A blue hot tub outside.

Keep Your Personal Spa Clean — Learn How to Drain a Hot Tub

How to Drain a Hot Tub

Hot tubs, sometimes referred to as spas or portable spas, are commonly known for the amazing relaxation experience they provide. In addition to the comfort of just sitting and relaxing in bubbling warm water, hot tubs are now widely adopted in hydrotherapy. Hot tubs have proven to be of immense help in treating high blood pressure, temporary skin diseases, anxiety, sore muscles, and many more ailments. But when hot tub season is over, you need to close up your personal spa, which is why we are going to teach you how to drain a hot tub.

Just like a swimming pool, a hot tub requires routine maintenance for hygiene purposes. Routine maintenance is necessary for anything to keep up performance and prolong its lifespan. These standard maintenance procedures for hot tubs include: draining, cleaning, and refilling the tub.

How Often Should You Drain a Hot Tub?

Although the hot tub is mostly a self-purifying system, the filters in the tub trap debris and the chemicals contained in the water to keep the water free from contamination for a long time. Therefore, it is recommended to drain the tub and refill it every three months.

Draining a hot tub is a relatively easy task, especially when you know how to and have the required tools. Don’t know how? Here’s everything you need to know!

Tools Needed to Drain a Hot Tub

Drain Spigot

The drain spigot is a part of the hot tub itself. It's the external outlet located usually at the bottom side of a hot tub through which water drains from the tub. Some manufacturers provide an extra spigot (auxiliary spigot) inside the hot tub for internal bleeding of water in the spa.

A Hose

You will need a hose when draining a hot tub unless your hot tub is mounted directly over drainage. A garden hose is required to convey the water from the hot tub to the drainage.

A Domestic Size Submersible Pump

This is only mandatory when the hot tub is situated on lower ground than the drainage and can’t be drained by gravity. Some people who have their hot tub mounted uphill or on level ground with the drainage also use the submersible pump to make draining faster.

Wet/Dry Vacuum

Excess water is usually left in the tub in the form of puddles after draining (this is sometimes due to the hot tub’s shape and design). A vacuum is a handy tool that helps to get rid of this excess water. It also collects debris in the process.

How to Drain Your Hot Tub

  1. Ensure the hot tub is completely turned off. This is to prevent the spa jets from running without water, as this damages the engine.
  2. Locate the drain spigot on the hot tub and connect your garden hose to it.
  3. Place the other end of the hose at the drainage point or sewer.
  4. Open the drain spigot(s) and leave the water to drain.
  5. Use the wet/dry vacuum to collect puddles of water left in the tub or scoop it out if you do not have access to one.

Using a Submersible Pump to Drain Your Hot Tub

  1. As stated earlier, ensure the hot tub is completely turned off.
  2. Place the pump inside the hot tub.
  3. Make sure the pump hose reaches the sewer. Attach another hose to the pump hose if the pump hose isn’t long enough to reach the drain or sewer.
  4. Power on the pump and wait for the water to drain.
  5. When the water level is too low for the pump to continue forcing out the water, use the wet/dry vacuum to siphon the rest of the water out.
  6. If there is no wet/dry vacuum and there are just puddles left in the spa, gently place the pump directly into the puddle and allow the pump to siphon the water.

NOTE: You can also connect a hose to the wet/dry vacuum as a form of a siphon system to directly drain the water into the sewer.

How Long Does It Take to Drain Your Hot Tub?

Draining your hot tub could take an hour or more when using just the drain spigot connected to a hose. It’s faster with the submersible pump, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the shape of the spa. Again, the size of the hot tub also determines how fast it drains. Larger hot tubs require more time to drain since they have higher water capacity.

Other Periodic Maintenance Activities to Carry Out on Your Hot Tub

After draining your hot tub, other maintenance activities should be carried out before refilling.

Clean Shell Interior

Use a damp cloth and small amounts of simple household cleaning agents like white vinegar to wipe the shell interior.

NOTE: Read your hot tub manual for warning against particular cleaning agents that may damage your spa.

Clean Spa Filters

Remove spa filters from the filter compartment and wash with chemicals or agents recommended by the hot tub manufacturer (read your hot tub manual or contact the manufacturer for recommendations). Rinse under running water and carefully put back in place. This should be done more often than other routines, roughly once a month.

Refill Properly

Refill the tub through the correct pipe to avoid trapping air bubbles in the tub pump. Air bubbles can damage the jets and pump of the spa.

In case you are not sure which pipe is the correct refill pipe, or anything about your hot tub, contact the manufacturing company for guidance or assistance.