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How to Drain a Hot Tub and Keep it Clean

drain and clean hot tub

Having a hot tub allows you to have a lovely, private space to relax and soak away the stress of the day or ease sore muscles after a workout. But in order to keep it safe and operating as it should, you need to periodically drain out the water and clean the hot tub. If you’re not sure how to do this, we’re sharing a simple step-by-step guide on how to drain a hot tub and make maintenance a snap. 

Why Do You Need to Drain the Hot Tub?

Even though your hot tub does have a powerful filtration and purification system to keep the water fresh and clean, it’s still necessary to empty and clean the tub to remove bacteria and contaminants. Basically, anything you have on your skin or that is floating in the air can end up in your hot tub, including make-up, sweat, dirt, or lotion, as well as pollen and dust. While the filtration system works hard to keep the tub clean, over time, biofilm will form in the pipes and even on the surface of the tub. This can create odor, discoloration, and a slimy or scaly buildup on the tub itself.

Draining dirty water and cleaning the tub ensures it’s safe and clean to soak in and reduces the risk of clogging or other malfunctions. 

How To Drain Your Hot Tub & Keep it Clean in 6 Steps

First, make sure you have what you need: 

  • Garden hose that can reach from your hot tub to a drain or a submersible pump;
  • Clean rags or cloths
  • Hot tub cleaning solution

Once you have these, follow these six steps.

Step 1: Flush Your Hot Tub Lines

First, you want to clean all the biofilm out of your lines and pipes. Turn on the hot tub jets and add a line flush product, allowing it to circulate in the amount and time span outlined in the instructions.

Step 2: How To Empty a Hot Tub of Water

Once the line flush has done its job, turn off the power and disconnect everything electric before you start draining it to prevent damage to the components and avoid electric shocks. Once you find the drain valve, attach the garden hose to the valve if necessary to run the water to the drain. If you have two drains, open the primary one first to get the majority of the water out, then open the secondary drain to empty the internal lines, and finally, open the ball valve on your hot tub’s spigot. You can also use a submersible pump for faster draining. 

Step 3: Clean the Filters

Remove the cover of the filter compartment and remove any debris that’s floating around. Unlock the filter retainer by turning the handle and remove the cartridge and retainer. Spray or soak them in your hot tub cleaning solution and then hose them off when clean. Replace them as needed. For a more complete guide on cleaning your filters, check out our complete guide.  

Step 4: Clean the Tub

After the pool is drained and empty, spray it down with your hot tub cleaning solution and wipe it away with a clean towel. Then, rinse it with a hose and wipe it with a second, dry towel to make sure all the cleaning solution has been removed. Use this time to clean your hot tub cover, too.

Step 5: Refill the Tub

Close the drains on your hot tub, then use your garden hose to fill the tub. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to determine where the fill pipe is in your spa to avoid air bubbles that can lead to damaging the jet and pumps. 

Step 6: Add Chemicals

Now that it’s full, connect your hot tub back to the electrical source and add the proper chemicals to balance your pH and other chemical levels, then shock it with chlorine or bromine to sanitize the water. Let the water circulate for at least a half hour, then allow 24 hours before checking the chemistry a second time.

 You should also get periodic water testing to ensure your hot tub chemistry stays at an ideal level going forward.

How Often Should You Clean Your Hot Tub?

Generally, every three months should do the trick, but you should also do it more often if you’ve been using the spa frequently or have had several guests using the hot tub as well as after periods where it’s sat unused. In addition to this, if you notice discoloration, odors, or you’re having trouble regulating the pH, you should go ahead and clean the tub, too.

Shop Our Selection of Low-Maintenance Hot Tubs Today!

If you’re ready to take the plunge and invest in a hot tub, we are proud to be the leading supplier of high quality hot tubs in North Carolina. Known for their long-lasting durability, innovative water purification system, and powerful massage jets, our spas have a well-earned reputation for excellence. Shop our hot tubs for sale in Raleigh, Durham, or Charlotte today or request a virtual appointment at 888-884-3742 or fill out the form below to get started.

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About The Author:

Manny Brambila

Pool & Spa Expert

Manny has been in the Pool & Spa industry for over 15 years and is considered a pool, swim spa, & hot tub expert. He has been a Certified Pool & Spa Operator (CPO) since 2009 and worked 15 years in aquatic training and development for the largest pool chemical and customer care company. He also has been an outside consultant for the Pool and Spa industry in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles since 2018. In the past few years Manny has become Director of Operations for Epic Hot Tubs with a priority of providing customers with the most reliable information and best service possible.