10 Tips: How to Close Your Spa for the Winter
It’s a scary thought but winter’s coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Closing up your spa for the upcoming months of cold and snow is imperative if you want a properly-working unit when you open it back up again in spring. That’s because the number one causes of damage to hot tubs and spas results from improper or incomplete winterization. Here are some tips to get you through it:
- Turn off the circuit breaker to the electrical line or just unplug the unit. Take off the hard thermal cover and drain the unit using a simple garden hose hooked up to the drain spout. You could also use a sump pump if you have one. Leave the drain spout open when finished.
- Turn off the spa heater and replace the thermal cover. Switch the circuit breaker back on or plug the unit in, whichever one you had done before. Switch on the air blower and give it a good 30 seconds to remove all water from the air channel.
- Take off the cover yet again and use a towel to mop up any remaining water or moisture. Check the footwell to ensure all water is gone from there as well.
- Trip the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) within your spa equipment pack via the TEST button.
- Turn off the circuit breaker that connects to your spa, then unplug the spa if it is a 110-volt unit.
- Check all fittings on your spa and loosen them to release any built-up water. Keep those fittings off for now and take out any drain plugs included in your pump housing. If you skip this step, you risk cracking the pump housing because even the smallest amount of water can damage it when freezing in the cold weather. Drain the filter canister and heater, removing any drain plugs present.
- Blow out remaining water from the jet pipes using a shop vac, air compressor or even a leaf blower. Climb in the spa and blow against each jet with the medium of your choosing. First, you’ll have to make sure all jets are open properly with topside air controls closed off. As you go jet to jet, you’ll see water surge out of all the fittings you have loosened earlier. Refrain from adding pipeline antifreeze in your spa or pipes! In the spring, it’s next to impossible to get all that antifreeze out. Plus, it’s not needed if you have followed all of the previous steps to the letter.
- Climb back out of the spa and replace the cover, securing it so that wind and animals can’t dislodge it.
- If you have a portable, cabinetized spa, close the hatch door and make sure it’s secure. This is to avoid pests from getting into the cabinets during the winter season. Mice and other vermin love small warm spaces and this is where they will make a nest, often chewing wires and causing a lot of damage to your unit. Again, with portable, cabinetized spas, you should protect your spa cover and wood cabinet with a specially designed custom-fit cover that will help your unit make it through the winter. A thermal cover is important because it keeps water from leaking through the seam in the hard cover.
- For in-ground or in-deck spas, you should also put a tarp or winterizing spa cover over the hard thermal cover itself to prevent water from getting in.
If you need help with any or all of these steps, please don’t hesitate to call National Pools and Spa. Our technicians would be happy to come out and tackle this chore for you, quickly and efficiently.