How To Winterize A Hot Tub In 10 Steps


For people who live in cold climates, nothing beats the enjoyment of soaking in an outdoor hot tub during those subzero temperatures of winter.  No better way to heal the body and soul in chilly months than by hopping into hot water.

If you are a spa owner, you can testify to the fact that winter is the best time to soak in your hot tub. However, if you have planned to go for a vacation to a warmer climate, it is obvious that your spa will be lying idle for all the months that you will be away.

For that reason, we are providing you with a step by step guide on how to winterize a hot tub, so that your soaking spot can remain protected even when you are away. Winterizing your hot tub is one of the best ways to keep your spa in good working condition. If done properly, you will enjoy better spa performance, durability, as well as protection against freeze damage.

Best Time To Winterize Your Spa

If you will be using your hot tub frequently during winter, winterizing it won’t make any sense. You will need to keep it running constantly, do your hot tub chemistry as required, drain and clean your hot tub when necessary, and perform any other tasks you have included in your hot tub maintenance schedule.

While at it, keep your hot tub temperature constant so that you won’t have to heat the water every time you need to soak. This will save you a few bucks on your electricity bill and prolong the life of the hot tub heater.

On the other hand, if you will be away for the entire winter season, it would be wise to winterize a hot tub. If you don’t, the water in it could freeze and damage your investment. And as we all know, any hot tub damage is expensive to repair. Some spa damage could even render the entire equipment useless.

How To Winterize A Hot Tub

To ensure that your hot tub is safe and, of course, conserve energy while you are away, follow the following simple steps:

1. Disconnect The Spa From Power

Ensure that your tub is not getting any power. You can do this by tripping the breaker or switching the power completely from the main outlet. If possible, just unplug the equipment.

If you are not so sure how to go about this, read the user’s manual or contact a professional for help.

2. Drain The Spa

If you own a spa, you already know this drill. However, in this particular case, you will need to draw all the water out – every single drop!

You can use a sump pump, which is much faster. A sump pump is simply a submersible pump mostly used in flooded areas to remove excess water. If you own one then draining your hot tub will be a cakewalk. Otherwise, you can leave the job to gravity and it will get everything done just fine – remove the drainage, plug in a garden hose to the drain valve nozzle and the water will start flowing out. This will not be as fast as a sump pump though.

If you have drained the water but there is still some at the bottom of the hot tub, grab a wet/dry vacuum and suck it up to ensure the equipment is completely dry.

3. Dry Out The Air Blower

If your spa came with an air blower, make sure it is dry. To drain any excess water from this component, turn your hot tub heater off so that it doesn’t get damaged when you turn the power back on. Cover the spa and turn the power on to run the blower. Give it like 30 to 40 seconds and then turn off the electricity. If your spa is not hard-wired, it would be better to unplug the equipment completely from power.

Important tip: We all know that a dry heater is the number one contributor to dry fires and a major cause for a hot tub tripping breaker. So never let your heater element run without water.

4. Remove And Clean Your Filter

Filters are some of the most important parts of a spa because without them we could be soaking in water full of dirt, elements, and debris. Now if you are drying your spa, you should not leave out the filter. In fact, this is the perfect time to give it some good cleaning. Want to find out how to clean hot tub filters? You will see it’s not hard either!

While at it, check to see if the filter well has got any water in it and wipe it off. A simple piece of cloth or sponge will get the job done.

5. Loosen The Fittings

You want even the inner parts of your spa to dry up completely and unscrewing the fittings will get the pipes draining pretty faster.

To get this done, open your hot tub cabinet and locate the pumps. Loosen any attachments from the pump to the PVC pipes and detach all drain plugs. Even if water condenses inside the pipes, it will still be able to escape through the drain. Just make sure the drains are kept safe so that you can easily locate them the next time you are doing a hot tub set up again.

6. Dry The Pipes


This may sound a little complicated but tell you what, it is as easy as pie. Get a wet/dry vacuum and force air through the pipes.

Remove the basket that holds the skimmer and blow air into the skimmer, through the filter, pump, heater, all the way via the jets. Ensure that the spa jets are open. Once you have blown all the water from the pipes, bring the wet/dry vacuum inside the hot tub and force air into the jets.

The more air you blow in, the more water you lose, and remember those fittings you unscrewed? This is where the water will pour out. After you have blown air into each jet, you will have eliminated most of the moisture from the entire jet and pipe system and there is a slim chance that there is still any water left in the pipes to cause damage to your spa unit.

Please do not be tempted to use any antifreeze product on your pipeline because when you want to set your spa back up, it will be very difficult to completely remove this liquid from the pipes.  And seriously, if you already know how to winterize a hot tub and have done it right, you really don’t need an antifreeze.

7. Get Rid Of Any Remaining Water

You are sure that your pipes and the inner parts of your spa are dry so it’s time to remove any remaining water. Check every other part of your equipment even for the slightest signs of moisture. Get a sponge and wipe the surfaces of your spa such that there are no traces of leftover water on the system.

8. That Cover Needs Some Cleaning Too

Now that your spa is completely dry, it would be a great idea to clean the cover too. You really don’t want to use a dirty hot tub cover after spending hours of cleaning and drying your spa, do you? So get your spa cover cleaner and get to work. Just remember to rinse it thoroughly so that there is no cleaner residue left to contaminate your water the next time you refill and cover your spa.

9. Fasten The Cover

You don’t want the wind blowing off the cover of your hot tub and elements getting inside it, so make sure the cover is properly secured. If your cover locks to the spa, lock it up so that your equipment remains completely protected.

10. Remove The Cushions

Just as you won’t be using your spa during the cold season, you won’t be using your spa cushions either so put them away. But before you do, clean and dry them properly. You will need to use a mild detergent on these so that you don’t damage the fabric. Store your cushions in a clean dry area for springtime use.

Globo Surf Overview

Winterizing your spa is an important hot tub maintenance routine that keeps your system protected during winter. Clearly, it is not as complicated as most people think and you don’t even need the whole day to do this.

If it is your first time, you may need some help from a professional especially in areas where you don’t feel confident enough to tackle on your own. But if you like grabbing the bull by the horns, this guide on how to winterize a hot tub is all you need. Just remember to keep it handy and repeat the instructions in reverse in your next hot tub startup.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!