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Avoid This Costly Mistake: Learn How to Winterize a Hot Tub

Avoid This Costly Mistake: Learn How to Winterize a Hot Tub
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Get ready for winter! Learn how to winterize a hot tub to safeguard it from freezing damage.

It’s a simple process involving water drainage, tub cleaning, and component protection. Follow our step-by-step guide to prep your hot tub for the cold months ahead.

Whether you’re an experienced owner or new, this guide ensures your hot tub stays in top shape throughout winter.

Why Do We Need to Winterize a Hot Tub?

how to winterize a hot tub

Winterizing your outdoor hot tub is a must-do before winter arrives. Neglecting this step can lead to costly damage to your tub’s components.

Freezing temperatures can cause water to expand, cracking pipes and damaging equipment.

The tub’s shell can also crack due to frozen water expansion. Beyond protecting from the weather, winterizing prevents bacteria growth. Draining, cleaning, and adding chemicals halt bacteria buildup.

Proper winterization maintains your hot tub’s health and prevents expensive repairs. Follow these steps to ensure your tub’s longevity and a smooth return to use when warmer days return.

Essential Tools and Materials You Need for Winterizing a Hot Tub

Hot tub owners will need the following tools and materials to winterize your hot tub:

  • Submersible Pump (optional)
  • Garden Hose
  • Bucket
  • Cleaning Agents
  • Soft Cloth or Sponge
  • Non-Toxic Antifreeze
  • Wet/dry Vacuum

How to Winterize a Hot Tub in 11 Steps

Winterizing a hot tub is an important process that protects it from damage during the cold months. Here are the steps to winterize a hot tub:

1. Allow Chemical Levels to Drop

Before starting the winterizing process, allow the chemical levels in the hot tub to decrease. This will make it easier to drain and dispose of the water properly.

2. Turn Off the Power

Shut off the power to the hot tub by turning off the circuit breaker that feeds it power. This will ensure that there is no risk of electrical shock during the winterizing process.

3. Drain the Hot Tub

Connect a hose to the hot tub drain and allow the hot tub to drain completely. This will remove all the water from the hot tub, which is important to prevent damage from freezing.

4. Drain the Air Blower

Remove the air blower and use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any remaining water from the blower. This will prevent water from freezing and causing damage.

5. Loosen Unions/Couplers and Drain Plugs

Loosen the unions/couplers and the drain plug to remove any remaining water from the pipes. This is important to prevent damage from freezing.

6. Remove and Clean or Discard Filters

Remove the hot tub filter cartridges and clean them thoroughly. If they are damaged or worn out, discard them and replace them with new ones.

7. Blow Out Jet Pipes

Use a wet/dry vacuum to blow out the jet pipes and remove any remaining water. This will prevent water from freezing and causing damage.

8. Remove Any Remaining Water

Use a wet/dry vacuum like a Shop Vac to remove any remaining water from the hot tub. This will prevent water from freezing and causing damage.

9. Clean the Shell and Dry the Hot Tub

Clean the hot tub shell thoroughly and dry it completely. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing during the winter months.

10. Add Non-Toxic Antifreeze (If Needed)

If the hot tub is located in an area with extremely cold temperatures, add non-toxic antifreeze to the hot tub to prevent freezing.

Splash Antifreeze for Winterizing Spas, 4 x 1 Gallon
  • SPLASH blue antifreeze is made to winterize water systems for your pool or hot tub and is safe for:

11. Clean and Secure Cover

Clean the hot tub cover and secure it tightly to prevent debris from entering it during winter.

By following these steps, a hot tub can be properly winterized and protected from damage during the cold months.

Best Time to Winterize a Hot Tub

Winterize your hot tub at the right time for its well-being in cold months. Do it before freezing temperatures hit to prevent damaging plumbing lines and equipment.

Best time? When nights regularly dip below 50°F (10°C), often late October or early November.

Variations occur based on location and climate. Avoid early winterization—it can cause stagnant water, fostering harmful microorganisms. Choose the right timing to prevent this.

Consider using frequency, too. If you often use the tub in winter, delay winterization for better preservation.

To ensure proper timing for winterization—before freezing but not excessively early. This maintains your hot tub’s optimal condition, preparing it for warmer times ahead.

Winterize a Hot Tub

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Antifreeze Is Needed to Winterize a Hot Tub?

The amount of antifreeze needed to winterize a hot tub depends on the size of the tub and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Typically, 1 to 2 gallons of antifreeze is enough to winterize a hot tub. However, following the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific model is important to ensure proper winterization.

What Is the Difference Between Hot Tub Antifreeze and RV Antifreeze?

Hot tub antifreeze and RV antifreeze are both designed to protect against freezing temperatures, but they are formulated differently.

Hot tub antifreeze is specifically formulated for hot tubs and contains inhibitors to protect against corrosion and scale buildup.

RV antifreeze is designed for use in RVs and contains propylene glycol, which is less toxic than the ethylene glycol found in automotive antifreeze.

Can a Hot Tub Be Left Unused for Months?

Yes, a hot tub can be left unused for months, but it is important to properly winterize the tub to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.

If the hot tub is not going to be used for an extended period, it is recommended to drain the water and properly winterize the tub.

What Temperature Will Hot Tub Pipes Freeze?

Hot tub pipes can freeze at temperatures below 32°F (0°C). It is important to properly winterize the hot tub to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.

How Do I Start Up My Hot Tub After Winterizing It?

To start a hot tub after winterizing it, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for refilling it and restarting the system.

It is important to make sure all valves are properly open and closed and to check for any leaks before refilling the tub.

Can I Keep My Hot Tub Covered During Winter Without Winterizing It?

It is not recommended to keep a hot tub covered during winter without properly winterizing it is not recommended.

Even with a cover, freezing temperatures can cause damage to the tub and its components. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for winterizing the hot tub is important to prevent damage.

Can Winterization Prevent All Potential Damage to My Hot Tub?

Winterization is vital to minimize winter-related hot tub damage, but it doesn’t ensure absolute prevention of all risks.

While it greatly reduces freezing and common issues, unforeseen events like power outages and extreme weather can still pose threats.

To enhance protection, pair winterization with precautions like using a sturdy cover, regular checks, and prompt issue resolution.


Winterizing a hot tub is an essential task that should not be overlooked in routine hot tub care. Neglecting to winterize your hot tub can result in costly damages that will be time-consuming to repair.

To ensure that your hot tub is well-maintained and ready for use once the winter season is over, follow the steps outlined in this article.

Remember to check your user manual for any specific instructions or requirements before starting the winterization process.

Additionally, be sure to check with your local municipality to ensure that you are following any regulations regarding chemically treated water.

Following these steps will help prolong your hot tub’s life and ensure that it is ready for use when you need it. With proper maintenance, you can enjoy your hot tub for years to come.

Pricing on this page was last updated on 2024-07-14