How to Winterize Your Hot Tub Quickly and Easily

Coast Spas hot tub with a winter backdrop.

How to Winterize Your Hot Tub Quickly and Easily

If you haven’t looked or been outside lately, you may not have noticed that summer is over, and we are well into fall. Some meteorologists are predicting a Nor’easter for Quebec and the surrounding regions, and snow has already fallen in some of the Provinces already. This is just life north of the 49th and we have to make do with the weather mother nature gives us. With winter rapidly approaching, so does the season of shoveling copious amounts of snow and developing stiff and sore muscles as a result. What better than a hot tub to soak those achy joints and tired muscles than a dip in the hot tub? Properly maintained and covered spas cost no more to run in the winter than they do in the summer, contrary to popular belief. However, if your spa is too far from your door, you have not properly maintained your spa, or you simply don’t want to use it in the winter, then this is the blog for you. The majority of the damage to hot tubs in the winter is a direct result of not having a properly unused winterized spa. Below, we will break down the proper steps to winterize your hot tub for the months that it will not be in use.

Things You Are Going to Need

  • A wet/dry vacuum
  • Some microfiber towels
  • A jug of spa antifreeze (optional)
  • A spa cleaning kit (which comes with the items listed below)
    • Some spa system flush
    • A filter cleaner
    • Some spa cleaner
    • Container of polish
    • A sponge

How to Properly Winterize Your Hot Tub

Here are the steps we recommend you take to make your hot tub ready for a long Canadian winter.

  1. Complete System Flush – Simply run a hot tub system cleaner through the spa before you drain it to completely remove build-up and to prevent bacteria or mold from forming. This can be done in a few minutes, or better yet run it overnight.
  2. Turn Off the Power – This means shutting off the spa manually at the control panel and also the breaker box.
  3. Drain the Spa – Thoroughly drain the spa. If your spa does not come equipped with drain valve, simply drop a submersible pump inside and let it drain the spa for you. Bear in mind neither method will get all of the water out, so you may have a need to grab some buckets or small cups to remove the final two to three inches of the footwell.
  4. Remove the Filter(s) – Make sure to check your user’s manual and remove any and all filters. As a side note, make sure that any filters that are older than one year have expended their usefulness and should be discarded. If you have a filter or filters that are less than a year old, clean them with the filter cleaner provided in the cleaning kit. After, make sure to store them in a clean, dry place until next season.
  5. The Blower – If your hot tub comes furnished with a blower, you need to run this to purge the water from the lines. Disconnect or unplug all heating units prior to powering the spa back on. Once complete, cover the spa with its cover and run the blower only for fifteen to thirty seconds making sure all water has been removed from the air lines. After you are certain the water is all out, power off the spa once again. Should any water have come out, make sure you clean this up once again.
  6. Heaters and Pumps – Loosen the joints and/or drain plugs and allow the water to drain from the pump(s) and heater(s). Remember to tighten the joints and drain plugs after all the water is out.
  7. Vacuum Out the Plumbing and Jets – After the hot tub is completely drained, you MUST additionally use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the water from the lines. Any water left in the jets will freeze and damage them. To sufficiently remove all water from the jets, place the wet/dry vacuum over the jet for ten to fifteen seconds per jet. Don’t forget to vacuum out the filter cavity as well.
  8. Clean the Spa – Spray the spa cleaner on all surfaces and wipe it down completely. The cleaner should be non-foaming, pH balanced cleaner. Apply the polish to all acrylic surfaces.
  9. Completely Dry All Surfaces – Use your wet/dry vac to double check that all nooks and crannies have been properly vacuumed out – including the footwell, cup holders, and seats.
  10. Spa Antifreeze – Now, this step is completely optional, but highly recommended for any climate that drops below freezing – so pretty much all of Canada. Dilute the spa antifreeze as directed on the bottle and one gallon in each pump discharge unit. Make sure all the pump discharge unions have been thoroughly tightened after performing this task.
  11. Secure the Access Panel – Replace and secure all access panels removed for the completion of these tasks. Remember to replace all screws and latches.
  12. Clean the Spa Cover – The final step in any winterization list is to clean the cover. Use a non-foaming cleaner and wipe down both sides of the cover, paying special attention to the folds and any flaps. Replace the cover onto the spa and secure with any button, snap, or buckles that came with it. This will ensure it does not get debris inside or the cover will not blow off.

As a side note, make sure to check your local laws on the where waste water can be dumped. A few municipalities forbid the draining hot tubs and pool directly into storm drains. If you live in a house with a septic tank with a drain field, avoid draining in that location. Additionally, make sure you drain water into a gravel or soil location, nothing worse than turning your driveway into a skating rink unintentionally. For more information on where you can purchase your spa visit us at Coast Spas.


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