How to Drain and Refill Your Hot Tub: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you having trouble keeping your hot tub clean? Do you want to learn a fast, easy and effective way to keep it in top condition?

This step-by-step guide takes you through draining and refilling your hot tub so you can stay safe and enjoy a worry-free soak. You have all the resources needed to ensure your hot tub is cleaned and maintained properly.

Hot tubs can be great additions to your home, bringing relaxation and stress relief to yourself and others over the years. But in order to keep these hot tubs in peak condition, it’s important for you to drain and refill your hot tub on a regular basis.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about draining and refilling your hot tub so you can better enjoy having it around while keeping it in tip-top shape. We’ll walk you through the process step-by-step, answer frequently asked questions (FAQs), and provide useful tips on how to properly maintain your hot tub. We’ll also look at the benefits of refilling your hot tub periodically and the implications of not doing so.

By the end of this guide, you should have a better understanding of how often you should drain and refill your hot tub, as well as what needs to be done prior to doing so. So let’s get started!

Explanation of why draining and refilling your hot tub is important

Having a hot tub is a luxury many people enjoy, but it is essential to take the proper steps in caring for it in order to maintain its quality and prolong ownership. Draining and refilling your hot tub, when necessary, is the best way to guarantee its longevity and cleanliness.

Regular maintenance is required to keep your hot tub safe and enjoyable for use. Even if you have filter systems, pumps and other electrical components working to keep your hot tub sparkling clean on the surface, underneath are different levels of bacteria and chemical build-up that can be detrimental to your health if not cleaned regularly. It’s also important to change the water if it has become contaminated by any means or if there are unusual changes in pH balance or other indicators of poor quality water conditions.

Draining and refilling your hot tub will give you an opportunity for a thorough cleaning of the unit inside and out so you can ensure it remains in good shape for years to come! We’ll walk you through each step of this process below so you can be sure you’ve done it correctly & efficiently.

Overview of the steps involved in the process

In order to properly drain and refill your hot tub, there are several steps that must be completed. It is important to follow these instructions carefully in order to ensure the safety and integrity of your hot tub. The steps involved in draining and refilling a hot tub can be divided into four main areas which include disconnecting the plumbing, draining the hot tub, filling it with fresh water, and restarting it. Each of these steps will be discussed in more detail below.

Disconnecting Plumbing: The first step when draining a hot tub is to disconnect all plumbing associated with the unit. This may include any hoses, valves or piping running both from the body of the spa and from any external components such as pumps or filters. This step should be done slowly and deliberately to avoid causing damage to any part of the plumbing system.

Draining Hot Tub: After all of the plumbing has been disconnected it is time to begin draining out old water from the body of the spa. In most cases this will involve turning off all power sources associated with the unit such as electricity or gas lines so that no one gets shocked while attempting this process. Once power has been shut off you can use a certified submersible pump or an automatic vacuum type device to safely remove all water from inside your hot tub tank/body (some units may need special connections for a pump).

Filling Hot Tub: After all water has been removed from inside your spa it is time to refill it with fresh new water using either a hose connected directly from an outside source or by using jugs/bags filled with clean water for filling purposes. Once you have filled up enough volume for comfort level desired turn on pumps (if applicable) until appropriate pressure level is achieved (will depend on unit model).

Restarting Hot Tub: After everything else has been done all that remains is for you to restart your unit back up either using electrical circuit breakers/power strips if applicable or by directly turning it on if necessary (some units may require special setup procedure before powering up – please consult manufacturer manual). At startup, any filters attached should be inspected while any other adjustments may need performed such as temperature regulation levels if so desired.

Importance of safety precautions

It is absolutely critical to adhere to certain safety measures before draining and refilling your hot tub. It is important to always wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling chemicals or cleaning products. Always ensure that any pumps or electrical cords are unplugged or otherwise secured as required.

When draining the hot tub, make sure that all drains, valves, and pumps are securely plugged so no debris can enter into the inner workings of the system. Follow all safety guidelines when handling chemicals, use slow-dissolving shock instead of the powdered form, and always obey the manufacturer’s directions for proper use.

Preparing to Drain Your Hot Tub

Before you go ahead and drain your hot tub, there are some important prep steps that you should take to make the process easier.

How to drain a hot tub: a step-by-step guide | Gardeningetc

  1. Turn off the power to your hot tub. Make sure that all of the power is off before making any changes to the electrical wiring or components of your spa.
  2. Extract as much water as possible with a wet/dry vacuum or by using a hose discharge pump, if available. This will help reduce the total amount of water that needs to be drained from your hot tub and will also make it easier when it comes time to carry out the refill procedure later on in order to re-establish balance in your spa’s system.
  3. Make sure that all of your equipment, including jets and drains, have been turned off and disconnected prior to draining as these can cause further leakage if left connected during draining process.
  4. Clean any debris from around the sides and bottom of spa before beginning draining procedure – this includes cleaning any existing algae build up from walls and floors of sanitary unit so as not to hinder drainage process once started.

Gathering necessary tools and materials

Before you begin draining and refilling your hot tub, it is important to first gather the necessary tools and materials you will need to get the job done. These include a drain pan, submersible pump, rubber sink stopper or plug, garden hose, test strips or other water testing materials and appropriate chemicals for balancing water chemistry. Additionally, it is helpful to have several large buckets on hand for collecting the used hot tub water.

Once you have all of these supplies ready, you can begin your hot tub draining process.

Turning off the power supply to the hot tub

It is essential to turn off the power supply to the hot tub when draining and refilling it. Doing so prevents any hazardous electricity currents from traversing through the wet environment, which could lead to electrocution and/or death. Depending on your model of hot tub, you may need to locate and flip a breaker in the main power box or press a reset button on a designated control panel.

When turning off power, you’ll likely hear several beeps—that’s normal. Once you’ve ensured that power is safely turned off, proceed with the draining process that follows.

Draining the hot tub

Carrying out the draining process is one of the key steps in refilling your hot tub. How you do this will depend on your model, but you should always make sure the power is off when handling plumbing fixtures.

Firstly, if the water level is already low, use a bucket to remove any remaining water from around the skimmer or suction lines. Then, use your drain valve to start draining out as much of the water as possible. This could take several hours depending on how much water is left in the hot tub, so plan ahead and be sure you have enough time to devote to this task. There may be an automated drain system available on some models which enables drainage without having to operate with valves or plugs in cramped areas around the hot tub’s edges.

If you’re able to remove your filters and bring them inside for cleaning you’ll usually decrease how long it takes for them to fully dry during a refill since they absorb less chlorine during that process because they are not submerged during direct contact with city water. Additionally, ensure that any chemicals presently in your hot tub have completely dispersed before proceeding with a refill using fresh municipal water supply so they don’t react negatively while re-mixing due to various compounds present in chemical solutions used for maintenance such as pH balancers and sanitizers.

III. Cleaning Your Hot Tub

After the hot tub has drained and been filled with fresh water, it’s important to clean the surfaces of the hot tub. Use a non-abrasive cleaner to wipe down the walls of your tub, paying close attention to difficult-to-reach areas. Use special care when cleaning perforated jets and jetted seats. Be sure to rinse your hot tub walls and filter with warm water thoroughly before refilling your hot tub.

Once the cleaning is complete, you should use a specialized spa maintenance product such as Clorox Hot Tub & Spa Crystal Clear Shock which oxidizes metals, eliminates contaminates and inhibits bacteria growth. Adding this product to your equipment every four weeks will keep your water safe and clean for extended periods of time.

Emptying the remaining water and debris

Emptying the remaining water and debris: If your hot tub has been neglected for some time, then it is a good idea to perform a complete draining and cleaning before refilling with fresh water. Make sure to turn off the power to the hot tub and remove any debris such as leaves that may have accumulated in it. You can use a garden hose or wet/dry vac to thoroughly drain all of the water from your hot tub.

Once all of the water has been removed, inspect the lines and fittings for any signs of damage or corrosion that may need replacing before refilling with clean water.

Scrubbing the interior of the hot tub

Once the water has been completely drained, it’s recommended to scrub the hot tub’s interior surfaces with a mild cleansing solution. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush in order to avoid any scratches and abrasions while cleaning.

Make sure to pay extra attention to areas such as pumps, jets, and fittings. It is also beneficial to soap down the interior surfaces. This will make it much easier for the refill process that follows.

When you have finished cleaning, rinse off all of the soapy residue before refilling your hot tub with fresh water.

Cleaning the filters and jets

As part of the draining and refill process, you will need to take the time to clean out both your hot tub’s filters and jets. This is an important step in the process as it ensures that your hot tub is fully sanitized during the refill. Additionally, this allows potential built-up dirt or particles to be removed and replaced with fresh new water before use.

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To begin cleaning your filters, you’ll need either a garden hose or a bucket to rinse off any accumulated particles or dirt. Make sure that all pieces of debris are completely rinsed away as part of your filter cleaning process. Once rinsed, you can use a specialized cleaning solution specifically designed for hot tub filters, to provide a more thorough cleansing.

As for cleaning out your jets, begin by taking note of which types of components make up your jet system — from rotating massage jets to traditional air valves. Taking note of the precise type of jet system that is installed in your hot tub will be extremely helpful for finding appropriate instructions for care and maintenance throughout this step. Additionally, some components may require more attention than others during the cleaning process so you’ll want to make sure everything is taken care of thoroughly before proceeding with drainage and refill processes.


Draining and refilling your hot tub should be done occasionally to keep your hot tub clean and safe. After each draining, be sure to give the interior of the tub a good scrub and reapply a sanitizer or shock to kill any lingering germs or bacteria. Hot tubs require careful care and maintenance but with regular cleaning, they can provide years of relaxation and enjoyment!

For best results, hire a professional to do the job. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure you have all the necessary safety gear before starting. Then follow our step-by-step guide to safely drain and refill your hot tub.

Keep in mind that different hot tub models may require slightly different steps. Be sure you read manufacturer’s instructions before beginning any maintenance or repair on your outdoor spa/hot tub. For an easy draining and refilling process every time, proper maintenance is key!


How do you empty and refill a hot tub? 

To empty and refill a hot tub, you will need to use the drain valve or pump to remove the old water, and then use a hose to fill it with fresh water. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for draining and refilling, and add the appropriate chemicals as necessary.

How do you drain water from a hot tub? 

To drain water from a hot tub, locate the drain valve or pump, and open it to allow the water to flow out. Depending on the type of hot tub, you may need to use a submersible pump or a gravity drain.

When should I drain and refill my hot tub? 

It is recommended to drain and refill a hot tub every three to four months, or more frequently if the water becomes cloudy or discolored.

Can I empty my hot tub into the drain? 

You can drain a hot tub into a nearby drain, such as a floor drain or a sewer drain, as long as it is legal and allowed by your local water authority. However, you should not drain it onto the ground or into a storm drain.

Where should I drain my hot tub water? 

You should drain your hot tub water into a safe and appropriate drainage area, such as a nearby drain, a garden, or a lawn, as long as it is allowed by your local water authority.

What chemicals do I put in my hot tub after draining it? 

After draining and refilling a hot tub, you should add the appropriate chemicals, such as sanitizer, pH balancer, and calcium hardness increaser or decreaser, as needed to maintain proper water chemistry.

Can you fill a hot tub with hose water? 

Yes, you can fill a hot tub with hose water. However, the water may contain minerals and other impurities that can affect the water chemistry, so it is important to test and adjust the water accordingly.

How much does it cost to drain and refill a hot tub? 

The cost to drain and refill a hot tub can vary depending on factors such as the size of the hot tub, the cost of water in your area, and the cost of chemicals. On average, it can cost around $20-$50 for a complete refill.

What is the fastest way to drain a hot tub?

The fastest way to drain a hot tub is to use a submersible pump or a sump pump, which can quickly remove the water from the tub.

How often do you drain a hot tub? 

It is recommended to drain and refill a hot tub every three to four months, or more frequently if the water becomes cloudy or discolored. However, you should also check the water chemistry regularly and make adjustments as needed.

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