If you’re a hot tub owner and planning in going away over the winter period, taking a break from hot tubbing in the winter or whatever your reasons, if you are not going to be around to take care of your hot tub or don’t plan on using your hot tub during the winter period (unthinkable, I know), then it’s best to learn how to winterize your hot tub correctly and safely in 12 easy steps.
Our team here at Penguin Spas along with our technical team at SPATECUK have put together some of the most asked questions along with a simple, step-by-step guide and tips on how to winterize your hot tub safely.
If your hot tub is still within its warranty period, before you begin any hot tub maintenance yourself check your manufacturer’s terms and conditions as, sometimes, the manufacturer may only provide warranty coverage if it has been winterised by an authorised service professional.
Should I empty my hot tub in winter?
This would really depend whether or not you’re planning on using your hot tub over the winter period. A growing number of hot tub owners across the UK say that using their hot tub over the winter period is their favourite time of the year, however if you are planning on going away over the winter period or just want to take a break in hot tubbing, we would recommend winterizing your hot tub and follow our simple guide on how to winterize your hot tub the correct way.
How much does it cost to winterize a hot tub?
Based on the industry's average, a standard hot tub winterizing service from a reputable hot tub company cost is between £250 to £299, where most hot tub owners pay around £265. When you want to know the exact or accurate price for a company to winterize your hot tub, it's best to ask for a free estimate from your hot tub service provider or if you have the time, you can do it yourself by simply following our easy steps below on how to winterize your hot tub.
Can I put Antifreeze in my hot tub?
No, there are now several antifreeze winterize water system products in the market made with Propylene Glycol which for many reasons we would not recommend as propylene glycol can react with oxygen and metal ions, generating various compounds including organic acids (e.g., formic, oxalic, acetic). These acids accelerate the corrosion of metals in the system and could invalidate your hot tub warranty.
What happens if you do not winterize your hot tub correctly?
When winterizing your hot tub, it’s vitally important and essential that you winterise your hot tub correctly and ensure all water has been removed from your spa pipes when closing down for the winter as any residue water left in the pipes and jets can freeze and cause cracking which can be very costly to fix as illustrated below.
The video above was taken by our spa technician in November who attended a call-out. The customer had reported losing water but couldn’t identify the location. It was quickly identified by our technician a pipe connected to the jet had cracked due to the freezing temperatures. She only wished she followed our easy step-by-step guide.
Let’s go over the steps for preparing your hot tub for winter
Step 1. Gather hot tub cleaning supplies and products
We have put together a small list of essential items that will help you safely winterise your hot tub over the winter months which also includes our new Hot Tub Winterising Kit.
Garden hose to drain water
Submersible water pump (optional)
Wet and Dry Vacuum
Hot Tub Flush
Spa Surface Cleaner
Step 2. Flush your pipes with hot tub flush
The first step to winterizing is often thought to be draining your hot tub, but this is wrong. Prior to draining the water from your hot tub, you need to flush your pipes to remove the build-up of soap and oil deposits in your hot tub plumping. We would recommend using AquaSPArkle Hot Tub Flush as it has been specially formulated to remove the build-up of soaps & oily deposits that can build up over time in hot tub pipework.
Apply product directly to the spa skimmer basket whilst the pumps are turned on to assist product distribution. Leave the treated hot tub for a minimum of 12 hours (i.e. overnight) prior to draining down.
Step 3: Make yourself a cup of tea, coffee or a festive mulled wine.
Make your favourite warm beverage and place it in a thermal flask as depending on whether you have a submersible water pump which will pump the water out faster or if you are planning to connect your hose to the tubs in-built drain valve (slow option), this job can take anything between 2-4 hours. Please note: We don't recommend drinking alcohol whiles carrying out this job, so maybe leave the mulled wine until the job is complete (bah humbug).
Step 4: Turn all the power off to your hot tub.
Make sure there is absolutely no power getting to your hot tub. Switch off the power to the hot tub by turning the rotary isolation switch to the off position and off on your MCB (miniature circuit breaker) consumer unit. Water and electricity do not mix. Please make sure that your power is fully cut off before proceeding to drain your hot tub. If you have a 13amp, plug and play hot tub, disconnect the plug from the socket.
Step 5. Drain your hot tub water the slow way or fast way.
And now for the fun part! First, pull the drain out of the hot tub and remove the drain cap. Attach a garden hose to the drain spout to activate the drain. Please ensure that the other end of your hose is at an appropriate place to drain your hot tub water safely. If you want to speed up this process, we recommend in purchasing a submersible water pump.
Once you are finished draining your hot tub, you will notice that there will be approximately 1-2 inches of water still left in the footwell of your hot tub. Please do not worry, as the remaining water will be addressed later in the winterization process.
Step 6. Remove your hot tub filter cartridges.
Please remove your filters, clean them, and store them away. We recommend doing a thorough filter cleanse after removal by leaving them in a chemical soak for 8 hours or overnight. If your filters still look a little "rough" after a thorough cleaning, you are likely due for new filters and should replace them. Once you have removed your filters, make sure that the filter well has no water in it. You can use either a wet vacuum or a sponge to help get all the water out. We would recommend you use AquaSPArkle Spa Filter Cartridge Cleaner
Step 7. Unscrew any fittings to allow drainage from spa pumps.
Open the cabinet to your hot tub and locate the pump or pumps. If there are unions that attached the PVC pipe to the pump(s), loosen them. Remove all the drain plugs from the pump(s) as well. This will allow water to drain from your pipes if condensation builds up inside. Make sure to keep the drain plugs in a safe place that you’ll remember.
Step 8. Drain your hot tub air blower.
Check to see if your hot tub has an air blower. If it does, then you must drain the water from it before continuing! To properly drain your air blower, disconnect the end of the pipe from the blower, and suck as much water as possible from the blower lines with a wet and dry vacuum and re-connect once completed. Some customers will leave the pipe disconnect over the winter period and re-connect when opening their hot tub in the Spring.
Step 9. Blow out every single hot tub jet.
Using the wet vacuum, turn the setting to blow, or whatever will force air out instead of suction. Take your shoes off and stand inside your hot tub and place the wet vacuum hose up to all your jets. Work your way around the entire hot tub until you’ve blown out every single jet. For good measure, repeat this process to ensure all pipes are clear of water.
Step 10. Remove all the remaining spa water.
Now that you’ve blown out the pipes, you are going to have some more water in the hot tub.
Make sure you get all the water out of the hot tub by using the wet vacuum on suction setting or use a sponge. You don’t want any leftover water in the tub. Make sure the hot tub is completely dry.
Step 11. Clean the hot tub shell
Now that the water is drained from your hot tub, you can now clean your hot tub’s shell to perfection. We recommend using soft cloths and sponges with AquaSPArkle Surface Cleaner which will help remove oils and greases around your hot tub waterline. When cleaning, be sure to thoroughly clean around the jets, and in every nook and cranny, as best as you can.
Step 12. Clean and secure your hot tub cover.
ILast and final step. Using a soft cloth or dry sponge, give your hot tub cover a good clean. The cover needs to be clean as it will remain closed on top of your hot tub for quite a few months. There are several hot tub cover cleaners that have protectant in them, we recommend grabbing one of these or order online from our online store - Gold Horizons - Spa Shine 'N' Protect. Please make sure that your cover is dry before placing it back on your hot tub. We don't want to risk any mould growth! Please make sure that your hot tub cover is securely on your tub; invest in wind straps if necessary. If you live in an area where snow is frequent, place a large piece of plywood on top of the spa cover to help support the weight of the snow. Be sure to remove any snow off the cover after each snowstorm.
Now that you have completed all these steps, your hot tub is officially winterized! Congratulations.
You have successfully prepared your hot tub for winter. You now deserve the glass of festive mulled wine to get into the spirit of things.
Do you prefer not to hot tub winterize DIY?
If the steps above sound complicated or you simply do not have time to complete them, we are here to help you! Our professional hot tub winterizing services will ensure that your lines have been drained properly and that your hot tub will remain in good condition during the harsh winter months. Please click on the special offer below, where you will be re-directed to our hot tub service page.
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About Penguin Spas Premium Outdoor Living
Here at Penguin Spa Premium Outdoor Living, we are passionate about delivering the best quality hot tubs, best in energy efficiency, great value for money, and unbeatable customer service. Our friendly team is here to help you choose the right hot tub for your needs and your budget.
Our award-winning Scottish outdoor living showroom is an oasis of calm, showcasing a large selection of multiple award-winning hot tubs and accessories we have to offer. Based in Yieldshields, near Carluke – right in the central belt of Scotland – we are within easy reach of the M74 & M8 motorway network and less than 35-minute drive to the city of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Since 2012, Penguin Spas Outdoor Living have been devoted at creating and supplying elaborate products which are all designed to help improve people’s health, wellbeing, wellness, and happiness.
All our premium products are carefully designed and manufactured, and we strive to constantly improve ourselves and the products we deliver. We embrace new technologies and understand the importance of delivering reliable and durable products which help to improve our customers lives.
Do you want to know more about our range of multiple award-winning, energy efficient hot tubs available here in Scotland?
Here at Penguin Spas, we are proud to be the only official Scottish dealer of award-winning, energy efficiency gold standard hot tubs and swim spas from UK designed Sunbeach Spas, world’s premier spa brand Oasis Spas and our new unique range of Eco Spas with air source heat pumps that have been tested in Scotland which can save you on average 61% in energy costs.
Both manufacturers of the Sunbeach Spas and the Oasis Spas have created a complete insulation energy saving system that reduces energy consumption to save you money. You can have peace of mind that your hot tub or swim spa will be hot and ready for you, without costly energy bills.
Sunbeach Spas are leading the hot tub and swim spa industry with cutting edge technology. The multiple award-winning Sunbeach Spas are all designed here in the UK and are manufactured with the newest industry features which the company consistently pushes the industry forward with innovative designs and features.
Eco Spas are committed at improving the wellbeing of people and the health of our planet. Eco Spas is proud to be at the forefront of energy efficiency hot tub design and manufacture. Each of our holiday park hot tubs have been carefully designed here in the UK in compliance with current safety guidance written by the Health and Safety Executive (HSG282) which provides constant efficiency and immediate use while ensuring utmost hygiene and guaranteeing the easiest maintenance possible resulting in an experience that becomes an asset to your business.
Oasis Spas are built by one of the world’s largest international hot tub and swim spa manufacturers who distribute products in 40 countries around the world. Oasis Spas are built to last with premium components and the thickest shells on the market. The Power Saver Technology with SmartSpa+™ R10 insulation will save you thousands over the life of your hot tub or swim spa and the Easy-Care Technology makes maintenance simple.
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