How to Drain a Hot Tub: Your Ultimate Guide

19th April 2021

A hot tub offers a great way to relax. But in order for you to enjoy your hot tub at its best, it’s a good idea to keep on top of the minimal maintenance required. Although self-cleaning hot tubs do as they suggest and keep maintenance to a minimum, you may need to drain your spa of water every now and again. With this in mind, here is our ultimate guide on how to drain a hot tub…

Do I need to know about hot tub drainage if I have a self-cleaning hot tub?

It seems obvious that a self-cleaning hot tub is doing exactly that, self-cleaning, and to a certain extent you would be right.

The design of a self-cleaning hot tub is such that it naturally filters the water, pulling any debris into the high flow skimmer and pre-filter, which removes the debris and any oils to keep the water clean and prevent clogging up the pump and heater. Any heavier debris drops to the bottom and is cleaned via the HydroClean floor vacuum. Similarly, the pressurised micro-filtration system cleans 100 per cent of the water in just 15 minutes, ensuring you are bathing in clean water at all times.

how to drain a hot tub

So do you need to know how to drain a hot tub when you have a self-cleaning model? Well, yes. However, a salt water technology spa will usually only need draining once a year due to its excellent water care programs. However, even with a self-cleaning system, although you won’t need to drain your hot tub very often – if at all – it’s wise to know how to do so should the need arise.

How to flush the pipes of a hot tub

Before draining and changing your hot tub water, it’s important to clean the pipes and plumbing lines of your spa. This is to ensure that any nasty bacteria and biofilm which builds up in the pipes and can cause contamination is flushed out.

Each spa product will have its own specific instructions which you should refer to, but as a general rule, flushing the pipes involves removing the hot tub filters, turning the jets on full and then pouring a specialised hot tub pipe cleaner into the filter housing. You should then allow the jets to run for 15–30 minutes, depending on the specific home spa you have, before going through the procedure of hot tub drainage.

How to drain a hot tub

The good news is that draining a hot tub is a fairly simple process. Have your hot tub operation manual to hand in order to locate the various parts of the hot tub required. There are two main systems of hot tub drainage which are as follows:

By using your hot tub drain valve:

This is the slower method of the two, but potentially the easiest. As it’s a slower process, it also allows you time to move the hose pipe, should you wish to do so. All hot tubs have a drain valve, making it convenient to drain the water in your hot tub using the following steps:

  1. Flush your pipes prior to drainage.
  2. Turn off the power to your hot tub at the circuit breaker. You shouldn’t let the pumps and jets run whilst the hot tub is empty as this can cause damage to the components.
  3. Locate your drain valve. This is usually at the bottom of the main panel of your hot tub, or in a corner of the hot tub. Your hot tub may actually have two valves: a primary one and an auxiliary valve. You should use the primary valve to drain most of the water, before opening the secondary valve to drain the internal bleed lines (this is particularly important if you’re draining to winterise your hot tub).
  4. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve in order to let the water drain downhill, or on level ground. If possible, transport the water to an existing drain in order to avoid any damage to your patio or lawn.
  5. Open the ball valve on your spigot to allow the water to drain.

By using a submersible pump:

If you want a faster solution for draining your hot tub, a submersible pump is the way to go about it. This hot tub draining solution can take as little as 10 minutes to empty your hot tub, depending on its size…

  1. Flush your pipes prior to drainage.
  2. Turn the hot tub power off at the circuit breaker.
  3. Place the submersible pump in the footwell of the hot tub, at the deepest point.
  4. Run the hose from the pump to your drain.
  5. Turn the pump on and this will begin the draining process.
  6. Once empty, simply turn off the pump and remove it from the hot tub.
  7. To ensure there is no dirty water residue left in the pipes, you can either use a wet and dry vacuum on the jets or run a hose through the jets to clear them out.

For the ultimate self-cleaning hot tub experience, choose Hydropool Surrey

Our pure water technology and self-cleaning hot tubs here at Hydropool Surrey mean that you will always have the cleanest of hot tubs ready to relax in.

Our expertise has been trusted for over three decades, so if you require personalised guidance on hot tub maintenance, why not make an appointment at our purpose-built hot tub showroom in Addlestone, Surrey? We’ll be on hand to show you around all our demonstration models, which you can try for yourself in warm and comfortable surroundings.

To book your appointment, and for helpful advice, please get in touch.