Every spring we are approached by hundreds of spa owners who need spa service. Nearly all of the technical support requests come from customers who have drained their spa in an attempt to “winterize” their hot tub. Upon refilling and energizing their hot tub, multiple leaks and component failures are revealed.

The majority of the failures are due to improper draining procedures and poor surface preparation of key elements. Often, many of the hard parts have cracked, the pump seals have dried out or the heating element has corroded from exposure.

As water freezes, it expands. Any water left in the lines, the pump or hard plastic parts will expand and damage vital parts to your spa.

There are several steps to take if you plan on draining your spa for the winter.

AquaClara Natural Winterizing Kit #1083


Before draining your spa, it is important to condition the pump seals, heating elements and the plumbing systems. With the spa running, add one bottle of Aqua Clara Plumbing Cleanser. This will coat all the plumbing lines to keep mildew from growing while the spa sits empty.

2. Pour one bottle of Defender into the water while all pumps and blowers are running. This will eliminate any possibility of scale build up from damaging the spa pump seals and heating elements. Scale build up will dry out seals and deteriorate metal very rapidly once it is exposed to the air.


Pour one bottle of Metal Out into the spa with all pumps and blowers running. This will coagulate any metal contaminants in the water like iron so that they do not cling to the metal parts of the solid state components. Specifically, this will help to protect the heating element.


Once the additives have been poured into the water, let the spa run for at least 20 minutes before draining.


Turn the breaker off and drain the spa completely. Once the hot tub has been drained, be sure to blow all the lines clear of any water. This can be done by using a wet vac.


Loosen all connections at both ends of the heater, the intake and suction side of the pump. Be sure to remove any plugs in the wet end if any exist (this is the most common area of damage from freezing).

Note: Some hot tubs have removable heaters. A removable or modular heater should be brought in for winter storage.


Coat the spa surface with a protectant.  Use Aqua Clara High Gloss Clean and Seal. This will condition and seal the acrylic and protect it from staining. This will also shield the hot tub from sweat and body oil stains. This natural repellant keeps the water line from becoming a scum line.


Condition the hot tub cover stitching and vinyl with Aqua Clara Spa Cover Cleaner. The cover is an expensive investment. Most covers need to be replaced because the stitching has come apart or dry rotted. The way to help prevent an early demise, is to keep the cover clean by wiping it down frequently with a conditioner. 

Spending the time to properly winterize your spa will save time, energy and money in the long run. 

But if you ask us, there is nothing better than tip toeing through the snow for a long winter soak. Leave it up and running - you’ll be glad you did!