Taking a dip in your hot tub is a great way to relax and unwind. So much so that the last thing that we have on our minds when we’re getting ready for a soak is the condition of the water in our hot tub.
However, when you think about it, soaking in your hot tub isn’t the same as taking a bath. In a hot tub, the water is constantly circulating and collecting contaminants, no matter how many times you chemically treat or shock it.
So, you need to know how to properly drain, clean, and refill your hot tub to make sure you can keep enjoying it for years to come.
How Often Should You Clean Your Hot Tub?
We recommend that you drain, clean, and refill your hot tub at least every three months, regardless of whether you think it needs it or not. This is the best way to prevent needing an expensive hot tub repair.
Outside of your regular cleaning schedule, if any of these conditions apply to your hot tub, then it’s time to clean it.
- It’s sat unused for a while
- It’s being used more frequently than usual
- The water won’t clear, no matter how hard you try
- You’re having more guests in your hot tub than usual
- It’s giving off foul odors
Why You Need to Keep a Consistent Cleaning Schedule
Over time, your hot tub water will pick up contaminants, such as any lotions you’re wearing, dirt, cosmetics, and even traces of bodily fluids. While your hot tub filter will pick up most of these contaminants, some will always pass through, particularly the filter’s already dirty.
Without cleaning, this biofilm will build up in the pipes and begin to affect the efficiency of your hot tub. It’ll begin to attract bacteria that cause things like Legionnaire’s Disease and hot tub folliculitis, as well as E.coli.
So, not only is a dirty hot tub less efficient, but it’s a health hazard. Plus, it makes the whole hot tub experience a lot less relaxing.
How to Drain, Clean, and Refill Your Hot Tub: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Line Flush
Because biofilm in a hot tub’s pipes can’t be removed by the normal circulation or chemical cleaners, you need to add a line flush cleaning product to your existing water to break it down. The packet will tell you how much you need to use for the amount of water in your hot tub.
Let this circulate for at least 20 minutes. If your hot tub hasn’t been used or had the lines flushed for a while, let it circulate for a few hours or, ideally, overnight.
Step 2: Drain
Shut the power to your hot tub off.
Depending on the hot tub that you own, you may either have to drain it manually, which can take a few hours, or turn on your drainage pump, which will only take a few minutes. If you’re using a pump, check the manufacturer’s guide to see when it needs turning off.
Some pumps may leave a fraction of water in the bottom of the hot tub. You can either leave this or vacuum it out with a Shop-Vac.
Step 3: Dispose of Water
Check your city’s legislation to find out where to dispose of hot tub water. Most often, you’ll need to empty it down a sewage drain, as this ensures the water is treated. We don’t recommend using this water in your garden as chlorine and other spa chemicals can be harmful to plants.
Step 4: Clean the Hot Tub Filter
Remove the filter from your hot tub and check its condition. If it’s got a light covering of dirt, then clean it with a filter cleaning spray. For heavier dirt, grab a bucket and submerge the filter in a diluted hot tub filter soak for 24 hours. However you clean it, make sure to rinse it thoroughly with clean water before putting it back.
If the hot tub filter soak doesn’t work or it’s got an extremely heavy coating of dirt, then you’ll need to replace your filter.
Step 5: Clean the Hot Tub Shell
Spray the surfaces of your hot tub down with hot tub cleaner, diluted bleach, or diluted white vinegar. Using a non-scratch scrubber or a soft cloth, wipe all of the surfaces down, paying particular attention to the nooks and crannies where bacteria, algae, or fungi could breed.
Make sure you rinse all surfaces well and drain the rinse water. At this stage, double-check the air jets are open before you refill your hot tub.
Step 6: Refill the Hot Tub
Attach the hose to the filter compartment and turn the spigot to prevent hot tub air lock. Make sure you watch the water levels to prevent overfilling your hot tub. Once it’s full, turn the power back on.
Step 7: Add Spa Chemicals
Start your hot tub, making sure to turn off any air valves so they don’t disrupt chemical distribution. Add your usual chemicals and water treatment products to your water.
Step 8: First Test
Test your water for pH, calcium hardness, and alkalinity now. If the levels are off, add more chemicals until they’re balanced.
Step 9: Second Test
Cover your hot tub and leave it circulating for 24 hours between 80-104 degrees before you test it again. If the balance is off, then add more chemicals and leave it for a further 24 hours before you test again.
Step 10: Enjoy!
Once the chemical balance is right, you’re free to enjoy your squeaky clean hot tub!
Maintain Your Hot Tub with Champagne Spas
Keeping your hot tub clean ensures that it’s in the best condition to help you unwind and destress when you need it most. However, we know that it can be a time-consuming process, which is why our experts at Champagne Spas are the people to call for hot tub maintenance in San Diego.
Not only that, but our hot tub sales team can help you with any accessories and cleaning products you need for your hot tub, including covers, steps, cleaners, test strips, and more.
Simply contact our friendly team today and we’ll help you find the perfect service package to keep your hot tub in top shape.