Skip to content
Hot Tub 101
Hot Tub Maintenance

How to Properly Drain Your Hot Tub

A hot tub, a source of relaxation and family fun, can become a stressor if not adequately maintained. Like pools, hot tubs require regular upkeep to ensure clean water, which includes regular draining, cleaning, and refilling. Though it may seem daunting initially, maintaining your spa becomes a simple task with proper guidance.

A Step-by-step guide to draining a hot tub

Hot tubs self-purify, but users should frequently drain and clean them every three to four months or more with heavy use to prevent damage. If you’re wondering how to drain a hot tub, there are various methods. We discuss two below.

How to drain a hot tub using the drain spigot
Your hot tub includes a built-in drain spigot or valve for easy hot tub draining. Start by turning off the tub and removing the valve cap. Connect a garden hose to the spigot, with the other end over a sewer drain, then open the valve. Once the setup is done, the tub drains independently, usually within two hours. Finally, use a wet/dry vacuum to eliminate any remaining water.

How to drain a hot tub using a submersible pump
A submersible pump quickly drains a hot tub, even uphill. First, turn off the tub, then connect the pump to a drainage hose and direct it to a drain. If needed, a garden hose can extend the pump’s hose. Position the pump at the tub’s deepest part and switch it on, monitoring closely. When the tub is empty, clean and refill it, remembering to test and balance the water afterward for optimal relaxation.

How water damage can occur

Water damage is a constant hazard and will add considerable cost to the maintenance of your spa.

On the hot tub cover
Water damage to your hot tub can often result from a poorly maintained or low-quality cover. Essential for protecting the tub from external contaminants and retaining heat, the cover can become waterlogged if the vinyl exterior, which encases the insulating foam, begins to crack or wear down over time.

This damage can lead to the cover sagging into the tub, causing potential mold growth and necessitating replacement. Proper maintenance of your hot tub cover can mitigate these issues. Using a cover lifter can help prevent accidental damage, given the weight of the cover. Additionally, periodic drying out of the cover and its insulation, particularly during the tub draining, can prolong its longevity and ensure its effectiveness.

In the surrounding area
The water in your hot tub is treated with chemicals to keep it clean and safe to bathe in over time. Draining chlorinated water in the wrong place could cause damage to the surrounding garden or plants through the chemicals in the water or eroding soil. A drainage hose that is leaking, improperly placed, or attached incorrectly could be enough to cause water damage around your hot tub.

How to remove water that can cause damage

Before you drain your hot tub, check your local government website for ordinances on how to dispose of chemically treated water. Some areas may have laws against emptying hot tub water into the yard or onto the street.

A safe bet is to run your drainage hose into a sanitary sewer drain to take the wastewater directly to a sewage treatment plant. Do not drain a hot tub into a storm drain—those run directly back into local streams or rivers.

Best practices throughout the draining and drying process

To drain and dry your hot tub, turn it off and drain using the built-in spigot or a submersible pump, directing the hose to a sanitary sewer drain. Once drained, clean the tub with a non-abrasive cleaner and rinse thoroughly.

Dry the tub to prevent water spots and mildew. Inspect and clean the cover, replacing it if damaged. Refill the tub, ensuring all valves are closed beforehand. After refilling, balance the water chemistry by adjusting pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels. Regular maintenance, such as monitoring water quality, is essential for a clean and safe hot tub. Always follow local regulations for chemically treated water disposal.

If you’re dedicated to making the most out of your hot tub investment, visit The Cover Guy today for more information about a high-quality hot tub cover.