A hot tub that gets regular, typical use should be drained and cleaned every couple of months. If you’re using the spa on a daily basis are often at capacity with bathers, you may need to drain and clean it more often.
Here we’ll go through how to properly drain and clean your hot tub in the safest and most effective ways.
Draining the Hot Tub
If you’re planning to drain your hot tub, learn the local and state requirements for water disposal. Depending on the surrounding environment, flood risk and water sources, there may be very specific disposal guidelines for heavily treated water.
You may have a special sewer drain on your property, and your local guidelines may be to use it for water disposal. This should not be confused with storm drains, which lead to natural bodies of water.
Spa water that is pH and chemically balanced should be safe for lawns and yards as long as it doesn’t run into any storm drains or increase risks of erosion and flooding.
Clean Out the Plumbing System
Consider adding a plumbing cleaner or line flush to your water and letting it circulate for a few hours before draining the hot tub. This can remove any buildup that regular treatment and circulation hasn’t addressed.
You may see icky-looking stuff come out of your jets into the water, which is a sign that the plumbing cleaner is working.
Remove the Water
Steps for draining a hot tub:
- Turn off the power to the spa. Leaving the power on could make the pump run, which can be damaging when the water level isn’t high enough.
- Hand-tighten the plumbing unions (loose ones are a main cause of leaking in the spa cabinet). Never use a tool for the job or overtighten the plumbing unions.
- Locate the drain valve on the spa base, below the panels. It may be near a corner.
- Twist the drain valve to the left and right while pulling it outward about 1.5 inch.
- Remove the drain valve. You can now attach a hose if the water shouldn’t drain by the base of the hot tub.
- Push the valve about halfway back in to release the water.
- Allow the water to drain completely, then pull the valve back out and replace the cap.
- Push the drain valve all the way back in and turn it counter clockwise to lock in place.
Cleaning the Empty Hot Tub
The acrylic surface of your hot tub is designed to be stain and dirt resistant. However, it is a good idea to wipe it down when the spa is empty to keep your hot tub as clean as possible.
Cleaning the inside of your hot tub is as easy as wiping it with warm water and a soft cloth. This is also a good time to check for any small knicks or cracks that could scrape feet or grow over time.
Never use household cleaners or detergents to clean the acrylic, which could leave a dulling residue or react negatively with the chemicals used to treat the spa water. Also avoid abrasive and ammonia- or citrus-based cleaners, which can damage the acrylic.
Cleaning Smaller Components
Anytime you empty your hot tub, use the opportunity to clean the small, individual components inside the tub, including:
Tips for Knowing When to Drain and Clean Your Hot Tub
Draining your hot tub more than every couple of months is not ideal. It takes time, it uses valuable water and costs money. Reduce the need to drain your tub by maintaining proper water chemistry and ensuring bathers follow recommendations for cleanliness.
Keep these things in mind when considering draining, cleaning and refilling your hot tub:
- Does the water look or smell unappealing? Check your manual for chemical treatment and sanitizing. When chemicals don’t fix cloudy/smelly/foamy water, calcium scale or ring around the spa it’s time to drain the water and start over.
- Draining the water and cleaning the tub will not necessarily address decontamination, such as algae overgrowth. Check your manual for how to “super sanitize” the tub and systems with heavy chemicals.
If you have questions regarding how to drain and clean your hot tub, contact your local Aqua Living dealer.