Buying a Hot TubMaintenanceHot Tub TipsTroubleshootingHealth + Fitness

How to Properly Empty a Hot Tub

This blog post may contain affiliate links.

A hot tub is a luxurious addition to any backyard, providing a relaxing oasis to unwind and rejuvenate. However, in order to maintain the cleanliness and functionality of your hot tub, it is essential to know how to properly empty and drain it. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of emptying a hot tub, highlighting best practices and important considerations along the way. So, let’s dive in and learn how to properly empty a hot tub!

Why Emptying and Draining a Hot Tub is Important

Emptying and draining your hot tub on a regular basis is crucial for several reasons. Over time, contaminants such as dirt, oils, and bacteria can accumulate in the water, leading to decreased water quality and potential health risks. By regularly emptying and replacing the water, you can ensure that your hot tub remains clean, safe, and enjoyable. Additionally, draining the hot tub provides an opportunity to clean the shell, filters, and plumbing lines thoroughly, maintaining the overall performance and longevity of your hot tub.

Determining When to Drain Your Hot Tub

The frequency of hot tub drainage depends on various factors, including the type of water treatment system used, hot tub usage frequency, and local water conditions. Generally, it is recommended to drain and refill your hot tub every three to four months. This timeframe ensures that the water remains fresh, clean, and properly balanced. However, if you notice any signs of deteriorating water quality, such as cloudiness or an unpleasant odor, it is advisable to drain and refill the hot tub more frequently.

Preparing to Drain Your Hot Tub

Before starting the draining process, it is important to gather the necessary equipment and ensure that the hot tub is ready for maintenance. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Garden hose or submersible pump: Depending on your preference and convenience, you can choose to drain your hot tub using a garden hose or a submersible pump. Both methods are effective; however, a submersible pump offers quicker drainage.
  2. Cleaning supplies: To properly clean your hot tub during the draining process, gather cleaning rags, a spa shell cleaner, and a filter cleaner.
  3. Power supply: Turn off the power to your hot tub by either completely unplugging it or switching off the circuit breaker. This step ensures that the pumps and jets do not accidentally activate during the drainage process.

Draining a Hot Tub Using the Drain Spigot

The drain spigot, also known as the drain plug, is a common feature in hot tubs that allows for easy water drainage. Follow these steps to drain your hot tub using the drain spigot:

  1. Locate the drain spigot: The drain spigot is typically located on the outside of the hot tub, near the bottom rim. If your hot tub has two spigots, use the primary spigot for drainage.
  2. Connect the garden hose: Attach a garden hose to the drain spigot, ensuring a secure connection. This will direct the water flow to a desired location, such as a nearby drain or sewer.
  3. Open the drain spigot: Turn the valve on the drain spigot to the open position. This will start the flow of water and initiate the draining process. Be patient, as it may take up to two hours for the hot tub to fully drain.
  4. Remove remaining water: Once the majority of the water has drained, there may still be small pools of water in the footwell. Use a wet/dry vacuum or a brush to remove any remaining water and ensure the hot tub is completely empty.

Draining a Hot Tub Using a Submersible Pump

Using a submersible pump provides a faster and more efficient way to drain a hot tub. Follow these steps to drain your hot tub using a submersible pump:

  1. Prepare the submersible pump: Plug in the submersible pump and attach a drainage hose. Ensure that the hose is long enough to reach a suitable drainage location, such as a nearby drain or sewer.
  2. Place the pump in the hot tub: Position the submersible pump in the deepest part of the hot tub, ensuring that it is fully submerged in water.
  3. Turn on the pump: Switch on the submersible pump and allow it to pump out the water. Monitor the water level closely and switch off the pump once the hot tub is fully drained.
  4. Remove the pump and hose: Once the hot tub is empty, turn off the pump and disconnect it from the power source. Remove the pump from the hot tub and detach the drainage hose. Allow the pump and hose to dry thoroughly before storing them safely.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Hot Tub

After draining your hot tub, it is essential to clean and maintain various components to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Here are the steps to follow:

Cleaning the Hot Tub Shell

  1. Use a spa shell cleaner: Apply a spa shell cleaner to the interior surface of the hot tub. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific cleaner you are using.
  2. Scrub the shell: Use a soft cleaning rag or sponge to scrub the shell, paying close attention to areas with visible dirt or grime. Avoid using abrasive materials that can damage the surface.
  3. Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the hot tub shell with clean water, ensuring that all traces of the cleaner are removed. This step is crucial to prevent any chemical residue from affecting the water quality.

Cleaning the Hot Tub Filters

  1. Remove the filters: Locate the filter compartment in your hot tub and remove the filters. Refer to your hot tub’s manual for specific instructions on how to access and remove the filters.
  2. Soak the filters: Prepare a solution of filter cleaner or follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Soak the filters in the solution for the recommended duration to dissolve any accumulated debris and oils.
  3. Rinse the filters: Rinse the filters thoroughly with clean water, ensuring that all debris and cleaning solution are removed. Use a garden hose to spray water from all angles for a comprehensive rinse.
  4. Reinstall the filters: Once the filters are clean and dry, reinstall them in the filter compartment according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Ensure a secure fit without overtightening.

Refilling Your Hot Tub

After cleaning and maintaining your hot tub, it’s time to refill it with fresh water. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful refilling process:

  1. Check water source quality: Before filling your hot tub, ensure that the water source is clean and free from contaminants. If necessary, use a water testing kit to check the water quality.
  2. Fill through the filters: To prevent airlocks, fill your hot tub through the filter compartment. This will help to ensure a proper water flow and prevent any disruption to the system.
  3. Monitor water level: As you fill the hot tub, monitor the water level closely to avoid overfilling. Adjust the flow of water accordingly to maintain the desired water level.
  4. Add necessary chemicals: Once the hot tub is filled with water, add the appropriate chemicals to sanitize and balance the water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test the water to ensure it is safe for use.

How Often Should You Drain Your Hot Tub?

The frequency of hot tub drainage depends on various factors, including usage frequency, water treatment system, and local water conditions. As a general guideline, it is recommended to drain and refill your hot tub every three to four months. However, if you notice any signs of deteriorating water quality or experience heavy usage, more frequent drainage may be necessary. Regular monitoring of the water quality and adherence to a maintenance schedule will help determine the optimal frequency for draining your hot tub.


Emptying and draining your hot tub is an essential maintenance task that ensures the cleanliness, performance, and longevity of your spa. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can easily and effectively empty your hot tub using either the drain spigot or a submersible pump. Remember to properly clean the hot tub shell and filters during the draining process and refill your spa with fresh water. By incorporating regular maintenance practices, you can enjoy a clean, safe, and rejuvenating hot tub experience for years to come. So, go ahead and give your hot tub the care it deserves!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and follow local regulations when draining or maintaining your hot tub.