How to Drain and Clean Your Spa

Your hot tub provides you with a lot – a soothing, relaxing experience and a place to unwind. You get enjoyment, relief, comfort, and an improved life.

So, because your spa takes care of you, you want to give it a little TLC in return. It doesn’t take much to maintain your spa on a regular basis —just keep the water clean, and periodically drain it, clean it, and refill it. Here’s how to drain and clean your spa.

When Should You Drain Your Hot Tub?

Your hot tub is great at keeping itself clean. Whether you use a chlorine, bromine, ozone, or salt water system to purify your spa, you enjoy pristine water, free of contamination, for months on end.

With every system, though, you need to change the spa water now and then.

  • If you use a traditional chlorine or bromine system, change the water in your spa about every three to four months.
  • If you use the FreshWater™ Salt Water System, change the water in your hot tub a lot less often—just once a year.

clean spa

How to Drain Your Hot Tub

Draining your hot tub is a fairly simple process, especially if you placed your spa close to a drain when you installed it. It does, however, involve a series of steps that begins with gathering the equipment you need to do the job.

  1. Gather equipment. You need a garden hose long enough to reach from your hot tub to a drain. If you’re the type who always likes to have the perfect tool for a job, invest in a submersible pump. You also need clean rags and a spa shell cleaner.
  2. Drain your hot tub. Depending on the size of your spa, it should take about an hour to drain using the hot tub’s drainage spigot. It will take about ten minutes to drain with a submersible pump.

To drain using the spigot:

  • Turn the power to the spa off at the circuit breaker. You don’t want the pumps or jets to run while there isn’t any water in the spa.
  • Next, find your drainage spigot. Your spa model may have two spigots, a primary and auxiliary spigot. Use the primary spigot to drain most of the water, and then open the secondary spigot to drain the internal bleedlines.
  • Attach the garden hose to the spigot, being careful not to cross-thread. The spigot’s threads will be plastic and may break if you apply too much force. Run the other end of the hose downhill or on level ground out to your drain. If you try to run the hose uphill, you’ll drain some water but not all of it. It’s best to transport the water to an existing drain, to avoid damage to your lawn or patio.
  • Open the ball valve on your spigot so the water can drain.

To drain using a submersible pump:

  • Turn the power to the spa off at the circuit breaker.
  • Place the pump inside the spa.
  • If your pump’s outflow hose isn’t long enough to reach a drain, connect it to a garden hose.
  • Turn the pump on and let the spa drain.
  • When the hot tub is empty, turn off the pump, remove it from the spa, detach the hose, and return it to storage.

clean spa

How to Clean Your Empty Spa

Once the water is drained, inspect and wash the shell’s interior, and remove and clean your spa filters before refilling it.

Fortunately, your spa’s shell is designed to resist dirt and stains, and cleaning it requires no more than a soft, damp rag. Many household cleaners can be harmful to your shell, so check your owner’s manual before using any.

When finished, rinse the shell with clean water.

How to Clean Your Filters

You also want to clean your spa’s filters. You should do this on a monthly basis.

    • Remove the cover to the filter compartment.
    • Remove any floating items from the compartment.
    • Turn the filter retainer handle to unlock the filter and retainer.
    • Remove the filter cartridge and retainer.
    • Soak your filter in a degreaser, according to package instructions.
    • Rinse the filter clean with a garden hose, spraying from all angles to ensure you’ve washed away all debris.
    • Replace the filter and lock the handle. Do not overtighten.

Refill Your Hot Tub

You can refill your hot tub by putting the hose in the spa and turning on the water.

If you choose this method, you might accidentally stumble into a pitfall: an airlock. An airlock is an air bubble that gets trapped inside your hot tub’s plumbing as it’s being filled with water. One or more air bubbles can cause the spa to work improperly and could damage jet and circulation pumps if you run them with air inside.

Air bubbles are relatively simple to remove, although the best method varies based on the spa model. If unsure, contact us for information on how best to remove them.

To prevent air bubbles from forming during refilling, you simply need to fill the spa from the correct fill pipe instead of putting the hose directly into the spa shell.

With some spas, for example, inserting a hose into the hollow standpipe beneath the filter is correct. Your owner’s manual tells you exactly where to find the fill pipe in your spa. Depending on the size of your spa and the size of your refill hose, it should take about as long to refill it as it took to drain it from the spigot.

To Conclude

Taking care of your spa between seasons should take only about two and a half hours. With plenty of time before and after cleaning, you can relax, tend to other chores, or bake a pie to eat in celebration when you’re all done!

If you’d like to spend more time soaking and less time on maintenance, contact us today and ask us about our Spa Maintenance Plan!

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