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How To Winterize Your Hot Tub

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Enjoying a soothing soak in a hot tub during the winter months is a blissful experience. However, if you’re not planning on using your hot tub during the colder season, it’s essential to winterize it to protect your investment. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of winterizing your hot tub, ensuring it remains in top condition throughout the cold months.

1. Understanding the Importance of Winterizing Your Hot Tub

Winterizing your hot tub is crucial for protecting it from potential damages caused by freezing temperatures, especially to the plumbing lines. Proper winterization will help you save money on repair and maintenance costs in the long run. Additionally, it eliminates operating costs and prevents algae growth during the winter months, when the hot tub is not in use.

Leaving your hot tub empty in winter can lead to several problems such as:

  • Your hot tub could freeze which could damage the pump heater and other components.
  • If your hot tub is located outdoors it could become covered in snow and debris which could be difficult to remove come spring.
  • If you have an inground hot tub leaving it empty could cause the liner to collapse.

So, while you can technically leave your hot tub empty in winter we wouldn’t recommend it. If you do choose to do so be sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid any damage.

2. Preparing for Winterization

Before diving into the winterization process, gather the necessary supplies:

  • Garden hose
  • Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
  • Absorbent towels
  • Propylene Glycol antifreeze (if required)
  • Long funnel (if using antifreeze)
  • Hot tub cleaner
  • Wax or vinyl conditioner for the spa’s surface
  • Hot tub cover cleaner and protectant

3. Neutralizing Chemical Levels

Before draining your hot tub, ensure the chemical levels, particularly chlorine and other sanitizers, have dropped to a safe level. This prevents harm to plants and wildlife when draining the water. Wait a few days without using the hot tub, then test the water to confirm the chemical levels have dropped sufficiently.

4. Powering Off Your Hot Tub

Safety is paramount during the winterization process. Ensure all power is disconnected by turning off the breaker or unplugging your hot tub. This prevents potential hazards when working with water and electrical components.

5. Draining the Hot Tub

Connect a garden hose to your hot tub’s drain valve and ensure the other end is in an appropriate location to drain the water. You can also use a sump pump to speed up the process. Once drained, there may be an inch or two of water left in the tub. Don’t worry about it just yet; you’ll address this later in the process.

6. Draining the Air Blower (If Applicable)

If your hot tub has an air blower, you must drain the water from it before proceeding. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the heater.
  2. Place the hot tub cover on the spa.
  3. Reconnect power to the hot tub and turn it on.
  4. Activate the air blower function to remove excess water.
  5. Turn off the hot tub and disconnect the power again.
  6. Remove the hot tub cover and continue with the winterization process.

7. Loosening Unions and Removing Pump Drain Plugs

Open your hot tub’s access panel and locate the pumps and heater. Loosen the unions to allow water to drain from the plumbing lines. If your pumps have drain plugs, remove them to let any remaining water inside the pumps drain out.

8. Cleaning the Filters and Removing Excess Water

Remove and clean the filters. After cleaning, allow them to dry before storing them. Additionally, use a wet/dry vacuum, sponges, or towels to remove any remaining water in the filter well.

9. Removing Water from Plumbing Lines

Using your wet/dry vacuum cleaner, blow air through the jets, filter standpipe, and any other openings where water may be hiding. This ensures all water is removed from the plumbing lines and prevents potential damage caused by freezing water.

10. Cleaning and Protecting Your Hot Tub

Wipe down your hot tub with absorbent towels to remove any remaining moisture, then clean the shell using a non-abrasive sponge and hot tub cleaner. Apply a generous coat of wax or vinyl conditioner to protect the spa’s surface during the winter months.

11. Closing the Hot Tub Cover and Additional Tips

Clean and protect your hot tub cover, then secure it over your spa. Add wind straps for extra security, if necessary. With these steps completed, your hot tub is now winterized and ready to endure the cold months ahead.

In conclusion, winterizing your hot tub is an essential process to protect your investment during the colder months. By following this comprehensive guide, you’ll save time, money, and ensure your hot tub remains in optimal condition, ready to provide you with a soothing and relaxing experience come springtime.