When Is the Right Time to Drain a Hot Tub?


Hot tubs require weekly maintenance to keep sanitary. Chemical imbalances in the water can lead to mold and other bacterial growth. This is a hazard to your health as a bather as well as the health of the tub.

When neglected, hot tub chemicals corrode the interior lining and filters. But even with proper care and attention, hot tubs need periodic draining.

How Often Should You Refresh the Water?

Older hot tubs need cleaning more often than new ones. The filters experience greater stress as pieces in the spa begin to dissolve. Nevertheless, a hot tub of any age needs cleaning at least three times a year. However, the frequency depends entirely on usage.

Generally, if you bathe in your spa more than two times a week, you should drain the water every two to four months. More specifically, perform the following calculation to estimate the number of days between refills.

  • Formula: (# of gallons ÷ 3) ÷ # of bathers daily = # of days between cleans
  • Example: (475 gallons ÷ 3) ÷ 2 = ~80 days

The average hot tub contains 475 gallons of water. Assuming you average two bathers daily, the estimated wait between refills is 80 days.

That said, if your average is fewer than two, this does not mean you can get away with cleaning yearly. Even if you don’t use your spa often, you do add new chemicals. The longer between drains, the harder it is to maintain a proper balance.

Three Signs Your Water Needs Changing

  1. Cloudiness: Sometimes, cloudy water indicates the wrong use of sanitizer. If you recently topped it up, then this could be the case. General cloudiness, though, means it’s time to purge.
  2. Odor: Stale water reeks. The moment your water smells bad, change it. Smells point to bioactivity, which can lead to infection.
  3. Foam: Foam can be tamed with dedicated products. However, foam that will not subside should signal to you that the water needs replacing.

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