Head off on holiday without preparing your hot tub and it could be a serious headache to sort out when you get back.
Luckily, no matter how long you’re going away for, you can keep your hot tub in ship shape by following just a few simple steps.
Here’s everything you need to care for your hot tub before you go on holiday.
If you’re going to be away for less than a week
If you’re going to be back home within a week you don’t actually need to worry too much about your hot tub. You don’t even need to turn it down, as it will likely cost you more to turn your hot tub to a lower temperature and then heat it back up when you get back home than to leave it at soaking temperature.
Just make sure your hot tub’s chemistry is properly balanced before you head off and its cover is firmly locked down. And always leave it running, or the water will stagnate and gather bacteria rather than getting purified by your spa’s filters.
If you’re going to be away for a week or two
Just before you head away for a week or two:
Remove your spa’s filters and thoroughly clean them with hot tub filter cleaner. This will ensure they’re filtering as many contaminants as possible, making sure your sanitiser goes further while you’re not round to top it up.
Give the inside of your spa a clean with a microfibre cloth, especially around the jets. This will remove any contaminants that might be lurking in the cracks and crevices of its shell and help prevent cloudy or foamy hot tub water.
Remove your hot tub’s headrest and any booster pillows to help prolong their lifespan.
Invest in a floating dispenser if you don’t already use one. Fill this with chlorine or bromine tablets and they’ll still be releasing sanitiser when you get back – as opposed to granules, which will be long gone when you get back.
It’s also crucial you make sure your spa’s chemicals are balanced before you head off, as its sanitiser won’t work properly if not. You should also top your tub up with some non-chlorine hot tub shock to make sure its chlorine or bromine is firing on all cylinders while you’re away.
Turn your hot tub down around five degrees, as this will save a bit of money compared to running it at soaking temperature for a fortnight, even when you take into account how much it costs to heat a spa back up. Just remember to heat your hot tub back up in plenty of time before you’re planning on taking your first dip, as spa’s usually get between 3°C and 6°C hotter per hour.
Last but not least, make sure your hot tub’s cover is locked firmly in place, as leaving heat escaping from your spa for a fortnight will end up being a very costly mistake.
If you’re going to be travelling long-term
If you’re going to be away for a month or more, your best bet is to turn your hot tub off and drain it.
Running your spa at a low temperature will cost you more than leaving it off for this length of time. Plus, bacteria will flourish in a spa that’s left to sit untouched for months on end, meaning you’re bound to come back to water that needs replacing before you can use it anyway.
Drain your hot tub.
Open the access panel in its cabinet and loosen the pump and heater unions to let the water drain from its plumbing lines.
Remove and clean filters, then store them in a dry place.
You’ll need a wet and dry vacuum to force every last drop of water out of the jets and pipes (on “blow”).
Clean and dry your spa’s shell and its cover.
Close and lock the cover, then secure it with hot tub straps.
Then you can start from fresh when you get back home – slashing your spa’s running costs in the process.
The final verdict
If you’re going to be back from your holiday within a week, all you need to do is make sure your hot tub’s chemistry is balanced before you head off.
If you’re off on your summer holiday, there’s a bit more to it, so be sure to follow the steps we’ve laid out above.
And if you’re going to be travelling long-term, your best bet is going to be draining your spa and turning it off at the mains.
Follow these simple steps before the next time you go away to make sure your spa stays in top knick while you’re away.
For more expert advice on buying, installing, and maintaining a hot tub – as well as our pick of the best buys for every budget – pick up your free copy of WhatSpa? magazine.
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I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and have been actively involved in the hot tub and swim spa industry for over 20 years. I fell in love with hot tubbing in 2002 and since then have dedicated my career to helping millions of hot tub buyers to make more informed choices when navigating their buying journey.