Effective Hot Tub Draining & Cleaning Techniques

Imagine soaking in your hot tub after a long, stressful day, only to realize that the water looks cloudier than ever.

If you’re a hot tub owner, you’ve most likely encountered the issue of dirty water at some point. But fear not, because we’re here to share with you some effective hot tub draining and cleaning techniques that will leave your spa looking and feeling as good as new.

Whether you’re a seasoned hot tub owner or new to spa maintenance, these tips will help you tackle the job like a pro.

So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to keeping your hot tub clean and inviting.

To learn more about the best practices for maintaining hygienic and sparkling clean conditions in your hot tub, all the information you need is just one scroll away, so keep reading!

The Importance of Regular Hot Tub Draining and Cleaning

Keeping your hot tub clean is not just a matter of aesthetics, but also for maintaining your health and wellbeing. Furthermore, this process also helps you protect and maintain the equipment of your spa.

Regular hot tub maintenance, including draining and cleaning, ensures a hygienic environment that is free from harmful bacteria and contaminants.

Neglecting proper maintenance can result in various consequences that can spoil your hot tub experience. This can include a crust forming on your heater element, making it less efficient and decreasing its working lifespan

This crust can also potentially build up inside pipes (like plaque build up in arteries) or on the surface of your tub.

Furthermore, the accumulation of dirt, oils, and organic materials in the water can lead to cloudy and unpleasant-looking depths.

Even worse, the growth of bacteria and pathogens can pose serious health risks, causing infections and other waterborne diseases.

That’s where routine draining and cleaning play a crucial role.

By performing a hot tub drain and refill regularly, you are preventing the buildup of contaminants and potential harm to yourself and your loved ones.

In fact, we recommend draining and cleaning your hot tub at least every three to four months, and more frequently if it experiences heavy use.

To help you best care for your spa, we have created an easy-to-understand guide to help you determine when it’s time to drain your spa. You can read it by following this link.

tech accessing hot tub drain

4 Hot Tub Draining Steps

Draining your hot tub is an essential part of its regular maintenance to ensure it remains clean and hygienic for optimal usage.

Follow these steps below to ensure an effective and efficient draining and rinsing process:

Step 1: Turn Off The Power

Before starting the hot tub draining process, ensure the power supply is turned off.

Safety is paramount, so take caution and turn off the power at the breaker panel and unplug the hot tub from any electrical sources.

Step 2: Locate The Drain & Attach The Hose

To begin, locate the hot tub drain valve, typically at the bottom of the tub. Attach a garden hose tightly to the valve, ensuring a secure connection.

It’s important to direct the water flow away from sensitive areas, like plants or surfaces that may be susceptible to damage from the water.

Pro tip: It’s faster with a pump!

A pump helps improve this process, as it allows you to put the water farther away from the tub. For example, you could run the water right to the street. 

It also helps you get down to the bottom (instead of leaving an inch of water in the footwell of your spa.

This is especially good if you’re using a cleaner because you won’t leave water with residue on the bottom.

Alternatively, if you can’t find the drain, as some tubs don’t even have one, you can use a pump to easily drain your spa.

We recommend using a 1/4-1/2 horsepower “submersible utility pump” with a garden hose attachment (usually cost $80-150).

Step 3: Open the Valve and Wait

Open the hot tub drain valve fully and allow the water to flow out completely. It may take some time, depending on the size of your spa.

While the water is draining, use a long-handled, soft-bristled brush to lightly scrub the surfaces, including the walls and seats, to loosen any build-up or residue.

We highly recommend Natural Chemistry Clean & Perfect, as this product works for acrylic shells, the underside of your cover, the outside of vinyl covers, and even your cabinet and steps!

Step 4: Rinse The Basin

Using your hose, thoroughly rinse the tub to wash away any lingering surface debris, before moving on to your deep clean.

Additional tips:

  • For a deeper rinse, consider using a line cleaner, like Jacuzzi®️ Whirlpool Rinse, or if you have a problematic or particularly dirty tub, Ahh-Some Hot Tub Cleaner is another great option. Simply add your chosen product to your water and allow it to circulate for 15 minutes before draining. Follow product instructions carefully.
  • When draining your hot tub, it can be beneficial to inspect and clean or replace the filter cartridge as needed. For optimal performance, it’s recommended that filters be cleaned every month using a spray-on, rinse-off filter cleaner, like Aqua Magic Cartridge Cleaner.

Watch this short video and follow along for an effortless hot tub drain:

Draining your hot tub may seem like a straightforward process, but following these proper techniques will ensure that your spa remains clean and inviting for years to come.

By following these steps regularly, you can enjoy not only a sparkling-clean hot tub but also peace of mind knowing that you’re maintaining a healthy and safe environment for your relaxation and enjoyment.

Before you start refilling your hot tub, use the tips in the next section to give your spa a deep clean to prepare it for the season ahead.

Deep Cleaning the Hot Tub

Cleaning your hot tub periodically is essential to maintaining its pristine condition and ensuring a hygienic environment for relaxation and enjoyment.

In this section, we will guide you through the proper techniques and tools for deep cleaning your hot tub.

Recommended cleaning agents and tools:

  • Use mild and non-abrasive cleaning agents that are designed for hot tubs. Try to avoid using household cleaners or abrasive materials that can damage the surfaces. While we highly recommend using Natural Chemistry Clean & Perfect, if you don’t have any on hand, you could opt for non-abrasive cleaners you may already have at home, such as Lysol, non-granular tub and tile cleaner, non-abrasive Mr. Clean products or a mild soap, such as Ivory.
  • Invest in a soft-bristle brush or sponge to gently scrub the shell and other surfaces.
  • For hard-to-reach areas, such as the jets, filters, and crevices, consider using specialized cleaning tools like pipe cleaners or toothbrushes.

Cleaning the hot tub surfaces:

  • Start by draining the hot tub following the procedures outlined above. Once the water is drained, move on to cleaning the shell, jets, and filters.
  • For the shell, make sure to remove any debris or dirt that may have accumulated. Apply a small amount of the cleaning agent to a sponge, microfibre cloth, or brush, then scrub the shell’s surfaces in circular motions. Pay special attention to areas with visible stains.
  • Don’t forget to clean the filters! Regularly removing and cleaning the filters will prolong their lifespan and enhance the overall performance of your hot tub. Refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for proper filter cleaning techniques. As previously stated, we recommend Aqua Magic Cartridge Cleaner above all others. However, for an alternative option, you can soak your filters in a bucket with diluted filter cleaner, such as Jacuzzi®️ Cartridge Cleaner. Watch this short video for an easy-to-follow guide:

It’s important to note that while cleaning the interior of the hot tub is crucial, don’t neglect the cover and exterior.

Wipe down the cover with a cover cleaner, such as Jacuzzi®️ Restore. This product not only cleans off dirt and debris but also includes a UV inhibitor to protect your cover from the sun.

For the hot tub’s exterior, refer to your spa manufacturer’s guidelines for safe cleaning procedures to avoid damaging the panels or surfaces. As previously stated, we recommend using Natural Chemistry Clean & Perfect, as it works for all cabinets.

By following these deep cleaning techniques, you’ll ensure that your hot tub stays in excellent condition, ready for you to unwind and relax in a clean and inviting environment.

Let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll discuss the necessary steps for refilling and balancing the water in your hot tub.

hot tub drain - checking pH after refill

Refilling and Balancing the Water

Properly refilling and balancing the water in your hot tub is a crucial step to ensure the safety and comfort of your spa experience.

In this section, we will explain the ideal water temperature and chemistry and provide step-by-step instructions on refilling your hot tub correctly.

How to Properly Refill Your Hot Tub

When refilling your hot tub, it’s crucial to follow a proper procedure to prevent equipment damage and ensure water clarity. Here are the steps:

1. Ensure the hot tub is completely drained and cleaned according to the instructions provided above.

2. Close all draining valves and remove any plugs.

3. Connect your garden hose to the inlet on your hot tub. Make sure the hose is clean and free from any residual chemicals or contaminants. Ensure that if you have a water softener, you bypass it prior to filling up your tub.

4. Open the water source and begin filling the hot tub. Use caution not to overflow or overfill it. For a fool proof way to ensure you turn off the water in time, set a timer on your phone.

5. While filling, use a hose-end pre-filter or a hose attachment with an inline filter to minimize minerals and impurities entering the tub. This is especially important if you’re using well water. Water sources with metals or have hard water.

6. Consult your manufacturer’s specifications for the ideal water level, as it may vary depending on the size and model of your hot tub.

7. Once the tub is filled to the desired level, turn off the water source and disconnect the hose from the inlet.

Ideal Water Chemistry

Maintaining the right water temperature is essential not only for your comfort but also for the longevity of your hot tub equipment.

Water chemistry plays a crucial role in keeping your hot tub safe and sanitary. Properly balancing the water’s pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels will prevent bacterial growth, while also ensuring that the water feels comfortable on your skin. Here are some guidelines:

  • pH Level: Aim for a pH range between 7.2 and 7.5. This level helps maintain the effectiveness of sanitizers, prevents chemical imbalances that can cause skin irritation, and prevents damage to the tub.
  • Alkalinity Level: Keep your total alkalinity between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm) to help buffer the water’s pH and prevent rapid fluctuations.
  • Sanitizer Levels: Choose an appropriate sanitizer, chlorine or bromine, and superchlorinate according to the product instructions. Keep in mind that regular testing and adjustments are necessary to ensure consistent sanitization.

Common Questions about Hot Tub Draining and Refilling:

Can I clean my hot tub without draining it?

While it is essential to regularly drain and clean your hot tub, you can perform routine maintenance, such as surface cleaning and filter maintenance, without draining the water. However, a full hot tub drain and thorough cleaning should be done regularly (at least 3 times per year) to ensure optimal cleanliness and functionality.

What is the best cleaning agent for hot tub surfaces?

When deep cleaning the surfaces of your hot tub, it is best to avoid household cleaning products and opt for non-abrasive cleaners specifically designed for hot tubs, like Natural Chemistry Clean & Perfect.

What are some common signs that a hot tub needs cleaning?

Common signs that indicate the need for hot tub cleaning include cloudy or discoloured water, strong odours, scum buildup, and difficulty balancing the water. Absolute indicators that it is time to drain and fill your hot tub are high stabilizer readings (on your test strips) or high Total Dissolved Solids.

Need Professional Support? Explore the Expert Hot Tub Maintenance Packages at Fix My Hot Tub

We understand the importance of maintaining a clean and hygienic environment for you and your loved ones.

Regular hot tub draining and cleaning are crucial to ensuring optimal spa performance and longevity.

That’s why we offer Tune-up packages that include draining, cleaning and refilling your spa. You’ll also find these services available in our annual plan.

At Fix My Hot Tub, our team of experienced spa technicians is ready to assist you with all your hot tub service needs.

With our seven locations and 20 years of serving Central & Southern Ontario, you can trust us to provide professional and reliable service. Contact your local service center in the GTHA to get started today!