How to winterize a hot tub in 6 simple steps


The topic of this article is how to winterize a hot tub step by step.

How to Winterize a Hot Tub

Most people prefer to soak in their hot tubs during the warm months and put it out of operation come the freezing months. Rather than enjoy the magical and relaxing experience of sparkling warm water only to walk out to falling snow, most people prefer to remain inside and keep warm around the fire or snug under heavy blankets during winter.

If you are not going to use your outdoor spa during the cold season, winterizing it is the ideal maintenance practice. Sure, you've read or heard somewhere that winterizing is a complicated process and you'd rather keep the spa running instead, but this alternative isn't worth the effort.

If you fail to winterize your hot tub, you will need to keep it constantly running even when not in use. You will need to keep it filled with tested and treated water and heated to prevent freezing. Now, this doesn't sound like the ideal use of your time. Why freeze in the snow, giving your hot tub a blitz if you won't be using it? The alternative is better. Shut it down and protect the components.

What does winterizing a hot tub mean?

Basically, winterizing a spa means closing it down in anticipation of freezing environmental conditions. However, it is a bit more detailed than just shutting it down. There are specifics to get into to avoid mishaps, and it also depends on factors such as location, whether you will be using it, and whether it is insulated.

Only owners of outdoor hot tubs that are not well-insulated should concern themselves with winterizing. You do not have to worry about winterizing a spa located in a temperature-controlled setting. If you live in regions like Arizona and Texas, where temperatures remain above 40 Fahrenheit during winter, you can keep using your spa instead of winterizing it.

Why do you need to winterize a hot tub?

As already explained mentioned, cold temperatures are not kind on a spa's internal parts. If you do not winterize your hot tub and fail to circulate the water and keep it heated, algae may develop, or the pipes may freeze and crack or bust. Hot tubs prices aren't low; protect your investment by winterizing it in anticipation of cold temperatures.

When to winterize your hot tub?

The best time to winterize your spa is when snow or ice starts to appear. It is the best maintenance practice if you live in cold regions and won't be using the spa. Unfortunately, many people are on the fence about the practice and wait until it's too late before they get into the steps.

So, if you live in regions that get extremely cold during winter, here are the reasons to winterize your hot tub during winter include:

  • To keep the pipes from freezing when the power goes off
  • To keep it safe while you are vacationing away from home
  • It's the ideal maintenance routine instead of keeping it running if you won't be using it.

Preparations before winterizing a hot tub

Winterizing a hot tub is not just about draining it and leaving it empty. It also involves neutralizing the water, flushing the lines, cleaning, loosening PVC fittings, taking out filters, and powering it down. You shouldn't wait until the last moment to winterize your hot tub. You want to do it right to reduce the risk of algae and bacteria in the pipes.

To winterize your spa correctly, wait till a clear day. You don't want the water to freeze in the pipes while you are still emptying the spa. Do it on a day when temperatures are high above the zero marks. Make sure to clean the water, so chemicals don't end in the soil.

Here are some equipment you are going to need:

  • A vacuum cleaner to suck water from the lines
  • A garden horse to drain the tub
  • Absorbent towels to remove moisture
  • Antifreeze
  • A long funnel

Detailed steps to winterizing your hot tub

1. Neutralize the water

Don't drain the tub without neutralizing the chemicals in the water. The last thing you want is your plants and pets soaking in chlorinated water. Test the chemical levels first, ensuring it's safe to release the water to the environment.

2.Power it down

Cut off the power to the unit at the GCFI breakers in the electrical panel. You may need to consult the manufacturer's manual to do this or speak to a pro for assistance.

3. Drain the tub

Unscrew the drain cap off the spa, fix your garden hose on the drain valve nozzle, and allow water to flow out. Alternatively, you could use a submersible pump to empty the spa quickly. Some 1-2 inches of water may be left after draining, don't worry, as this will be addressed later. Make sure to drain the air blower if you have one.

4. Remove and clean the filters

There's no need to leave filters on if you won't be using the spa. Remove them and place them in chemical soak for a full day, clean and store. Any water left in the tub after removing filters should be sucked out.

5. Flush the lines

Don't forget to clean the lines. Simply draining it and leaving it empty can cause big-time problems. Algae may develop if some moisture is left behind; tiny cracks may also form along the pipes. That is why you need to flush water from any opening in the hot tub. You may need to use the manufacturer's manual to do this.

5. Clean

Give the spa shell a blitz after removing water. Use cleaning products and an absorbent towel to wipe off any moisture. Remove headsets and wipe under. Pass the towel around the jets too. Put the drainage cap back on, then apply antifreeze into all the openings.

Most experts recommend propylene glycol because it is non-toxic and doesn't leave dangerous residue behind. Avoid toxic antifreeze, or don't use any at all if you are scared.

6. Cover the spa

Close the top of the tub using a clean, dry cover that's been treated with a protectant to prevent molding. To secure the cover in place, you may have to use wind straps. Placing plywood boards atop the cover will keep it safe from snow.

Wrapping up

Okay, ladies and gentlemen, you don't need to winterize your outdoor spa during cold seasons, but it is the best practice since you won't be using it often; maintaining it regularly isn't the ideal way to spend your winter. Spas are fun ways to pass the day relaxed in sparling, healing waters, but they don't cost cheap. That is why you need to protect your investment because cold temperatures aren't kind on hot tub pipes, other internal components, and your power bill. Use the above tips to winterize your spa.

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