Can You Leave a Hot Tub Empty? (Yes, Here’s How…)

By James Brockbank •  Updated: 03/13/21 •  11 min read

Can I leave a hot tub empty?

Yes, you can leave a hot tub empty. It is essential to drain the hot tub thoroughly to ensure no water remains in the pipes and hoses. If water remains in the spa, the pipes could freeze in the winter. In the summer, mold and debris could be left behind. After the spa is drained, remove the filters, and dry the shell with a towel. If you’re putting the hot tub away for the winter, ensure the hot tub is dry and well protected.

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Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

For cleaning and drying your hot tub thoroughly, I recommend the Stanley 12 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum to get the job done.

Some circumstances may force you to leave your hot tub empty.

However, there are specific precautions you must follow to avoid damaging your hot tub.

Let’s get started!

Can You Leave a Hot Tub Empty?

Yes, you can leave your hot tub empty. Some situations could make sense for you to empty the hot tub. The most common periods when a hot tub should be left empty are during the winter months or when you go for long vacations.

However, draining the hot tub will also require you to disconnect the power before draining it completely. While draining, it might be necessary to use a dry/wet vacuum. This will help you eliminate any standing water after you complete the draining process.

Emptying the hot tub will include closing the pumps and all the water sources. You should turn the pumps off by toggling the on/off buttons until all the pumps are shut off, and no water is circulating in the hot tub. After this is done, closing any central water valve for foot jets and filtering is advisable.

You should also remove the filters safely and store them in an appropriately cool and dry chamber. You should ensure that the hot tub is wiped down correctly and that the lid is firmly placed in position.

Why Leave a Hot Tub Empty?

It would be best if you left a hot tub empty and disconnected from its power source if you’re going on an extended vacation. Leaving a hot tub unattended for long periods will result in poor water chemistry, leaving lasting damage to the hot tub. If the hot tub is not designed for winter, having it emptied can also be an excellent idea to prevent damaging the spa due to freezing.

First, you can leave the hot tub empty, preparing for the summer or because the winter season is nearing. In this context, it’s good to understand that some people prefer using their spas in specific seasons alone.

If you do not like using the hot tub during the summer, then you could drain the hot tub and keep it empty when the season approaches. This is also applicable to those who do not like using it in the winter months.

Check out this great article from about how to put your spa away for the winter.

People who do not like soaking in winter could be finding it hard to go outside in the cold weather. Those who do not like soaking in summer may have a more preferred alternative like traveling. If you fall in any of these categories, it is good to drain your hot tub when you are not using it during the oncoming season.

If you’re interested in knowing more about how much does it cost to run a hot tub, check out our full article on the subject for more information.

How Long Can a Hot Tub Stay Empty?

A hot tub can stay empty for as long as it needs while being protected from the elements. The hot tub should be drained, cleaned, and protected with a proper cover and some plastic wrap. Doing this will protect and prolong the life of the hot tub.

If you plan to go on a vacation, you will be leaving your hot tub. If your hot tub is out of use for more than two weeks because winter/summer is coming, or maybe you’ll be traveling, it is good to drain your hot tub and leave it empty altogether.

There are cases when you may not get time to continue soaking as part of your routine, or it could result from losing interest. It’s always a good practice to leave the hot tub empty in either of the two cases.

You can leave the hot tub empty for as long as you are not using it. A hot tub is safer across all seasons when it is left dry and entirely disconnected from any electrical source.

Check out our full article on how long do hot tubs last for information on maintaining a hot tub’s lifespan.

I recommend the waterproof cover by ULTCOVER to protect your hot tub when you’re not using it.

Should I Keep The Hot Tub Shut Off When Empty?

Yes, it becomes vital to keep a hot tub entirely disconnected from any power source when empty. If there is no water in the hot tub and it’s still powered up, it could permanently damage the pumps, filter system, and heater. To power off your spa, shut it off at the disconnect point or turn off the breaker.

You should reach out to the circuit breaker box to turn off the hot tub’s electricity supply because the pumps and the heaters are off.

It would be best to tighten a hosepipe to the drain valve, open your valve and let all the water completely drain out. After draining the valve empty, you should close the valve and disconnect the hose pipe.

Reaching out to the panel connection might be necessary to see where the hot tub is joined to the electrical cord. Try loosening the screws that are holding the connections to the electrical cord in place so you get a chance to pull the connector wires from the hot tub. Ensure that you unplug your hot tub’s cable from the outdoor outlet wall and place it in a safe and dry location. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, calling an electrician is the best thing to do.

This procedure is done when you are about to drain the hot tub to avoid damaging the electrical components. In most cases, the circulation systems will be running even when you have not been using the hot tub. So it’s best to keep everything shut off and disconnected.

If you have not done this before, it’s good to understand that such a process will be required when you’re not using your hot tub for the next several seasons, months, or years.

However, this process will not be necessary if you leave your hot tub empty for a few weeks or one season. Instead, you can just shut off the power after draining your hot tub and leave everything else intact. Doing so will save you unnecessary labor and time.

Check out this video about turning off the breaker to your spa.

Can You Empty a Hot Tub for the Summer?

Yes, you can empty your hot tub for the summer if you are away from home with your family or friends during the season. But make sure that you have placed the cover on the hot tub securely and fully drained the spa. The cover will prevent debris and insects from getting in the shell. Draining the spa will ensure no mold or scale buildup will take place.

The cover is critical when you empty the hot tub in summer. The exposure of the acrylic material on your hot tub to the sunlight can cause severe damage. Most often, the warranty terms do not cover the damage to acrylic or fiberglass on your hot tub if the damage is preventable. Therefore, ensure a proper cover is in place when you empty the hot tub in summer.

After draining the hot tub, it is always good to leave the filters and the shell clean. Experts recommend cleaning the hot tub again when you want to use it in the future. A second cleaning will help remove the bugs that might have entered the hot tub when drained. You can do this cleaning by running a cleaning solution through the pipes to flush dirt, debris, and bugs.

Check out our full article on how to clean your hot tub filters step by step for more information.

Now you understand that you can empty your hot tub for the summer. You also know how to ensure that the hot tub remains safe and secure. But I still need to look at a few other areas.

For the ultimate UV protection, I recommend this hot tub cover from Pool and Spa Parts.

Should I Empty My Hot Tub Before a Vacation?

Yes, you should empty your hot tub before a vacation. Leaving the spa for too long will cause water chemistry problems and cause a lot of power wastage in the circulation system. Water should not be left standing in the hot tub for long because it can affect its components when not in use.

When you get back from vacation, refilling the hot tub, adding the chemicals, and turning the power back on will ensure the spa remains in good condition.

The other option is to ask a friend or family member to take care of your hot tub while you’re away. Some companies come by and take care of people’s hot tubs for a small fee.

How to Empty Your Hot Tub

You should first turn the power off. Then, place the submersible pump into the hot tub. Connect your garden water hose if the pump’s hose is not long enough to reach the water source. When the water’s connection is complete, turn the pump on to drain all water in the hot tub. 

Your hot tub could also be running on a spigot drainage system. If this is the case, start by turning the power off. It would be best if you then located the spigot drainage, beginning with the primary one and then reaching out to the auxiliary drainage. Attach your garden hose to the spigot, each at a time.

When doing so, the garden hose should run downhill and not upwards because water may not drain. You should also make sure to prevent the water from going everywhere by taking the expelled water to a drain elsewhere. When you are done, close the spigot and dry the spa with a towel.

These are the two methods you can follow in draining your hot tub empty before you leave for vacation.

Check out our full article on how to drain a hot tub step by step for more information.

I recommend the Flexzilla garden hose for its length and durability.

I recommend the Superior 1/4 HP Thermoplastic Utility Pump.

Can You Turn on a Hot Tub Without Water?

No, you cannot turn on a hot tub without water because it can damage the heater and the pumps. If these components turn on without proper water pressure, it can destroy the motors and heating elements. A standard hot tub will automatically turn on these components when it’s powered on at the breaker. So, having water in the spa when it’s powered on is essential.

One of the damages you could expect for running the pumps without water is tripping the breaker. The pump will also shut off because of thermal overload. The heater can also damage the hot tub by melting essential components.

Can You Leave a Hot Tub Empty: Conclusion

can you leave a hot tub empty

I have answered the question, “Can you leave a hot tub empty?” I have seen that there is no problem with leaving a hot tub empty. I have seen that it is the best thing to do when going for a vocation.

Also, you can leave the hot tub empty if you are not using it during the oncoming season, be it winter or summer. The hot tub can stay empty as long as you want as long as you have drained and covered it properly.

You must remember to turn off the power when emptying the hot tub and keep it that way until you refill the hot tub again.

I hope you found this article on leaving your hot tub empty helpful.

Thanks for visiting

James Brockbank