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Hot Tubs and Winter Power Outages

Imagine: It’s the dead of winter. It’s well below freezing outside, and the power just went out. Great. You call the power company, and it doesn’t sound like electricity will be restored anytime soon. Among the many concerns that run through your mind at a moment such as this, you realize that your hot tub is outside – and it’s well below freezing outside.

Will My Hot Tub Freeze Overnight?

Here’s the good news: As long as the spa was running near the maximum temperature before the power went out, and you follow some recommended steps, your hot tub’s water will stay within a safe temperature range until the power comes back on or you can arrange for service call. If you follow these recommendations, your hot tub will be safe for at least a few days.

How to Keep Your Spa from Freezing

First and foremost, do not drain the water! You’ll put your spa at risk of damage if the water is drained without the equipment being properly winterized. (If you decide you won’t be using the spa for the rest of the winter, keep the water temperature warm until you can have a professional close your spa for you.) Also, don’t pour antifreeze into the tub – it will create mess to clean up later, and it just isn’t good for the spa equipment.

The most important thing you can do is keep the hot tub cover closed and locked. If you have an older cover that might let heat escape, place heavy blankets and a plastic tarp over it to help prevent heat loss.

In an Extended Power Outage…

If you think the spa won’t have power restored for more than a couple days, there are still actions you can take to keep everything safe. One method is to drain about half of the water out of the tub, close the drain, then add hot water to fill the tub by connecting a hose to a spigot in a nearby laundry room or kitchen sink. Be sure to keep the spa covered, check the temperature periodically, and repeat to add hot water again if necessary.

A final suggestion is to use a submersible pump to keep water moving in the tub. A solar or battery powered pump can be used in the case of a full power outage vs. power loss to the hot tub. Place the pump at the bottom of the spa and let it run around the clock until your hot tub can be serviced. Keep the hot tub covered while the pump is running to keep in as much heat as possible.

As a precautionary measure, you may want to keep the spa running at maximum temperature when you aren’t using it, or when you will be away for a span of days. The hotter the spa’s temperature is set, the farther the distance between the water temperature and freezing.  

When it comes to frigid temperatures, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If your hot tub needs service, or you suspect damage from freezing, our spa technicians are just a phone call away.

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