Should I drain my hot tub down for the Winter?
Winter time! The days get shorter. The clocks go back. And some
crazy people start to think about draining down their hot tub until the next Summer.
It’s pretty common for people to assume that they’ll get the most use of their hot tub in the Summer. Dreams of BBQs, drink and a hot tub party usually fuel the desire to buy a hot tub. And so it’s normal to think that once Summer is over, so is your hot tub season. And your thoughts might turn to draining the hot tub down over Winter.
But, we usually find that our hot tub customers report using their hot tub more during the Winter months. Cold weather and a toasty hot hot tub. Could their be a more perfect partnership? Which, is pretty handy, given that we more likely to get a consistently cold Winter, than we are to have a long hot Summer.
Our recommendation is always to not drain your hot tub down for Winter. But, if you do decide to keep it running their are a few things you should think about to make sure your hot tub is protected and used as much as possible during Winter.
What to think about before you install your hot tub?
Even if it’s not Winter when you install your hot tub, you should be thinking about it. It’s easy to forget just how cold it can get when we’re hitting heady heights of 23 degrees in Summer. But try to remember just for a quick second when you planning to buy a hot tub. It will help you to make better decisions that will increase the likelihood of you using your hot tub in Winter. Thus, making it a better value purchase.
There are two main things to think about before installation:
1. Where your hot tub is going
2. Hot tub insulation
1. Where is your hot tub going?
Try and remember a time when you were wrapped up all cosy and warm inside and had to go outside in the sideways rain or falling snow. You’d rather not think about it, I know. Now imagine doing that journey in a swimsuit
As enticing as your hot tub may be in the Winter. The thought of going outside in the freezing cold is no fun at all.
That’s why we always recommend you put your hot tub as close as possible to a door in your house.
While a secluded spot up the back of the garden may seem idyllic. The run through the snow in Winter will not be.
2. Hot tub insulation
The number one thing you need to think about before you buy a hot tub is insulation.
Whether it’s Winter or Summer hot tub insulation is going to reduce your hot tub running costs. And help protect the plumbing.
With good hot tub cabinet and cover insulation, your hot tub should cost on average between £30-£40/month. However, without it, hot tubs can cost up to £120/month.
Poor insulation and subsequent high running costs are the number one reason people choose to drain their hot tub down for the Winter. But, in addition to this, if you do decide to drain your hot tub down and don’t have full foam insulation, the plumbing is more likely to get damaged if their is ice or frost.
How to protect your hot tub during Winter
If you’ve thought about the above pre-purchase and installation, then that should ensure you have a hot tub with low Winter running costs. And perhaps more importantly, a hot tub that you will want to use throughout the Winter.
But there are still a couple of other things you can do to protect your hot tub all through Winter.
1. Drain you hot tub down before Winter
2. Minimise the likelihood of a flow fault
1. Drain your hot tub down before Winter
You need to drain your hot tub down approx. every 3 months. If you can, try and time this so you don’t need to drain down mid-Winter.
Drain it, clean it, and refill it. This will minimise the time you need to be outside maintaining the hot tub during Winter. It will ensure it is the best possible working condition. And all in all will make you more likely to want to use it.
2. Minimise the likelihood of a flow fault
If you have a flow problem, you may find your hot tub water is heating very slowly. Or the heating might keep turning off. Your control panel topside maybe show LF or FLO (or a similar flow message).
If this happens it means there is an issues with water flow, and not enough water is passing through the heater. As a safety precaution, the heater and/or pump will cut off. If this happens and you don’t notice you could end up with damage to the hot tub.
To avoid this happening we recommend:
1. Checking the water levels periodically
2. Cleaning the filters weekly to ensure there is no blockage
3. Ensuring there are no airlocks (only usually happens on start-up)
This will help to avoid the hot tub from shutting down and water freezing.
Should I drain my hot tub down if I'm going on holiday?
We often get asked if you should drain your hot tub down if you are going on holiday during Winter.
It depends. If you are only going away for a short time then we usually recommend that you turn the temperature down to around 15/20 degrees. This will save on energy costs. But will keep the hot tub warm so there is no damage.
However, if you are going away for a long time. Or if your hot tub has a tendency to trip the power then you can drain it down. You just need to make sure you do it correctly to avoid any frost damage.
If you decide you still want to drain your hot tub for Winter
If you decide that using your hot tub in Winter just isn’t for you. Or, if you are going on a Winter holiday, you might decide to de-commission your hot tub.
We would usually recommend that you get a professional to carry this out for you. But if not, there are a few things that you need to do to keep your hot tub safe.
1. Fully drain the hot tub
This means pumping/draining all the water our of your hot tub.
All of it.
Even that annoying wee tiny bit at the bottom. Make sure the entire shell is empty.
2. Loosen the hot tub fittings
You need to make sure you get all the water out of the plumbing fittings. Once the shell is empty, loosen the fittings and let any remaining water drain out of them.
3. Blow the jets and air blower
Make sure the water is our of the jets and air blower by using a wet and dry vac to blow the air out.
It’s really important to get all the water out of your hot tub if you are closing it down for the Winter to avoid damage.
We would always recommend that you keep your hot tub running during Winter. It is one of the most popular and enjoyable times of the year to use it. And if you plan ahead with insulation and placement you can ensure you get lots of use of it during the Winter months.
But if you decide not to keep your hot tub running then you need to take some precautions to ensure there is no water left in the hot tub or plumbing.
Let us know whether you plan to keep your hot tub running for Winter or not…