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When Should I Drain And Refill My Hot Tub?

When maintaining a spa or hot tub, draining and refilling is one of the most important steps in your water maintenance routine.

A good rule of thumb is to drain and refill your hot tub once every 3 months. For a more precise number, you can follow this formula: Spa volume / 3 / average daily bather load = number of days between drains. Plan to drain and refill before and after winter. You never want to shut your spa off in the winter because the water in the plumbing can freeze very quickly.

There are a couple different ways to drain your spa. Every spa has it’s own drain valve located somewhere at the bottom of the tub, internally or externally. For internal drains, you will need to remove the equipment access panel to find the drain valve to connect your hose to. In many cases, this valve has a simple shut off that you can open to allow water to flow out. With external drains, they are normally placed in a corner on the footing of the hot tub with a cap over it. each drain valve works a little differently so you will need to check your owners manual for instructions. In some cases, simply attaching your garden hose to it opens the valve and lets the water flow out. You can also drain the spa with a sump pump. This is a quick and easy way to drain your spa.

No matter how you drain your spa, you should clean out the plumbing before you drain. This is a very quick and efficient way of removing any water mould or bacterial build up in the pipes. Use SpaGuard System Flush for a quick clean.

Spa System Flush

  • Removes unseen build-up in spa plumbing that can impact performance
  • Works with all sanitizer systems
  • Works with all spa sizes
  • Add prior to draining spa
  • Cleans plumbing in 15 minutes


There will be a lot of build-up and scum that comes out of the jets after using system flush. Use a soft, non-abrasive rag to clean the waterline of your spa shell as the water drains down. Depending on the severity of the build-up coming out of the jets, you may need to refill and repeat the process a second time. This may be inconvenient, but you will notice a major difference in your water quality when your spa is finally squeaky clean and your water is crystal clear. This is also a good time to chemically clean and/or replace your spa filter cartridge. We recommend having a spare on hand so you can rotate them. You always want to let your filter cartridge dry before putting it back in so the pleats have time to shrink for optimal filtration. Chemically clean your dirty filter and store it to dry for the next time.

After you’ve drained and refilled your spa with water, be sure to bring a water sample to our store for a free water analysis to get your spa water balance and ready for use.



Written by Advanced Spa And Pool