When to Drain Your Hot Tub
Your hot tub is an amazing place to gather with friends and family. But there always comes a point when you need to refresh the water. Changing the water allows you to rebalance chemicals and do some deep cleaning. Luckily, the entire process is pretty simple! Learn about the right time to do a full versus partial drain.
A Full Drain
As a general rule of thumb, do a complete drain every 4-6 months. That’s because the water is always “fighting” sunscreen, lotions, dirt, salt, and even plant debris. It’s like owning a fish tank—you can only keep the water clean for so long.
To drain your hot tub, first, turn off the circuit breaker. When you open the front cabinet on the control panel side, there’s a hose located inside. Connect this to your garden hose, turn on the tub spigot, and let gravity do the rest.
If you want to speed things up, we recommend using a submersible sump pump. These little machines are placed in the tub water and pump out water through a garden hose.
All you have to do is plug it in, hook it up, and turn it on.
A full drain is a great opportunity to tackle deep cleaning because you can reach spots that aren’t usually accessible. Scrub away any buildup on the shell surface. It’s also a good idea to clean out the piping and filter. These maintenance steps help protect your hot tub investment.
A Partial Drain
Sometimes it’s good to do a partial drain in between complete refills. Maybe you had a hot tub party and your guests were careless with food and drink. Or you weren’t as diligent about rebalancing chemicals. If the water looks or smells funky, it’s time for a refresh!
But looks can be deceiving. You may not be able to see when your water quality is off. When these chemical levels are off, it’s time for partial drain:
- Calcium Hardness–If it gets above 400 ppm (parts per million), the calcium hardness is too high. Unfortunately, there’s no chemical that can bring it down. The only solution is to replace some of the water so you can correct the levels. You can test your calcium hardness with an at-home kit or bring in a sample to our store for free testing.
- Cyanuric Acid –This is a chlorine stabilizer. Once cyanuric acid gets over 50 ppm, it can cause what’s called a chlorine lock. At this point, your chlorine’s effectiveness is toast. But if you dilute the water by letting some out, you can rebalance cyanuric acid as you add the fresh water. You can easily test cyanuric acid at home or at our store.
- Total Dissolved Solids –This is a measurement for the concentration of unfiltered materials in your water. Basically, the longer your water is used, the more TDS you’ll have. Sometimes the water looks hazy, but not always. There’s no strip test for TDS, so make sure to bring in a sample.
Want to learn more about your hot tub? We offer FREE education and training! Join us for Splash Spa School any Monday from 4:30-5:30 pm.