Emptying your hot tub is a good practice to get into to improve the longevity of your spa. This process involves the following steps:

  • Gathering necessary materials
  • Removing hot tub filters
  • Running a flush
  • Turning off the hot tub power
  • Draining the hot tub
  • Cleaning the hot tub
  • Refilling the hot tub

In this Platinum Spas article, we’re going to discuss how to empty a hot tub. We’ll take you through a simple step-by-step process on how to maintain your spa on a regular basis.

Why You Should Empty Your Hot Tub

Maintaining your hot tub is a really important practice to get into, and there are lots of reasons to empty it regularly. Regular emptying will preserve the longevity of your hot tub, so that you can enjoy its wellness benefits for many years to come. By emptying and refilling your spa, you’ll be able to balance pH levels easily, remove water odour and reduce any build up of limescale.

How Often Should You Empty It?

To maintain optimal levels, we recommend emptying your hot tub roughly every quarter of the year, i.e. every 3 months. By doing this, you’ll keep your hot tub healthy, and lengthen its lifespan. And you’ll be soaking in healthy, clean water that’s better for your skin.

Empty a Hot Tub in 7 Simple Steps

1. Check Your Equipment

Before you start emptying your hot tub, make sure that you have everything you need. We recommend the following materials:

  • Either a garden hose or a submersible pump
  • A hot tub flushing product
  • A cleaning cloth
  • Surface cleaner
  • A wet vacuum
  • Necessary chemicals to balance pH

2. Remove the Hot Tub Filters

Before emptying, it’s important to remove the filters from your hot tub. Keep an eye out for any other items, like stray hot tub accessories, and remove them as well. This will make sure that you can flush the hot tub properly.

3. Run a Hot Tub Flush

The next step is to run a flush. Over time, it’s common for bacteria and biofilm to build up in hot tub pipes, so the flushing process is to help clear this out, and keep the inner workings of your hot tub clean. 

To run a hot tub flush, follow these steps:

  1. Once your hot tub filters have been removed, turn on the jets to full.
  2. Pour the recommended amount of flushing chemicals into the filter housing.
  3. Leave the jets turned on full for 15–30 minutes.

4. Turn off Power to the Hot Tub

Before you drain your hot tub – make sure to turn it off, and disconnect the power source. You can do this by turning off power from the circuit breaker.

5. Drain the Hot Tub

There are two main methods that you can use to drain your hot tub.

Using a Submersible Pump

A submersible pump can be placed directly in the water and allows you to drain the water into a receptacle on the other end. This is particularly useful for indoor hot tubs, or any area that you can’t let water out in the surrounding area. 

Using a submersible pump is a really quick and efficient method. Some models can completely drain a hot tub in as little as 10 minutes. 

Follow these steps when emptying your hot tub with a submersible pump:

  1. Place the pump in the deepest part of the hot tub.
  2. Place the hose into a drain or desired receptacle.
  3. Turn it on and let it drain the spa.
  4. Wait until your hot tub has completely drained before turning it off and removing it from the spa.
  5. Use a wet vacuum to remove any remaining residue in pipes.

Using the Drain Valve

Using the drain valve is another easy way to empty your hot tub. If your hot tub is outside, you can simply open the drain valve to let the water out. Or you can use a hose to direct it elsewhere. Follow these simple steps to get started: 

  1. Twist the cap of the drain valve clockwise, and pull it out at the same time. Spin to fully remove. 
  2. Screw on hose pipe if needed.
  3. Allow the hot tub to drain.

6. Clean the Hot Tub

Once your hot tub is empty, it’s a prime opportunity to deep clean the inside surfaces. It’s likely that there will be some residue left in the hot tub following the flush that you did earlier on in the process – so it’s worth taking this opportunity to be thorough.

Using a cleaning cloth and some surface cleaner, wipe and scrub away any residue or dirt you find. You may want to clean the hot tub while the water is draining, using the hot tub water to help you clean.

Ensure you clean the entire hot tub, including within the filter housing. Remember to double-check if filters need cleaning or replacing to make sure all parts of the model are in tip-top condition.

7. Refill Your Hot Tub

Refilling your hot tub is a simple process. Use your garden hose, to initially refill the filter housing. Ensure that you’ve completely filled the pipes first in order to prevent an air lock, this is when the water doesn’t flow properly in your hot tub, potentially leading to a flow error.

Once your pipes are refilled, you can fill the rest of your hot tub with water. Remember to reset the PH and let the water set before using again.


This guide sets out all the essential steps for emptying your hot tub as part of regular maintenance. We hope this guide has given you the confidence to get started, but for more information, refer to our printable how to drain a hot tub guide. You can also contact the Platinum Spas team, or browse our FAQ section below for added insight.

How to Drain a Hot Tub: FAQ

Can I empty my hot tub into my lawn?

Yes you can, it’s highly unlikely that hot tub water is going to damage your lawn. However, if you’re feeling nervous about it, we recommend testing a small amount of hot tub water on your lawn. Then you’ll be able to see the effect this sample has. If there’s no effect, you can safely empty the rest of your hot tub water on your lawn.

How often should you drain a hot tub?

To maintain a clean and healthy hot tub, we recommend emptying your hot tub every 3–4 months. You may need to empty your hot tub on a more frequent basis if you’re struggling to balance your pH or your hot tub water starts to smell or become unclear.

What’s the fastest way to empty a hot tub?

The fastest way of emptying a hot tub is by using a submersible pump. These pumps allow you to remove water from the hot tub at a way quicker rate than most other methods. 

The rate at which you’ll be able to do this is entirely dependent on the specifications of your pump. For example, some submersible pumps can remove up to 25 gallons of water per minute.

Sarah Watkins