Should You Leave Your Inflatable Hot Tub Empty?

Leaving an inflatable hot tub empty has pros and cons; it all depends on why and how long you are leaving it empty and for how long. Bacteria, climate, and length of time are all things to consider when keeping your hot tub inflated but empty. 

Most people don’t leave an inflatable hot tub empty for long. Bacteria might grow, and freezing issues could occur if left empty over winter. To minimize this, try storing the hot tub away for winter by draining, cleaning, and thoroughly drying it before deflating and storing it for the season.

Leaving your inflatable hot tub empty can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and other issues that could ruin your hot tub or the experience of it once you fill it again. So if you plan on not using the hot tub for a while, consider storing it away. One of the benefits of an inflatable hot tub is its portability, and storing it when not in use is easy.

Can You Leave an Inflatable Hot Tub Empty?

Filling an inflatable indoor hot tub inside a residential garage

Yes, you can leave your inflatable hot tub empty. In some cases, like storing or cleaning it, keeping it empty can be beneficial. 

Will Leaving it Out Empty Cause Damage?

When leaving your hot tub empty, there are some things to consider, like the length of time you plan to leave it inflated and empty. The first is that an empty hot tub could lead to bacteria growth in the plumbing and equipment since they won’t be entirely emptied. 

Another issue is that the rubber gaskets and seals could dry out, shrink or even crack, eventually leading to problems with leaking water when you use it again. 

When emptying your hot tub, you want to consider how long it will be left empty. Going on vacation for more than a week or wanting to leave it empty for an entire season could breed some of these long-term issues. 

If you live in a climate that regularly gets below freezing, leaving the hot tub inflated but empty could lead to burst pipes and cracked vinyl with constant freezing and thawing. 

Even if it were empty of all water, the freezing temperatures and snow would accumulate water on any surface left out to the elements. 

If you do not use your inflatable hot tub in the winter, drain it and store it for the winter months instead of leaving it empty. After all, one of the benefits of purchasing an inflatable hot tub is its portability features and ease of doing so.

How to Drain Your Inflatable Hot Tub

Draining your inflatable hot tub is much simpler than a hard shell due to its portability and ease of use. 

The first thing you want to consider is where the water will go. Because hot tub water is full of chemicals, it is best not to drain it into flower beds as it could damage or kill the plants. Even draining it across a lawn could discolor or harm the grass, so keep that in mind when emptying your hot tub. 

Next, ensure you have turned off the power or unplugged your hot tub from any electricity. 

Once you have found a location to drain your water and unplug it, the next step is to attach the hose. Most inflatable hot tubs come with an attached hose to drain the water. However, if your hot tub does not have one, a regular garden hose will work fine with an adapter (on Amazon)

Attach the hose or adapter to the drainage valve and place the other end in a suitable spot where the water will run off. Next, undo the drain stopper valve, and the water will flow down the hose and out of the hot tub. 

How to Store Your Hot Tub for the Winter

Filling an inflatable indoor hot tub inside a residential garage

Many people choose to store their hot tubs for the winter, and doing so is easy, but it requires some effort to ensure that the proper care is given to preserve the hot tub for the next season.

Turn Off the Power

The first thing you need to do is to disconnect any power and electricity from the hot tub.

Disconnect the Motor

Find the filter housing, which will be on the inside wall of the hot tub near the pump. Next, unscrew the housing and remove it from the hot tub completely. Next, put the stopper plugs in the empty valves to which the filter housing used to be attached. 

Disconnect the motor unit from the hot tub and unscrew the couplings that join the motor to the hot tub. 

Clean and Dry the Motor and Filter Housing

Clean and dry the motor by using your garden house and placing it into the water inlet valve of the motor unit. Turn on the water and let it run for a few minutes. This will help get rid of calcium buildup and flush the interior system. 

Make sure to run the water until it becomes clear, then tilt the motor and give it a shake to get out all the remaining water. Finally, dry the motor with a cloth and let it air dry completely before packing it. 

Next is the filter housing. You clean this by removing the housing cover and removing the filter cartridge. It is always best to throw out the cartridge and start the season with a new one. 

Simply flush the housing with water from your garden hose until it runs clear and dry the unit. Like the motor, you want to ensure it is completely dry before packing it.

Drain the Hot Tub

Drain the inflatable hot tub as indicated above, and get all water out of the bottom to avoid mold.

End of Season Clean

It is always wise to thoroughly clean the hot tub before you pack it away. This gets rid of any chemical and bacterial residue. 

Dry the Hot Tub

A vital step is to ensure that the hot tub is completely dry before packing it away. Any leftover moisture can cause mold, bacteria, and freezing issues while in storage. So instead, wipe it all down with a cloth and let it air dry.

Deflate the Hot Tub

Deflate the hot tub after it is completely dry, as the extra folds of the vinyl will make it incredibly difficult to ensure every inch of it is dry.

Clean Underneath, and the Cover

Don’t forget to wipe down and clean the underside and cover.

Packing it Away

Remove any fixtures or fittings from the hot tub, as it should never be packed away with these still in place since they could cause damage to the vinyl. Instead, you want to try and put it back in the original box or wrap it in an airtight tarp to protect it over the winter season.

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