How to drain and refill your spa pool – A step-by-step guide

Emptying and refilling your spa with clean water gives you the best of both worlds, a fresh tub of water to soak in and it keeps your spa and components in great working order. Keep reading to learn how to drain your spa.

Draining spa hero

In this article, we explain the steps required to empty, refill and sanitise your spa water.

This article explains:

  • Why you need to drain your spa
  • How often to drain or empty your spa
  • How to empty your spa
  • How to refill your spa
  • How to restart and treat your spa after refilling

Why do I need to drain my spa pool?

After considerable use and sanitising of your spa, the water might become concentrated with dissolved solids.

These small particles are small enough to fit through the holes in your spa filter and not get filtered out, yet are still big enough to catch the light and make your spa water look cloudy. The only way to get rid of these is to dump your water.

We recommend new spa owners dump and refresh their water after the first 12 weeks and then follow the guidelines below the next time the water needs replacing. Your spa water can stay in for longer but you might end up using more chemicals than usual trying to maintain the water clarity and purity.

The reason we recommend 12 weeks is that we find that new spa owners use their spa more often and have more users in the first few weeks of ownership. Once spa use settles down and spa use returns to normal, you might want to refresh the water.

How often should I drain my spa?

How often you change your spa water, depends on a range of factors including the type of spa you have, the number of spa users, how often you use it, and how vigilant you are with hygiene.

As a guide, water should be changed every three to six months in portable spas and 12 to 18 months for swim spas or as required.

Watch: How to drain a spa

How to empty and replace the water in your spa

As explained above, spa water should be changed every three to six months, while swim spa water can be replaced every 12 to 18 months or as required. Before emptying your spa, make sure to read the following steps carefully and thoroughly.

Please note: Check with your council on the best location to dispose of your spa water. We recommend that you do not add spa chemicals to the water at least 24 to 48 hours before draining your spa. This means that there will be less chemical residue in the water.

pleated filters
  1. Before emptying your spa:

Remove and clean the filters (pleated filters should be replaced every 12 to 18 months).

Spa pipe cleaner

Add pipe degreaser to your spa. Follow the instructions on the back of the container.

Purezone micron filter

Please note: Purezone™ microfilters found in Vortex™ and Jacuzzi® Spas cannot be cleaned and must be replaced at least every three months.

Vortex spa drainage hole

Where to find the drainage hole on a Vortex™ Spa

extended water drain

Attach the hose to the drain hole and pull out to extend the drain valve

2. Draining your spa:

Follow the draining procedure in your user manual. The video above, ‘How to drain and refill your spa’, also shows you how to do this.

Switch off

Important: Before draining your spa water, make sure to switch the power off at the source.

Hose out any residue
  1. When the spa is empty:

Hose out any residue and wipe the spa out with a little Spa Pipe Degreaser on a damp rag. Wipe the underneath of the spa cover. Rinse off and leave it to dry.

Important: Make sure to replace the cover on your spa while it is emptying. Shell damage caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight is usually not covered under warranty.

  1. Refill your spa with new water:

Remember to place the hose in the filter pipe to help eliminate air blocks.

Refill spa with new water
  1. Replace your Vortex™ Purezone™ filter:

Purezone™ filters cannot be cleaned and must be replaced every three to four months.

  1. Restart your spa:
  • Test and balance the water
  • Sanitise the water
  • Restart by following the steps in the Water Care Start-up Guide for how to look after your spa water. Click the button below to view the Water Care Guide.

How to look after your spa water

Caring for your spa water is essential for your health, prolonging the life of the spa, and your enjoyment of the spa itself.

Our Water Care Guide covers everything you need to know to keep your spa water clean and safe. Click the button below to read the guide.

Can I use my drained spa water in my garden?

Yes, but proper precautions need to be taken. Spa water is classified as “grey water” which puts it in the same category as water from baths, sinks, or washing machines.

Drained spa water may contain detergents, oils, and chemicals. We suggest you stop using sanitiser for at least 24 hours before draining and using it to allow the spa chemicals to dissipate.

Once chemicals like chlorine have dissipated, and the pH level of your spa falls between 7 and 8, it can be safely used to water parts of your yard and garden such as the lawn, some shrubs, flowers and trees.

However, we do not recommend using drained spa water on edible plants such as vegetables and root crops.

We also suggest checking with your local council rules for use of grey water first to ensure that you’re following existing regulations in your area.

Why is my spa not draining?

If you're experiencing difficulty with the water not draining from your spa, there are a few possible reasons why this is happening.

  • Kinked hose. Check the drainage hose connected to your hot tub. If it is kinked or bent, it can restrict the flow of water and prevent proper drainage. Straighten out any kinks or bends in the hose to allow for unrestricted water flow.
  • Faulty drain valve. The drain valve in your hot tub may be faulty or not functioning properly. If the valve is stuck or not opening, it will prevent water from draining out. Inspect the drain valve for any signs of damage or blockage. Clean or repair the valve if possible, or consider replacing it if necessary.

In summary

Caring for your spa water is an essential part of owning a spa pool. By following a regular water care and maintenance routine you can prolong the life of your spa and components, and ensure your spa water is healthy and safe to enjoy.

For more information about spa maintenance and caring for your spa pool, please contact our customer care centre.

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