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A young boy smiles as he enjoys a hot tub.

Keep Your Hot Tub in Top Shape through Winter, Spring, and Summer

Whether you own a hot tub or are in the market for one for your home, you’ve likely wondered whether you can enjoy it year-round. Of course you can!

But there are some fundamental maintenance and care tips you need to consider to ensure you have the optimal experience for each soak. Hot tub maintenance isn’t hard—it’s all about consistency!

How Long Should A Hot Tub Last?

A high-quality hot tub should last 20 years or more with proper care. Lower-quality hot tubs tend to last around five years, and mid-grade hot tubs will typically last about 10 years.

The life of the warranty is also a good indicator of how long the hot tub should last. Keep an eye out for the warranty when looking at hot tubs for sale.

Really, though, the lifespan of a hot tub also depends on the level of maintenance it receives. Hot tub care includes regular cleaning, proper maintenance, and even protection with a decent cover.

Can I Keep My Hot Tub Open Year-Round?

Absolutely! Because there are many benefits to using hot tubs, such as improved sleep, stress and pain relief, muscle relaxation, and boosts to the immune system, you might as well make the most of your hot tub year-round.

One of the best parts of owning a hot tub is being able to use it in the cool spring and autumn, the cold winter months, and even cool summer nights. You can also lower the temperature of your hot tub in summer so the water is refreshing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Tub Maintenance

How Often Should I Clean My Hot Tub? What Should I Clean?

You should clean your hot tub at least once a week, with a more thorough cleaning when you drain your hot tub every three to four months. Be sure to clean inside the hot tub, the waterline, seats, shell, and cover.

Is it Okay to Leave a Hot Tub Empty?

While you can leave some water out, you should leave enough water in your hot tub to prevent pipes from freezing in winter and the skimmer from sucking in too much air.

How Often Should I Change the Hot Tub Water?

Ideally, you should change your hot tub water at least every three to four months, and more often if you use your hot tub daily or several times a week.

How Often Should I Change the Filter In A Hot Tub?

You should change the filter every 12 to 18 months, depending on how often you use your hot tub. Make sure you change the filter before it gets cold outside, as well as when you can no longer completely clean it.

Is Chlorine or Bromine Better for Hot Tubs?

Both sanitizers have their benefits. Chlorine dissolves quickly and is very effective at killing contaminants quickly and keeping hot tub water clear. It does, however, need to be replenished more often.

Bromine, meanwhile, dissolves slowly and doesn’t need to be replenished as often as chlorine. It kills contaminants at a slower rate, but it also has a lower pH than chlorine, which can help keep water chemistry more balanced overall.

Chlorine can be harsh on the skin, hair, and eyes, but easily rinses off after a long soak. Bromine is slightly less irritating to the skin and has a milder odor compared to chlorine but can be harder to wash off afterwards.

Really, it boils down to your preference. Regardless of what you choose, make sure you don’t combine both in (or out) of your hot tub, as they can cause a dangerous chemical reaction together. If you’re switching from one to the other, take the time to do a very careful draining and cleaning of your tub, including a line flush.

How Long Do I Need to Wait to Use My Hot Tub After I Put Chemicals In?

If you’re shocking a hot tub with non-chlorine shock, wait at least 10 minutes before going in. That being said, if you’re using a chlorine shock, you’ll have to wait until the chlorine level reaches 5 ppm, which could take up to 24 hours. Either way, give your hot tub some time to adjust before you go for a soak.

Your Hot Tub Maintenance Guide

Every 2-3 Days

Test Water

To keep your hot tub safe and comfortable to use and in top condition, test the hot tub chemical levels (such as sanitizers like chlorine or bromine, as well as pH) every two to three days. Balance the water if the levels are too high or low. The ideal pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6. Alkalinity should be 80 to 150 ppm—if it’s too high, it can cause scaling and cloudy water.

Keep the following chemicals on hand for your hot tub water chemistry maintenance:

  • pH increaser
  • pH decreaser
  • Alkalinity increaser
  • Sanitizer (chlorine or bromine)
  • Hot tub shock


Add Chemicals

Add chemicals to shock your hot tub every one to two weeks. Shocking, the process of adding chemicals, helps the sanitizer work more effectively, keeping your water clean and clear and reducing the amount of sanitizer needed.

Be sure to keep the hot tub cover off for up to 10 minutes after shocking to prevent released gases from damaging your cover. You should always run your hot tub’s jets when adding chemicals to ensure they’re evenly distributed.

You should also add a scale preventer to the water once a week to extend the life of your hot tub. Otherwise, calcium and other minerals will build up and form damaging scale.

Rinse Filter & Check Skimmer Basket

Rinse the filter with warm water or a garden hose every week or two, depending on how frequently you use your hot tub. When rinsing the filter, check the skimmer basket, remove any debris, and rinse with a hose as well.

Check Water Level

Check the water level to make sure it covers around half or a third of the skimmer hole and adjust as needed. Any higher than this will prevent debris from being skimmed off the water’s surface, and any lower will prevent enough water from flowing through the pumps, reducing the pumps’ lifespan.


Get Water Professionally Tested

Bring a sample of your hot tub water into your local hot tub store for a professional water analysis once a month. These professional water tests are accurate, in-depth, and able to pick up elements in the water that at-home tests cannot, like problematic metals and phosphates.

The hot tub pros will also be able to give you advice on how to best treat your tub based on the results from the water analysis.

Vacuum the Hot Tub

Keep the surface, seats, and floor of your hot tub clean with a hot tub vacuum, either a manual vacuum or a built-in vacuum that comes with several Hydropool Self-Cleaning hot tubs available here at Poolarama.

Every 3-4 Months

Drain the Hot Tub

Drain your hot tub every three to four months to remove the buildup of dissolved solids (fine particles such as salts and other minerals) that make your hot tub water cloudy and feel “harder.” If you have a Hydropool Self-Cleaning hot tub, though, you will only need to drain the water every 4 to 6 months.

Do not drain your hot tub if it is too cold out! There is a risk of pipes freezing if you drain your hot tub in the deep-freezing temperatures of mid-winter.

Clean Plumbing

When draining your hot tub, add plumbing cleaner to the water one hour before draining and turn on the jets to allow it to circulate. Plumbing cleaners are environmentally friendly and safe to drain with your hot tub water.

Clean Filters

Use a filter cleaner to remove dirt, oils, lotions, and other larger particles and contaminants that are difficult to clean off your filter with a hose. Do this every three to four months to keep your filter working efficiently.

Add UV Protection to Cover

Spray a UV protectant on your hot tub cover every few months to clean it and protect it from UV radiation damage that would otherwise wear down the vinyl skin of the cover and reduce its lifespan.


Replace Filters

Replace your hot tub filters every 12 to 18 months, depending on how often you use your hot tub. Filter fibres stretch over time and allow larger particles to pass through. If the water doesn’t stay clear, your hot tub likely needs new filters.

Inspect Cover & Replace If Necessary

Inspect the condition of your hot tub cover at least once a year for signs of damage or being waterlogged (e.g.., it sinks or feels heavier than normal). Damaged and waterlogged covers are poor insulators, so you’re better off buying a new cover instead of paying higher energy bills to keep your hot tub warm in winter.

Winter Hot Tub Maintenance

How Do You Maintain A Hot Tub in The Winter?

Use a high-quality cover and a winter blanket. Remove snow from the cover with a brush (not a shovel) when it starts to accumulate. And keep the cover locked when not in use.

Open all waterfall valves to prevent pipes from freezing, but turn off air controls to keep the water temperature stable.

What Temperature Should A Hot Tub Be Set at In the Winter?

The temperature you keep your hot tub is up to you. However, the temperature should be no lower than 32 degrees Celsius in winter. Many hot tub owners keep their hot tubs between 37 and 40 degrees in winter.

Follow these tips on how to maintain a hot tub so you can the most of your investment and enjoy it year-round!