Spring Cleaning: Hot Tub Style

With promises of warmer weather ahead, it’s never too early to start thinking about your outdoor space! Whether you winterized your hot tub or have been using it since day one, it may be time for a good scrubbin’. After all, nobody enjoys soaking in cloudy water with a strange green tint…

Luckily, it’s easy to drain and clean your tub, just follow these easy steps!

Step 1: Unplug & drain

If your tub is running on 110v, meaning it is just plugged into a standard wall outlet, make sure to unplug before doing any sort of draining or maintenance. If you have converted to 220v, make sure the breaker is switched OFF before beginning.

Then, locate the convenient drain at the bottom of your tub, on the control panel side. You can pull the­­ ­drain pipe out a few inches for easier access, just give it a gentle tug. Unscrew the drain cap and either let the water free flow (😉) out or attach a disconnected garden hose to route the water elsewhere. If you let the water freely flow out of the drain, be sure that all of the water is draining away from the tub and not pooling anywhere around where it could cause damage to the spa, steps, cover lifter, electrical compartment, or electrical cord.

You can also use a submersible pump for faster drain time.

There may be a few inches of water that do not fully drain. Use a wet vac, cups, buckets, or towels to clear it out.

Step 2: Rinse or replace filter

To remove the filter, first locate the filter compartment. It’s the floating basket that sucks in water to be filtered. Since your tub will be drained at this point, it will be laying flat. Simply unscrew the whole component to see the filter below. Then, unscrew the filter and assess its condition.

If it has been over 6 months of regular use, and/or you are having problems with jet performance or keeping the water clear, it may be time to replace the filter. Otherwise, just rinse the filter with a hose, making sure to get in-between all the pleats. Once clean, reassemble the filter compartment.

Step 3: Wipe down

Using a mild, diluted cleaning solution or simply soap and water, wipe down the tub with a soft cloth or towel, inside and out. This is a good time to wipe down the cover as well, using only soap and water. Rinse and wipe the inside well so no solutions or soap are left over when you refill the spa.

Step 4: Refill & balance water

Now that the spa is drained, the filter is rinsed or replaced, and the inside and outside are wiped down, it’s ready to refill!

IMPORTANT: Refill your spa by placing your garden hose into the filter compartment. This primes the jets to ensure there is little to no air in the lines. You may see an error message “FLO” after refilling if there is air in the lines. More about that in step 5.

Balance your water according to your chemicals’ packaging directions. More on water care here, if you need a refresher!

Step 5: Plug back in

After ensuring the water is filled at least a few inches above the highest jet and the filter compartment is put together & secure, plug your spa back in (110v) or turn the breaker on (220v.) Your spa will continue to operate with the same setting(s) it was on before unplugging, so it will automatically start reheating and filtering.

“FLO” error code: If this happens after plugging your spa back in, first make sure the jet pump is running and water is flowing. Ensure water level is at least a few inches above the highest jet and try turning the jets on and off a few times. Run the hose water through the filter compartment again for a minute. If the problem persists, contact your local dealer or our Customer team at 888-961-7727 or ahsservice@watkinsmfg.com. For more on error messages, consult page 13 in your Freeflow Owner’s Manual (here).

And voilà! Your spa’s Spring cleaning is complete.

The water should be fully heated in 24-48 hours (110v), or 12-24 hours (220v) depending on the temperature of your hose water and temperature of the air.

OWNERS: For more hot tub tips & maintenance information, bookmark the Owner’s Corner in your web browser or peruse the Hot Tub Hub. We are glad to have you in the Freeflow family!

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