How to Drain a Hot Tub (2 Methods with Easy Steps)

Why do You Need to Drain a Hot Tub


Keeping your hot tub or spa at an optimum condition where bathers can enjoy is a top priority for any hot tub owner. There are many practices around that and most depend on individual preference and the manufacturer’s recommendation.

This essay answers why you need to drain your hot tub and when to do it. It also discusses how to drain a hot tub in detail, while providing options on the same. You can choose between using a submersible pump or the bathtub spigot in the process.

Why do You Need to Drain a Hot Tub?

A hot tub, just like a pool, requires a regular change of water. This is necessary because reusing the same water over and over again, even when water is regularly treated, is not ideal.

Draining the hot tub will ensure the water does not accumulate minerals, dirt, and even have bacterial build-up. The hot tub when not drained regularly may have a water chemistry imbalance.

Imbalanced water when left in the hot tub for long may begin corroding the hot tub and its fixtures. The damage may be irreparable or even lead to a slippery slope for more damage in the future.

In addition, imbalanced water is irritating to bathers. Some may experience skin and eye irritation or even residue o their hair, which is not ideal.

Draining your hot tub also ensures that you clean it more thoroughly before refilling it with water. It may also be essential for when you need to carry out maintenance repairs on the hot tub.

When to Drain a Hot Tub

When to Drain a Hot Tub


1. Bad Smell, Foaming or Discolored Water

A bad smell from the hot tub will be off-putting to the users. If you notice an uncharacteristic smell when you open or enter the hot tub, you should consider draining the water to get fresh water in.

While some foaming may be normal and should be resolved using an anti-foam solution, you should consider draining your hot tub when foaming is not resolved. The same should be done when the tub water becomes discolored.

2. According to Manufacturer’s Recommendation

You should also consider draining the hot tub when it is time to, according to your schedule or the manufacturer’s recommendation. This is especially important if the hot tub is under the manufacturer’s warranty. This will ensure you adhere to the terms of the warranty.

All the maintenance information you need is available on your hot tub manual.

3. After Heavy Use or Before Closing for the Season

After continuous heavy use, consider draining your hot tub. This will ensure the water is refilled for a better bathing experience. Draining should also be done before closing it when you do not intend on using it for a long time.

If you use a traditional chlorine or bromine system, you should change the water in your spa about every three to four months. If you use a saltwater system, you’ll need to change the water in your hot tub once a year.

How to Drain a Hot Tub

How to Drain a Hot Tub

1. Using Spigot

Drain Time: At least one hour. 

Equipment You Will Require: a garden hose and a pair of pliers to open the spigot.

How to Drain Using the hot tub spigot:

  • Turn off the hot tub power at the circuit breaker. This will ensure the hot tub pump and jets do not continue running when there is no water in the tub. It reduces the risk of damage to the tub system.
  • Find your hot tub’s drainage spigot. Depending on its make, it may have a primary spigot to drain the hot tub and a secondary spigot to drain the internal tub bleed lines.
  • Attach the garden hose to the primary spigot, taking precaution not to apply too much force to the spigot as it may break.
  • Do not cross-thread when attaching the garden hose as it will break the spigot easily.
  • Run the garden hose to a drain, preferably on a slope to ensure it drains all the water effectively.
  • Open the ball valve on your spigot using a pair of pliers if it is too difficult to open by hand. Be careful not to break the valve.
  • Allow the water to drain from the primary spigot and later on the secondary/auxiliary one if you are not able to drain both at once.

2. Using a Submersible Pump

Drain Time: 10-20 minutes 

Equipment You Will Require: A garden hose and a submersible water pump.

How to Drain Using the Submersible Pump: 

  • Turn the power to the hot tub off at the circuit breaker. This ensures that the spa is not running while you drain it to avoid damage to it.
  • Place the submersible pump inside the spa. There is no risk of electrocution as the pump is specifically made to operate underwater.
  • Connect your pump’s outflow hose to a garden hose to reach a drain. This is important especially when the outflow hose is not long enough to reach the drain.
  • Turn on the pump and allow the hot tub to drain.
  • Once the hot tub is empty, turn off the submersible pump and remove it from the spa.
  • Detach the garden hose from the pump and return the equipment to storage.


In conclusion, you need to drain your hot tub to avoid chemical build up in your tub, to refresh the water to avoid corrosion of the tub, or when you need to carry out thorough cleaning.

Drain your hot tub when the water is discolored, foamy, or has an unusual smell. You should also consider the manufacturer’s guide on the same to avoid damaging your hut tub through corrosion.


  1. How to Drain a Hot Tub, Refill it, and Get it Ready for Use – Hot Spring
  2. When to drain your hot tub – Crystal Pools