• Richard Hart

How To Drain A Hot Tub

Hot tubs provide you with a suitable way to relax, wind down or deal with a long and stressful day. Since your spa gives you much enjoyment and relaxation, it is only ideal that you give it back some care in return.

You don't have to do too much when it comes to the maintenance of your hot tub. All you have to do is drain the tub, clean it, and refill it with fresh water.

We will be looking at the major tips and instructions to take to ensure you drain your hot tub properly and keep it in optimal condition.

Why Do You Need To Empty Your Hot Tub Periodically?

Why Do You Need To Empty Your Hot Tub Periodically
Why Do You Need To Empty Your Hot Tub Periodically

It is recommended that you drain your hot tub water at least every two months. This is because;

  • Every time you use your hot tub, the inorganic and organic chemical levels rise as the chemicals make their way into the water.

  • Things like perfumes, deodorant, lotions, and skin cells get into the spa after usage.

  • You need to ensure you keep your hot tub water clean by getting rid of the built-up dirt and using additives like bromine or chlorine.

What Are The Signs That You Need To Drain And Clean Your Hot Tub?

There are some signs that you need to look out for that tell you it's time to drain your hot tub. They include;

  • If you haven't used your hot tub in a long period

  • If you are always using your hot tub

  • If you have had guests enter your hot tub

  • If you have tried every possible method and still the water doesn't become clear

  • If the hot tub starts giving off a bad or foul smell

If you notice any of the above, it is a sign that you should empty and clean your spa. It is better to prevent a problem than look for a solution to it.

What To Do Before Draining Your Hot Tub

So, if you want to know how to drain a hot tub, several methods are available to follow, but you need to also perform a task before draining.

Flush The Hot Tub Plumbing Lines

You will need some plumbing cleaner, which is sometimes referred to as a line flush product. Its work is to break down contaminants like biofilm and bacteria. You need to check with your local dealer for guidance on the amount you should use concerning your hot tub's volume.

Pour the plumbing cleaner into the filter housing and allow it to go around the hot tub for about 20 mins, you can opt to allow it to stay longer if it's the first time. As the product does its job, you might start to see an unpleasant-looking foam appearing on the surface of the hot tub water.

It's not something to worry about as it is bringing out the biofilm from the deepest part of the pipes. You should allow it to continue doing its work as you will be cleaning the spa later on.

What Are The Different Hot Tub Draining Methods?

Spas are investments that you need to take care of to ensure they continue working as intended, which is why you should always seek and remember every piece of information about them.

So, these are the different steps you can take if you need to drain your hot tub. It will be easy for you to know how to drain a hot tub if you can understand these methods.

How To Drain Your Hot Tub Using The Drain Spigot?

Where Is The Drain Plug On A Hot Tub?

Every hot tub features the drain spigot, and it can be found close to the bottom rim, which is just on the outer part of the spa.

There are models that come with two spigots. The primary spigot's function is draining the spa, while the auxiliary spigot is utilized to bleed the plumbing lines.

If you have the drain spigot on top of a drain in the floor directly, then you can leave the drainage valve opened and let the water flow straight there.

However, in the case where the drain is not close by, then you can connect the spigot to a garden hose, and then place the other end to hover on top of the drain before opening the valve.

Using this method, you can expect your spa to be drained in about one or two hours. There might also be pools of water left depending on the contours of your hot tub. You can make use of a brush or your hands to remove this remaining water.

How To Drain A Hot Tub Using A Submersible Pump?

Use a submersible pump if you are looking to drain the hot tub in a quicker manner. These pumps use enough force to push the water outside. First, use the circuit breaker to cut off the power supply to the spa.

Then, take the pump and attach an outflow hose, then at the centre, you lay the pump on the base of the spa. Then check and make sure the other part of the hose can get to the nearest drain.

In the case where it is too short, you can make it longer by attaching a garden hose. When all that is done, switch on the pump and allow the spa drain.

Always watch the pump to ensure it is safely draining and constantly drawing water as the pump would most likely overheat if it is taking in too much air.

How To Drain A Hot Tub With A Hose?

If you cannot invest in a wet/dry vacuum or a submersible pump, it is still possible to drain your hot tub with a hose.

  • First, you should connect one end of the hose to a faucet. Place the other end into the tub and turn on the water.

  • When the hose is filled with water, stop the water flow by bending and twisting the hose a bit.

  • Disconnect the hose from and get that end of the host below the level of the hot tub and then release the twist you made. The water should start flowing.

  • When the process is done, there might still be some small pools of water in the tub. You can use a dry rag to wipe off the excess water.

Using A Wet Or Dry Vacuum

You can opt to use a dry or wet vacuum to drain your hot tub, it is a method that is faster than using the drain spigot but is not up to speed with the submersible pump.

Start out by connecting the hose of the vacuum to the spa while the other end should be inside the water. Switch on the vacuum to allow water to flow through the hose, and then turn it off before disconnecting the hose, which would not stop the water from flowing.

Place the open end of the hose on top of a sewer or existing drain to let the water drain right into it. As the water level becomes very low, you can reconnect the hose to help you remove the water left. Don't forget to vacuum those little puddles of water.

How To Drain A Hot Tub Completely?

These are the steps to completely drain a hot tub.

  • First, power off the spa and locate the valve cap. You can find the valve cap for the drainage valve close to the base of the hot tub by the side.

  • Identify the type of drainage valve it is before connecting the garden hose.

  • Then you can run the other end of the drainage hose downhill or on level ground to the desired drain.

  • If there are still puddles of water that you can't get, try using a wet/dry vacuum.

Where Do You Drain The Hot Tub Water?

In some cities, there are laws in place that makes sure the water from a hot tub is drained into the sewers. In most cases, there would be sewer access through a specific drain located in your area.

Say you don't have access to the sewer system, you can instead get rid of the water in your yard or have the water drained through a hose into the utility sink in your house.

How To Clean Your Hot Tub?

Completing and keeping this step-by-step guide on how to clean your hot tub will make you love your spa. This procedure comes before refilling the hot tub.

  • Take out the filter and clean it with a hot tub filter soak or a filter cleaning spray.

  • Utilizing the hot tub filter soak means you have to leave the filter inside for a day. If the dirt remains after 24 hours, then it is time to purchase a new one.

  • Thoroughly rinse the filter making sure that no cleaning agent is left to prevent foaming.

  • Now, it's time to purge and purify the outside of your hot tub. Choose a good enough cleaner, then use it to spray your hot tub. Focusing on the places where bacteria and mildew might be growing is essential.

  • Then, remove the grease and dirt by using a non-scratch scrubber or soft cloth to wipe down the surface.

  • Make sure the surface is rinsed well and the water drained or you run the risk of having foamy water when you refill.

  • When the rinsing is complete, check to see that the spa jets are open as it helps lower the risk of water pressure issues from trapped air.

What To Clean A Hot Tub With After Draining?

The materials you can use to clean your hot tub include a hot tub scrubber, garden hose, and a high-quality cleaning solution.

How To Refill Your Hot Tub

These are the steps to take to fill up your hot tub the right way.

  • First, you need to close the ball valve and replace the cap on the spa's spigot.

  • Then, locate the filter compartment and insert the hose into it before turning on the faucet. What this does is help you prevent air lock and allow the plumbing lines to get filled appropriately. Make sure there is no excess water in the spa.

  • Switch on the spa circuit breaker and then proceed with the startup process including the addition of sanitiser and other chemicals.

  • Make sure the air valves are turned off if you have any. Utilize your hose filter to avoid stains getting into the water.

  • Take note of the calcium hardness, alkalinity, and pH of the water and adjust if necessary to prevent any type of issue from arising.

  • Cover the hot tub and let the chemicals mix before you heat the water to the desired temperature.

How Often Does A Hot Tub Need To Be Drained, Cleaned, And Refilled?

To make sure that your hot tub is always ready whenever you are is to make sure you change the water frequently. Whether you are a new hot tub owner or you have had one for quite some time, questions like "how often should you drain, clean, and refill?" will still come.

A general rule of thumb to follow is to drain, clean, and refill your hot tub once every three to four months. However, if you are not constantly using the hot tub and also taking measures like proper water and chemical maintenance, you could drain your tub once every six months.

It is better to do these processes more frequently than not even though there are different ways people use their hot tubs.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Now that you know the different ways to drain your hot tub, it is also essential that you know about some things to avoid. These are the mistakes you need to avoid to ensure that your drainage process is seamless.

Forgetting To Turn Off The Power

If you don't turn off the power as you drain your tub, you could end up spraying yourself and other people with water. The jets in the hot tub becomes exposed as the water level drops, which could splash water around if the machine is still on.

Turning off the power is a bit of good advice to take to avoid damage to the spa components.

Failing To Drain The Water To The Right Location

You should be careful when draining your spa to ensure it goes to the right location. Make sure you don't drain your hot tub straight into a storm drain.

The chemicals present in the hot tub water are also harmful to insects, animals, plants, and grass, which is why you should check with your water company to know where to drain your water.

Utilising The Wrong Tools For Cleaning

You are expected to use the appropriate tools to clean your hot tub. You can damage hot tub filters by using a pressure washer to clean them. Instead of that, you can use a drainage hose to get the job done.


Domestic hot tubs give you the soothing and relaxing experience that anybody would crave. Make sure you give your spa the little TLC it deserves as it is always working to make sure that you get the relaxation you need.

Regularly drain the water, clean out the filter compartment, and then refill it with clean water. This is so that you can spend more of your time enjoying a nice soak rather than on maintenance.


1. What Is The Fastest Way To Empty A Hot Tub?

Instead of using your drain valve, you can drain your hot tub faster by using a submersible pump. The speed at which your tub drains is dependent on the pump's flow rate. You can opt for one that drains up to 30 gallons of water per minute. There is also a sensor on the submersible pump that turns it off when the spa is completely drained.

2. Can I Drain My Hot Tub Into A Septic Tank?

We do not recommend that you drain your hot tub into a septic tank as the system is not made to handle that much water. Draining hot tub water into the septic tank will stir the solids and push them out to the drain pipes, making them clog and fail.

3. How Do I Get All The Water Out Of My Hot Tub?

It is simple and easy to empty your hot tub. You can use the hot tub drain valve located at the bottom of the spa. Alternatively, you can use a standard garden hose or submersible pump to drain out the water.

4. How Long Does It Take To Drain A Hot Tub?

Depending on the size of your hot tub and the method you use to drain, it could take you anywhere from one hour to two hours.

5. Should I Drain My Hot Tub In The Winter?

If you will not enter your hot tub during the winter months, then it would be a nice idea to drain it. This would help prevent problems like unnecessary maintenance, algae growth, and other operating costs.

6. Can I Drain My Hot Tub On My Lawn?

Draining your hot tub onto the lawn could be harmful to it. This is because there are chemicals like bromine and chlorine in the spa water that would discolour and kill your grass.

7. Can I Drain My Hot Tub And Leave It Empty?

There is no problem in leaving your hot tub empty after draining it. However, it is important that you drain it effectively and completely to ensure that there is no remaining water left in the hoses and pipes.



Jess Court

I'm Aqua Warehouse Groups Marketing Officer - overseeing all things news worthy in the hot tub industry, with tips and tricks that are bound to make a splash.

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