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How to Properly Winterize Your Hot Tub

For those who don’t plan on using their hot tub throughout the winter season, it just makes good sense to get it properly winterized. While winterizing your hot tub is clearly demanding work, it’s well worth the effort – it will protect all of the mechanicals and it will set the stage for an easy spring opening. Winterizing your hot tub is simply a necessary responsibility, whether you do it yourself or decide to contract a company. The potential for freezing or mechanical damage just isn’t worth it. More than that, it’s important to do it right from the start, without taking shortcuts.

Wondering if your hot tub will freeze up in winter?

At this time of year, many hot tub owners are debating whether or not to close down their hot tub for the winter. Without a doubt, properly winterizing your hot tub will ensure that everything is protected from the elements. This is particularly relevant where the winter weather is extreme.

For those who decide to keep using their hot tub in winter, proper preparation can keep things running safely and smoothly. The point is, effectively winterizing your hot tub is the best way to prevent freezing, mechanical damage, and costly repairs (whether you’re using the tub or not).

If you’ve never done so before, keeping your hot tub open throughout the winter can actually be an incredible experience – even when the snow is falling all around. Apart from the added energy required for heating, a high quality (well-insulated) hot tub will be quite reasonable to operate.

An easy 10-step approach to winterizing your hot tub

Once you’ve made the decision to close down your hot tub for the winter, there are some basic maintenance steps required for winterizing your hot tub. Primarily, and under all conditions, the tub must be completely drained for the winter. The air blowers must be drained, the filters must be removed, and a secure cover must be installed to prevent anything from entering the hot tub.

There’s no reason why you can’t do the work yourself – if you are so inclined. At the same time, you can also decide to hire a professional to do the work, and be assured of a comprehensive job, with nothing to worry about. Either way, it has to be done properly, in order to avoid any freezing and any chance of mechanical damage. In the spring, the hot tub will be completely ready to go.

The most important aspect of winterizing is to prevent the potential for freeze damage. This can happen when residual water freezes and expands inside the pipes, pump, or heater. The damage, and the cost for repairs, can be quite substantial. The good news is that preventive measures will allow your hot tub to weather winter’s elements. It’s just a matter of doing it right from the start.

1.  Turning off the power

Whether you are repairing or winterizing, you have to make sure that there’s no power getting to your hot tub. This is certainly for safety, but also a way to avoid potential damage from occurring.

2.  Draining all the water

To begin with, remove the drain plug and start draining the hot tub completely. If you decide on using a pump to expedite the process, the drain plug should still be removed from your hot tub.

3.  Draining the air blower

For hot tub models that have an air blower, residual water should be removed completely. Make sure that the heater is turned off – the heating element should never be running without water.

4.  Remove all filters

Carefully remove all the filters and make sure they don’t contain water. This is also a good time to clean the filters. Professionals recommend doing a 24-hour “chemical soak” to effectively clean.

5.  Unscrew fittings

Fittings should be unscrewed and/or loosened to allow for complete drainage. The idea here is to allow any residual water to drain out from any plumbing pipes (prevents condensation build up).

6.  Blow out pipes

Using a Shop Vac (or something similar) turn the vacuum setting on “blow” instead of “suction”. Place the Shop Vac hose over each of the water jets. Blow out every single water jet – one by one.

7.  Remove tub water

Once the pipes are blown out, there will usually be some leftover water in the tub. Make sure to remove all residual tub water with a Shop Vac or sponge. The hot tub has to be completely dry.

8.  Clean the shell

With an empty hot tub, it’s a good time to do a thorough cleaning, perhaps with a recommended cleaning agent. If this process requires a water rinse, make sure to remove all remnants of water.

9.  Install the cover

Install and secure your hot tub cover as recommended by the manufacturer. This will ensure that nothing gets inside the hot tub, and it will also protect the hot tub from severe wind and storms.

10.  All winterized!

Step by step, the hot tub is now properly winterized. You are now well protected for the winter, and ready to set things up for the spring. In fact, all of this work makes a spring opening easy.

Winterizing your hot tub with Seaway Pools & Hot Tubs

Whether you’re winterizing your hot tub, or opening it up for a new season, Seaway Pools & Hot Tubs can provide you with professional service. If you decide to keep your hot tub open during the winter, we can offer regular maintenance to make sure that everything is working at peak.

Our people are well trained and knowledgeable – they specialize in everything from mechanical operation to water chemistry. Beyond service, we can also answer your questions and provide advice on getting the most out of your hot tub. We even offer FREE computerized water analysis.

In the event that you’re ready for a brand new hot tub (whether a replacement or otherwise), we can recommend the best model and the best features to suit your specific needs. So when you’re ready, call us at 905-294-8030 or request our services at

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