Frequently Asked Questions About Winterizing Your Outdoor Hot Tub

It’s hard to believe that there’s only a handful of weeks left in the year. As we get close to the end of November and the temperature starts to drop, you might have questions about whether or not to winterize your outdoor hot tub. In fact, we get questions of all kinds about how to properly care for and maintain a hot tub, and with over two decades of experience in the business, we’re happy to share our knowledge. In today’s blog from Spa Max in Corona, we’re going to review some of the most common questions concerning winterizing. Keep reading to learn more.

Question #1. Should I winterize my outdoor hot tub?

This is by far one of the most frequently asked questions we receive. People who live in northern climates, especially, want to know if they should winterize their hot tub because they are afraid it will freeze during the winter months. Here in Southern California, we don’t have to worry about that so much, but there are still some things you should do each year to prepare your hot tub for the new season.

Most winterizing recommendations are made to help with the energy efficiency of your hot tub when the temperatures are cooler outside. For instance, you’ll want to inspect your hot tub cover and make sure that there aren’t any rips or tears. Second, you should check to make sure the seal is intact so heat doesn’t escape. Finally, you can invest in a hot tub blanket that floats on the surface of the water. A hot tub blanket will reduce your energy costs and prolong the life of your hot tub cover. 

Question #2: Will a hot tub freeze overnight?

As we previously mentioned, you probably don’t have to worry too much about your hot tub freezing in Southern California, but if we have a particularly cold winter, or you live in an area where below-freezing temperatures are the norm, you’re probably worried about your hot tub freezing. 

The fact is, hot tubs are designed to withstand a wide range of temperatures including below-freezing temperatures. The construction and insulation of your hot tub are such that the water won’t freeze in it unless you turn off your hot tub, take off the cover, and let it sit in sub-zero temperatures for days. 

What you do need to be aware of, however, is people who claim you need to completely drain your hot tub for the winter. This simply isn’t true and it actually increases your chances of harming your hot tub. That’s because when you drain your hot tub, even though you think you are removing all of the water, there is still some that remains in the plumbing. Unless you bring in a professional or take extra steps to remove any residual water, if the temperature gets below zero, the small amount of water left in the pipes could freeze and create a big problem. 

In general, you shouldn’t have to remove the water from your hot tub to winterize it. If you’re going to be away from home for an extended amount of time, ask one of our hot tub experts about how to properly protect your hot tub while you are gone. 

Question #3: Can I leave my outdoor hot tub empty?

As we discussed in question #2, it’s not a good idea to leave your hot tub empty during the winter when colder temperatures could cause the remaining water in your pipes to freeze. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to leave your hot tub empty in the summer either. Small amounts of water left in the pipes can allow bacteria to grow. Once you have a problem with bacteria — especially in the plumbing — it can be difficult to eradicate. 

Another reason to never leave your tub empty is that without water, the seals and gaskets will dry out, crack, and begin to leak once you do fill it back up with water. Again, if you’re going to be away from home or not using your hot tub for an extended amount of time, contact a hot tub expert at Spa Max to discuss what you should do.

Question #4: What temperature should I keep my outdoor hot tub when not in use?

Many hot tub owners are concerned about energy consumption, especially when they aren’t using their hot tub. Therefore, many people ask if they should turn down their hot tub, or turn it off completely to save on their energy bill. First, let’s address turning your hot tub off completely. This is not a good idea because of a few reasons. Lower temperatures are more likely to allow bacteria to grow and it takes much more energy to warm up cold or cool water that you’re not any further ahead. 

The ideal temperature range for safety and energy concerns is about 5 degrees less than what it usually is. This will save some on your energy bill and will allow you to warm your hot tub back up to the desired temperature without using a lot of energy to do it. 

Get All of Your Hot Tub Questions Answered at Spa Max

We hope this blog has helped answer some of your questions about winterizing your outdoor hot tub. If you have other questions or are interested in buying a new hot tub, we encourage you to visit our website or stop by our store. We have the largest selection of hot tubs and swim spas in the area with models from all of the biggest name brands. Come see why so many people shop at Spa Max — we look forward to seeing you!