When Should I Drain My Hot Tub?

Nothing can beat sinking into the soothing, crystal-clear water of your spa. If you want to keep your spa’s water sparkling clean, routine maintenance is key. That means weekly testing and balancing of your water, but it also means draining and cleaning your hot tub periodically. Before we dive into how to drain your tub, let’s first examine why you should do it on a regular basis.

Why Draining Your Tub is Necessary

Draining and refilling your hot tub routinely is crucial for keeping the water clean and avoiding damage to your spa’s inner workings.

You wouldn’t want to soak in dirty water, would you? By draining and refilling your hot tub with fresh water every three to four months, you’ll not only ensure an optimum soaking experience, but you’ll also be safeguarding your spa. When the water isn’t changed on a regular basis, it becomes extremely difficult to balance and can even start to corrode your hot tub.

When to Drain Your Spa

Now that you know why draining your hot tub is so important, it’s time to talk about a regular drainage schedule.

Most average spa owners can get away with draining and cleaning their spa once every three to four months. However, if your spa is consistently used by a lot of people or more than once a day, you may need to drain it more often.

If you need to drain more often than quarterly, the best way to determine your ideal frequency is by regularly testing your water. If your water is becoming difficult to balance, it’s a sure sign that you need to drain your spa and start fresh.

Here are some other signs that your hot tub should be drained.

1. The Water Turns Dark

If your normally sparkling clean hot tub water has turned dark, you likely have a contamination problem. Dark-colored water is a sure sign that you have a build-up of contaminants.

It could be that your water’s pH levels are off and that a routine chemical application of balancing, bromine and shock chemicals along with algaecide will solve the problem.

If it doesn’t, it’s time to drain your tub, clean it and fill it with fresh water. If the water continues to turn dark, it’s time to call in the professionals to find the problem.

2. The Water Turns Green

Green water and slime are good indicators that algae have taken over your spa.

Start by testing your water to determine what chemicals you need to add and then give your spa filter a good cleaning. If spa shock and chlorine or bromine sanitizers don’t clear your water, you’ll need to start fresh by draining and cleaning your tub.

3. The Water Smells

If the water in your spa stinks, it could be caused by contamination. Immediately drain and clean both your hot tub and filter. Keep an eye on it after your spa is refilled. If the fresh water gives off an odor, get in touch with your local spa dealer for an assessment and service. A technician will be able to determine the problem and get you back to enjoying your spa in no time.

4. Foam or Scum Appears

Hot tub foam can appear in a few different ways. It can look like a layer of soapy bubbles across the top of the water or it can be cloudy and scummy looking, giving the water a murky white hue.

Start by testing your water to find out what the problem is. Once you’ve added the appropriate chemicals, clean your filter to make sure there are no contaminants hanging around.

If your water is not clean after 24 hours have passed, it’s time to drain, clean and rinse your spa. Once refilled, test the water, add chemicals as needed and allow everything to circulate for a good 24 hours before retesting. Once you receive a good test, you can get back to enjoying your spa.

How to Drain Your Tub

Whether you’re draining your tub as part of a regular maintenance schedule or because there’s a problem with the water, the process is the same.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

1. Make sure your hot tub is powered off before you start draining the water.

2. Draining can be done a few different ways:

  • You can drain the tub through the valve located on the bottom of your spa.
  • If your hot tub isn’t connected to a drainpipe, a hose can be used to drain the water.
  • If you have a submersible pump on hand, that can speed up the process.

3. Once your spa is drained, wipe the entire inside down with a damp cloth. Follow that up with a non-foaming cleaner. It’s important to use a real spa cleaner and not a household cleaning product to avoid damage of any kind to your spa.

4. Rinse the tub thoroughly to remove the cleaner.

5. Once your spa is clean, you can begin the refill process.

While draining and cleaning your spa isn’t hard, it can be time-consuming. If you’d rather not tackle this job, All Seasons Pools & Spas can help. You can schedule weekly maintenance which includes full chemical analysis, chemical adjustment, filter cleaning, a general check of all equipment and drain and refill when needed. Or, you can schedule a quarterly or as-needed drain, clean and refill of your spa.

All Seasons Pools & Spas

No matter what your spa service or maintenance needs, All Seasons Pools & Spas will get the job done right. As the top hot tub dealer in the Northern California region, we not only stock quality Sundance® Spas hot tubs, but we also offer the best service. Visit or contact any of our six showrooms to check out the Sundance® Spas for sale or speak to one of our experts about our hot tub prices. We can help you find the perfect hot tub for your home and budget or help you set up a maintenance schedule for your existing spa.