How to Open Your Hot Tub This Spring

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published May 15, 2024

Did you put your hot tub away for the winter? If so, with spring around the corner, you’re ready to get back in it and get it opened up. 

This is not a common question at our Hydropool retailers, but it does come up. Most people keep their hot tubs running year-round, which is one of the great perks of owning a hot tub. So this is for people who don’t use their cottages in the winter, for example, and need to open them up again in the spring.

Talk to your local retailer, if you can, before opening up your hot tub. You may also want to consider the services of a professional here, as hiring someone to do this work will save you hassle and time and get you up and running faster and without issue. Your local retailer will be able to help you here.  

If you want to tackle it yourself, we will go through the steps for you below. This article assumes you have stored your hot tub properly, using elements such as a thermal cover and air pillow within your hot tub  over the winter (a thermal cover is just what it sounds like: a warm, sturdy cover difficult to penetrate and an air pillow sits inside inflated, putting pressure on the cover from below, leaving a bulge in the top of the hot tub cover. That bulge ensures runoff on the top of the hot tub so you don’t get snow and water accumulation).             

Whether you're new to the process or need a refresher, below you'll find out how to easily open your hot tub this season.

This article will cover:

  • Step 1: Remove the covers and drain the water tubes
  • Step 2: Clean the shell and filter
  • Step 3: Fittings
  • Step 4: Refilling the hot tub
  • Step 5: Turning on the power

By the end we expect you’ll have a solid sense of what’s involved in opening up your hot tub each spring. 



Step 1: Remove Winter Covers

The first step to take before opening your hot tub is to take off the winter cover or tarp and thermal cover.

First, remove the winter cover and any air pillow, which you can then deflate and store for the summer. Next, for inground hot tubs, you'll need to remove and drain the water tubes. Clean these items and store them someplace where they'll stay dry and protected until you close your hot tub again.

Your next step is to remove the thermal cover. Check the interior for water and dirt, which will most likely be there. This can be easily taken care of by putting in the draining pump and pumping out the water. At this point, you should also remove rubber plugs from the jets.

Also check the shell for cracks or splits, which may be evident if you let water freeze in the hot tub over the winter. Call your hot tub dealer before continuing if you see any issues.

Cleaning the thermal cover is the next thing you can do, as this will help it last longer. Always use a vinyl or spa cover cleaner and make sure to clean both the underside and the exterior. Once the dirt is removed, put on a coat of protectant.

If your thermal cover feels heavy, it's probably wet and you'll want to dry it out by unzipping the cover, taking out the foam, and placing it outdoors in the sun for one to two days until it's dry.

Step 2: Shell and Filter

Starting with shell of your hot tub, spray an acrylic cleaner on the walls, floor, and seats, wiping it off with a sponge. Never use soap-based cleaners, which can scratch your hot tub and leave behind a film.

Use a submersible pump to remove the dirty water and clean the interior several times until the water runs clean. As a final step, wax the shell with a soft cloth and acrylic wax. Finally, clean your filter with a filter cleaning product.

Step 3: Fittings

At this point, you'll notice that there are several open fittings you'll want to reconnect. Once you do this, put in any drain plugs you removed when you shut down the hot tub at the end of last season. If you don't notice any cracks, any unscrewed fittings can be tightened. You should also check the top and front of the pump and see that the air blower is connected. Finally, shut any valve drains and set slice valves to the open position.

Step 4: Filling

Now is the time to fill your hot tub. Place a garden hose in the hot tub and turn it on, paying careful attention to ensure that the hot tub is filling. If leaks or floods become noticeable, especially around the pump and disconnect fillings, turn off the water and fix the leak before you continue. Often, you simply need to tighten the fittings or replace the gaskets or o-rings to stop the leak.

Step 5: Power

Before you turn on the hot tub, turn off the thermostat or turn it all the way down. Next, turn on the circuit breaker to the hot tub and check the GFCI to see that it tests and resets so you know the electric system is operating safely. If it is, go ahead and turn on the power.

Once the power is on, check the pump, air blower, and light to make sure they're working correctly. Before turning on the heater, make sure water is flowing into the pipes. If it is, turn on the heater and allow the water to warm up to your perfect temperature. If the jets aren't working, your dealer should be able to help you troubleshoot the problem.

At this point, all you have left to do is adjust the water chemistry and you can start using your hot tub!

How to open a hot tub each spring

We hope this guide has been helpful on how to open your hot tub each spring. Proper winter storage and opening – if you’re not inclined to use your hot tub each winter – is key to keeping your hot tub in good shape. 

If you have any questions about this article or are looking for someone to help you open up your hot tub this spring, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Hydropool dealer for assistance. 

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