This article outlines how to winterize a hot tub, Winterizing a hot tub can be done in a number of simple to follow steps which is explained below, although it is not always completely necessary, this will depend on how much you plan to use it through the winter months.
For the coldest winter period tends to last no longer than three to four months of the year, usually between November and February.
if your planning to NOT use your hot tub within the winter months then it is recommended that you follow the guide below to get your hot tub set up for the winter period.
If your looking to use an inflatable hot tub in the winter then you should make sure you have the right hot tub for winter conditions with freeze shield technology built in.
How To Winterize A Hot Tub In 9 Easy To Follow Steps:
Caution – Always Firstly Turn Off Your Hot Tub By The Mains Before Following Any Of The Steps Below!
Add Plumbing Line Treatment Before Emptying Your Tub:
The internal plumbing system on the inside of your tub will more than likely have a build up of grime deposits on the inside walls of the plumbing lines.
The only way to get rid of this is to use a hot tub pipe cleaner which you can add to the existing water whilst running the tub for at least 30-mins to ensure good circulation of the cleaning solution before draining the tub which is your next step.
Empty Your Hot Tub Of Water:
For best results completely empty your tub of water whilst turning off all power supply to the hot tub, Set out a good place to disperse of the water, a drain would be most suitable, “Just be careful not to flood your home or garden”
All hot tubs have a drain plug that you can remove to start draining it but it’s not always a suitable method depending on where you tub is placed and where the water is going to run to when you release the drain plug, there is also some water left in the bottom using this method to drain your tub.
Other effective and easy ways to remove the water are to use a wet vac if you have one, or a submersible pump attached to a hose, by dropping the pump into the water and having the attached hose pointing into the nearest drain for best results.
Or go the old fashioned way and drop a hose that is full of water in the remaining water and the other end of the hose lower down to the ground to siphon the remaining water and let gravity take it’s course to drain the rest of the water from the bottom of your tub.
“There is a video further down this page demonstrating this scenario”
Clean The Interior Acrylic Shell:
Use a spa-chem hot tub cleaner or a good antibacterial cleaner such as diluted bleach or white vinegar to thoroughly clean the inside of your tub using a microfiber cloth,
Remove the headrests by prising them out carefully to clean and dry behind them before placing them back to prevent mould growth from any remaining water trapped behind the headrests.
Clean The Jet Openings:
Use a wet vac to either blow or suck the water from the jet pipes, Run a damp clean microfiber cloth around the jet openings to remove any build up of grime using a hot tub cleaner or a friendly cleaning detergent such as an all purpose cleaner,
Make sure to use a dry cloth afterwards to dry the surfaces and bring your jets to a shiny finish.
Remove All Filters and Clean:
Thoroughly clean your filters using a cartridge cleaner wand for best results, Keep your filters in a clean dry place until you next plan to use your hot tub,
Storing them will save your filters from rotting in the icy elements, “just don’t forget to put them back in your tub when you fire it up again”
Remove Water From All Drain Pipes and Jet Hoses:
Be sure to completely remove all water from all drain pipes, you should use a wet and dry vac to completely dry them to avoid biofilm bacteria and mould growth,
For the jet hoses it’s recommended to use a wet air vacuum to completely remove all the water left inside for best results as water can either freeze or go stagnant and cause mould inside the pipes.
Loosen Off Plumbing Pipes To Pump/s And Heater To Drain Any Remaining Water:
You can access the pump and heater via the access panel to the side of your tub, Loosen the plumbing fixtures off to allow remaining water inside the water pipes to drain off both your pump and heater,
Use a wet vac to blow any remaining water out of the plumbing pipes, The use your wet vac to suck any water left inside the pump before re-connecting the pipes up, some tubs come with a drain plug which you would also want to remove to drain any excess water left inside followed by using a wet vac to suck any remaining water out. “Video below demonstrating the process”
Remove Water From The Spa Blower – (If your hot tub has one fitted):
The spa blower can be located via the access panel, it is a component used to blow air through your hot tub jets,
Once your tub is completely empty it’s best to check there is no water left in the spa blower as this can cause the unit to fail after it has been left standing with water inside it that may freeze up resulting in damaged parts,
It’s best to turn of all the electrics to your tub, locate the spa blower and check for remaining water and remove it by turning your tub back on, shutting off the heater and running the spa blower for at least 30-40 seconds or so to ensure it’s dry inside.
Cover Up the Hot Tub Tightly With A Perfectly Clean Cover:
Clean your hot tub cover thoroughly with a spa cover cleaner, or use a soapy detergent and rinse & dry thoroughly before placing the cover back on as you don’t want to put the cover back on damp or wet as this will eventually cause mould and mildew to build up over time.
Then use your cover lid to cover up the tub whilst considering using a nice smelling fragrance to place inside for freshness.
Remove your lid from time to time on a nice dry day to give the tub fresh air to prevent stale air, mould and mildew building up causing bad smells.
My Hot Tub Has A Winter Protection Feature Built In - Do I still Need To Do all The Steps Above ?
The simple answer is NO but only if your planning to run your hot tub all winter, If you turn on the winter protection feature ON, then a sensor on your tub will automatically go into a mode where it control’s the pump and heater to a degree where it will maintain a perfect temperature while keeping your tub from freezing, also keeping your electricity bill low and most of your maintenance tasks explained above will not need to be performed.
That said, if you do decide to keep your hot tub running throughout the winter period, you will have to keep up on the usual task’s such as water treatment, testing of PH levels and alkaline levels correction’s and adding chemicals to keep the water balance correct and safe to bathe in.
Save On Electricity:
Consider using a thermal pool blanket cover that will float on top of the water before putting the cover lid back on,
Doing this will help maintain the heat loss in the tub resulting in saving on electricity in the long run,
Using a thermal blanket will also help in keeping the underside of your cover lid in better condition as the blanket will act as a barrier between the water level and the underside of the cover lid.
What If I'm Not Going To Be Using The Tub Much Through The Winter Period ?
Then my best advice is to follow the steps above and completely winterize your hot tub, as if your not going to be using it then why would you want to spend time and money on chemicals and electric bills to keep it running when your not going to reap the benefits by actually using it very much at all.
Tips Whilst Your Hot Tub Is Left Standing When Empty Of Water:
winterizing your hot tub is not a case of just set and forget, to keep your tub in the best condition you must regularly check the inside acrylic walls and the underside of the cover lid by taking off the lid and checking the condition inside for condensation in both areas because if condensation is left will eventually turn to mould leaving a nasty smell behind.
for best results it’s recommended to pop off the lid at least once every fortnight and give the tub interior acrylic a quick once over with a micro fibre cloth or non abrasive sponge to keep all those nasty’s at bay so your tub is clean and ready to use when your ready to use it again,
Taking this simple step every now and then will save you a bigger job than if it was completely left untouched for a long period of time which could result in a messy yet unnecessary clean up job.
It’s always going to be worth your time to protect your investment and keep it in the best condition you can by keeping up with the winterizing maintenance tips provided for you in this guide.
Helpful How To Videos:
Hot Tub Maintenance
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I’m Simon the owner of this website, I’ve had years of experience in the hot tub hire business and pool water maintenance where I learned a thing or two about hot tubs and water chemistry which I share here on my website. Learn more