Five winter hot tub no-no’s

Hot Spring-Highlife-2013-Grandee-Detail-WaterfallWe at Oregon Hot Tub know that there’s no better time to use your hot tub than in the depths of the winter season. It’s an awesome way to get rid of the winter chill, enjoy the tranquil darkness of a January night, and watch the steam rise off the hot tub as you melt away the stress of the day.

Even so, we know a lot of folks tend to curb their hot tub use in the colder time of the year. If you’re one of those folks, we want to offer some advice on some things to definitely NOT do during wintertime with your hot tub.

  • Do not get lazy with water care! We realize it’s not fun to trot out in the cold or rain to test your hot tub’s water—but balanced water is the key to keeping your tub’s components in good shape over time. Be sure the tub is treated with at least a dose of chlorine a couple times a week when not in use to keep the water sanitized. Make sure you check the alkalinity and pH levels weekly and keep them in balance. And, if you have a silver ion cartridge in your tub, make sure it is still changed every four months! The silver ion cartridge is in use whether or not you use the tub. Don’t get lazy and ignore changing it.

HintIf you don’t want to test your water in the cold, take a mason jar out to the tub, fill it with water, and head back into the house to do your water testing.

  • Keep your filters clean! Folks often think that no hot tub use means filters don’t need to be cleaned. Not true! Filters clean your water even when the tub isn’t used, helping to prevent cloudy water. And—guess what the #1 reason is for a hot tub not heating up to temperature? Dirty filters! Be sure you clean your filters with filter cleaner once a month.
  • Don’t drain your tub! Lots of folks decide it’s a good idea to “winterize” their tub in the winter months. It’s really not the best idea. A tub that gets drained and left empty in the cold is susceptible to inner plumbing lines shrinking which could result in leaks once you fill the tub back up. Parts (jet pumps, circulation pumps, heaters) also might end up with small amounts of water inside of them that can freeze and cause cracks or other issues with the components to develop. Many times filters get left in the tub as well, and end up getting mildew-ridden and no longer useable once you start your tub back up. Best to leave water in the tub during those cold months.
  • Don’t cover your hot tub with a tarp! Covering your hot tub with a tarp or other material can actually cause the inner foam of your hot tub cover to sweat and increase off-gassing of the cores. It will greatly retard the life of your cover, and it will be prone to losing much of its ability to retain heat.

Hint—Make sure you treat the exterior vinyl of your cover with 303 Protectant to inhibit water absorption. And, make sure you lock down the cover straps, so your over doesn’t inadvertently fly off in case a windstorm blows through.

  • Keep the water topped off in your tub! Misuse of the tub and cold temperatures can result in some evaporation of hot tub water. Be sure the water level is maintained over the highest jets in the tub, so it doesn’t cause undue stress on jet pumps or circulation pumps trying to keep the water flowing through the filters. You’ll avoid the chance of an air bubble entering the equipment as well, which could cause the tub to stop heating altogether. Not a fun discovery, especially if the temperature drops below freezing for any period of time.

If you want to make it easy on yourself, feel free to contact our Service Center and chat with them about our Signature Water Care services. Our team can make regular visits to your hot tub during the harsh winter months and keep things in tip top shape, keeping you warm and giving you peace of mind!