One of the best ways to enjoy the cool fall weather is relaxing in a hot tub. Fall is also a critical time when it comes to the maintenance of your hot tub. This is because fall is when you prepare your hot tub for the winter. Today, we will go discuss the 5 things that every hot tub owner should do in the fall.
1) Check Your Cover
One of the biggest potential sources of heat loss in a hot tub is the hot tub’s cover. In fact, old, worn out hot tub covers can cost you hundreds of dollars in added energy costs in only a single winter!
Over time, the various components that make up hot tubs covers will degrade; becoming less and less effective at insulating the water in the hot tub. As they become less effective, more heat is allowed to escape the hot tub and your heating costs increase. Eventually these increased heating costs outweigh the cost of replacing the cover and it only makes sense to replace the cover.
Before temperatures really start to drop, we recommend looking over your cover in the early fall to see if it is time to replace it. Although new hot tub covers aren’t cheap, they can pay for themselves in as little as one winter!
2) Check For Leaks
While minor hot tub leaks are usually little more than a nuisance in the summer, they can be potentially disastrous in the winter. Even a slight drip in the wrong spot can freeze and cause larger issues like burst fittings that can lead to big repairs bills and put your hot tub out of commission for days or even weeks.
To help prevent this from happening we recommend checking over your hot tub for leaks every fall. Simply remove the service door from your hot tub cabinet and check the inside of the hot tub for wet spots, paying special attention to the area surrounding your pumps and heaters. If you find any wet spots, try to find the source of the leak and get it fixed before temperatures dip below freezing.
3) Clean / Replace Your Filters
Along with basic rinsing every 1-2 weeks, you should chemically clean your hot tub filters every 3-4 months to remove trapped oils and lotions that rinsing doesn’t remove. Doing this will keep your filters working at peak efficiency and help keep your water clean and clear with less chemicals.
To chemically clean a hot tub filter you will need to purchase a specialty hot tub filter cleaner. Add the filter cleaner to a bucket of water large enough to fully submerge the filter. Place your filter in the bucket with the cleaning solution and let sit for at least 3-4 hours. When the time is up, remove the filter and rinse it with a garden hose to wash off any cleaner and debris left on the filter.
Even with regular cleanings your hot tub filters will eventually need to be replaced. This is because over time the filter fibres will stretch, allowing larger and larger debris to pass through them. If your hot tub water has a hard time staying clear, even after cleaning the filter or changing the water, it may be time to get a new filter.
4) Drain & Refill The Hot Tub
Nothing is worse than having to drain and refill your hot tub in the dead of winter. Not only is it a cold job, if you’re not quick enough refilling the hot tub you also run the risk of the leftover water in the pipes freezing and potentially damaging the plumbing or the hot tub’s equipment (pumps, heater, etc).
Even if you’re not due for another few weeks or months, we recommend draining and refilling your hot tub in late November or early December. While it is cold at this time of year, it usually isn’t cold enough to freeze the leftover water in the plumbing before you’re able to refill the hot tub and get it running again.
Waiting until December also means that you won’t have to do another drain and refill until mid to late March; completely avoiding the need to do so in the coldest months of the year.
5) Close Your Vents
If you own a Hydropool hot tub, you will also want to close the vents located on either side of the hot tub’s cabinet. These vents are typically opened in the warmer months to allow the pumps to stay cool. When the days start getting colder, however, these vents should be closed to trap as much heat in the hot tub cabinet as possible to reduce your energy costs.