If you want to keep your hot tub clean, clear, and endlessly enjoyable, you have to make sure you perform regular maintenance on it. Part of that maintenance involves draining and cleaning your tub around three or four times a year. While this may sound like a serious hassle, there are ways to make the job easier and more effective. 

To help you become an expert at draining and cleaning your spa, we’ve created this comprehensive guide with all you need to know about this critical hot tub task.

When Should I Drain and Clean My Hot Tub?

Your hot tub will come equipped with more than one way to keep itself clean. Nonetheless, there will eventually come a time when the water is too saturated with chemicals and contaminants for your filter and water care system to continue doing their jobs effectively. When that time comes, your only option is to drain the water, clean your tub shell, and then refill it. 

How frequently your tub will need to be drained will depend on how frequently it’s used. In general, though, the job should be done once every three or four months. If you’re unsure whether your tub needs to be drained, you can test the total dissolved solids (TDS). Once the TDS reaches over 1,500 ppm, you should drain and clean.

How to Drain and Clean Your Tub

Is it time to change out your hot tub’s water? Follow these simple steps to get the job done right.

Before You Begin

hot tub with clean water & jets

Before getting started, you’ll want to have the following items on hand:

Opting for cleaning agents that are specially designed for your hot tub is not only a more effective option, but it can also help you avoid any issues that may arise if you use the wrong product. For example, if you use certain cleaning agents on a hot tub shell, the residue can make it difficult to balance your water.  

Draining the Tub

Before removing the water from your tub, make sure that your power is turned off so that the jets are not running without any water in them. After that, you’ll want to either locate the hot tub’s spigot or grab a submersible pump to begin the draining process. 

Whether you use your spigot or a pump, you’ll need a garden hose that’s capable of reaching a safe draining area, preferably an actual drain. Simply connect the hose to the spigot or pump, run it to the drain, and either open the spigot or turn the pump on to let it go to work. 

With a spigot, it’s best to find an area that’s downhill so gravity can help you drain out all the water. If that’s not possible, you may want to consider using a pump.

Cleaning the Tub

Once your water is drained, you can then get to cleaning your shell with nothing more than a soft rag and a hot tub cleaning agent. Clean the shell thoroughly, and then rinse it off with clean water. 

changing NESPAS Start Rite Pre-filter in hot tub

During this time, you’ll also want to disassemble all of the many components of your hot tub’s filter system and clean them thoroughly as well. For pleated filters, take the filters themselves and soak them in a filter cleaning agent (not compatible with disposable Microclean filters). Then, rinse them thoroughly with clean water.

Refilling the Tub

Once you’ve cleaned the shell and filters, you can refill your hot tub.  Attach the NESPAS Start Rite Pre-filter to the end of your garden hose to reduce any heavy metals and suspended solids in the water. Don’t just drop a hose into the tub and let it run, though. Doing so may create an air bubble that causes issues with your spa and potentially even damages the water circulation system. Instead, find the designated fill pipe for your particular spa model and fill from there. 

With the water refilled, you can now start balancing it using your spa chemicals. Run a test kit to see what it needs, and then go from there.

Learn More About Hot Tubs From New England Spas

Short on time or just want to sit back and relax? Leave the dirty work to us! We offer valet services to ensure your spa is always in pristine condition, weekly, bi-weekly and monthly options are available to suit your needs. Let us take care of the maintenance, so you can enjoy the relaxation! If you’d like to learn more about hot tub maintenance, reach out to New England Spas today. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.