The cold and snowy Canadian winter months are here, and with that comes potential freezing issues for backyard spas and hot tubs. Don’t let the harsh conditions stop you from enjoying a nice hot tub soak year round. Stay on top of your hot tub maintenance and avoid freeze damage this winter season.
Prevent your hot tub from freezing
Be sure to continuously inspect your swim spa and hot tub so that you don’t miss a beat. If a leak should occur and goes undetected, the water level could go low enough to stop spa circulation and heating, resulting in potential freezing conditions.
Never turn your hot tub off at the breaker (GFCI) unless you’re going to be immediately draining and winterizing the system.
Best practices for backyard spas and hot tubs
Stock up – Have enough sanitizer and test strips on hand along with other key spa and hot tub supplies to get you through the winter.
Keep it covered – A hot tub cover must be in good condition to ensure minimal heat loss. A heavy, water-logged cover will not be energy efficient or keep the hot tub protected.
If your hot tub is down for a period of time…
In the event that your hot tub is down (pumps not working or tub inoperable) for a period of time in cold weather, it is important to protect your equipment from freezing. E.g. you have drained your tub and will be a few days before it can be properly winterized.
1. When backyard spas and hot tubs are down for 1 or 2 days in moderately cold weather…
- Put an electric micro-heater ** in the equipment area without aiming the heater directly at the equipment, and set the skirt panel back in place.
- Set the heater at a medium-high setting but check it 20-30 minutes later to ensure the heat level is adequate. Keep checking until the temperature is correct. Ensure you are using a safe, reliable heater with safety settings e.g. it will shut off automatically if it falls over or if it reaches too high a temperature.
2. If you expect the hot tub will be down for more than 1-2 days or if the weather is extremely cold…
- Drain the tub and place the heater inside the hot tub
- If the tub has full foam insulation — place the heater on a brick or a piece of wood on the floor of the foot well inside the tub.
- If the tub has only partial insulation – place the heater in the equipment area (as in #1) place the hot tub cover back on.
** If a micro heater is not available, place a light bulb socket cord with a standard incandescent light bulb (minimum 60 watts), in the equipment area for 1-2 days maximum. However, a micro-heater is always the best option as it will circulate the warm air.