What is the Best Way to Drain A Hot Tub?

By Adam

Do you prefer to have a spa session in your hot tub early in the morning, right before starting your day?

Or do you prefer a late-night soak to soothe yourself and get better sleep at night?

Whichever the case, for you to truly enjoy the spa experience and get health benefits from it, the water needs to be clean.

Yes, chemicals can help with sanitation and keeping your water clean and balanced, but you regularly need to keep things fresh by draining the water and refilling the tub with clean water.

It would be best if you emptied your hot tub every 2-4 months, depending on how often and how many people use the hot tub.

Why Drain Your Hot Tub?

There are clear indications in your tub water that alert you when to drain, clean, and refill your hot tub.

For instance, when you notice that the water in the tub is cloudy and even chemicals don't seem to clear it, then it's time to drain the hot tub.

Foam in the tub water is also an indication that the pipes could have buildup. Hence, if using a foam remover doesn't eradicate the foam, you need to drain the tub.

It would be best if you also drained the hot tub when you notice an unpleasant odor coming from the water.

Every time people use hot tubs, organic contaminants like lotions, cosmetics, body oils, sweat, hair products, and sometimes urine and feces are introduced into the water.

Everyone carries residue on their bodies. If they get into the tub without showering first, the residue doesn't just remain in the water, it also passes through the filtration and plumbing system.

Even though the filter is meant to grab most of it, those that pass through the pipes cause buildup and create a layer of biofilm that consists of bacteria and fungi.

Even though chlorine can quickly get rid of the biofilm, it becomes impervious to it eventually. 

The only way to eliminate the contaminants in your water is by draining and cleaning the tub.

How Should You  Drain Your Hot Tub Properly?

Before you drain your hot tub, you should flush the lines, considering that this is where most of the disgusting bacteria and fungi are harbored.

You also need to add a plumbing cleaner while the hot tub is still operating in order to send it through the lines.

The cleaner is formulated to break down the biofilm, so don't be surprised to see gross-looking foam forming on the surface of the water as it circulates through the hot tub.

In fact, this is a clear sign that you are pulling all the nasty biofilm out of the pipes.

Once you flush the lines, you should flip the tub breaker and cut all power to eliminate any risk of electrical shock.

Proceed to drain your tub by connecting a hose to the tub drain and let gravity do its magic.

Though this may be the low-cost option, it is also the most time-consuming because it will take hours before the entire tub is drained.

If you don't have the patience, you can drain your tub using a sump pump that works in minutes.

However, because a sump pump drains the tub quickly, you need to keep checking the water level to avoid burning up the motor.

What is The Best Way to Clean Your Hot Tub After You Drain it?

Now that you have drained the tub, get ready to clean. Start by cleaning the filter. We recommend using a filter cleaning spray to deep clean the filters.

You can also replace the filter if you notice it needs more than one wash.

If you use a cleaning product to clean your filter, always make sure to rinse it thoroughly with clean water before placing it back in the tub.

Any residue left on the filter will cause foaming in your water once you refill the hot tub.

Use a non-scratch nylon scrub or soft cloth to clean the hot tub shell.

You can use a hot tub cleaner, diluted bleach, or white vinegar to thoroughly clean all the nooks and crannies where algae, mildew, or bacteria hides.

Thoroughly rinse all the surfaces and drain the rinse water to prevent foaming when you refill the tub.

After cleaning and rinsing, double-check all your jets to make sure they are open. This reduces the airlock, which causes water pressure issues.

How Do you Refill Your Hot Tub After Draining it?

If you are confident the hot tub is clean, the next step is to fill the hot tub back up. No one wants to sit in an empty spa.

Before you refill the tub with fresh water, check the breaker and make sure it is still off before you close the drains, then break out your hose.

We recommend using hose filters to reduce impurities like copper and calcium that affect your spa's water chemistry and general health.

You also need to make sure you have freed up your afternoon or set aside enough time to refill the tub.

Insert the hose into the filter compartment to prevent a hot tub airlock and remove any trapped air. 

Refill the water slowly to avoid issues like water back flowing into your heater when you are ready to start up the tub. Hence, make sure the tub breaker is on.

Once you refill the tub with clean water, start it and add sanitizers and other valuable chemicals.

After some time, test the pH level of the water and the alkalinity and calcium hardness.

To allow the chemicals to circulate in the water, cover the tub for 24 hours and heat up the water at 80 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bubbling Hot Tub

Once the hot tub reaches your desired temperature, retest the water to confirm that the water is balanced and ready for use.


Draining, cleaning, and refilling your hot tub is not much harder than cleaning your bathtub.

The key is to regularly check the water chemistry levels, draining the tub when necessary, cleaning it out as often as need be, and refilling it when it is clean.