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How to drain, flush and refill your hot tub

To keep your hot tub water in tip-top condition it is necessary to empty your tub occasionally, flush out the lines and give it a good clean before refilling it. It doesn’t matter if you are using Bromine or Chlorine in your tub, after a while the amount of TDS (total dissolved solids) in your water increases which can have an impact on the quality of your water. Total dissolved solids are the chemicals in your tub as well as organic matter from bathers. When the TDS of your water gets too high you may encounter one of the following problems:

  • You are unable to balance the pH of your water
  • You are using more chemicals than usual
  • Your water may smell a bit funky or be a little off colour
  • You may notice a build up of scale around your tub

Therefore, at least every 3-4 months, we recommend you drain your tub and give it a clean. Flush out the pipes so they are free of any contaminants and refill your tub with clean and sparkly water so your tub is healthy, inviting, and totally safe for you and your family to use.

Flush your pipes

First, before you drain your tub, flush out the pipes. This will clear your pipes of any contaminants and it will also ensure that your system works efficiently. 

Use a recommended hot tub flush that is specifically formulated to clear all the bacteria, biofilm build-up, and contaminants from your pipes without damaging them. 

You just need to remove your filters, turn your jets on full and pour the recommended amount of pipe cleaner into the filter housing. The pumps will then push the cleaner through the system and leave it sparkly and clean. Leave your jets running for at least one cycle (usually 15 minutes) to ensure that the cleaner has done its job.

Drain your tub

There are two ways to drain your hot tub. You can either use a submersible pump or you can use the drain valve.

Drain valve

  • Turn off power at the circuit breaker – make sure the pumps and jets are off first
  • Locate drain valve on your tub – usually towards the bottom of the spa.
  • Attach a garden hose to drain valve if necessary to drain water directly to an existing drain

This quick video shows how to operate most drain valves:

Submersible pump

  • Follow pipe flush process
  • Turn off the power
  • Place pump in the footwell or the deepest point of your hot tub
  • Run the hose to a drain
  • Turn on the pump and drain
  • To make sure there is no water left in the pipes, use a wet and dry vacuum on the jets or run a hose through the jets to clean them out

When your hot tub is completely drained, you can give it a good clean and wipe down the shell and your filter housing with a soft cloth and some specialist cleaner. To get rid of the dirty water line around your tub, we recommend a water line cleaner.

Make sure you clean around your jets too as they can get quite scaley. Make sure your tub is clean and shiny before refilling.

Refilling your tub

You can refill your tub by just putting the end of your hose in the tub but that can occasionally result in an airlock which could damage the efficiency of your hot tub. The best way to avoid this is to fill your tub through the filter housing. Check your manufacturer’s instructions first. Doing it this way ensures that the pipes fill up first before the rest of the tub.

So there you have it. A simple guide to flushing out your hot tub pipes, draining your tub, cleaning it, and refilling it. If you follow this simple process every 3 – 4 months then you can be sure that your water is clean, sparkly and healthy for you to use whenever you need it.