Don’t Make These Mistakes When You Winterize Hot Tub

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: Flush the Lines

Before you drain your hot tub, you should flush the lines to remove any dirt, bacteria, or biofilm that may have accumulated in the pipes. You can use a commercial line flush product or a homemade solution of vinegar and water. Follow the instructions on the product label or add about a cup of vinegar per 100 gallons of water. Run the jets for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn off the power and proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Drain the Hot Tub

The next step is to drain your hot tub using a submersible pump, a siphon hose, or the built-in drain valve. Make sure to empty all the water and follow the proper disposal guidelines. You might have to lean the hot tub a bit to remove any leftover water. After that, you need to clean the plumbing pipes of any remaining water.

To do this, you need to access the pumps and other parts by removing the panels on the hot tub. Locate the pumps and disconnect the pipe from each one. Use plumbing pliers to loosen the couplers that attach the pipes to the pumps. Don’t forget to get the O-ring from the pipe after disconnecting it. Then, use a wet/dry vacuum to blow and suck out the water from the pipe.

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Step 3: Dry the Hot Tub

After draining the hot tub, you should dry it thoroughly to prevent any moisture from freezing and cracking the shell or the components. You can use a sponge, a towel, or a wet/dry vacuum to soak up any water from the surface, the jets, the filter housing, and the skimmer. Pay special attention to the corners and crevices where water may hide.


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


Step 4: Clean the Filter and the Shell

Winterize Hot Tub
Image: cleaning the filter

Once the hot tub is dry, you should remove the filter and clean it with a filter cleaner or a mild detergent. Rinse it well and let it air dry. You should also clean the shell of the hot tub with a non-abrasive cleaner or a mild bleach solution. Wipe it down with a soft cloth and rinse it with clean water.

Step 5: Add Antifreeze

To prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting, you should add antifreeze to the plumbing system. You can use a non-toxic propylene glycol antifreeze that is safe for hot tubs and the environment. Do not use automotive antifreeze, as it can damage the hot tub and harm your health. To add antifreeze, you can either pour it directly into the jets and the drain valve, or use a funnel and a hose to inject it into the pipes. You should use about a gallon of antifreeze per jet. Make sure to cover all the openings with duct tape or plastic wrap to seal the antifreeze inside.

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

Step 6: Secure the Cover

The final step is to secure the cover of the hot tub to protect it from snow, ice, and debris. You should use a high-quality cover that is insulated and waterproof. You should also use a cover lifter or a strap to keep the cover in place and prevent it from blowing off. You may also want to add a layer of plastic or tarp over the cover for extra protection.

Winterize Hot Tub

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Common Winterization Mistakes for Hot Tubs:

Incomplete Water Drainage:

  • Mistake: Failing to drain the water entirely.
  • Consequence: Frozen water in pipes, pumps, or jets leads to potential bursting.

Neglecting Cleaning Tasks:

  • Mistake: Overlooking filter, shell, and cover cleaning.
  • Consequence: Accumulation of dirt and bacteria causing odors, stains, and infections.

Skipping Antifreeze Use:

  • Mistake: Not utilizing antifreeze.
  • Consequence: Risk of remaining water freezing and expanding within the plumbing system.

Inadequate Cover Security:

  • Mistake: Leaving the cover loose or damaged.
  • Consequence: Exposure to snow, rain, or debris, leading to water contamination and component damage.

Irregular Hot Tub Checks:

  • Mistake: Not inspecting the hot tub regularly (at least once a month).
  • Consequence: Potential issues going unnoticed, hindering the hot tub’s readiness for use.

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.


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.

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.

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