Changing Hot Tub Water – How to Drain a Jacuzzi Spa

Every few months, the water in the Jacuzzi or spa needs to be drained and refilled.  There are several different ways of changing the hot tub water.

Gravity Drain

Many spa manufacturers provide a gravity drain or hose bib to allow the hot tub owner to connect a garden hose and let the water run out by the force of gravity.  A few adventurous hot tub manufacturers would plumb this gravity drain to also allow the main pump to be run and help pump out the water.  The problem with using a spa pump for draining is that it inevitably leads to running the spa pump without any water in it which can damage the pump and even void warranties.

So most of the hot tub gravity drains are just a simple hose connection and a valve that allows the water to drain out of the spa.  This can take many hours and will still require bailing out the remaining water in seats and in the footwell.

Hose Suction Trick – Draining a Hot Tub all the way to the bottom of the footwell

Instead of using the built-in gravity drain to empty your Jacuzzi or other spa, you could also try this method of draining the hot tub.  Start by actually inserting the hose into the filled spa as if you were topping it up with more water. Once the hose is completely full of water and the hose end remains underwater in the deepest point of the foot well area of the spa, then all of the air is out of the hose and it can now be used to drain the spa by gravity.

Once the hose is full of water, shut the hose off and then disconnect the hose at the supply end while leaving the discharge end inside the spa water.  Now a suction will occur and water will begin to run out of the supply side of the hose, so you can simply put that end anywhere you like and make sure the other end stays under water.  As you get to the bottom, the hose will still have suction to get rid of most of the water in the footwell. Once the hose end that is in the hot tub is allowed to get air in it, then game over!

Submersible pump for draining hot tubs.Fastest Way to Drain a Spa – Submersible Pump – Sump Pump

The fastest way to drain a hot tub is by using a submersible pump (found online and in hardware stores).  These usually can be connected to a much thicker hose than a standard garden hose and will pump out the water very fast. 

Hot tub professionals use submersible pumps to quickly drain spas when they are in need of a water change or servicing. Manufacturers that display filled spas at trade shows also use submersible pumps or sump pumps to quickly drain spas after the show. Homeowners are using submersible pumps to avoid the long wait of a gravity drain. 

Outfit yourself with one of these submersible pumps and change your water efficiently and quickly.

Flotec 2305 Simer Geyser II 1/4 HP Submersible Utility Pump

  • Tough and reliable 1/4 HP submersible utility pump
  • Pumps up to 1,260 gallons per hour
  • Rugged thermoplastic body resists corrosion, impacts, stress, and heat
  • Vent relief prevents air lock

Changing hot tub water is usually done every 3-4 months or so depending on how well the water was maintained and how often the spa is used.

Do not use a soapy solution when cleaning acrylic as it may cause foaming in the freshly filled tub.  It is important to remove most of the dirty water and the best angle to clean the inside of the spa shell from is from inside the spa, so properly cleaning out the spa will involve climbing into the empty spa and wiping it down.  You can then hose off the surface again with a clean hose and remove the rest of the water.

Regular cleaning of the filter should be done every few weeks and during a spa water change.  The cover could also use a good rinse off and wipe down. Be sure to also spray off the underside of the spa cover with your garden hose.

If you live in a rural area or place that may have less-than-ideal water to fill the spa with, you may consider using a pre-filter that attaches to a garden hose to help filter out impurities when freshly filling the tub.

How to Clean Your Hot Tub’s Plumbing Lines

A new product is out called Ahh Some and if you add just a tablespoon of the product right before a scheduled water change, then it will help you clean and maintain your plumbing lines as well.  Read more about Ahh-Some hot tub cleaner on our blog.