How Do I Winterize My Hot Tub

How Do I Winterize My Hot Tub? Draining Pipes + Antifreeze Guide

Winter is here, and all you need to do is drain your hot tub, put some anti-freeze in its pipes and let it remain well winterized until the temperatures start to rise again.

But if you don’t know the right way to do that, here’s my first-hand guide on how to winterize hot tubs properly.

To winterize a hot tub, switch off the power and then drain all the water using a sump pump. Drain the air blower too. Lift the tub covers to remove the filters and clean them. Blow all the pipes out, clean the tub and keep it dry. Secure the tub’s cover and let it stay over winter.

Failing to prepare your hot tub for the coming winter can lead to costly repairs when you head back. That is why you need to know how to winterize your hot tub the correct way.

Why you should drain hot tubs for winter

Are you headed out for the holidays? Or, are you going to spend any significant amount of time away from your hot tub?

  • Winterizing your hot tub and its plumbing is a great way to ensure you prevent leaks and breaks come summer.
  • During the cold season, water freezes, expands and causes pressure. This pressure can cause breakages within the plumbing of your hot tub.

Steps to Winterize a Hot Tub

snow and outdoor hot tub

Now that you know the benefits of draining water in your hot-tub’s pipes and preparing it for winter storage, let’s dive into the winterization process.

This is a nine-step DIY guide to winterizing your hot tub by yourself.

What you will need:

To prevent such damage, you’ll need to winterize your hot tub plumbing at the right time.

Here’s how to winterize your hot tub properly:

1. Switch off the power source

The first step is switching off the power source to your hot tub. It is a safety measure to avoid electrocution.  

2. Drain the water

remove all water from hot tub

You cannot winterize the tub with water in it. Start by removing the drain plug from the tub then begin the draining process. You can either drain it using the drain plug or the sump pump mentioned above. For the fastest results, use the sump pump.

While some tubs allow the attachment of a garden hose to it, the process is still slower than using the sump pump.

However, if you cannot access a sump pump, manual draining (using the drain plug) is just as good in terms of the quality of the work done.

3. Draining the air blower

After draining the tub, check if it has an air blower. The air blower also holds water which needs draining before continuing with the winterizing process.

First, turn the heater off to prevent its damage once you turn the hot tub back on (after the cleaning). As a word of caution, you should never run your tub without water as this damages it.

After that, put back the cover on the hot tub then turn on the power to run the blower for half a minute. Turn it off then continue to the next step.

For the next steps, ensure there is completely no power connection to the tub.

4. Remove the filters

You then remove the tub cover to reach the filters for removal. After removing the filters, you will need the filter cartridge cleaner to clean the filters.

For the best results, soak the filters in a chemical soak for a full day (24-hours) as you prepare for their cleaning.

As you clean it, make sure the filter well does not have water in it. To achieve this, a sponge or shop vac comes into play.

5. Ensure complete drainage

drain system under hot tub

To completely drain the tub, you will need to unscrew any fittings. The aim of draining the tub is to ensure that there is no water that will freeze and cause damage to the system since ice occupies more space than liquid water.

Finish off this process by opening up the cabinet to the hot tub then locating the pump(s) then loosening any unions you will find here such as those connecting the PVC to the pump.

You then remove the drain plugs from the pumps and allow the water to drain in the case that condensation builds up inside.

6. Blow the pipes out

After obtaining the pipes, you need to blow them out for proper cleaning. This can be done by the use of the shop vac which needs to be set to the ‘blow’ setting. Do not suck the air from the pipes since blowing does a much better cleaning job than suction.

You will need to place the shop-vac hose on the jets of the tub to blow them out. Do this for every single jet for a proper result. You can repeat the process to be sure of it.

7. Remove all the water

Blowing out the pipes will, of course, result in some water in the tub. You can use any method to remove this water be it a sponge, shop-vac or sump pump.

Dry out the water completely for the best results.

8. General cleaning

hot tub maintenanace

You’ll then clean your hot tub thoroughly. If the cleaning process entails using water, ensure you remove all of it afterward.

This cleaning stage will entail cleaning the shell and the cover of the tub. The cover needs cleaning both inside and on the outside.

9. Secure the cover

You need to use the straps on the cover to your hot tub for proper storage. The focus is on securing it from blowing off in severe winds and preventing the entry of objects or animals in it.


The steps above describe how you winterize your hot tub in preparation for the cold season.

While you need to use the hot tub more in the winter than any other time, circumstances may come up hence the need for winterizing.

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