Are you considering leaving your outdoor hot tub filled during the winter months, or do you prefer to drain it once the weather starts to get cold? Either way, there are certain steps that you need to take. If you do not prepare your hot tub for winter, you are putting it at risk of getting frozen and causing damage to the system.
Using A Hot Tub During The Winter
There are many benefits to using a hot tub during the winter. First of all, slipping into the warm water is a great way to unwind and relax during all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Secondly, you will save time by not having to drain and refill the hot tub later in the year. Don’t worry. You can easily protect your hot tub by winterizing it for the cold weather. On the downside, if you run a hot tub during the winter, you will probably add an extra $30 or so to your electricity bill. This is due to the hot tub having to run more often to remain at a warm temperature. If you are like many people, you have made the decision to run your hot tub throughout the winter. In that case, you will need to have it winterized. There are companies that provide these services for a fee. You could also do it yourself. If you decide to do it yourself, then you need to make sure you follow all of the steps to reduce the risk of the hot tub freezing.
- The filter and heat cycles should run through the night.
- The hot tub should have a cover specifically designed for the winter. Solar covers are a perfect option. The cover should be cleaned on a regular basis.
- The pipes should be inspected thoroughly. If there are any low spots, correct them. This is areas where water could get trapped and freeze, causing damage to the pipes.
- Clean out all the pipes using a leaf blower.
- If your spa is new, you may want to review the owner’s guide. Some of the newer models come with a winter setting.
- If your hot tub does not have a winter setting, manually set the hot tub to turn on for a minimum of 15 minutes every hour. The cold weather outside can turn the water cold if it isn’t heated on a regular basis.
- Remove all snow from the top of the hot tub cover. The snow will reduce the water temperature. If you go on vacation, it may be important to have a neighbor check on this for you.
- You should continue doing maintenance on the hot tub during the winter months. This is done by simply doing what you always do. Ensure that you are checking the filters and changing when needed. Check the chlorine levels and adjust to ensure it is correct. If there are any other routine maintenance that you typically do, carry on as normal.
Draining The Hot Tub During The Winter
Many people who travel a lot during the winter months feel that it is beneficial to drain the hot tub during the coldest months. If you are not going to be home much during the winter, than keeping up with the maintenance may not really be an option. Draining the water in your hot tub during the winter may be the best choice for you.However, it is not just as simple as draining the water and being done with it. There are other steps that need to be taken to prepare your hot tub for winter. This is because water can be left in places without you realizing it. When that happens, you are at risk for your hot tub freezing even if you drained it. The repairs are costly and you should try to avoid it from happening at all costs by taking the following steps.
- Before beginning the process of draining your hot tub, you must ensure that the heater is turned off and that the hot tub is unplugged.
- Remove all of the filters, skimmers and filter canisters. Once removed, hose them down and soak them in a cleaning solution. It is important that they are cleaned properly. Store them in your home during the winter.
- Pipes that have water left in them will freeze. Remove all piping and drain thoroughly.
- Drain all water that is in the jet plumbing.
- Use your owner’s guide to learn how to turn off the external gas pump.
- Drain the water from the hot tub.
- Wash the hot tub with a cleaner.
- Once the hot tub is clean, ensure that you dry all areas completely. Any leftover water will freeze and can cause damage.
- It is still best to keep a cover on the hot tub even if there is no water in it.