How to Start a Hot Tub

How to Start a Hot Tub

Whether you're christening a brand new hot tub or simply restarting one that's been dormant for a while, ensuring the water is clean and safe is the first step to a relaxing soak. If you're a newbie, the process might seem daunting but don't stress. Here's your step-by-step guide to ensure your hot tub start-up succeeds.

1. Rinse and Drain

  • For New Hot Tubs: Manufacturers often use antifreeze to safeguard the tub's plumbing during transit. Fill the tub's footwell with water, activate the pumps for a few minutes, and drain to remove the antifreeze.  
  • Restarting: Old stagnant water can host harmful bacteria. Drain your hot tub, clean it, and fill it with fresh water. Ensure you clean the jets and drains thoroughly. And remember: if you've winterized your tub, reconnect all plugs, fittings, and valves.

2. Turn off All Power

Prioritize safety by disconnecting all power sources. Remember, combining water and electricity is dangerous.

3. Clean the Empty Hot Tub

  • For New Hot Tubs: Clean every surface that will come into contact with water. Rinse thoroughly to prevent future foaming.  
  • For Restarting: A deep clean is necessary if your hot tub has been stagnant for some time.

4. Install or Clean the Filter

A clean filter is essential. Either install a new filter or clean the existing ones. Whether they appear dirty or not, a thorough cleaning is recommended.

5. Fill Your Hot Tub

Use a hose filter to fill your hot tub, ensuring water is free from impurities. Proper water levels are essential – not too high and not too low.

6. Prime the Pump

Air in the lines can lead to problems. Using the control panel or a bleeder valve to prime the pump depends on your hot tub model. Ensure all the air has been released for optimal functioning.

7. Add the Start-Up Chemicals

Before adding chemicals, wait until the water is warm (around 80ºF or 30ºC). Always measure accurately, and never mix chemicals outside the tub. Pool chemicals are a no-go; use only those designed for hot tubs.

8. Run the Pump

Ensure even distribution of chemicals by running the pump at high speed for at least ten minutes.

9. Test Your Water

Your water chemistry is crucial. Testing will confirm whether you've got the balance right.

10. Set the Water Temperature

Opt for a comfortable temperature but never exceed 104ºF (40ºC). Consistency in temperature is critical to prevent wear on your tub's components and save energy.

11. Cover Your Hot Tub

After setting the temperature, let the water circulate for ten minutes and then cover your hot tub for about twenty-four hours.

12. Test Your Water Again

Chemical levels might shift after a day. Always test again before diving in.  

Additional Tips: When starting your spa after a hiatus, thoroughly inspect for damages. If you notice any electrical concerns, consult a professional before proceeding.  


There you have it! The steps to successfully start or restart your hot tub. Now, all that's left is to relax and enjoy the soothing waters. Cheers to many peaceful moments ahead!