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How to Winterize a Hot Tub

Winter hot tub

Did you know that the most common reason a home hot tub is damaged is because it hasn’t been winterized properly? Although not every homeowner needs to winterize their spa, those who live in cold weather climates where freezing occurs will need to do so. This can be very costly to repair, so we’ve put together this guide to help you know how to winterize a hot tub in just one day.

Please Note: Many hot tubs come with specific manufacturer’s instructions that must be followed during the weatherization process. This guide is for general information purposes only. Always follow specific product instructions for best results. 

  1. Turn off your circuit breaker. You need to eliminate power to your hot tub. If you can unplug it, then that’s the best option. If not, then find your panel and turn off the circuit breaker associated with the outlet that supplies the hot tub with power. 
  1. Drain the hot tub. For most hot tubs, this means removing the thermal cover. You can then attach a standard garden hose to the bottom drain of the hot tub so you can direct the water to a specific drainage location. Some models may require you to pump the water out of the hot tub instead. If you have a drain, make sure to leave it open once all of the water has been removed. 
  1. Turn off the spa heater. Now replace the thermal cover on your hot tub and supply power to it once again. Turn on the air blower for the hot tub for about 30-45 seconds. This will help you make sure that all of the water has been removed from the various channels that are contained within the hot tub. If you don’t have an air blower or an air channel, you can skip this step. 
  1. Remove the remaining water. Whatever water remains in your hot tub needs to be removed. Dry, clean towels that won’t leave lint behind are your best option for this. As part of this step, you’ll want to remove the filter from your hot tub to make sure there isn’t any water lurking there. If there is, remove it with a towel. You will then want to leave a dry, clean towel in that compartment to soak up any additional water that might get in. 
  1. Turn off your circuit breaker again. You can just unplug your unit if it runs on a standard outlet. Otherwise turn off the circuit breaker once again. Some users may wish to trip their GFCI outlet before turning of the circuit breaker. The goal here is to completely remove power to the unit. 
  1. Drain out the rest of the hot tub. If there are fittings on your hot tub that look like they can be removed, then do so to check for any water that might be in the system. Check your pump housings in particular, checking for additional drains that may be in place along the way. The filter canister and the heater will also need to be drained during this process. It only takes a small amount of water in these areas to freeze and crack the system. 
  1. Blow out your jet piping. You’ll need compressed air or some other type of equipment that can blow air at a rapid rate. An air compressor can work, as can some Shop Vacs, and even a leaf blower in an emergency. Make sure the blowing air goes through each jet and that the topside air controls are closed. Begin at the exhaust side of your pump and work around. 
  1. Secure your hot tub. You’ll want to put the cover back on your hot tub. Secure it so that wind, pests, and snow cannot affect your hot tub during the winter months. If you have an equipment hatch door, you’ll want to secure this as well. If your hot tub is set within a wood cabinet, the entire cabinet will also need to be protected from winter temperatures and precipitation. For hot tubs that are in the ground or set in a deck, then you’ll want to cover them with a tarp in addition to the thermal cover you already have. 

Knowing how to winterize a hot tub can save you from a headache and a large repair bill when spring comes along. You’ll be able to connect your system when the weather turns warmer once again and be able to enjoy all of the health benefits which come from owning a spa. Follow the instructions for your hot tub, use this guide as a reference and you’ll be able to get the job done in no time at all.

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