When autumn approaches near Labor Day
in the States, it’s time for pool owners to start thinking about winterization. This is also the time to begin thinking about winterizing your outdoor spa. Usually the pool is kept up and running through the holiday, but afterwards, it is time to close up shop. A spa can be kept up for a little while longer but by late November or well before the first freeze, you will want to close it down for the winter also. If you own an outdoor spa, there are some important steps to keep it clean and fresh for the long winter, and also to keep corrosion from setting in. Please note that these steps are not for in-ground spas, they are for above-ground, self-contained, or wooden hot tub spas.
The first thing you want to do is drain out all the water from your spa. You should have a pump that will do this for you automatically or a drain plug that can be pulled. Once the water is drained, turn on the blowers for a couple minutes to remove the water that is left in the lines. Any excess water should be removed with a shop vac and dried with towels.
Once the spa is completely dry, it should be thoroughly cleaned. Remove any stains or dirt from the bottom and sides.
The next step is to locate the heater and turn it off. Also, if you have a dedicated circuit in your breaker box for the spa heater, turn that off as well.
Make sure your equipment is dry by draining the pump and filter. Any bleed valves should be opened to release water. You can add RV antifreeze to the pump and filter to help protect them from freezing.
Most spas come with a hard cover. If you have the hard cover it should be secured tightly to the spa. In addition to the hard cover you will want to put plastic or a waterproof tarp over the top as well in case any water leaks into the spa. To keep the tarp or plastic secure, place a large sheet of plywood on top of the plastic.
If you have a wooden hot tub, follow the same instructions as above except do not drain the water completely out of the tub. The wood is sensitive to the cold and it will shrink in the winter if there is not water in the tub. The sides will be fine but you should leave about 2 inches of water in the bottom.
By following these steps, your spa will be safe, protected from the winter elements, and ready to go in the spring.