Some people treat their hot tub like a bath, only that water you relax in doesn’t leave when you get out. There comes a time though when it is necessary to drain your hot turn to give it a thorough clean and fill it with fresh water. If you have guests, it doesn’t matter how well you know them, you’ll want to keep your tub clean after a certain amount of visits.

If you are new to the world of hot tubs, the chances are you’ve been putting this off, it is, after all, the worst part about owning one. Still, it doesn’t have to be such an arduous task and when you know what you are doing, it doesn’t take as long as you might think. The following will help you learn how to drain a hot tub as well as how to clean it properly so you won’t find yourself needing to do it so frequently.

How Often Should You Drain A Hot Tub?

With the right level of upkeep, you only have to drain your hot tub four or five times a year, depending on the size and amount of use. If you are cleaning your filters every month and sanitizing it regularly then you should find yourself only needing to completely drain it a handful of times annually.

Alternatively, there are a few signs that tell you when it is time to drain your hot tub. In the months when you are in and out of the hot tub more frequently, you should consider draining it more often. Also, if there is a strange or foul odor coming from the water or the clarity is not what it should be.

Also, if it has been a long time since you used it, even if you have been vigilant with the upkeep, it can be a good idea to drain it and add fresh water.

Why Should I Drain My Hot Tub?

Even if you are sticking to the right amount of upkeep, there is nothing that will clean it as thoroughly as when it is drained and you can get into every corner properly. Also, clean water is important. A hot tub is supposed to be drained now and then, it will prolong its lifespan and make the whole thing a lot more hygienic.

You only have to do a small amount of research to discover the number of parasites and bugs that can fester in an unclean hot tub, and old water is part of the problem. Also, the likes of sunscreen, hair products, sweat, urine, and even feces will all contaminate the water which is why some people prefer to shower before getting in.

What Are The Risks Of A Dirty Hot Tub?

Take a moment to consider that the following risks don’t just affect you, it is also your guests that you need to think about here.

Some of the risks involved in being neglectful when it comes to looking after your hot tub are bacterial infections and even skin conditions and irritations. This is because of the organisms that thrive in moist environments, especially warm ones. Hot tub chemicals work hard to prevent these things from happening and draining the spa to clean it properly helps.

How Long Does It Take To Drain A Hot Tub?

To drain a hot tub should only take around an hour and a thorough clean shouldn’t take long. If you do this 3-4 times a year, you won’t be losing much of your life to keep it clean. This is assuming you are using the hot tubs drain and not a submersible pump which will drain it in a matter of minutes.

This all depends on the size of your hot tub but since there aren’t huge variations in size, it shouldn’t fluctuate by much.

What To Do Before Draining A Hot Tub

This is your chance to give it a thorough clean and this includes the piping. Because Biofilm can gather, you should use a plumbing cleaner to prevent any problems from worsening. Biofilm is a buildup of bacteria and other nasties that like to take up residency in the piping. They are pretty resilient, hence why you need a proper cleaning agent to break them down.

There are different brands which will mean you need to read the instructions carefully as the amount you need to add to the water, and the amount of time you should leave it before draining will vary.

A lot of the time, when it works its magic, the plumbing cleaner will bring some of the goo out which will create a foam. This is perfectly normal, and you’ll be draining it before too long anyway.

Check Local Law

Because the law is different from city to city and State to State, you need to make sure you are disposing of the water whilst complying with local law. Check with your local authority on the laws when it comes to drainage before draining your hot tub.

How To Drain A Hot Tub

After you have given the plumbing cleaner adequate time to do its job, it is time to drain the pool using the following steps:

The first thing you should do is turn the power off via the circuit breaker. This will protect you from electric shocks as well as the jets and pumps when the water isn’t running.

Then, attach a hose long enough to reach the nearest drain to your hot tubs sigpot.

Next, open the valve on your sigpot and allow the water to drain.

As we mentioned previously, a submersible pump will make light work of such a tank as they are often used to drain swimming pools. A hot tub will take a matter of minutes.

How To Clean A Hot Tub

Now your hot tub is drained, it is the ideal time to give it a proper clean. This doesn’t only involve the inside of the tub, but also some of the working parts.

Firstly, remove the filter and give it a thorough clean. Some people opt to soak it overnight in a specialist cleaner but if you have been cleaning it regularly, a good scrub will probably suffice. If you use any cleaning products on any parts of the hot tub, it is always important to rinse them off before placing them back.

Next, give the inside of the hot tub a thorough clean. Use hot tub cleaner and make sure you get into the corners where algae and the likes often hide. You might not be able to see your reflection when you’ve finished, but you’ll know when you’ve done a good job. Then, it’s time to fill it back up.

How To Refill A Hot Tub

This is pretty simple but again, make sure the circuit breaker is off and close the drains. You can use a hose to refill the water and if you want to make sure it is as pure as possible, a hose filter can improve the cleanliness of what you are putting back in. The risk with this is that it can cause an airlock which can damage circulation in the plumbing.

Otherwise, use the fill pipe to refill your hot tub. Since every hot tub is different, consult the owner manual to find out where it is.

Whatever method you are using, never leave the hot tub unattended or go out when refilling. Set a reminder on your phone to check it intermittently to avoid overfilling.

When it is full, you’ll need to add sanitizer and chemicals to keep the water safe and hygienic before testing the water to make sure the levels are correct and leave it 24 hours before using it again.


Draining a hot tub is easy to do and a necessary job that doesn’t take long. It is a great opportunity to keep it clean and prolong the lifespan of the spa. When you have done it once, the next time will be easy so you can enjoy the fun that comes with owning a hot tub all year round.