Here’s How To Winterize Your Hot Tub (10 Easy Steps)

winterize hot tub

Today I’m going to show you how to winterize your hot tub

In 10 EASY steps.

When you’re done reading this post, you’ll have the confidence knowing you’re keeping out all that nasty bacteria, and that you’re avoiding the risk of your hot tub suffering from freeze damage. 

The best part?

Winterizing your hot tub is actually pretty easy.

Let’s hop to it.

Supplies you’ll need

  • Garden hose
  • Wet/dry vac
  • Hot tub and cover cleaner
  • Towels
  • Submersible pump (optional)
  • Antifreeze (in colder climates)

How to winterize your hot tub

Step 1. Cut off the power source

If you can’t completely unplug the tub and the pump, turn off the circuit breaker that feeds it its power.

Remember … water and electricity do not mix!

Step 2. Drain your hot tub

Connect a hose to your drain and allow the hot tub to drain completely.

Read: How to clean and drain a hot tub

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This takes a while, so if you’re running short on time, or just don’t want to wait, you can use a submersible pump (or sump pump) to drain it quickly.

Step 3. Dry out the air blower

Turn the breaker back on or plug your hot tub back in.

Then, replace the hot tub cover and turn the air blowers on. Let them run for about a minute and then turn the power off again.

This process will clear all the water out of the pipes and air channels. 

Step 4. Remove fittings

Open up the pump cabinet on your hot tub and remove any fittings attaching the PVC pipe to the pump and all the drain plugs.

Store these in a warm dry place with your filters.

Step 5. Remove the filters

Remove your cartridge filters and hose them off well.

Be sure to let them dry completely and store them in a warm dry place until you open up your hot tub again.

Step 6. Blow out the pipes

Reverse the airflow on your shop vac to blow instead of suction.

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Place the end of the hose as tightly as you can onto each jet in the hot tub, and blow out each line for about 30 seconds or more.

You might even repeat the process just to make sure they are completely dry.

Step 7. Dry out the tub

This is where you’ll want to make sure every ounce of water is removed from the hot tub.

If there is any water still standing at the bottom, use your shop vac to suction it out and then use absorbent towels to mop up the remaining.

Step 8. Clean the hot tub and cover

Use your preferred hot tub and cover cleaner to thoroughly clean the tub and cover, both inside and out.

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You can use more dry towels to finish drying out the tub completely during this process.

Step 9. Add antifreeze (optional)

If you live in an extremely cold climate, you can add antifreeze to your pipes as an extra precaution. To do this, you can either use a funnel or a turkey baster to drop a few ounces into each jet.

If you decide to do this, just make sure you rinse the lines out completely when you reopen the hot tub to avoid having antifreeze in your soaking water.

Step 10. Cover the hot tub

Turn the power off again and secure your hot tub cover on top of the tub.

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If your cover doesn’t have straps, I suggest you buy some or secure it with heavy boards or bricks around the edges.

Why you need to winterize your hot tub

You may think it won’t be a big deal to leave your hot tub unattended for a few months.

I mean, it’s a relatively small amount of water, and since it’s cold, it shouldn’t breed bacteria, right?


Even in colder temps, dangerous bacteria such as legionella can grow because it tends to breed in the plumbing where it is dark and when there is no water flow.

So unless you plan to leave your pump running all winter, you NEED to get those pipes drained.

The other reason to winterize your hot tub is to avoid the risk of freeze damage.

When water freezes, it expands and it can cause some serious damage to your plumbing like cracked pipes and broken seals. 

Bottom line

You can, of course, choose to keep your hot tub going in the winter.

As long as your pump is occasionally running and you’re maintaining the chemical levels, there’s no reason not to enjoy it all year long.

Just make sure you take the proper measures to protect it and winterize it if it will be sitting dormant for more than a week or if you anticipate a big freeze.  

But whether you choose to use it or not, if you live in extremely cold climates, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality insulated hot tub cover and to hire a professional to properly insulate your pipes.

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