If you are fortunate enough to own a hot tub (also known as a spa), you know how therapeutic they can be. They reduce stress, increase blood circulation, ease aches and pains, and much more. But if you are unfortunate enough to have had to pay costly repairs to fix a leak or equipment damage, you know how what a financial burden they can be, as well. One of the worst things a spa owner can do is not properly winterize their spa. Through my experience working in a pool and spa store, I have seen what can happen when pipes freeze inside a hot tub. Here, I’ll show you how to keep your hot tub from freezing in the winter so that you can prevent future damage to your investment.
Do I have to winterize my spa?
Absolutely not! You will only have to winterize a spa if you don’t plan on using it. Some people simply don’t like the idea of running in and out in very cold temperatures, so they close their spa instead of allowing it to freeze. This is a wise idea! An unused hot tub will freeze if the temperature outside dips below freezing for three consecutive days in a row. When the water inside the pipes freeze, they burst. Burst pipes cause leaks, which cannot be repaired until warmer weather returns, if at all.
How to winterize a spa
Step 1 – Open all jets and close all control valves.
Step 2 – Shut off power to the spa by turning off the circuit breaker.
Step 3 – Drain the water out of your spa. This can be done with a submersible pump. Be sure to direct the water away from the house and downhill, if possible.
Step 4 – Remove the spa filter and clean it with a chemical product. Allow it to dry completely before storing.
Step 5 – Remove the drain plug to release excess water from the bottom of the spa. Use a wet vacuum to remove any water that remains.
Step 6 – Use a shop vac to blow water out of the lines. This is very important! If any water is left in the lines, it can freeze. Remove any water that you see, no matter where it is.
Step 7 – Turn the circuit breaker back on, open up the jets and turn the pump on to ensure all water gets blown out. It may seem that you’re being repetitive with this action, but if want to keep a hot tub from freezing, it is essential to be thorough.
Step 8 – Turn the circuit breaker back off.
Step 9 – Use pool antifreeze (RV antifreeze works, too) to your spa plumbing. A funnel will make this process easier. Add antifreeze to the pumps, jets, and plumbing connected to the filter.
Step 10 – Cover your spa with an insulated spa cover.
Don’t worry about how the antifreeze will affect you when you reopen your spa. When the time comes, you’ll purge your lines and add fresh water, so it will be perfectly safe for you and your family to soak.
More from Jennifer Wagner:
Pool closing tips for all pool types
5 things to consider before putting a hot tub indoors
Extend the life of your appliances