How Do I Drain My Hot Tub?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published May 15, 2024

You’ve looking at a hot tub and you know there’s maintenance with it. You know about how to keep it clean. But what happens when it comes to draining it?

Draining a hot tub is part of maintaining your hot tub. It’s something people ask about before they buy and about four months after they buy, at least in our experience at Hydropool.

You will have to drain your hot tub regularly. For some people, it will be every three months (in general, Hydropool recommends every three to four months).

For others, it will be less, every six. It will often depend on how much you use your hot tub: If you use it more, you will have to drain it more frequently.

No matter what hot tub you buy, draining it is not usually difficult, although it will vary between manufacturers. If it was hard though, millions of people wouldn’t own hot tubs!

So in this article, we will show you how to drain your hot tub and a few tips and tricks on what to do with your water after you do drain it. We will cover:

  • How to drain your tub
  • How to set your water before draining your tub
  • How to use your water from your tub
  • How to protect your grass while draining your tub
  • How to flush your pipes before you drain your tub

Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have a solid sense of how to drain your hot tub.

How can I drain my hot tub?

Before you consider draining your tub, you need to be aware of any potential local restrictions or guidelines. You should know what your local regulations are regarding water discharging laws or if they have any.

The basic steps for most hot tubs include:

  • Every hot tub will handle this slightly differently: Your own tub should contain instructions on what to do – follow those before anything else!
  • You want your chlorine or bromine at zero before you drain it. Let your hot tub sit for a couple of days at minimum to ensure any chlorine in it has dissipated. Do a water test before you drain to check the chlorine or bromine level level. If it’s zero, you can drain. If not, and you’re using chlorine, open your hot tub to the air until the chlorine evaporates, or you can wait a few more days. You can also add a bromine or chlorine neutralizer to your hot tub water to get it down to zero more quickly.
  • Turn off the hot tub pumps. On Hydropool self-cleaning hot tubs, you head to a section called “Maintenance.” On some other hot tubs, you will need to turn off power to the entire hot tub at the GFCI breaker. Again, check your owner’s manual for how your specific tub works.  
  • Remove the panel of your hot tub to find the drain spigot inside. At Hydropool, it’s on the same side as your control panel, so you should have easy access to it.
  • Attach your garden hose to the spigot.
  • Direct the garden hose to drain the water where you want it to go.
  • If necessary, shut off other valves as needed to ensure all the water drains.
  • On a Hydropool self-cleaning hot tub, you then hit “Drain.” Open the valve at the spigot and the water will begin to run out through the hose. Other systems will work differently, again, check your owner’s manual.  
  • Once the water flow has stopped and the tub is empty, use a wet-dry vacuum to suck up any remaining water drops on the bottom of the hot tub.
  • Then clean the hot tub, before refilling or storing.

Are there ways to re-use hot tub water on grass?

The answer to both questions is yes.

First, check any local regulations before draining on grass. Some areas prefer you to drain on soil as opposed to on driveways, while others prefer the reverse.

Chlorine and other water chemicals may damage or kill your grass. To protect your lawn, when you are almost ready to drain your hot tub, refrain from adding any chlorine or other chemicals to the water for at least two days.

Hot tub filters do most of your cleaning work but they need some help every once in a while. For more on our self-cleaning hot tub collection, click here.

How can I re-use my hot tub water?

Provided that the chlorine level was zero when you drained your hot tub water, you can use the water to safely water your trees and shrubs.

If you would like to also use it to water your lawn, just make sure to check the pH level first as grass can be more sensitive. If the pH level is between 7.0 - 7.8, you should safely be able to use on grass. Test a small area first and move around the lawn every thirty minutes to not oversaturate with the acidic pH.

As another option, the water drained for your tub is more than enough to wash your car with. As you drain the hot tub, you can position the hose in your driveway to spray the car.

How can I flush my hot tub pipes?

The pipes of your tub should be cleaned each time you drain it. Biofilm and bacteria can build up inside the pipes of your hot tub and you have no easy way to clean it out while you’re using the tub and when it has water in it.

There are various products available that do this kind of thing: Your local retailer should always have something in stock they are familiar with and they will be able to walk you through how to use it.

In most cases, here are the steps to flushing your tub pipes:

  • Remove your filters.
  • Turn the jets on full blast
  • Pour a hot tub pipe cleaner into the open filter housing so that it goes right into your pipes.
  • Run the jets for 15 minutes to half an hour.

The jets circulate the cleaner throughout the tub in that time. This cleaning process helps sanitize your pipes and your water.

How do I drain my hot tub?

In this article, we covered how to drain your tub. As they will vary, be sure to always check your owner’s manual or talk to your local retailer if you have any questions about draining your hot tub. We also explained what your options are for where you can drain your tub in most areas.

We also talked about flushing out your pipes, which we recommend doing regularly at Hydropool. That removes any bacteria sitting in the pipes that you otherwise cannot see.

There’s a chance we don’t have an answer in this article to your particular situation. If so, we’re happy to help. Reach out to your local retailer here.

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