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Winter 2022: How to Winterize a Hot Tub Cheat Sheet

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In this post you will learn, step by step, how to winterize a hot tub.

Prepare for freezing temperatures ahead of time

If you live in an area that gets temperatures below freezing, you want to prepare your spa for cold temperatures before they arrive. Here is an excerpt from HotSpring Spa owners manual with detailed information on this topic:

Your spa has been designed and engineered for year-round use in any climate. In some areas, extremely cold temperatures below 10°F (-12°C) combined with strong wind, may cause partial freezing of the jet pump, even though the water inside the spa remains at the selected temperature. The energy efficiency of the spa may also decrease during these cold periods, as the heater will cycle more frequently.

As an additional precaution against partial freezing of some of the components, the equipment compartment can be insulated with an insulating kit. This insulating kit will also help to maximize the spa’s energy efficiency. IMPORTANT: When warmer weather returns approx. 60°-70°F (15° – 21°C), the insulating kit must be removed to prevent overheating of the jet pump.”


If you leave the spa unused for a long period of time in severely cold weather, you should drain the spa and winterize it to avoid accidental freezing due to a power or equipment failure.

NOTE: Use only Propylene Glycol as your anti-freeze (available at most RV or marine supply stores). This is non-toxic. Never use an automobile antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) since it is toxic!

You can purchase Propylene Glycol to use as your anti-freeze here.

Warning: Failure to follow these instructions correctly can lead to freeze-damage not covered by warranty.

How to winterize a hot tub-

  • Drain your spa completely.
  • Remove the filter cartridges, clean and store in a dry place.
  • If your spa has a wireless remote, remove from spa and store in a dry warm place.

IMPORTANT: These additional instructions must be utilized when you drain and winterize your spa in climates where the temperature falls below 32°F (0°C). A five (5) gallon combination (vacuum/blower) wet/dry shop vac must be used to effectively remove water that is trapped inside the plumbing lines.

Attach the vacuum hose to the vacuum side of the shop vac. Vacuum all openings and orifices as follows: 

a) Jet openings: start with the jets at the top and move downward (if suction is coming from another jet, block off the other jet using a large rag – this will help pull out the water that is trapped deeper inside the main line) 

b) BellaFontana water feature, if applicable (plug 2 openings and use the shop vac to pull water from the 3rd opening). 

c) Filter compartment and Moto-Massage DX niche, if applicable (removal of the faceplate may be necessary). 

d) Main drain outlet (it may be necessary to cover the drain grate tightly with a rag when vacuuming the main drain and secondary freeze drain outlets to ensure water is drawn completely from the internal plumbing system).

e) Secondary drain outlet and allow it to draw any remaining water from the spa’s bleedlines (approximately 3 to 5 minutes).

Next, attach the vacuum’s hose to the blower side of the shop vac. 

a) Remove the filter standpipes by turning them counterclockwise. (The standpipes may have a silicone sealant temporarily holding them in place and it may take firm pressure to get them to initially break free.) 

b) Place the end of the vacuum hose in one of the filter openings and cover the closest filter opening with a clean rag. 

c) Turn on the blower function and allow it to blow out any water remaining in the plumbing lines (approximately 3 to 5 minutes).

d) Turn the SmartJet lever to the second position and allow that system to purge. e) If your spa is equipped with more than two jet systems, then each jet system will also need to be blown out.

Thoroughly dry the spa shell with a clean towel.

Replace the main and secondary drain caps.

Danger: Use only Propylene Glycol as your anti-freeze. This is non-toxic. Never use an automobile anti-freeze (Ethylene Glycol) since it is toxic!

  • Using a long-extension funnel, pour anti-freeze into all standpipes, filter suction fittings, jet orifices, and Bella Fontana orifices. Add enough anti-freeze to ensure adequate protection – in many cases, you will see the liquid in the orifice, or coming out of another location. Re-install the filter standpipes if removed.
  • Close the spa cover and fasten the cover tie-downs. Cover the spa cover with two pieces of plywood to evenly distribute the weight of snow and ice. Secure a plastic sheet, or tarp, over the spa cover and plywood.
  • Replace the equipment access door, if removed.

Thanks for reading How to Winterize a Hot Tub!

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