Warm & Ready: Winterize Hot Tub Like a Pro

The crisp air and falling leaves signal that the season is upon us – it’s time to delve into the world of winterizing your hot tub. Regardless of whether you’re taking your initial plunge into hot tub ownership or you’re a well-versed enthusiast, this comprehensive guide is here to equip you with a treasure trove of invaluable insights. Unveil the secrets to maintaining your hot tub’s pristine condition throughout the chilly months ahead, all while embracing the comforting warmth it offers. Without further ado, let’s embark on this journey to winterize hot tub and ensure its unwavering brilliance!

Table of Contents

What is Winterize Hot Tub?

Winterizing a hot tub is a crucial maintenance process that ensures your spa remains protected and functional during the cold winter months. It’s more than just shutting it down – it’s a comprehensive set of steps that safeguards your investment.

When you winterize a hot tub, you’re essentially preparing it for hibernation. This involves draining the water, cleaning the tub thoroughly, and taking precautions to prevent freezing, which can lead to costly damage. By following the right steps, you’re ensuring that your hot tub’s pipes, pumps, and other components remain in good condition.

Learning how to winterize a hot tub is essential to prolong its lifespan and save you from potential headaches down the road. By properly winterizing your hot tub, you’re setting it up for a smooth start next year when you’re ready to enjoy its soothing warmth once again.

Requirements for Winterizing Hot Tub

  1. Hot tub filter cartridge cleaner.
  2. Multi-purpose pool and spa cleaner.
  3. Acrylic hot tub cleaner. (optional)
  4. Cover cleaner. (optional)
  5. Antifreeze depending on your hot tub model/ size.
  6. A protective winter cover for your spa. 
  7. A set of straps for winter cover protection.
  8. A sponge, soft cloth/ towel.
  9. Garden hose.
  10. Submersible pump. (optional – to drain your spa faster)
  11. Wet/dry vacuum cleaner.
  12. Funnel. (optional)
  13. Plumbing pliers to open the pump/plumbing coupler.

How to Winterize Hot Tub in 6 Easy Steps

If you’re not going to use your hot tub this winter, you should close it entirely to avoid freezing. It is advised that you winterize your hot tub before the temperature drops below five degrees. Winterizing a hot tub is important for both safety and saving money on utilities.

Step 1:

Take out the filter cartridges from the hot tub and soak them in a mixture of water and hot tub filter cleaner for six to eight hours. Ensure that the cleaner-to-water ratio is combined according to the instructions on the bottle.

After that, rinse them with your garden hose from top to bottom and inside the cartridge interior. Dry them out, then store them in a dry, frost-free place.

Winterize Hot Tub
Cleaning Filter

Step 2:

Now it’s time to clean the hot tub. Before cleaning, ensure there is enough water and the right water level. Remember to close all the air valves. Make sure you open all the jets so the cleaning agent can circulate. Pour the cleaner into the water according to the product label’s instructions. Then turn on the pumps. Running the hot tub pumps for two to three cycles is recommended. Once the cleaning process is complete, turn off the outside and interior breakers. 

Step: 3

Hot tub water can be drained by removing the drain plug (the slowest way) or using a submersible pump (the most efficient way). You can drain the hot tub quickly with a submersible pump. You just need to lower the submersible pump to the bottom of the tub, position the drain pipe in the desired location, and turn the pump on. Water in hot tubs can be emptied within 20 to 40 minutes, depending on their size. Afterward, use a towel or wet-dry vacuum to remove residual water from the hot tub bottom.

Winterize Hot Tub
Clearing Out Drain Pipes with a Vacuum


When you’re done emptying the hot tub with a pump, then you need to clear all the plumbing pipes. In this step, you will remove all residual water from the hot tub plumbing.

As part of removing residual water from the plumbing line through the hot tub main pumps, take off the panels on the hot tub so that you can access the pumps and other components. Then you’ll have to identify the pumps.

First, disconnect the pipe from the pump. It’s easier to unscrew the couplers that connect the pipes to the pump with plumbing pliers. Retrieve the O-ring once the pipe is disconnected from the pump.


Lubricate the O ring and seals, This will help protect the seals from drying out during the winter months.


In the next step, you require a dry wet vacuum to blow and vacuum out the water inside the pipe.

You will need to blow and vacuum the water directly from the pump to drain water from the remaining pipe. Also, put the vacuum at the end of the disconnected pipe and start it in blower mode to remove the excess water through the hot tub jets. Continue until all the water is removed from the jets. Then, firmly reconnect the pipe with the pump by hand.

You should repeat the previous steps for each additional pump in your hot tub.

At this point, most of the water should be out of your hot tub after you’ve blown out and vacuumed all the pumps and pipes. This will prevent damage to the hot tub during the cold season. Afterward, it is necessary to look inside the hot tub to remove any residual water that may still be present. 

Cover the pump and motor with a protective cover or plastic wrap to keep them dry and protected from the elements.

The next step is to vacuum the bottom drain for approximately ten to fifteen seconds.

After completing the above-mentioned steps, the water in your hot tub will be almost completely drained.

Winterize Hot Tub
Using antifreeze

Step 5:

In this step, apply antifreeze in the amounts recommended by the manufacturer. This will allow you to ensure that your hot tub has been properly winterized. Pour antifreeze into the main pump of your hot tub via the diverter valves. You could use a funnel to make this job easier. Pour antifreeze into all of the jet nozzles and skimmer drains. In these circumstances, the antifreeze will accumulate in the suction drains. To avoid stains, the antifreeze that accumulates at the bottom of the hot tub must be cleaned with a towel or wet-dry vacuum.

Stanley SL18116 Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 Gallon, 4 Horsepower

From wet spills to dry dust, the Stanley SL18116 Wet/Dry Vacuum tackles it all with ease.


Make sure you only use non-toxic antifreeze that is made specifically for use in swimming pools and hot tubs.

Winterize Hot Tub

Step 6:

Your hot tub may have a cover, but it is not constructed to withstand the heavy snowfalls that occur during winter. To reinforce it, you can place a large Styrofoam block just underneath the hot tub cover in the middle of your hot tub.

Put a tarp or other protective covering over your hot tub and secure it with the straps.

Clean the cover with any hot tub cover cleaner directly on the surface of the hot tub cover. Then scrub it gently with a dry cloth or sponge to remove the dust and dirt that accumulated over the fall. If more than 10 inches of snow and ice pile up on your hot tub’s cover, the best approach to remove it without damaging the cover is to use a broom rather than a shovel.

Winterization Prevents Damage to Investment.

Preventative maintenance, such as winterizing your hot tub, can help keep your investment safe all year. If you don’t keep up with this routine maintenance, the water in your hot tub could freeze, destroying the pump, pipes, and fittings. You can easily prepare your hot tub for the winter by draining the water, taking out the filter, and filling the pipes and pump with antifreeze. A hot tub that has been properly winterized can last for years without needing expensive repairs due to water freezing. This will assist in preserving the hot tub in good condition so that it is ready to use when the weather warms up.

It can finally be said, Winterizing the hot tub is an important step for keeping it in good working condition. With the right supplies and steps, you can easily winterize hot tub for the new year. By cleaning and draining the water, adding antifreeze, removing the filter, and covering the hot tub, you can protect your hot tub from any potential damage caused by the cold winter temperatures. With a little bit of preparation, you can enjoy your hot tub year-round.


Q: What type of chemicals should I use to Winterize Hot Tub?

There are several types of chemicals that can be used to winterize hot tub. The specific chemicals that you should use will depend on the type of hot tub you have and the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Q: How often should I check the hot tub during the winter months?

It is recommended to check on your hot tub at least once a month during the winter months to make sure that it is still in good condition. This will allow you to catch any issues that may arise early on, so that you can take steps to address them before they become major problems.

Q: Is there any problem if Winterize Hot Tub without antifreeze?

It is generally not recommended to winterize a hot tub without using antifreeze. Antifreeze helps to protect the hot tub’s plumbing and equipment from damage caused by freezing temperatures.

Q: What happens if you don’t winterize your hot tub?

If you don’t winterize your hot tub, it could be damaged by the freezing temperatures. The water inside the pipes and equipment could freeze and expand, which can cause the pipes to burst or the equipment to become damaged.

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