Preventing Freeze Damage to a Spa or Hot Tub

freeze damage is when water freezes and expands within spa pipelines or spa devices, like your filter, pump or heating system.
Water broadens about 10% when it freezes. For pipelines or equipment that have a percentage of water inside, for example a pipe that is less than half complete of water, unused space inside the pipeline enables some ice expansion.
When pipes, pumps or filters are more than half filled with water, there is little room for expansion, as well as really thick products can burst from the ice pressure inside.
Today’s lesson centers on how to prevent freeze damage in a spa or hot tub, which can be a complex and pricey spa repair, and in many cases, could ‘total’ the spa, with repair expenses of countless dollars.
There are 3 ways to prevent freeze damage in a spa or hot tub
1. Winterize the Spa
We do not suggest that you winterize your spa, unless you make sure that it won’t be utilized for at least 3 months, or it can not be kept (at a getaway home, for example).
Winterizing the spa is a process that takes a few hours, to drain all of the water from the spa, and utilize air to ‘blow the lines’, to require water from the pipes, hose pipes and devices.
We did an article on How to Winterize a Spa, if you are considering winterizing the spa. It’s easy, but if you desire guarantees of an appropriate winterization, most spa service business offer this service.
2. Use Freeze Protection
Modern medspas packs will have a freeze defense mode on the spa that will switch on the flow pump when temperatures get near freezing. If you don’t see this available in your control options for the spa, you might not have freeze security.
Freeze defense works with an air temperature sensing unit that communicates with a controller, wired into the pump power circuit. Freeze security is standard equipment on all our Digital, Flex-Fit and Balboa spa packs, which is the easiest way of including freeze defense for older day spas with air triggered spa packs.
For assistance adding freeze security to your spa, don’t hesitate to call our spa techs with some details about your spa.
3. Run the Pump
As long as water is moving through the pipelines– all of the pipelines, the water won’t freeze. Open all your jets, if your spa has the ability to isolate banks of jets. Low speed can be utilized, as long as all pipes are used.
The water need not be hot, or even warmed at all–. As long as it’s moving through all the pipes and devices when temperature levels are below 32 degrees. The heat from the spa pump, under a closed skirt, is also helpful to warm up the devices. Naturally, a spa cover must be used throughout winter season to prevent ice forming on the spa surface area.
Throughout winter season, it may be wise to operate your pump 24 hours per day in cold northern areas, or set the time clock to switch on the pump for 10 minutes every half hour.

• Adding heat to your spa, a hot spa can give 24 hours of defense
• Keeping a tight fitting spa cover in place and protect
• Spa insulation– the more there is, the more defense you have
• Hang a 100 watt store light, under the skirt, next to the spa pack

Always cover the tub when you’re not using it, and check to be sure the cover is properly secured on the hot tub, because in this way you can avoid wasting energy which is good for you as well as for your pocket. If you are using a traditional rigid foam cover to do this the dealer you bought it from may have recommended to clean and condition it once a month with vinyl protector, because in this way you will avoid to let UV rays to damage it. What they don’t tell you is that the vinyl on the outside of your cover is rated by HOURS outdoors. 1500hrs to be precise. Cleaning it and rubbing it with vinyl treatment is just wasting your time and money while prolonging the inevitable. Which is why Hot Tub Covers employ Sunbrella outdoor fabric which is rated by (wait for it) YEARS outdoors. In fact we have seen Sunbrella fabric still looking brand new after ten years outdoors. Nothing else comes close.  That said, if you do need to clean your cover for some reason, use the solution just on the top of the cover and pay attention to not let the solution to pour into the water of the spa. It is better to take it off and clean also the underside of it with a mild cleaning solution. Rinse well and air dry.

If you find a spa or hot tub that is solid frozen, and maybe you identify some freeze damage already, the equipment requires to be thawed out. If there are split pipes, utilizing electrical area heaters might be unsafe, under the skirt.
If you have a camping tent big enough to place over the spa, you can thaw out a spa in a couple of hours. When I was servicing medspas in Colorado, we had a tent we used whenever we ‘d get a ‘frozen spa’ call.
Adding hot water to the spa is another old technique. With a small adapter, a garden tube can be connected to most sink faucets, to bring hot water to the spa, to raise the water temperature level for a quicker thaw. In some cases, you can carefully damp frozen pipes with warm water– just don’t spray any motors, electronic devices or controls.


If your power fails throughout winter season, keep in mind that a heated spa with an excellent fitting spa cover has enough heat to prevent freeze damage for 24 hours or so, longer if it’s extremely well insulated.
To preserve some heat under the spa skirt throughout a power failure, you might hang a 100 watt shop light in a place near the spa pack. In some situations, a little area heater might be safe to use also, inside the spa cabinet, in a dry place, until power is restored.