Fresh and clean water is a basic requirement for a pleasant hot tub experience. We want to unwind, relax and enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy in a fresh and safe environment. However, there comes a point when the water in a hot tub is no longer fresh and new. Old water is also harder to maintain as T.D.S. (Total Dissolved Solids) increase and can cause your sanitizer to be less effective. How often should a hot tub be drained? What steps should be taken?
Do the math. There is a very basic equation to determine how often a hot tub should be drained. Determine the gallons of the hot tub, divide the gallons by the number of average bathers, and then divide that number by 3. For example, if your hot tub is 400 gallons and an average of 2 people use the hot tub every day then the equation would look like this: 400 ÷ 2 ÷ 3 = 66.666. The hot tub would need to be drained approximately every 66 days. Keep in mind this is to be used as a basic guideline.
Quarterly. Another rule of thumb is to drain the hot tub every 3 months depending on usage. Again, a heavy bather load may require the water to be drained more frequently. Whereas, a spa with very little usage can go much longer between draining and refilling. Keep in mind that it might be better to keep the hot tub running during periods of extreme cold. You can aim to drain and refill the water just before winter and just afterwards.
Prior to draining. Before draining the water it is a good idea to run a pipe cleaning solution through the system. A pipe cleaner such as Swirl Away or Ahhsome will eat away at any bio-film or other build up in the guts of the hot tub.
Use your time wisely. Waiting for a hot tub to empty is like watching paint dry. Accelerate the process by using a submersible pump. This is also a good time to inspect your jets and see if any are in need of replacement. If there is a water ring or scum line, use a non-abrasive and non-foaming cleaner to wipe down the surface of the spa and rinse off any residue as the water is draining. Replacing your cartridge filter or chemically treating it can also be done at this time.
Just add water. You’re almost ready to go! Throw in the garden hose and start filling. If you are on a well, have heavy sediment in your water, or if your source water contains metals, you may want to use a pre-filter to prevent these from ending up in your nicely cleaned spa. Once your hot tub is filled to the appropriate level, have your water tested by a professional. Getting your water chemistry off to a good start will make your weekly maintenance a breeze.
Happy hot tubbing!