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How to Keep Your Hot Tub From Freezing

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Winter is coming, and maybe you’re worried about White Walkers making their way into your land because you don’t have your very own dragon. Or, if you’re lucky, you’re just worried about how to keep your hot tub from freezing. That’s a much better problem to have.

It’ll be a bigger problem if you ignore it, though. If your hot tub freezes, the ice can cause a lot of damage, and you’ll spend the spring fixing or replacing your equipment. Avoid that, and just keep it from freezing in the first place.

To Close or Not to Close

Few things are more exhilarating than sitting in a nice, warm hot tub while snow falls around you. You may decide to keep your hot tub open during the cold winter months just for that experience. Just understand, when it’s cold outside, your hot tub will take longer to heat up, and your energy bills will rise.

If you don’t plan on using your hot tub in the winter, you’ll want to be sure you properly drain it before it gets too cold. Most hot tub damage that occurs during the cold months is caused by freezing water, which is what can happen if you don’t properly winterize your hot tub. This damage can end up costing you far more than simply running it during the winter months.

Using Your Hot Tub During the Winter

If you do choose to keep using your hot tub during the winter months, do a few things to prepare for the cold weather.

Change the Water

Before it gets too cold, drain and clean your hot tub, then refill it with fresh water. Trying to change the water when it’s really cold outside can be quite difficult and, as you can probably imagine, is no fun at all.

Invest in a Good Cover

Most temperature loss occurs at the water’s surface. Before winter hits, check your hot tub cover carefully, and make sure that it’s in tip-top shape. If it’s not, repair it or replace it. If you don’t, you could end up spending way more than you bargained for on your energy bills.

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Get a Floating Thermal Blanket

In addition to a high-quality cover for your hot tub, a floating thermal blanket that sits between the water and the cover will keep even more heat in the water, and further reduce your energy costs during the winter months.

Check the Water Level

Over the winter, especially if you haven’t used your hot tub for a few weeks, you’ll want to check the water level. If it drops too low, your pump and heater could shut down, resulting in ice and possible damage to your hot tub.

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Closing Your Hot Tub for the Winter

If you decide you won’t spend much time in your hot tub over the winter, you can save quite a bit of money by not heating and circulating the water.

However, you can’t just close the cover and forget about it. You must take the time to properly drain and dry out your hot tub before it gets too cold. If you don’t, you could end up with an expensive repair in the spring.

Flush and Drain Your Hot Tub

First, you must perform a hot tub line flush to clean out the plumbing. Then, drain all the water from your hot tub. During the winter months, you can’t have water in the hot tub that is not circulating and heated as it’ll freeze and could damage your tub or the plumbing.

Drain the Air Blower

If your hot tub has one, you must take the time to fully drain the spa blower of water as well. Shut off the heater, and run the blower for about 30 seconds to push all the water from the system and dry it out.

Remove the Filters

Closing your hot tub for the winter is a good time to pull out and clean the filters. Clean and dry them and keep them somewhere safe and dry during the winter.

If they’re worn out, simply discard them, and replace them when you start your hot tub in the spring.

Loosen Fittings

After you’ve drained your hot tub, there could still be water in many of the plumbing fittings. Loosen these fittings, and allow all the water to completely drain out of them.

If you have a gas heater, shut it down per your manufacturer’s instructions, and drain the water from any valves and fittings to be sure they’re dry.

Blow the Jets

You must make sure there’s no water in the jet system either. Using a wet-dry vac, blow air through each jet to make sure all water has been expelled from the system.

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Do a Final Cleanup

Mop up any water that’s been left behind in the hot tub, and then give it a good cleaning before putting the cover on and locking it for the winter. This will make opening your spa in the spring much easier.

Don’t Give Your Hot Tub the Cold Shoulder

When fall begins to set in, you need to begin thinking about what you want to do with your hot tub over the winter. If you decide to let it run so you can use it on those cold nights, you must make sure it’s ready to operate in the cold weather. If you prefer to close it down for the winter, take the time to learn how to keep your hot tub from freezing.

Unfortunately, following these steps won’t protect you from any White Walkers. But it will ensure your hot tub remains in good working order and help you avoid damage that could lead to expensive repairs in the spring.

Happy Soaking!

Matt Giovanisci is the founder of Swim University® and has been in the pool and spa industry since 1995. Since then, his mission is to make pool and hot tub care easy for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with water chemistry, cleaning, and troubleshooting.

Learn How to Keep Your Hot Tub Clean and Clear All Year

You'll save $100 right away with this easy-to-follow digital ebook and video course. This is the guide that hot tub manufacturer doesn’t provide you.

Click Here to Learn More
The Hot Tub Handbook

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