The number one enemy of a spa or a hot tub is extreme cold weather. It shouldn't come as any surprise that icing of spas and improper winterization can damage your investment. Unfortunately, many people don't realize that a lack of spa winterization will lead to costly repairs after it's too late. Worse, because of carelessness and neglect, their hot tubs cannot be saved and usually end up becoming a conversation piece. To avoid this problem, don't let your spa freeze to death! To add more years to your hot tub, here are some tips to winterize your hot tub.
First, unplug your spa from the power outlet or simply open the circuit breaker for the spa's electrical power line. Next, remove the thermal cover and drain the spa of its water. You can do this by connecting a garden hose to the spa's bottom drain spout or by pumping the water out with a submersible pump or vacuum.
The best way to get a siphon started is not to suck the water through a hose. Instead, place the hose low in the spa. Connect the other end to an outside tap and turn it on in order to fill the hose with water. Once full, disconnect the tap side and drop it lower in elevation to the spa. This will get the water draining. Just make sure the spa side remains under water until fully drained.
Leave the drain spout open when you're done. Next, turn the heater off, replace the thermal cover and plug the unit again or switch on the hot tub's circuit breaker. Turn on the air blower and let it run for about 30 seconds to a minute. This will remove any remaining water there. If your hot tub has no air blower, then go to the next step of the procedure.
Take off the cover and sop up as much of the remaining water as possible using a shop vac, sponge, towel, clean mop or all of the above. Make sure you get the water out of the recessed areas like the footwell. Also remove the cartridge filter from the canister compartment and eliminate all water from it. You may also want to leave a sponge or towel in the recessed areas to sop up any remaining water that may continue to leak in.
At this point, check your filter to see if it's dirty. If it is, soak it in a filter cleaning solution. Make sure it's dry before storing it. If your filter is over a year old, replace it. Never reuse dirty filters. After that, trip the ground fault circuit interrupter by pressing the "Test" button. Turn off the circuit breaker again and unplug the spa. To remove remaining water, follow these steps from HotTubEssentials.Com:
"Loosen the PVC (plastic) couplers on your heater housing and one coupler on each of your pumps to allow drainage. Remove any bleed valves or drains that may be on the equipment. This will prevent any equipment from freezing and cracking. you still have water in your jet lines, use a shop vacuum to remove excess water. As long as the majority of water is removed from each water line, freezing will not cause damage. "
Use an air compressor to blow out water from the jet piping. Once you're done, cover your hot tub and relax. These measures normally apply to above-ground spas. Wooden tubs and in-ground spas are a different matter. When in doubt, call a spa professional to winterize your hot tub for you.