A standard hot tub drain and refill needs to happen every 3-4 months for your spa to stay in top condition. If you keep your hot tub chemistry balanced at all times, you’ll need to do this less frequently. A refill is a great way to get your hot tub clean and reset your system if it has become chemical rich or difficult to keep balanced. Our expert service team is happy to drain and fill your hot tub as needed, or we provided some easy to follow steps here so you can do it yourself.
- Purge the system. Use a high quality product – approved to work with your hot tub – to flush any accumulated organic matter out of the plumbing. This prevents you from having any persisting water chemistry issues. Run the jets, blowers and other water features on high for 15-30 minutes to cleanse the system.
- Turn OFF the power to your unit. You should always exercise safety when dealing with something that plugs in. The electricity and the heating unit should be off completely.
- Remove the filters and clean them with a hose. Let it soak in filter cleaner.
- Drain the hot tub using your hot tub drain system, or extract the water manually using a sump pump or a water hose to siphon the water out. Don’t leave a sump pump to empty the hot tub without attending it. If it continues to run without water, you could burn out the motor.
- Clean everything. Use a specialty cleaner to clean the surface of your spa—normal household cleaners aren’t approved for use on hot tubs. Harsh cleaners can potentially take the finish off the acrylic, leaving them porous and susceptible to allowing dirty, film, and grit to penetrate the once-solid surface. Household cleaners also increase the likelihood that your hot tub will have a foaming problem upon refill. If you have calcium build-up, scrub with a nylon brush. You can use baking soda as a non-abrasive cleaner to get off grime and calcium deposits.
- Rinse the surface of the shell after it’s been cleaned to remove any residual cleaning product. Pump out the accruing water.
NOTE: If you want to keep your hot tub drained for several months, keep your filters indoors so they don’t get any unnecessary wear. Drain the lines by blowing out the water with a wet/dry vacuum so that no water is left in the plumbing that can lead to damage. Once empty, leave your drain open to prevent freezing/cracking.
- If you are going to refill the hot tub, replace your filters, plugs, and caps on all the drains.
- If your local water is mineral rich (which often results in calcium hardness in the water), use a pre-filter on the end of your hose. These make your water much more mineral-neutral upon filling, thus making it less tricky to balance afterward. Before you add your pre-filter, flush out the hose for 30 seconds to eradicate any water that has been standing still in the hose.
- Refill with the hose pointed down the center of the standpipe in the filter compartment. This will reduce airlocks in the equipment and the water will circulate through the heater. NEVER refill your hot tub with hot water—this will affect your sensors and send your electrical system on the fritz.
- Turn the equipment back on once the spa is full (about 1 ½ inches above the highest jet). Turn on the power, heater, and jets to purge any lingering air from the plumbing.
- Balance your water and enjoy a soak in a freshly cleaned hot tub!