Many people like to use their hot tub all year long. If you know that you won’t be using it during the winter, here’s what you need to know about winterizing your spa.
Turn off the Power
Any service procedure starts by shutting off the heater and powering off the spa. But before you turn off the power, check the GFCI by pressing its test button to make sure it is working properly. Then, switch off the power at the breaker panel or disconnect box for safety.
Flush and Drain
Flush your plumbing system then empty the water by opening the drain valve. A spa vac or submersible pump may be used to speed up draining and remove remaining water and debris from foot wells.
Purge Air Blower
Naturally, if you don’t have an air blower, you can skip this step. If you do, purge it by first shutting off the heater to prevent damage and then, with the cover in place and the power on, run the blower for 15 to 30 seconds. Afterwards, trip the GFCI again, shut off the spa circuit at the breaker panel and unplug the spa.
If the filters are over a year old, they should be replaced. With the cover off, remove your filter(s) and clean them in a filter cleaning solution. Then put them away in a dry location. Be sure to remove any remaining water from the filter compartment then clean it and the skimmer basket. If your hot tub has a separate filter canister, be sure that it is completely drained.
Your spa’s plumbing system may have several fittings that can be loosened enough to allow water to drain. Open unions on the inlet and outlet of your pump and heater. The pump housing may have drain plugs which should also be opened so that the pumps won’t be damaged by water freezing.
If your spa has an external gas heater, follow the manufacturer’s instruction to shut it down. Gas heaters will sometimes need a cleaning or a tune-up in the spring when they have been shut down for the winter.
Blow the Jets
First, open all of the jets with the topside jet controls set to the off position. With a wet-dry vac set to the blowing mode, force air into each jet fixture. After you have worked your way around clockwise, repeat the process counter-clockwise. Keep repeating until no significant amounts of water can be purged.
Additional Actions to Take
- Clean the shell with a non-foaming cleaner and rinse with clean water.
- Mop up any remaining water inside the spa.
- Apply a quality protectant to the inside and outside of the cover. Secure and lock into place.
- Give wooden surrounds a coat of finish before weather dampens the wood or the temperatures get too low.
- A coverall that encloses the entire hot tub will prevent rain water or melting snow from seeping into the spa.
If you would rather, a local professional can do all of this for you. Be sure that any service company you choose guarantees their work against freeze damage. It’s better to leave the winterizing of inground hot tubs to the pros.