restarting an old hot tub

6 Simple Steps to Restarting an Old Hot Tub

A hot tub is characterized by warm water, blue yet crystal clear. It’s inviting and comforting. But when you take off the cover of a hot tub that’s been sitting idle, you might want to jump back from the spa rather than jumping in it.

Whether you bought a home with an existing hot tub or time slipped away, you might find yourself wondering how to restart the hot tub. And, possibly more important, is it worth it?

The answer: Yes! 

By investing a bit of time and money, you can restart an old hot tub and enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy at home, on your time.

hot tub water help
The water of your hot tub should be crystal clear and soft to the touch. But if your hot tub has not been used in a couple weeks, months or, even, years, it’s important to clean the hot tub so it’s safe to use.

How to Restart a Hot Tub That Has Been Sitting

Drain the Hot Tub

Untreated hot tub water can be more than unsightly. It can also have bacteria and algae growing in the water. If the hot tub has been sitting for a while, it might be wise to drain the hot tub water. 

Hot tubs by Master Spas are equipped with an internal drain assembly so you can easily remove the water. To find the hot tub drain, remove the skirting on the side where you find the topside control panel. (This is the side where most of the hot tub equipment is located.) Remove the cap and attach a garden hose so that you can direct where the water goes.

If you want, you can also use a sump pump to drain the hot tub. Directions for using a sump pump are available in your Master Spas owner’s manual.

Clean the Hot Tub Filter

A hot tub filter is one of the most important components of your spa as it helps remove unwanted particles from your hot tub water — dirt, debris, and microorganisms. But if your hot tub has been sitting, the filter might be clogged and dirty. 

To clean your hot tub filter, soak it overnight with spa filter cleaner and rinse with clean water. For best results, allow the filter to dry before re-inserting. 

Master Spas hot tubs feature the EcoPur® water filtration system. If you are new to owning a Master Spas hot tub, note that the EcoPur Charge element (the orange insert) should never be cleaned in a filter cleaner. Just rinse with water. 

Pro tip: Keep a spare set of filters on hand so that you do not have to let soaking and drying time keep you from using your hot tub. 

Related: How to Clean Your Hot Tub Filter {Video Tutorial}

Clean the Hot Tub Shell

After you drain your hot tub, it’s a good idea to take time to clean the spa shell — especially if the hot tub was sitting. You can use a soft cloth and spa shell cleaner to help remove residue and buildup on the acrylic, jets, and other components.  Once you’re finished, hose down the shell and dry off with a soft cloth.

Pro tip: If there is still build-up, try using white vinegar or mild scale remover product may be necessary to use with a soft cloth. Consult with your local Master Spas dealer for proper spa cleaning products.

filling a hot tub
When you are refilling your hot tub, it’s a good idea to use a pre-filter. A pre-filter will help remove suspended solids and heavy metals from your source water, making it easier to keep your hot tub water clean.

Check the Wiring

If you bought a house with an existing hot tub, you might want to have a certified electrician expect the wiring. The electrician can make sure the unit is safe to use, which is important if the hot tub was sitting unused for a year or more.

Pro tip: You can find the electrical diagrams for Master Spas hot tubs on our website.

Refill and Treat

It might seem like your hot tub should be ready to go. But if your hot tub was sitting for some time, it’s better to play it safe. Refill the hot tub and add a jet clean product that can help remove build-up and the contaminants from the plumbing of your hot tub. Be sure to follow the directions on the label and have the jets on. Follow label directions, adding it to the spa with the pump system running. 

Pro tip: It’s normal to see dirt and gunk come to the surface of the water. That’s why you’re taking this step!

hot tub water chemistry
The final step of restarting an old hot tub is filling it up and treating the water. When you start-up your hot tub, it is advised that you add more sanitizer to raise the chlorine to about 8 ppm — which is higher than normal levels. It will “shock the water” and sanitize everything.

Drain and Shock

You will feel like a hot tub pro by this point. Drain your hot tub again and wipe down the spa shell. Be sure to replace the internal drain on the hot tub, replace the hot tub skirting, and get ready to refill your hot tub.

When you start-up your hot tub, it is advised that you add more sanitizer to raise the chlorine to about 8 ppm — which is higher than normal levels. It will “shock the water” and sanitize everything. 

Pro tip: While you wait for the hot tub to fill, wipe down the bottom of your hot tub cover with a bleach-water mix.