How to Winterize Your Hot Tub: Step-by-step guide

As the chill of winter approaches, many hot tub owners ponder the question: how to winterize a hot tub? Properly winterizing your hot tub protects it from freezing temperatures, potential damage, and ensures it’s ready to use when warmer days return. In this article, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to winterize your hot tub effectively.

1. Preparing to Drain the Hot Tub

Before you start, turn off the hot tub’s power at the breaker. You want to ensure your safety throughout the process.

  • Remove the filter: Before you drain the water, ensure you’ve removed the filter. This is an excellent time to clean it using a filter cleaner, ensuring it’s in top condition when you’re ready to use the tub again.
  • Attach a garden hose: Most modern hot tubs have a spigot to which you can attach a garden hose. This makes the draining process efficient.

2. Drain the Hot Tub

Draining your hot tub is a crucial step in the winterization process:

  • Open the drain plugs: Located at the bottom of your tub, opening these will allow water to flow out. For faster draining, consider using a sump pump.
  • Use a wet dry vacuum: To ensure all remaining water is removed, especially from hard-to-reach areas, use a wet vac.
  • Check for water left: It’s essential to ensure no water left in the tub as it can freeze and damage your hot tub.

3. Protect the Plumbing Lines

Water trapped inside your hot tub’s plumbing lines can freeze, causing them to crack:

  • Use an air blower or shop vac: Blow air through the jets to push out any water in the plumbing lines. A wet vac can also be switched to its blower setting to achieve this.
  • Remove water from the pump housing: Open the access panel, usually found on the side of your hot tub, and use the wet dry vacuum to remove any water from the pumps and heater.

4. Cleaning and Protecting

Once you’ve drained the hot tub, spend some time cleaning and protecting its various components:

  • Clean the filter cavity: Now that you’ve removed the filter, ensure the filter cavity is clean. Dirt or grime left here can cause problems when you refill the tub.
  • Reinstall the drain plugs: Ensure all drain plugs are securely replaced to avoid any unwanted leaks or critters from getting in.
  • Secure the hot tub cover: Your hot tub cover is your primary defense against winter elements. Ensure it’s clean, in good condition, and securely placed over your hot tub. It prevents debris and water from getting in and provides added insulation.

5. Final Checks and Precautions

Winterizing a hot tub is about being thorough:

  • Check pumps and heater: Ensure there’s no remaining water in the pump housing and heater. Water expands when frozen, which could damage these components.
  • Use antifreeze (optional): If you live in an area with extreme winter temperatures, consider pouring non-toxic antifreeze into the plumbing lines. This gives an added layer of protection against freezing.
  • Store removed parts safely: Any parts you’ve removed, like the filter, should be stored in a dry, safe place until you’re ready to use the tub again.

Conclusion: Winter’s No Match for a Well-Prepared Tub

Knowing how to winterize hot tub is essential for every hot tub owner. The process might seem involved, but with careful attention to detail, you’ll ensure your hot tub remains undamaged through the cold months and is ready to welcome you back in spring. So, next time someone asks, “how do you winterize your hot?” you’ll not only have the answer but a perfectly protected hot tub to prove it.

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