11 Steps to Safely Open Your Hot Tub for the Season

Getting your hot tub ready for the summer involves more than just taking off the cover and filling it with water. You have to ensure that you’re taking the right steps so you can protect the hot tub and make it safe for everyone to use.

Step 1: Turn Off, Drain, and Clean the Hot Tub

Turn off the hot tub. Remove any debris that’s accumulated at the bottom of the hot tub and rinse it out. Never use household cleaners when you’re cleaning the hot tub because they can damage the finish and can react with the hot tub chemicals. Instead, use a cleaner that’s specifically made for spas.

Step 2: Check for Visible Damage

Inspect the interior of the hot tub for signs of damage. Look for cracks or stains. Inspect the pipes and other equipment components for cracks or damage. Check wires for signs of worn insulation or rodent chewing. Have any damage repaired before you continue opening the hot tub.

Step 3: Install a New Filter

After a full season of use, the filter likely needs to be changed. During your spa opening process is the perfect time to get this done.

Step 4: Fill the Hot Tub

Fill the hot tub with fresh water. The average water hose has a flow rate of 5 to 10 gallons per minute, so it might take 30 minutes or longer to fill up a 300-gallon hot tub. Watch the water so it doesn’t overflow.

Step 5: Prime the Hot Tub Pump

Turn the power to the hot tub back on. Prime the hot tub pump according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Not having enough water in the tub could damage the pump so it’s best to start priming once it’s filled.

Step 6: Add Start-Up Chemicals

Place the start-up chemicals in the hot tub according to the instructions for the chemicals. Be sure that you follow the directions precisely so the water is safe for anyone who gets in.

Step 7: Run the Pump

Press the button to turn the pump circulation on. Now is the time to check the other features of the hot tub, including the lights.

Step 8: Test the Hot Tub Water

Test the chemical levels in the hot tub. For most standard hot tubs, you need to see a level of 1.0 to 3.0 ppm for chlorine or 3.0 to 5.0 ppm for bromine, 7.2 to 7.8 pH, 80 to 12 ppm for alkalinity, and 100 to 250 ppm for calcium hardness. Outdoor hot tubs likely won’t have bromine because of the impacts of UV rays.

Step 9: Set the Temperature

Set the thermostat for the hot tub. Turn it to the lowest setting you think you’ll like. You can adjust this as the season moves forward.

Step 10: Cover the Hot Tub

Cover the hot tub to help it heat up to the desired temperature. This also enables the chemicals to stabilize.

Step 11: Test the Water Again

Test the water again before you enjoy your hot tub for the first time of the season. Remember, you need to check it periodically throughout the season so you know you’re enjoying it safely.

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