When you first get your hot tub, you might think that you’ll never leave it empty for any reason.
However, there are some reasons why you could want to drain the hot tub for a period of time, and it could leave you wondering if it’s safe to leave your hot tub sitting empty. While the bottom line may be simple, it’s usually a more complex process than some people think.
How Long Can a Hot Tub Stay Empty
Yes, it’s possible for a hot tub to sit empty for several months without incurring any damage or issues. However, you have to take some precautions before you leave it alone to sit until you’re ready to fill it again.
We’re going to outline when you would leave it to sit empty, how to winterize and get it ready for summer, how to empty it, and other routine care tips that can extend your hot tub’s life below.
Reasons to Leave Your Hot Tub Empty
There are a few reasons why you’d choose to leave your hot tub empty and unused, and the most popular reasons are:
- You want to winterize it
- The hot tub needs repairs
- You want to get the hot tub ready for summer
- You’re going on vacation or leaving for an extended period
The two most common reasons why people choose to leave their hot tubs sitting empty is that they’re getting it ready for summer or wintertime.
It’s important to note that you can use a hot tub all year round in any weather without damaging it, but some people prefer to empty it during certain seasons.
Maybe you’re a snowbird who goes away for several months each year when the winter weather hits or your family goes away to camps during the summer months, and you won’t need it ready and waiting for you.
How to Completely Drain the Hot Tub
You have to know how to drain your hot tub to get all of the water out before you clean it or get it ready for the winter months so bacteria doesn’t grow.
The following steps will walk you through the whole process to ensure there is no stray water leftover when you finish.
Hot Tubs with Submersible Pumps
- Switch your power off
- Place your submersible pump inside your hot tub
- If the pump’s hose is too short to reach, connect the water hose
- Turn on the pump and drain the water
- Once the water drains, switch off the pump before removing the hose
Hot Tubs with Spigots
- Turn your power off
- Find your spigot drainage on your hot tub’s body. It could have two, and you want to use the primary one before the auxiliary one
- Attach your garden hose to the spigot with the house going downhill to allow the water to drain out
- Place the other end of the hose in an appropriate drainage area
- Open the ball valve and let the water drain out through the spigot
If you’ve followed these steps for whichever type of hot tub you have, you should now have an empty shell left. However, you’re still not ready to toss a cover on and call it a day. Instead, you have to:
- Remove the filters from the hot tub and clean them thoroughly using a chemical soak product
- Get a gentle cleanser and a cloth and wash the inside of the hot tub’s walls, seats, and floors
- Close the spigot if you have one
- Pop the cover on until you’re ready to refill it
How to Winterize the Hot Tub
If you live in an area that gets below freezing temperatures during the winter and you leave water in your hot tub without it running, it can freeze and cause cracking.
This is why you want it completely dry when you drain it to store it. You should follow the steps we outlined above, depending on which type of hot tub you have to get all of the water out.
No matter which method you use, you want to make sure you pull the drain plug out of your hot tub when you finish the task.
When the majority of the water is gone, you can go over it with a wet and dry shop vac to ensure you suck up every last drop of water that is left, so it doesn’t freeze.
If there is an air blower in your hot tub, you want to check and ensure that there isn’t any residual water sitting in there. You can check this by turning off the hot tub’s heater and turning the electricity back on to run the blower.
Only have it on for about 30 seconds to get any water out, and you can shut the water off again when you finish with the blower.
For the filters, you want to remove them and allow them to soak with a 24-hour chemical soak before you allow them to dry and store them for the winter months.
Once they come out of the soak, allow them to air dry before going over them with a shop vac to get all of the water out.
Next, go into your hot tub’s cabinet and find the pumps before removing the piping and drain plugs. Get your shop vac and use it to blow out any water that is still inside the piping.
Finally, clean out the hot tub’s shell before securing the cover tightly on. You need a lockable cover that won’t blow away if you get storms or high winds sweeping through.
How to Get a Hot Tub Ready for Summer
If you want to let your hot tub sit empty all summer long, this isn’t a huge issue as long as you secure it with a lockable cover.
Since sunlight can very quickly and easily damage an acrylic hot tub, you can actually void the warranty on your product if you don’t leave a secure cover on when there is no water in it.
You will go through the steps we outlined above to drain the hot tub first before giving the shell a very thoroughly clean, including cleaning the filters.
Before you refill the hot tub to use it again, you should remove the cover and give it another quick clean to remove any potential debris or bugs.
Running chlorine through your hot tub’s pipes will also help remove any dirt, insects, or debris before you fill it.
Dealing with a Power Outage
If the power goes out on your hot tub, you have at least seven days before it’s in danger of something breaking and freezing, depending on the temperature.
You should leave the cabin door shut and the cover securely fastened if the power goes out during the winter months to help trap the heat inside, and you could put a space heater close to the cabinet to buy yourself a few more days.
Luckily, most hot tubs won’t just shut down for good if the power goes out. All you’ll have to do is wait for power and flip the breaker switch to bring it back on. However, if something fails in the hot tub, you may need to drain it so you can have it repaired.
It’s possible to leave your hot tub sitting empty during winter or summer for a few months if you take steps to drain it properly and take care of all of the components.
We’ve outlined how to drain it properly, how to clean the different parts, and how long you can leave it to sit if the power fails. Following these steps can extend your hot tub’s life and ensure you enjoy it longer.