Maintain your Hot Tub this Winter in the Right Way
Soaking in your hot tub in winter is a real delight – especially if everyone else has already closed up for the season. In Canada, winter soaking can be a treat, but the weather can be a real challenge. It means that special care is required to keep the hot tub water from freezing. And it means that extra maintenance for the hot tub in winter will provide many more years of use.
How to keep your hot tub from freezing over
For hot tubs with temperature controls, one of the options will be a “timer” mode. This option will monitor water temperature and will trigger the heater when water temperature goes below the manufacturer’s specifications. For hot tubs without this option, it’s possible to set the heater and water circulation to run for some time periods (when air temperature goes below freezing).
A quality hot tub cover will insulate the hot tub and prevent the water from cooling. A good cover will also provide protection from freezing rain and snow. For those using their hot tub in winter, the better quality covers are easy to open and close, and designed to be hassle free. With a proper fit and seal, a hot tub cover is essential for winter protection (not to mention energy efficiency).
Maintaining proper water level and water temperature is important throughout the winter. This will require regular monitoring, but should be easier if the plan is to use the hot tub in winter. A full hot tub takes more time for the water to cool off, especially during a cold spell. With regular monitoring, and keeping an eye on water level and water temperature, freezing is less likely.
Finally, it’s important to have a back-up plan in the event of a power outage. If the electricity cuts out, and the temperature is below freezing, things can ice up very quickly. Hence, it would be wise to have a solar-powered or battery-assisted water pump – this would ensure a safe temperature level and ongoing water circulation. Making sure that water is moving through the pipes is vital.
Deciding whether or not to close the hot tub
While many people enjoy a hot tub dip in the winter, the colder air temperature means that hot tub water takes longer to heat up. Clearly, this means higher energy bills. For those who won’t be using the hot tub throughout the winter, proper draining is recommended. The fact is, serious hot tub damage occurs when draining and winterizing is improperly handled.
When closing the hot tub for the season, it’s important to do it right so there’s no surprised in the spring. Proper draining and drying will ensure that no freezing will occur. This would also entail proper “flushing” – following the manufacturer’s recommendations or getting good advice from your retailer. Taking maintenance shortcuts will only risk future problems.
For those who decide to use their hot tub during the cold winter months, the key is to keep the water circulating and heated to a point where potential freezing is avoided.