6 simple steps to winter hot tub maintenance (and the best spa season ever)
We did a quick poll here at Buds and by far our favourite spa season is winter. There’s the invigorating contrast between hot water and cold air, the beauty of a snowy view seen from behind the steam, and the relaxation factor—feels like we need it more during the winter, doesn’t it? Plus, it’s easier to keep our hot tubs and swim spas running through the winter than to shut them down for the season. Make sure you get maximum enjoyment from your spa this winter by following these six simple steps.
1. Give your spa one last cleaning
We recommend cleaning your hot tub or swim spa every 8 to 12 weeks, so take the opportunity before the snow flies to drain it and give it a thorough cleaning. We’ve included draining and cleaning instructions for Hydropool tubs in another post.
2. Stock up on sanitizer and test strips
It may be cold outside, but your hot tub or swim spa water is still warm and microorganisms can live quite nicely in it. Skip the snowy, inconvenient trips to the store for sanitizer and test strips by purchasing enough products to get you through the winter.
3. Check your cover
Your cover is critical to minimizing heat loss. If it’s not in good condition, you’ll spend more money heating your spa over the winter and may even cause damage to the equipment. Keep the cover free of ice and snow with a broom or brush—never use a shovel because it can damage the cover. Use a winter cover or cover cap to add another layer of protection. Will your cover will cut it this winter? We've written a post to help you tell.
4. Keep the water warm
Freezing can damage your spa as well as the pipes. If your spa doesn’t have freeze protection, set your hot tub or spa timer to run the heater every 20 to 30 minutes so warm water is regularly running through the pipes. Check water temperature frequently to make sure your heater is working properly.
5. Check water levels
Too little water in your tub will prevent your pump from working, which may lead to water freezing and damaging pipes and equipment. Keep a hose handy for winter water top ups.
6. Protect equipment in case of a power outage
A few hours without power won’t be a problem as long as you keep the spa cover on (and it’s in good condition). If the power will be out for an extended period, have a generator on hand so you can either keep the spa running until the power comes back on, or drain and winterize it properly.
Of course if you won’t be doing any cold season hot tubbing or swimming this year, or you’re going away for an extended period, you may want to safely close down your spa for the winter. If you’re like most of us at Buds, though, you’ll be soaking up winter from the comfort of your spa!.