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Winterizing Your Hot Tub

Should you run your hot tub all year long? For many Canadians, soaking in a hot tub on a cold, snowy day is extremely relaxing and beautiful. But some people prefer to close their hot tub for the winter, which can reduce annual costs.

It really comes down to preference. If you choose to keep your hot tub running all year then you should prepare for winter by familiarizing yourself with your hot tub's winter operating instructions.

Tips for winter hot tub maintenance:

  • Your hot tub's instruction manual should have a section on winter use. Depending on whether your system has a time or heat mode selector, freeze protection system or cycle timer you will likely need to make adjustments to the hot tub's settings to ensure it is set to run optimally during the cold winter months
  • Give your hot tub a very thorough clean in the fall so you don't have to worry about doing this in the middle of winter
  • Check the condition of your hot tub cover. A cover that is well insulated and in good condition will help you save on heating and maintenance costs during the winter months
  • Remember to keep an eye on water levels and temperature throughout the winter, especially if you're not using your hot tub daily
  • Check your hot tub's exterior for any gaps or holes. Mice and other small animals look for warm places to spend the winter and you'll want to ensure they can't access any areas of your hot tub, especially places where they could damage wiring
  • A power loss of a few hours during winter won't damage your hot tub. Keep the cover on so that you don't lose heat and buckle down until the storm is over. However, if you're looking at a power loss of a few days you may risk damage to your lines. It's not advisable to drain your hot tub in winter, and if you are out of power you probably won't have the equipment you need to do this properly and safely. If you live in an area that has frequent, long power outages during winter you may want to consider having a generator on hand which can either keep the hot tub running or allow you to power the equipment you need to drain it properly.

If you experience frequent power outages during winter and don't have a generator you may want to consider shutting your hot tub down for the winter. When you empty your hot tub for winter you must be extremely careful with the winterizing process. Most spa damage during cold weather is due to improper draining or winterizing.

Tips for winterizing your hot tub:

If you are planning on shutting down and draining your hot tub for winter then you'll want to check your hot tub's manual for detailed instructions on how to do this. In most cases you will need to:

  • Cut the power
  • Flush and drain the tub
  • Remove your filters
  • Loosen all fittings and drain the plugs
  • Blow the water out of the jets and lines with a shop vac. You must ensure all water is removed
  • Clean the tub and mop up any remaining water
  • It's critical that your tub is completely dry and you remove all water from the jets, lines, drains and fittings
  • Clean your cover and ensure it is dry before placing on your hot tub
  • Check your hot tub's exterior for any gaps or holes. Mice and other small animals look for warm places to spend the winter and you'll want to ensure they can't access any areas of your hot tub, especially those where they could damage wiring.

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