What All Is Involved To Winterize a Hot Tub

  • Hot tubs provide tremendous enjoyment all year round. You can use your hot tub in winters even if you only mean to soak less frequently.
  • Freezing biting cold will cause significant damage to your spa and plumbing lines. 
  • To winterize your hot tub or not? That’s the real question, isn’t it! 

A hot tub is a tremendous piece of luxury. Imagine taking a decadent soak as the snow falls all around you! While you can enjoy soaking in your hot tub all winter, there are few scenarios when it makes sense to winterize hot tubs.

  • When you plan to go away almost all winter. So you are going to be away for more than two consecutive weeks or months on end.
  •  Even if you plan on staying put at home, if you hardly intend to use your hot tub, you can winterize a hot tub.
  • If you live in places where winters can get extremely harsh (we are talking sub-zero degree temperatures here), hot tub winterization is a smart move.
  • If power outages are a common occurrence where you live. Your spa heaters won’t work when the power goes off. Moreover, your pipes could freeze! You don’t want that, do you?

No matter the temperature or how cold it can get, if you know that you are not going to be using your hot tub for the next month or so, you can shut it down by winterizing the spa instead of running it round the clock, using sanitizers to keep the water clean, testing the water chemistry, and paying for the electric bill. Much ado about a hot tub that you don’t intend to use!

What Does Winterizing a Hot Tub Mean?

Winterizing hot tub basically means you are shutting your hot tub down to prepare it to tackle freezing temperatures.

Winterizing a hot tub involves several steps. The first step involves fully draining the hot tub for winter.  Then comes thoroughly expelling the excess water from the plumbing lines and cleaning the spa inside out. Finally, you loosen the PVC fittings and turn off the power. 

Winterizing hot tubs can have its advantages.

  • Winterizing the hot tub prevents damage caused to your spa, and particularly the pumps.
  • When your hot tub components get damaged because of freezing, you will have no other option but to replace them. Winterizing hot tub during winters can save you a lot of money in hot tub repairs and the equipment replacements that come with it.
  • Hot tub winterizes will also protect the water inside the tub from ungainly algae contamination.

If you notice ice or snowfall on the ground, then it is an indication to winterize the jacuzzi at your home till you plan to use your hot tub again. 

You don’t have to winterize if you keep the jets or pumps running. This is because water circulation will prevent the freezing of equipment. Winterizing your hot tubs is only for outdoor spas. If your hot tub is located indoors in a temperature-controlled environment, there is no question of winterizing it.

Antifreeze is another option to do away with winterizing your hot tub, but it is not a solution I am personally too fond of. If you want to do it, however, by all means, go ahead. Just ensure that you buy a non-toxic antifreeze that doesn’t leave contaminants and other harmful residues behind.

Can you Leave your Hot Tub Empty in Winter?

Simply draining your hot tub and leaving it all winter is the worst thing you can do for your hot tub. Apart from damaging the pumps, this will also cause hairline fracture along the pipes.

If you know how to drain and winterize your hot tub properly, you can safeguard your equipment from damage and save on the cost spent on repairing the damaged parts!

Algae can also form on the moisture left behind. Open the hot tub cover, and you will be greeted with the stink of algae everywhere. Eww, not cool!

There is so much to do before you can safely leave your hot tub empty for winter. Winterization is the way to go. This brings us neatly to the question, ‘how to winterize a hot tub outdoors.’

How To Winterize a Hot Tub?

If you are a hot tub owner who diligently cleans and drains your hot tub regularly, Winterizing should be fairly straightforward. If you don’t plan to use your hot tub for weeks or months on end, you would have thought about how to winterize your hot tub to guard your spa components against freezing.

1. Get rid of all the chemicals

The first step in learning (or doing!) how to winterize a spa is to let all the chemicals in the hot tub dissipate. Leave the hot tub open to the sun and let it work its magic in evaporating all those sanitizers!

This can be time-consuming, and you may be tempted to drain all the water out. Do away with that thought at once! These chemicals are harmful to plants and wildlife.

Leave it open for a couple of days and test the water. Once the chlorine or bromine level has fallen to zero, move on to the next stop. Remember, not 1 or 2, but 0!

2. Switch off the power

Merely turning off the hot tub power is not enough. Ensure that no power is getting into the tub. If not hard-wired, simply unplug the power from the wall. Or you can turn off the circuit breaker level.

3. Drain the hot tub

This is a crucial step, so I will try to answer how to drain a hot tub for winter elaborately.

Firstly, you will require a sump pump and/or garden hose to drain the water. If you don’t have a sump pump, check out this product! 


Remove the drain cap off your spa and attach the garden hose to the drain spout. Set the other end of the garden hose in an area that can accommodate hundreds of gallons of water. Drain!

A garden hose may take hours to drain the water out, but these crafty sump pumps powered by 0.25 HP will do the job in minutes! So watch out for when all the water is drained, or your pump will run empty.

4. Loosen the plumbing Unions on the heater and pumps

Once all the water has been drained from the spa, locate and loosen the unions on the heater, the pump, and the filter. This will drain out all the water from the plumbing lines. Remove the drain plug from the pumps to allow water to drain from inside the pump.

5. Take out the filters and clean them

Winterizing is a great opportunity to remove your filters and clean them well. If the filters are too dirty, just replace them.

If they are cleanable, use filter cleaners or a chemical soak to give them a good cleaning.


6. Shop-Vac to remove water from the lines

Another crucial step that you have to get right! This is because if you leave any water behind in the lines, it will result in freezing. As a result, the lines will crack or burst, damaging your plumping. Insert the Shop-Vac into each drain, jet face, union, suction, and filter cavity. Blow into each of these spots for 10-15 seconds. You might as well do it twice to ensure not a drop remains. Get it all out!

7. Clean your spa shell

This is the easiest step and one you will love doing because the water is all out! One way is to use hot tub cleaners that do not require any rinsing. You can also use vinegar and baking soda to get the job done, au naturel! 

If there is any extra water at all where the waterline was, a towel soak wipe should do the trick. Lay a towel or two over the water puddle, remove it after a few minutes, and wipe that spot clean.

Once this is all done, the final stage involves cleaning the cover and then setting it over your hot tub. When cleaning the cover, clean the underside, top, sides, and crevices.

Let it completely dry before putting it over your spa. Secure it with locks, if required. Wind Straps will protect your spa cover from the harshest of winds. Securely locking your cover in place will also prevent unwanted intruders from visiting your hot tub!

Final Dip

If you’ve done all this right, pat yourself on the back. This guide should have taught you:

  • The circumstances under which it is prudent to winterize your spa/
  • How to drain your spa for winter
  • How to winterize your spa

Now you can go and hibernate! Cozy up by the fire without worrying about bacteria, viruses, and algae polluting your hot tub water and other spa-related maintenance chores! You can now be lost in misty dreams of re-opening your spa enjoying a toasty soak!

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