How do I drain a hot tub?

DRAIN HOT TUB
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Every few months you will need to drain down your hot tub to carry out a regular service. And if you are needing any repairs, you might need to empty it depending on what it is.

There are a couple of ways that you can do this. Both pretty simple, so we’ll run you through them. 

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Different ways to drain a hot tub

There are a couple of ways you can drain a hot tub.

1. Built in drainage valve

2. Submersible pump

Almost all hot tub, and especially the hot tubs that we sell have a built in drainage valve. These are usually on the same side as all the controls. The first option is to simply open this. The hot tub will drain out in a few hours.

There are a couple of problems with this method. The first is that it’s slow to drain. Which is fine if you aren’t in a rush. But if you want things to move faster, or if you are paying for someones time you want the water out as fast as possible.

The second is that is drains directly below the valve. This means you have approx. 1500 litres of water draining out your hot tub into the ground below. Albeit at a slow rate, you still might not want chlorinated water pooling beside your hot tub. 

This is even more important if your hot tub is inside, or in a summerhouse. 

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The alternative, and the option that we usually go for, is to drain your hot tub down using a submersible pump. These are pumps that are suitable for pumping dirty and clean water out of bodies of water (hot tubs, small ponds etc). You can attach them to a hose and direct the hose to the nearest main drain. It will usually empty a hot tub in around 10-15 mins. 

You might have a little bit of water left in the footwell, which you can scoop out using a small bucket and then you are free to clean the hot tub down. 


If you have a summerhouse or your hot tub is inside, then this is the only way you can drain it. But, we always recommend it as it quick and means you can drain the water directly into a main drain rather than your garden or the street (which might annoy the neighbours). 

Where can I drain my hot tub to?

Generally speaking, there no reason to be scared of draining your hot tub into your garden. Assuming you have kept an eye on your water pH and chemical balance, it shouldn’t damage plants or grass. However you might not want to do this, and 1500 litres on average is a lot of water. 

In normal circumstances, it is acceptable to drain your hot tub into the nearest main drain. We would usually recommend that you make sure the water is balanced ie. chlorine levels are not too low or high (normal drinking water has Chlorine in it). And we would recommend you run a biofilm treatment through the water to ensure all the bacteria is killed.

Then you can attach a hose and run it down the nearest drain.

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Can I drain my hot tub into a septic tank?

Now this is where it gets a little tricky. We have quite a few people out in the sticks, with some form of septic tank rather than main drain. 

It’s not impossible to get a hot tub, but it’s certainly a little trickier. It’s usually manageable if you have a hot tub for private use. Although if you are planning on using it for a holiday home and need to drain regularly, then this can cause a bit of a problem

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The main issue is usually with drainage. Both of the above options are usually out. There is no main drain to direct it to0. And you have to be very careful if you are living rurally as you don’t want chlorinated hot tub or pool water getting anywhere near water bodies or it can harm the wildlife and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency will have something to say about it. 

If you are using a septic tank you have a little bit of a problem as the hot tub water can not go directly in there. The sanitiser levels in the hot tub water will kill the enzymes in the septic tank rendering it useless. You’ll therefore need to neutralise the sanitiser and chemical levels. This can be done by:

1. Using Sodium Thiosulphate to neutralise the Chlorine levels then transferring into septic tank

2. Transferring water into a specially built holding tank (with the same capacity as hot tub) and leaving there til the water is neutral then transferring into septic tank

If you are unsure on how to deal with this we suggest you contact SEPA. 

 

In conclusion

Under most circumstances, it’s pretty easy to drain your hot tub using either the built in drainage vale or a submersible pump.

The only deviations from this will usually be if you live in a rural area and have a septic tank, in which case you will have to find an alternative to ensure that you are not putting chemicals into a septic tank or waterways.  

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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