if disconnected
    $.connection.hub.disconnected(function () {
        setTimeout(startChat(), 5000);

    $.connection.hub.error(function (error) {
        $('#messagebar').html('Chat ' + error + '. If this message doesn\'t go away, refresh your page.');

    chat.client.addToChat = function (response) {
        $('#chat-' + response.Type).prepend(response.Message);

function startChat() {
    chat = $.connection.chatHub;
    $.connection.hub.start().done(function () {
        //get recent chat from db and insert to page.
        //also saves user's chat id to their user for lookup when private messaging
            method: 'POST',
            url: '/api/Chat/SetupChat/'

        $('#messagebar').html('Connected to chat.');

Any help appreciated, Thanks.

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