How to winterise a spa pool

The complete guide to emptying, cleaning and closing down your spa pool for the winter.

winterise your spa hero

It seems crazy not to soak in your spa during the cold winter months! But maybe you are going away for the colder months or just taking a break from using your spa pool or swim spa?

Whatever the reason, correctly winterizing your spa can save you time and money when you are ready to use it again.

Keep in mind, we strongly recommend that you never leave your spa empty for a period of 2 weeks or more. Leaving your spa empty can cause damage to the pumps, heater element, and shell. In most cases, you are better off turning the temperature of your spa down to the minimum setting and maintaining your PH & Alkalinity levels to ensure they stay within recommended readings.

If for some reason you need to empty your spa for a period longer than 2 weeks we recommend the following steps;

Special notes:

  • If you live in an area prone to freezing you will want to take extra care in ensuring that all of the water is removed from your spa.
  • If at any time you feel uncomfortable with the steps below, contacting a professional spa technician is a great idea.

What products do I need to empty and winterize my spa or swim spa?

  1. Pipe Degreaser / Cleaner
  2. Filter Cleaner
  3. Vinyl Cleaner
  4. Vinyl protectant
  5. Sponge or wet and dry vac (Optional but easier)

Step 1. Clean the pipes and inner surfaces

We recommend using a spa pipe degreaser to circulate through your spa system

Follow the dosing instructions on the label and circulate the pipe cleaner for the prescribed amount of time. This will clean the internal surfaces of the spa plumbing and equipment.

Step 2. Make certain the power to your spa is disconnected

Remove the fuse or turn off the main circuit breaker to disconnect power to your spa.

Step 3. Remove the drain cap on your spa and drain the water

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure you use the correct process for your spa.

Read our detailed guide on how to drain your spa water.

Step 4: Remove and clean your spa filters

We recommend soaking your filters for 24 hours in a spa filter cartridge cleaner. Follow the dosing instruction on the label of the filter cartridge cleaner.

After your filters have soaked for 24 hours, remove them from the solution, rinse them off with a filter cleaning wand, and set them out to dry.

Once the spa is empty and dry and the filters are dry, put the filters back into the spa to make sure they do not get lost over the winter.

Step 5: Loosen fittings on your spa plumbing

Once the spa is empty, open the cabinet door to gain access to your controller and all pumps.

Undo the barrel unions that connect the plumbing to the spa controller, heater and pumps. Undoing these unions will allow any excess water in the pipework of the spa to be drained. Without following this process stagnant water will sit in the pipework and cause damage to the seals in your pumps and your heater element and control sensors.

Step 6: Purge water from the pipes and shell.

Many people will use a wet and dry vac to either suck or blow the remaining water from the pipes. This is more critical if you are in a colder climate.

Use a sponge or the wet and dry vac to remove remaining water from the foot well, seats and filter well.

Once the spa pipework is empty of water, carefully re-connect and tighten the unions ensuring that the O-ring seal is seated correctly.

Step 7: Clean the spa shell

This is a perfect time to clean the spa shell. We recommend using pipe cleaner on a non-scratch sponge and white vinegar diluted with water by 50% can remove any white calcium lines.

The key is to use very little water in the cleaning process so there is less to remove. Dry the shell with a soft towel.

Our recommendation is to leave the cover off for a period of time to allow the shell to dry. (As per warning instructions on the shell, do not expose the acrylic shell to direct sunlight for extended periods of time)

Step 8: Clean your spa Cover

Use a good vinyl cleaner to clean your spa cover. DO NOT USE BLEACH. Then use a Vinyl Protectant like 303 to give your cover the protection it needs over the winter.

Step 9: Clean your cabinet

It is a good idea to use mild soap and water to clean your spa cabinet to remove dirt and grime.

Step 10: Mission accomplished

It is time to grab your tickets and head to a warmer place or pour yourself a warm beverage and sit back knowing your spa has been bedded down for the winter.

How to start your spa up again after winter

Don't get the Winter Blues! Spring is just around the corner - when spring does come, read our article on how to start your spa after winter.

Got more questions?

Talk to us on live chat, or email us your spa questions and we'll be happy to help!

Five Star Trust Pilot Rating

We are proud that Spa World customers have given us a Five Star Trustpilot rating.