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While people in North Carolina can enjoy their hot tubs year-round, thanks to Mother Nature, there are some things you should do if you're planning on leaving your home for the winter.
Simply throwing the cover on until you return for next season isn't the best idea. This is not going to keep your hot tub in the best shape possible. There are steps you should take to keep your hot tub in good condition, even if you're not dealing with the bad weather during the winter.
We’re going to take a look at how to winterize your hot tub, as well as how you can do it safely and easily.
Do all Hot Tub Owners Have to Winterize Their Hot Tubs?
If you have a hot tub that is not well-insulated you should certainly winterize it. When you have this type of hot tub and don’t winterize it pipes can freeze and crack, and algae can also start to form. Both of these issues can lead to bigger, more expensive problems down the road.
While folks in North Carolina may not need to worry about heavy snow and ice, it's still a good idea to at least drain your hot tub if you're leaving your home for the winter. You don't want to leave it full of water with just the cover on because it could lead to costly damage and repairs.
Some hot tub owners may still choose to fully winterize their hot tubs. This may come down to personal preference if you're unsure if Mother Nature may throw some curveballs when you're not at your home.
Preparing to Winterize Your Hot Tub
If you're choosing to fully winterize your hot tub rather than just drain it, you need to do a few things to get the job done right. This include:
- Flushing the lines
- Neutralizing the water
- Taking out the filters
- Loosening the PVC fittings
- Turning off the power
To get all of this done you’re going to need the following pieces of equipment:
- A vacuum cleaner
- Garden hose
- Long funnel
Winterizing Your Hot Tub Step-by-Step
After you get the necessary equipment, it’s time to get to work. Here’s a step-by-step guide to winterizing your hot tub.
1. Neutralize the Water
Test the chemical levels before you let any water out. You don’t want to release water that’s going to be harmful to the environment. If there are high chemical levels, you’ll want to neutralize the water before emptying the tub.
2. Flush the Lines
Flushing the lines helps to clear out any algae or calcium buildup within your hot tub's lines. To do this, add a line flush chemical to the water and let the jets circulate the product for the amount of time specified in the instructions.
3. Shut the Power Off
Cut off the power to the unit in the electrical panel.
4. Drain the Water
You can drain the water two ways. You can use a submersible pump or you could use a garden hose. If you’re using a hose, position it on the drain valve nozzle and let the water flow out. If you have an air blower be sure to drain that as well. Even if you choose not to fully winterize your hot tub, don't skip this step. Leaving standing water when you're not using it all winter could lead to a breeding ground for bacteria.
5. Remove and Clean the Filters
Take the filters out and soak them for a day. Once they’re clean and dry you can store them until next year.
6. Clean the Tub
Once the water is drained and the power is off, it’s time to give the tub a good scrubbing. Use an absorbent towel and a good cleaning product to wipe the tub. Be sure to wipe off any moisture. Remove the pillows and wipe under them as well as the jets. You’ll want to put the draining cap back on and apply antifreeze to all openings. One gallon of antifreeze is more than enough for most standard sized hot tubs and swim spas. Be sure not to use toxic antifreeze.
7. Cover the Hot Tub
Once the tub is clean, close the top with a dry cover. Be sure it’s treated with a protectant to prevent mold. Wind straps help secure the cover in place. Plywood boards are also helpful to protect the cover and tub from the elements.
Taking care of your hot tub year-round is important if you want to get the most out of your investment. Simply keeping up on maintenance and taking care of it during the winter and when you're not home year-round can protect it and assure that you can enjoy it for years to come.
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