How To Winterize Your Spa In 8 Easy Steps
Leaves are falling – and so is the temperature. For many, prime hot tub weather is here. Hot water and cold air go perfectly together for those who enjoy their spas year round. If that's you, you don't need to know how to winterize your spa. Just keep it running and maintain it properly.
However, some folks like to stay indoors when it's cold. Maybe you'd rather wear cozy pajamas than a swimsuit. Or perhaps you migrate south for the winter. Whatever your reason, if you won't be using it, you need to know how to winterize your spa.
To safely prepare your spa for the winter, follow these 7 easy steps.
(Note: these steps apply to acrylic and fiberglass spas only! If you have a wood spa, don't drain it. The wood will dry out and could crack. You'll need to winterize a wooden spa like an above-ground swimming pool, using an air pillow.)
HOW TO WINTERIZE YOUR HOT TUB, STEP 1: BALANCE THE PH
You don't want to hurt your lawn or garden when you drain the spa. Reduce the chemical levels in the water and balance the pH before you start so it's safe.
STEP 2: POWER DOWN
This is a must. Just switch off and unplug your spa.
STEP 3: DRAIN THE TUB
With the spa still unplugged, open the drain. If you have a drain hose, roll it out. You'll save a lot of time by using a sump pump as well (if you have one). Let the water drain completely out.
Keep the drain open from this point on.
STEP 4: DRAIN THE BLOWER
Once the water stops draining, you'll need to run the blower. Here's how.
Close the spa cover and switch the power on. The blower will start automatically. You don't need the pumps (and you don't want to burn out the heater with no water in the tub), so make sure they're turned off.
Let the blower run for one minute, allowing water to spray from the jets. Then let the water drain away. Uncover the tub and soak the remaining water up with a soft towel.
STEP 5: REMOVE THE FILTERS
To avoid mold and mildew, you need to take all the filters out of your spa's filter well.
Now's the best time to give them a good cleaning. You'll want to use a filter cartridge cleaner solution so you don't store away dirty filters. Consider giving them a 24-hour chemical soak before you let them dry for storage.
After removing the filters, make doubly sure that the filter well is dry. Take out your trusty shop vac (or a simple sponge will do) to slurp up any remaining water from the well.
STEP 6: DRAIN THE PLUMBING
At this point, there's still water in the pipes. To drain it, unscrew the union fittings on the pump and heater and let them drain.
To keep condensation from forming in the pipes during the winter, open all the drain plugs on pipes and pumps. Remember to double check the lower pipes!
STEP 7: PURGE THE JETS
Get out your shop vac again for this step. Reverse the suction so it's blowing air out. Then hop into the tub.
Remove the skimmer basket and make sure that all the jets and air intake valves are open. Next, go around the tub and blow out every jet, the skimmer, the filter, the pump, and the heater.
Now do it again to be doubly sure all water is out.
When you're done, there may be more water in the tub. Go ahead and mop it up with a dry towel.
STEP 8: CLEAN, COVER AND CONDITION
Before you're done, you need to clean the spa. If the cleaner you normally use needs to be rinsed off with water, you should probably do the cleaning before you completely blow out the jets and pipes. That'll allow you to thoroughly drain off the water and cleaning solution.
After drying the tub, cover your spa.
Finally, use a good conditioner on the cover to protect it against harsh winter weather.
You're finished. Now you're ready to hibernate indoors while the weather outside is frightful. And you'll have a clean, mold-free spa experience waiting for you come spring. Well done.
For all your spa needs, service, and advice, come on in to The Great Backyard. We'd love to help you out!