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A Guide to Changing the Hot Tub Water

Updated: Feb 21

It’s official, you’ve been absolutely loving every minute of your new hot tub… but the water is starting to look a bit lifeless. Well there’s only one thing for it, you’ve got to empty that water, give the hot tub a clean, refill it and bring the chemical balance up to where it needs to be. If you caught yourself scratching your head whilst reading that, then don’t worry because this blog will walk you through the process.



Please remember that the following is a rough guide and so some of what we will mention may not be applicable to all variations of hot tub.


The steps are as follows:


  1. Turn the power off

  2. Remove and clean the filter

  3. Empty the hot tub

  4. Clean the hot tub

  5. Fill the hot tub

  6. Turn the hot tub back on

  7. Add the correct level of chemical


1. Turn the power off


For the first step it is essential that the hot tub is turned off at the isolator switch. Having a hot tub turned on whilst empty can cause internal complications, so it’s best to avoid this.


2. Remove and clean the filter


It’s the filter which catches all of that horrible stuff like; dead skin, oils, hair, leaves and other nasties. So, it’s really important to ensure that your filter is cleaned regularly.


Remove the filter and using a high-pressure hose pipe, spray it down. Try to get the filter looking as white as possible, spraying in-between the slats etc.


Then spray the filter with filter cleaner and leave to soak in a bucket of warm water for a minimum of 1-2 hours.


Wash the filter cleaner off the filters using a high-pressure hose pipe, if you can BISHTA recommend that you then leave them to dry before installing them back into the hot tub.


You should aim to clean your filters once every 2 weeks and replace them with new ones every 6 months. Failure to do so may result in your hot tub developing a flow error, this will be displayed as ‘FLO’ on the control panel. A flow error is often (not always) the result of the flow of water being restricted as it tries to pass through the filters.


Please note: if the hot tub is used in a commercial setting then the filters need to be cleaned in-between guests or when the water is changed.


3. Empty the hot tub


Most hot tubs have water outlets, if yours does then you can use this to empty the water. If not, then don’t worry- a submersible pump is the easier and faster way of emptying. One thing to note whilst using a submersible pump is that you may very well be left with around half a foot of water in the footwell which you may feel is impossible to get rid of. At this point we recommend inserting the hose pipe into the filter housing with the water turned on. This will push any old water out of the pipes and into the footwell. As the hot tub begins to fill, the submersible pump will continue to empty the spa water and over the space of 10 minutes the water in the footwell should become fresh water. To put it simply, you’ll be pushing the old water out by pumping new water in. However, please be wary of where you dump the water, this is especially important if you live near a river or stream.


You can pick up a good submersible from Screw Fix for £69.99 including VAT


4. Clean the hot tub


So, if you’ve just emptied your hot tub and you’re preparing for the refill then we would highly recommend that you give the acrylic a good clean using a soft cloth/ car brush and surface cleaner. Make sure that you also clean behind the headrests, trust us… they need it.

At this point you could also clean the cabinets, steps, inside and outside of the cover.


Once everything is sparklingly clean, wash the hot tub down to rinse off the surface cleaner.


Top tip: clean the inside of the hot tub before you’ve finished emptying it. This is so that when it comes to rinsing all of the surface cleaner off, you’ll be able to empty the contents out of the spa.


5. Fill the hot tub

Now this might surprise you, but filling the hot tub is a lot like filling a paddling pool. Simply throw the hose pipe in, sit back and relax. However, we would advise to insert the hose pipe into the filter housing whilst filling to get rid of/ prevent any air locks.


If there’s no mark where the water should be filled up to, then a good rule of thumb is to bring the water level high enough that it’s covering all jets, except neck jets.


6. Turn the hot tub back on


Run over to that isolator switch and turn that hot tub on.


7. Add chemical


For a detailed guide on how to add the right amount of chemicals to your hot tub, click here.


The short version:


1. Test the water

2. Balance the water, get the PH levels and Alkalinity levels right

3. Add Hardness increaser or Water Softener if needed

4. Add Chlorine or Bromine Granules


Top tip: dissolve the chemical in warm water before adding to the hot tub water.


Top tip 2: add the chemical into the filter housing with the pumps turned ‘on’.

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