Protecting Your Spa Over Winter

The temperatures are dropping. Frost is on the way. There might even be a white Christmas! So what does this mean for your spa? 

Most people will use their hot tub less over Winter, that nip in the air can be too much for many to brave. So what do you do? Simply turn it off.

The simple answer is no. Never.

But why?

Think of your hot tub or spa as working, in the same way, a house’s central heating does. The pipes are full of water, if that water drops below a certain temperature they are likely to freeze, crack and cause problems. 

Even if you drain and vac your spa, you will never be able to extract all the water from the pipes and the water sitting in the manifolds and deeper parts of a spa, this can get expensive to fix if they freeze. Even if it does not freeze, the water left within a spa will grow stagnant and will create a smell that may be hard to shift and bacteria and mould will grow. 

So what can be done?

To start with, a quick flush, drain and refilling should be done to remove bather waste and bacteria. Clean it as you would in the Summer, and balance and sanitise the water bit this time, turn the temperature and filtration settings right down and rest easy that you don’t have to start doing it again regularly for a long time as the chemical levels will stay much more stable and last longer in lukewarm water and not need altering/topping up as often

The best approach following this over the Winter months is to ensure you are running them. This may sound counterintuitive considering the rise in fuel bills but costs very little when the temperature is turned down and the filtration system is simply turning over. 

Make sure you are running temperatures of about 15C, this will ensure that the water keeps moving and won’t be affected by extreme cold. With this, you are also using a fraction of the chemicals that you may have been getting through before. Chemicals used in hot tubs generally get used up and dissolved at a higher rate in summer as temperatures are running higher and more bathers are in and out on a more regular basis.

Taking down your filtration to about 1-2 hours, rather than 4-6 hour cycles will also help in terms of maintenance. Filtration is taking place, but not at the high levels needed in Summer. 

Some models will even run an economy mode or low energy mode, which will tick over your tub nicely over Winter without running at any sort of noticeable energy level. 

Can I use it over Winter? 

Yes, feel free! If you get the urge to go in, then it’s simply a case of turning up the temperature, checking the balance and sanitiser levels are still ok and waiting for it to warm back up again. If you have family over at Christmas and New Year, this is the perfect time to enjoy your spa, so make sure you can crank that heat back up simply.

Cost saving

We’ve all felt the pinch of energy bill rises lately, so there’s a lot to be said for being able to save. 

As well as maintaining your spa, which can save you money in the long run, it’s probably wise to look into air source heat pumps too. These can be easily installed and once up and running can save you up to 85% on the running cost of a spa! Actually, with a good Heat Pump, you can run a hot tub cheaper than ever, despite the increase in energy costs.

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