How to prevent your hot tub from freezing in winter (Part 1 of 2)
Each year during these cold winter months, I come across frozen hot tubs. For one reason or another, the hot tub shut down or leaked out and the owner found out too late, resulting in a block of ice. A frozen hot tub can result in thousands of dollars in damage or even catastrophic failure. In some cases the damage is beyond repair and replacement or disposal are the only feasible options.
To prevent your hot tub from freezing, follow these easy steps:
1. Clean or replace your filter
a. Filters should be cleaned or rinsed every month, and treated with a filter cleaning product quarterly to remove calcium and oily build-up. Filters are to be replaced annually or every 18 months depending on size and the manufacturer recommendations. A good rule of thumb is if your filter sinks to the bottom of the hot tub when placed in the main body of water, it’s time to replace it.
b. Dirty or restricted filters are the number one reason for hot tub failure. A hot tub requires a certain amount of water flow to operate properly, and when your filters are dirty and restrict water flow, problems can happen, specifically heating and water circulation. Long term issues can cause harm to pumps and the heater.
c. If your hot tub is experiencing issues, the best way to determine if your filter is causing the issue is to remove the filter from the hot tub, set it aside, reset power, and see if everything is works properly after the reset. If so, it’s time to clean or replace the filter. I recommend replacing it, especially if it’s freezing outside and it’s been more than a year since it was last replaced. If removing the filter and resetting power did not fix the issue, then it’s time to call Water Works Pool & Spa Service to schedule a service appointment.
2. Make sure the water is at operating level
Water loss due to evaporation is common during the cold winter months. Depending on the condition of your cover, how often you use the hot tub and for how long each time can all contribute to evaporation as steam escapes and lowers the water level, potentially up to 1″ per week. Make sure to keep a thawed hose available to top off the water level as needed. Failure to do so could shut down the hot tub and lead to freezing.
Be sure to open the cover and check for temperature and proper operation at least once per week, even if you’re not using the hot tub. If you’ll be out of town for an extended period of time, have a neighbor, friend or family member stop by to monitor. There are also several products on the market that can monitor the water temperature and send alerts via e-mail or through an app on your mobile device. You can also call Water Works Pool & Spa Service to provide maintenance service and ensure the water is balanced and everything else is cleaned and operating properly.
If you don’t plan to use or monitor your hot tub, or if you travel for extended periods of time you may want to consider having your hot tub winterized for the season. The winterizing process removes most water and introduces antifreeze to protect the plumbing. Never just drain the water, it MUST be properly winterized to avoid freezing. I recommend letting the professionals handle this task; call Water Works Pool & Spa Service.
Stay tuned for our next blog “Frozen Hot Tub?” on ways to thaw your hot tub in the unfortunate event that you find yourself with a block of ice. You can always contact Water Works Pool & Spa Service with any service or maintenance needs, we’re here to help!