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How do I protect my Hot Tub from Freezing?

Normally the hot tub, when operating, will not freeze unless you turn it off. Hot tubs operating on 115vac can be taxed to keep up with the cold weather but spas operating on 230v should be able to handle most winter conditions. There are several ways to help the hot tub keep water hot. First is insulation. Most newer spas have spray foam insulation on the side and bottom. But older ones may not. If not, consider buy one or two batts of wall insulation. We use the insulation that is covered on both sides and stuff the empty voids on the interior sides of the spa around the piping. Make sure you don't place insulation around pump motors, heater, or any other components. They need to breath. Adding insulation can save you money.

Second and much easier is simply buying a "solar blanket" for your spa. You purchase a size larger than your water surface. Lay the blanket on the water and cut so the blanket floats flat on the water. You will be amaze how much heat this will hold inside your spa. Remember, heat rises so any insulation from that evaporation and heat lost will pay for the cost of your approach.

If the power goes out any length of time or the unit fails, you need to act. Although spa water temperature will maintain for awhile (don't keep lifting the cover and allow heat to escape) you need to be proactive.

If you know you will not have your hot tub repaired quickly, you will need to either drain it (see here) or protect it. In most climates, simply putting a heat lamp or even a shop light (using old style bulbs that generate heat) in the equipment area can provide enough heat from the bulb to keep things unfrozen. But the critical parts are the plumbing. For hot tubs with a lot of foam, this too can be a blessing and curse. Make sure whatever method you use nothing hot is touching any equipment or wet area or foam. Do not place any electrical object in water. If you drain the hot tub you can also put the light/heater in the water area of the hot tub to warm from there into the pipes. But is short, do not depend on draining the spa to keep you safe unless you winterize. I have repaired hot tubs that the owner "thought" the water was drained well but wasn't and bottom fittings and pipes were burst. This can be a major job. By assuring the hot tub/water is kept warm by either heat source in the equipment area or in a dry hot tub will be money well spent.

Another effective way to protect your hot tub from freezing if the hot tub shuts down is "pipe heater tape". This is a common pipe tape found at most hardware stores for home water pipes. They are design to wrap around home water pipes in cold climates. Once you wrap them around the pipes you plug the tape in. It has a sensor and ONLY comes one when the pipe gets cold.

Wrap some of the pipes with one or two heater tapes, especially around the pump and heater. Then plug the heater in an outlet that isn't connected to the hot tub. That way if the hot tub caused the breaker to trip, the heater tape is ready to save the day. Of course you would want to make sure any wiring exposed to the elements were protected.

 

 

How do I winterize my hot tub?  See Here

 

 

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