How to Prevent Freeze Damage in Your Hot Tub and/or Swim Spa
How to prevent freeze damage in your hot tub or swim spa:
During the winter months it is important to check on your hot tub every few days. You want to make sure that your hot tub is programmed properly and the temperature is maintained to avoid the potential risk of freezing.
Make sure that when your hot tub is not in use, the cover is on and tightly secured.
Do not let snow or ice accumulate on top of your soft cover. The additional weight could cause the foam inserts to break, leaving your hot tub without protection from the elements. If this is a concern, you can cover your unit with a waterproof tarp. Put something light, such as an inflated beach ball, in the center of the cover and secure the tarp. This will create a “tent” effect and help prevent rain, snow or ice from accumulating on top of the cover.
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Disconnect the spa from the power supply.
Drain the hot tub by locating the drain valve and removing the cap. Attach a garden hose and open the valve. This will drain the water from the tub.
WARNING: To avoid water from becoming trapped between the floor suction fitting and the filter pipe, close the slice valve in front of the pump leading to the filter. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the remaining water out of the pipe by placing the vacuum end over the filter hole. In a two-pump spa, first plug off one filter then vacuum out the water. Lastly, drain the pump. You can do this by removing the drain plugs on the bottom of the pump housing.
WARNING: Never attempt to run the hot tub without water – this will damage your unit.
Clean the entire spa.
Remove filter cartridge(s) and clean. Allow the filter to dry fully and store it in a dry place.
Secure the cover to the spa utilizing the tie-downs and locking system. In areas where heavy snow is anticipated, place a large piece of plywood (or its equivalent) on top of the spa cover to assist in supporting the cover with the added weight of the snow. Remove snow off the cover following each snowstorm.
To avoid water from becoming trapped between the floor suction fitting and the filter pipe, close the slice valve in front of the pump leading to the filter. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the remaining water out of the pipe by placing the vacuum end over the filter hole. In a two-pump spa, first plug off one filter then vacuum out the water.
You may opt to pour 1-2 gallons (4.55- 9.09l) of RV antifreeze into the filter hole. However, you will need to flush the antifreeze out of the system prior to refilling your unit.
Ways to help conserve heat in the winter if you don't own an insulated hot tub:
1. Add insulation
The best way to help conserve heat in the cold winter months is to add insulation inside the spa cabinet. You can purchase either sheets of pink insulation or attic foam and line the insides of the cabinet. Make sure you do NOT add additional insulation near the hot tub equipment. The equipment requires airflow to work properly and not overheat.
2. Add a spa blanket
You can purchase a spa blanket, which appears similar to a pool solar cover (blue bubble wrap). You will cut the sheet to fit your specific spa shape. The spa blanket sets on top of the water and helps prevent heat loss due to evaporation. IMPORTANT: You must remove the spa blanket before use.
3. Upgrade your spa cover
Upgrade your spa cover: If you have a soft cover, you may consider purchasing an upgraded cover with thicker, denser foam to better hold in the heat. These can be purchased at www.wholesalespacovers.com.
4. Add a protective cover
There are spa cover caps and protective spa covers that are designed to fit over your existing cover. Some of the protective covers extend past your cover to protect your cabinet panels as well!
What happens if you experience a power outage OR equipment failure?
If you experience a power outage during the cold winter months, there are several measures you can take to prevent your hot tub from freezing. Most power outages are resolved quickly and do not pose a threat to your hot tub if resolved within 24 hours. The best thing you can do is keep the cover on and avoid opening the lid often. Each time you open the cover, heat is going to escape and will be replaced with cold air. This will lead to driving the water temperature down quickly.
Utilizing one or more of the “ways to help conserve heat in the water” tips will help the water temperature from dropping in your hot tub.
What if the power outage is going to extend past 24 hours OR if you are experiencing an equipment failure?
If you are experiencing an equipment failure, immediately contact our customer service department to report the issue. Our agents will do everything they can to expedite your claim. Please keep in mind that during the winter months there may be conditions/circumstances beyond our control that can result in delayed service appointments. That is why it is critical you take the proper steps to prevent freeze damage from occurring. The following steps can be taken to prevent freeze damage.
How to prevent freeze damage to your hot tub:
Place a small, ceramic heater inside the cabinet. Make sure that you place the heater in a spot that isn’t concentrating heat directly toward any plumbing, equipment or surfaces to prevent melting or any fire hazard. The small, ceramic heater MUST be plugged in to a GFCI outlet.
In the event you are experiencing an extended power outage, avoid opening the cover to retain heat and cover your hot tub cover with heavy blankets to further protect against heat loss.
If you are experiencing extremely cold temperatures during a power outage, you can use an adapter on your garden hose to attach to your indoor faucet and fill the tub with hot water from the house. Simply drain some of the cooler water out and replace with hot water from the home.
The other option is to winterize your hot tub. Our hot tubs are manufactured to run year-round and have built-in controls to maintain water temperature at a minimal cost to prevent freezing. If winterizing your unit is what needs to be done to prevent freeze damage, it is imperative to make sure all of the water is removed from the lines. This is the most common mistake made when winterizing a hot tub and the number one cause for freeze damage to the plumbing lines/components. Please review the following instructions for winterization.
Open the slice valve in front of the pump leading to the filter. In a two-pump hot tub, remove the plug from the filter. Remove the cover and add water through the filter opening. Continue to fill until water evacuates from the jets. Drain the water and rinse the seats, walls and footwell with water. Spray water around each of the jets. Drain the remaining water and refill.
Make sure that you install a new filter and test the water to ensure proper chemical balance.