How to Drain a Hot Tub for Winter

Written by meg jernigan
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How to Drain a Hot Tub for Winter
Hot Tub With Cover (Spa Depot)

Hot tubs can be enjoyed year round, but if yours is going to be unused during the cold months, it's a good idea to winterise it. Chemicals in spa water left untended for long periods break down and allow bacteria and algae growth. Outdoor spas need protection from freezing to prevent damage to their plumbing and filters.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Spa flush
  • Wet/dry vacuum

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Turn on the jets and add a spa flush to remove mineral deposits and residues from inside the pipes and hoses. Follow the flush manufacturer's instructions.

    How to Drain a Hot Tub for Winter
    Spa Flush
  2. 2

    Turn off the power to the heater and the pump. Unplug the hot tub or throw its circuit breaker.

  3. 3

    Remove the filter cartridge. Clean it and allow it to dry before storage to prevent mildew growth.

    How to Drain a Hot Tub for Winter
    Hot Tub Filter
  4. 4

    Empty the hot tub through its drain hose or by siphoning or pumping the water out.

  5. 5

    Loosen and remove hoses from their fittings to allow the plumbing to drain. If the pump has a drain valve, open it. Blow through the jets with a wet/dry vacuum to force out any remaining water.

  6. 6

    Soak up excess water in the spa with towels. Wipe down both the inside and outside and allow the hot tub to dry. Apply spa wax or vinyl conditioner to protect the surface.

  7. 7

    Put the lid on the hot tub. If you have a storage cover, install it to prevent damage from the elements.

    How to Drain a Hot Tub for Winter
    Softub With Cover

Tips and warnings

  • Most all-wood hot tubs shouldn't be drained for long periods of time. The wood can dry and crack.

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