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End-to-End Guide: How to Drain a Hot Tub Properly

Cleaning and draining your hot tub is not a big challenge

Replace your tub’s water quarterly as it gives you a chance to clean out shell and filters completely along with the front ends of hot tub jets. This will ensure that your water will stay sanitized and look clean.

Draining a hot tub – step by step:

This is a step-by-step procedure along with instructions on how to drain a hot tub. It is a quick guide for draining a hot tub so that you can have an idea of what needs to be done.

1. Turn the power off:

Before draining, it is important to turn off the power connection.

2. Flush the lines:

Even if your sanitizer level is perfect, your hot tub can still develop a biofilm: a bacteria that isolates itself from the chlorine and starts exposing other contaminants like legionnaires or Staphylococcus; these undesirable bacteria will cause health complications like intense stomach illness.

The very first step is to add a line flush product. This is a special cleaner and it is formulated to break down the biofilm. Once you have added this, let it circulate for a few minutes. As it started circulating, line flush may cause gross-looking foam; once this happens, it means that the product has started working.

3. Drain water:

Firstly find out the main drain plug which is located at the bottom of the tub. If you manage to track the main drain plug, attach a garden hose and make sure that it is completely tight. The hose should be empty before draining.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is that storm drains are not a good place to drain as it has a negative impact on the environment. Many people drain onto the grass; however, if you opt to do this, you will need to continually move the hose to prevent flooding.

Depending on the model of the hot tub, if it contains two drain plugs, you must use the primary one to drain water. The drain plug threads are made up of plastic and it may break if you start applying too much force. Once the primary plug has performed its function, then use the secondary drain plug to remove any water from plumbing.

If you are facing any sort of difficulty while draining water or it is taking much time to get all the water out, you can use a sump pump. This product is amazingly designed to pump the water fast and efficiently and it will also make a process go much faster. If you are using this sump pump for the very first time, stay close to your hot tub so that you can turn off the pump when most of the water has drained out.

  • Wet Vac (optional):

Once you removed the majority of water, you can finish off the process with the help of a wet vac or shop vacuum. They are so amazing for getting every last bit of water out of the tub especially from those areas which are hard to reach, including hot tub jets.

  • Couplers and Valves:

Open the heaters fitted in the hot tub by loosening the plastic couplers. Each pump will have its own coupler and you have to loosen it one by one. This will take a while and there might be little water in the jet line. You can optionally use a dry hot tub vacuum to mop up.

4. Clean filters and shells:

When the water has completely drained out from the tub, it’s the time to give it a good cleaning. The estimated time you need to clean your hot tub should depend on how dirty it was. If you have been performing a routine cleaning of hot tub every week and are just executing a simple refill, you will spend less time and effort.

There is no other time to clean the filters and shells except when the hot tub is completely drained off. The very basic cleaning includes a wipe down of the shells and jets of hot tub. You can also go for the old-fashioned vinegar or bleach in a diluted solution. You have to be very careful and don’t use an excessive amount of cleaner, vinegar or bleach.

Leisure Time
Filter Cleaner

Price range: $

Quickly removes oil, grease and calcium from filters.

Works with all sanitizers including chlorine, bromine, ozone and biguanide

EcoOne
Shell Cleaner

Price range: $

Maintains, and increases the longevity of hot tub

Compatible with hard (acrylic/fiberglass/ABS) or soft (vinyl) surfaces

5. Start refilling your hot tub:

Once you have worked through all the draining process, cleaning and drying then you can fill it up and start using it once you have balanced the chemistry of water. I strongly recommend using fresh water filters as they will filter out all the impurities. Otherwise, it will have a negative effect on water chemistry like bacteria, carbon, and impurities. Place the hose and fill it up to the recommended level.

6. Turn on the power:

Turn on the breaker and system and this will allow the system to start up. Water starts circulating and heating up.

7. Balance the water:

A baseline must be established and if you are adding saltwater as a hot tub sanitizer, you should take an interval until the water chemistry gets balanced. It is important to achieve balance with pH, alkalinity, and chlorine after a refill as you do in your regular hot tub maintenance routine.

Where to drain the hot tub water?

The rule of thumb would be to check with your local law on what is the best way to drain your hot tub. Generally, it’s safe to use your sanitary system connection. If you don’t use salt water, and if you dechlorinate the water properly before draining, you can discharge your hot tub in your lawn.

Never drain your hot tub to a stream, a river, or a lake, as it will damage the ecosystem.

One more thing to be aware of is that a hot tub contains a lot of gallons of water so you must find the best spot that can take up all that water.

Clean your hot tub to avoid diseases

Did you know that there are certain cleaning routines that you need to perform on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis?

The hot tub contamination might cause severe diseases like pneumonia and even STDs, and the most dangerous part is that the contamination is usually invisible to the naked eye.

Make sure you know and do what it takes to keep your hot tub clean to stay healthy and safe.

How to winterize your hot tub

hot tub winterized

Those who are living in chilly climates and want to stop using your hot tub during winter months, it is best to drain out all water and let it rest for those winter months too. In this way, you can protect your spa during winters and it will remain in excellent working condition.

Here is a little guide to winterizing your hot tub.

  • Gather hot tub cleaning products like a garden hose, vacuum, cover cleaner, propylene glycol.
  • Sanitize the spa water.
  • Turn off the hot tub.
  • Drain it completely.
  • Remove filters.
  • Add antifreeze.

There are three most important places in a hot tub that need to be protected during winterizing: pump hose, filter hose and the main pipe that distributes all the water. It needs to be completely vacuumed with a dry vac. When you see that all the moisture is out, take out the jet and put a funnel with a hose; finally, add a half gallon of antifreeze.

Summing it all up

Cleaning and draining your hot tub is not a big challenge. There are many things you should familiarize yourself to be sure that you are getting the best possible cleaning results. You should also be aware of the different parts of the hot tub for detailed cleaning.

Neglecting your hot tub can lead to costly problems. If you want to avoid such problems, check your hot tub at least once in a month. 5 minutes are all you need to test your water and keep it in an optimal state.

Sources

1. Investigation of Spa Pools Associated with Lung Disorders Caused by Mycobacterium avium Complex in Immunocompetent Adults
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC492441/

2. Guide to Ship Sanitation. 3rd edition. Recreational water environments
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310818/

3. Legionellosis Associated with Recreational Waters: A Systematic Review of Cases and Outbreaks in Swimming Pools, Spa Pools, and Similar Environments
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6121464/

4. Hot-Tub–Associated Mycobacterial Infections in Immunosuppressed Persons
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2730339/

5. Outbreaks Associated with Treated Recreational Water — United States, 2000–2014
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6048947/

6. Swimmer, Protect Thyself: Cleaning Up the Pool Environment
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2974719/

7. Center for Disease Contol and Prevention: Hot Tub/Spa User Information
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/hot-tub-user-information.html

8. Cruickshank, H. (2018, June 6). CDC Finds Pools and Hot Tubs Cause One-Third of Waterborne Disease Outbreaks. Retrieved from Health Line: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/cdc-finds-pools-hot-tubs-cause-waterborne-disease-outbreaks#1

9. Gardner, M. (2010, October 13). Maintaining spa water quality is easier than you think. Retrieved from Water Tech Online: https://www.watertechonline.com/maintaining-spa-water-quality-is-easier-than-you-think/

10. Lee, B. Y. (2016, May 30). The Dirt On Swimming Pools And Hot Tubs. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2016/05/30/how-to-recognize-a-dirty-and-dangerous-swimming-pool/#59e0df4842f5

11. Rabin, R. C. (2018, May 18). Sparkling Pool Water May Hold Disease-Causing Parasites. Retrieved from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/well/live/swimming-pools-bacteria-parasites-diarrhea-hot-tubs.html

12. Reynolds, K., Canales, R. A., Suppes, L. M., & Gerba, C. (2016). Cryptosporidium risk from swimming pool exposures. International journal of hygiene and environmental health.

13. Rossi, P. (2019, February 10). Hot tub health benefits. Retrieved from By Rossi: https://byrossi.com/all-hot-tub-health-benefits/

14. Stuever, H. (2003, January 31). Getting down and dirty in the hot tub. Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/2003/01/31/getting-down-and-dirty-in-the-hot-tub/bc07dcad-bc16-4b84-8d80-8e851fa6f69c/

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