A Comprehensive Guide to Winterizing Your Spa

Spa owners will often choose to winterize their spa if they are going to be away in the winter months, their spa is at a camp/cottage, or they have limited access to their spa in the winter due to snow and ice. Here are the recommended steps to closing your spa.
  1. Remove and clean the cartridges using the SPAGUARD FILTER BRITE in a bucket, then rinse and store them in a dry place.
  2. Pour a pipe cleaner of your choosing in the spa's water and run the pumps as the piper cleaner products advises. Most products need to run a minimum of one full 20 min cycle. The pipe cleaning products we recommend are AHH-SOME JET CLEANER, SPA MARVEL CLEANSER, SPAGUARD SWIRL AWAY PIPE CLEANER and SOFT SOAK TRIO RESTORING SPA CLEANSER. Follow the instructions written on the pipe cleaner container of your choice.
  3. Turn off power to the spa via the circuit breaker.
  4. Drain the spa completely via the drain valve or by using a sub pump. If you are using the drain valve you will need to attach a garden hose and pull the spout out to initiate draining. Do not forget to put the cap back on and push it in once draining is completed.
  5. If you have a Bullfrog Spa with JetPaks, open all the lower valves on the JetPaks to allow the water to drain from each JetPak as you drain the spa. Make sure to use “ShopVac” type wet/dry vacuum and remove any access water from behind the JetPaks. JetPaks can remain in the spa or be stored inside.
  6. Use a "Shop Vac" type wet/dry vacuum to vacuum the plumbing lines by placing the nozzle over each jet face in the spa to remove the water lodged there. It is recommended to do this twice to assure all water is removed.
  7. If applicable; unscrew the jets and soak them for 8 to 12 hours in a solution made up of water and pipe cleaner, rinse, then store them in dry place.
  8. If applicable, remove drain plug on pumps and allow water to drain out. Once drained remember re-install drain plug. If your pump does not have drain plugs, you can use a Shop Vac" type wet/dry vacuum to get any access water out from inside the pump.
  9. Pour some SPA LUBRIGEL OR HIBERNATE ANTI-FREEZE into the pump(s), remember to re-install pump cover(s).
  10. Crack the Heater Barrel to release air and add some SPA LUBRIGEL OR HIBERNATE ANTI-FREEZE into the heater barrel.
  11. Pour SPA LUBRIGEL OR HIBERNATE ANTI-FREEZE into filter hole(s), and jets to prevent pipes from freezing. The amount of SPA LUBRIGEL OR HIBERNATE ANTI-FREEZE required will vary depending on the size of the spa. Smaller spas will require up to 8 Liters. Medium spas will require 10-15 liters. Large Spas and Swims can require up to 23 Liters.
  12. WARNING: Do not use ethylene glycol antifreeze (type used in cars), as it is toxic.
  13. Clean the acrylic surface using the SPAGUARD SWIRL AWAY II ACRYLIC CLEANER with a soft rag.
  14. Clean the cover using the SPA OPTIMUM COVER CLEANER
  15. It is recommended to place a Styrofoam block at the bottom of the spa underneath the cover and /or a large piece of plywood on the top of the spa to prevent the cover from collapsing under the weight of the snow.
  16. Unsure that your cover and cover clips are secure. If you live in a high wind area it may be worth investing in HURRICAN COVER STRAPS.
  17. It is recommended to place a protective winter tarp/cover over your vinyl spa cover to protect it from the elements and prevent fading. You can purchase spa winter covers that are designed to specifically fit over your spa.

How to De-Winterize/ Open your Spa:

  1. Before refilling your spa, clean any surface areas that have gotten dirty over the winter.
  2. Before refilling you should check that all drain valves/ plugs are closed. Ensure that the fittings connected to the pump and heater are closed and tightened.
  3. If applicable; make sure gate vales are open. This does not apply to Bullfrog Spas.
  4. Partially fill your spa by putting you garden hose in the filter hole then drain. This is to clear out the anti-freeze from your plumbing. Even though you used a non-toxic anti-freeze, it is still important to get the anti-freeze out of the lines as it can irritate your skin.
  5. Refill again completely through filter holes.
  6. Re-install filters, jets and/or JetPaks.
  7. Turn circuit breaker back on. (If applicable; You may have to turn the breaker back on in the house)
  8. Turn spa back on. Once it has reached desired temperature, we recommend bringing a water sample into the store for testing.


  • That if you didn’t use a pipe cleaner during the closing of your spa, we recommend using one during the opening.
  • “Air Locks” sometimes occur when you turn your spa back on. Please contact us if you are having trouble releasing the “Air Lock”. As the approach can differ between spa brands.

These instructions are based on the spas that we service. Always refer to your spa manual for winterizing recommendations. 

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