Easy Steps on How to Drain a Hot Tub
Let’s face it. When you first consider purchasing a hot tub, water maintenance might not be the first thing on your mind. Sure, it’s a factor, or at least it should be, but initially, most people immediately think of chemicals and additives.
Draining the water out completely can sometimes be a bit of an afterthought. But periodically draining your hot tub is important, for both the lifespan of your hot tub and the health of those using it.
Why do I need to empty my hot tub water?
Sometimes when you wash cookware by hand the water gets extra greasy and brown. It doesn’t matter how much soap you put in there, the water is going to stay brown unless you drain it and refill the sink with clean water.
It’s the same concept with your hot tub. Even if you have upgraded to all the most premium water care systems, you still need to drain your spa and refill it with fresh, clean water sometimes.
Starting your water care routine with a tub of fresh, clean water will help cut back on the costs of chemicals and additives. In addition, clean water prevents potential damage that could be done to your hot tub’s interior shell. When left long enough, improperly balanced water could potentially begin to corrode your spa shell—and that would be tragic.
When should I empty my hot tub water?
Depending on how often you use it, we recommend that you drain your hot tub every three to four months. More if it’s used daily by multiple people, or perhaps less if it’s used more infrequently. You will know it’s time to drain your hot tub by one or more of the following signs.
- A funky smell
- Foamy water that can’t be fixed with antifoam solution
- Discolored water that looks more green or blue than clear
How to Drain a Hot Tub:
Using the Spa’s Built-in Drain
Before you begin, make sure your drained water has a clear path to travel away from your home or any structure that might be damaged by the amount of water your hot tub holds, including your neighbors.
Also, be sure the drain path does not include vulnerable vegetation or grass that could be harmed by whatever chemicals are left in the water.
- Turn off the power at the breaker.
- Locate the drain, which is usually located near the base of one of the exterior cabinet sides.
- Pull the drain out (usually with a slight clockwise turn), then remove the drain cap.
- Attach a standard garden hose to the drain spout to activate the drain.
- Once completely drained, pull the drain spout out, remove the hose, replace the drain cap, and push the drain back into the spa.
If Your Spa Requires a Pump
If your spa is placed below ground level, or lower than the slope of your yard, you may need to use a submersible pump for draining. Don’t worry! It’s still a simple process.
- Turn off power at the breaker
- Connect a submersible pump to a garden hose
- Direct the garden hose away from any damageable structures
- Turn on the pump and watch the water flow
- Once the waterline has fallen below the pump, the rest will likely need to be scooped out or mopped up by hand.
Once your spa is empty, this is the best time to clean the interior shell, jets, headrests, and steps. This is done best by using a damp cloth or sponge and mild dish soap. If you notice a line developing at the water level, you can use a mild acrylic cleaner or detergent, but first, be sure to check your owner’s manual to make sure the ingredients are safe for use on your spa.
Clean your hot tub filters. These should be cleaned every three to six weeks, but while your tub is drained, it’s a good idea to clean the entire system.
Clean the outer cabinet, cover, and steps, using a soft brush or sponge and—again—mild dish soap or gentle laundry detergent.
Refilling the water
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned your hot tub components and interior shell, it’s time to hook up your garden hose to whatever water source you will be using to fill your spa.
Pro tip: it is sometimes possible to hook your hose to a water heater, and fill the spa with some semi-warm water, to begin with. If you find you can do this, heating the fresh water in your hot tub will require less time and energy.
Once the tub is full, add in the water starter chemicals recommended by your hot tub dealer and allow ample time for them to disperse and dissolve.