What to Do With Frozen Hot Tub?

El Nino is expected to bring a cold, snowy winter. It's good for the spa industry as it means more freeze damage and higher sales.

Even if your spa is running at low speed, and the water is allowed to freeze, it's still important to keep the valves and lines open to prevent the water from freezing.

Many digital spa controllers have a freeze monitor that will automatically turn on if the outside air temperature gets too hot. But many of them don't have built in freeze protection.



Instead of using the weather report, try using an app that will tell you when the temperature gets below a certain set point. Then, make sure that the spa is hot and operating properly.

If you have Air Controls but cannot have built-in freeze protection, then you should install a digital spa pack. This will allow your system to turn on once the outside temperature drops.

Keep the Spa Hot During Winter: If your spa is kept at a temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it can keep its heat for up to 36 hours during a power outage. An extremely cold spa can quickly freeze up.

Keep your Spa Cover in Place: In some areas of the country, the cold temperatures have caused your spa water to turn slushy. Doing so can also cause your skin to get cold.



If your hot tub is frozen, then it's time to get some hot water and blankets. You can also check to see if the spa is operating properly.

  1. Shut off Power if the pumps are not moving water, until all the ice thaws.
  2. Break through Ice on the surface, add hot water from hose, or buckets from the bathtub.
  1. Closely Inspect with a utility light, or large flashlight, the pump, filter, heater, and pipes for cracks.
  2. Use a heat gun, or place a small ceramic heater under the spa cabinet that you can monitor.
  1. Use heavy blankets to help hold the heat in under the spa, if needed.



When ice expands, it can crack or damage various components of a heater, such as the housings, the filter body, or the lid. It can also cause pipes to break through.

As the temperature warms up, the water below the spa will start to drip, which is normal for a spa. However, running water can also cause problems.

After identifying the parts needed for your hot tub, follow these steps to drain the spa completely.

If the water is still running, but the spa is not working properly, turn off the system and check for running water again. If it sounds normal, then it's time to check for cracks in the pipe or equipment.

Most freeze damage is minor, and usually consists of a small pump or a bit of pipe. However, there are cases where a frozen spa completely explodes.

Even if the parts are reusable, the cost of re-fitting a spa is prohibitive. If you're not careful, you might end up with a few hundred dollars in wasted spa parts.


If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!

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