Winterizing a hot tub

Hot tubs are great to relax at any time of year. I think the best time of year is the winter months. Sitting outside in 100-degree water on a cold January night while snow is falling is relaxing and peaceful. I do realize not everyone thinks this way. The thought of walking out to a hot tub on a snow-covered deck in 20-degree temperatures is not appealing to everyone. So for the people who live in parts of the world where winter means below freezing temps, you may want to winterize your tub. A hot tub can usually be put into economy or sleep mode which allows the temperature to be lowered to save energy costs. Chemicals will still have to be added to the tub and it will still heat to at least 60 degrees. If you don’t want either of those expenses during those months, then winterizing your hot tub is your only choice.


The first step to winterizing a hot tub is to drain it. Either pump out the tub or use the drain at the bottom that most tubs have. The next step is to disconnect the plumbing from the pumps. Each pump will have two unions. One at the front of the pump and the other at either the top or side where the water discharges. Each union will have a gasket or o-ring on it. Remove these and store them together. Next, you will need a blower or wet-dry vac. With the vacuum you will first blow air into each of the lines you have disconnected from the pumps. While you are doing this water will be forced out of the plumbing into the tub’s shell. You may have to stop and vacuum water from inside the tub as it fills with water. Evacuating all the water from the plumbing is the most important step to winterizing a hot tub. The next step is to remove all plugs from all hot tub equipment. If your tub has a blower, turn it on for a few seconds to remove any water from those lines. At this time if all water is out of the hot tub and plumbing, close the drain at the bottom and add several gallons of RV anti-freeze. The will prevent freezing if some rainwater or snow finds its way into the tub. The last step is to secure the hot tub cover on and you’re finished.

If there are any of these steps that you are unsure if you can do or don’t understand, call a qualified hot tub professional to make sure this process is done correctly. It will cost a little now, but avoiding the cost of broken pumps and plumbing will be worth it later.

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