How To Drain A Swim Spa Properly?

Kenneth Wilson

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to drain your swim spa properly and efficiently!

Having a swim spa in the backyard of your humble abode is quite the life. Throwing parties, family gatherings, or even just spending a relaxing time by yourself are some of the grandeur you'll be able to experience with a swim spa at home. But what happens if it gets clogged? Can you drain it? You definitely can! So how can you drain a swim spa properly?

Draining your swim spa is not that difficult. You'll need your regular garden hose or a submersible pump to get the job done. And then you detach those and carry on with the cleaning and refilling of the swim spa.

But you need to know a bit more than that if you want to get a proper job done, especially if you're inexperienced in this field. The whole procedure can seem quite extensive and tiring, but it's necessary. That's why I've put together some info and bite-sized steps for you to follow regarding the drainage of your spa.

Do You Have To Drain A Swim Spa?

You might consider draining your swim spa to be an overwhelming hassle, which it can be. You must drain, clean, and refill your swim spa every few months so that it remains sustainable and not prone to any damages. Because if you fail to do so, the water chemistry will become improperly balanced and lead to corrosion of the exterior and interior.

Besides, who wants to take a dip in dirty water? If you keep your swim spa clean regularly, you'll also add more to its value and your enjoyment. That's why your swim spa should always stay safe, clean, and free of all contaminants.

How To Drain A Swim Spa?

When it comes to drainage, having a suitable range of tools and methods is crucial. You don't want to do anything unnecessary which could potentially harm your swim spa. Make sure you have the power off and carefully handle the attachments of the drain pump. Cleaning the filters is also part of the process.

Let's look at the overall steps listed below.


Before proceeding with the drainage, turn off the power supply from the isolation switch in the designated breaker box near the swimming spa first. The last thing you'd want is a trip to the emergency room on a leisurely evening. Besides that, jets and the pumps of the swimming spa mustn't be running during the draining process when there isn't any water in it.


Locate your drainage point where you would want to drain the water. But if you're using a submersible pump, place it inside the spa for easy drainage.


If you're using a garden hose, attach one end to the drainage point while dragging the other end to level ground, which will drain the water. But for a submersible pump, the pump's outflow can drain the water in a nearby drainage location. If the pump is not long enough, you can easily connect it to a hose.


Open the faucet of the spigot attached to the garden hose and drain the water. Again, if you're using a submersible pump, all you need to do is turn it on. And it will, in turn, let the swim spa drain the water for you.


Once the water has been drained, just detach the hose from the swimming spa. For a submersible pump, though, you need to turn it off and take it out of the spa before you detach the hose.


After draining the swimming spa, get a swim spa shell cleaner and cloth to clean the interior. After the first wipe, wash the cleaner off and go for a 2nd round to remove all the solution from the swimming spa. Now it's spotless!


It's always crucial to clean your spa filters to remove any excess junk that might remain after the cleaning. Give them a good clean and use a cleaning agent made for swim spas. You can use that to spray the filters and then wash them off afterward.


Now that the drainage process is complete, you move onto refilling your swim spa. To do so, just put the hose into the filter box. Then turn the water on until the swim spa is full.


At last, the finishing step is to turn the power back on so that your swim spa can start circulating the water. Add the required chemicals and check the pH balance to have a record of the water chemistry. It's even better if you keep the swim spa covered for a day and then check the balance again. And repeat this properly every few months or after heavy usage.

Sample of Household Submersible Pump

How Often Should You Drain Your Swim Spa?

If you have a larger swim spa, the chances that will require you to drain it are less frequently when compared to a smaller one. But normally, with average use, you should drain your swim spa every 4 to 6 months.

But the answer may also vary, depending on the usage and the number of people using it. There's a way you can use to figure out when to drain your spa—it's mostly basic math.

The basic formula would be to divide the number of gallons of swim spa water by the number of users who normally spend time in the swim spa. Now, if you divide that number by 3, you'll be able to get an estimate on how often you should proceed with the draining.

Frequency of draining your spa (Days) = (Swim Spa Water Volume) / 3 X Users

For example: Let's say that your swim spa holds 750 gallons of water, and five people use the spa daily. So, 750 divided by 5 gives 150. Now divide 150 by 3, which results in 50. It means that you should drain and refill your swim spa water every 50 days.

Doing this will be more accurate given the fact that the ones using the spa are using it every day. If not, you can go longer without draining it. But that doesn't mean that you can leave it if you haven't used the swim spa for weeks. Even then, it will still need proper cleaning.

Signs That You Need To Drain Your Swim Spa?

Let's say that you're still unsure of how to go about your swim spa drainage. Here are some other signs and signals that will let you know when it's time to drain and refill.


Foamy Water

A slight bubbly water texture is fine for a typical swim spa. But if it starts to look foamy and funky, you would probably want to give it another check. 

You can add an antifoam solution to get rid of this situation. If that still doesn't work, it's very much likely that your swim spa needs good draining and refilling. You don't want that filmy, discolored water anywhere near you.


Pungent Odor

If your water starts smelling funny, you don't even need to take a closer look to understand that something's wrong. It's most likely that your swim spa is way overdue for a refill. The smell is a cry for help from the swim spa, which badly needs to be drained and refilled.



Even if your swim spa looks fine, that doesn't mean that you can just go on for months without giving it a proper clean.


So, it's better to keep track of the date when you last drained and refilled your spa so that you can keep track of the maintenance. And once you see that you haven't cleaned it for months, you should go ahead and do it even if it looks and smells normal.


Now that we're at the end of the article, I hope you now understand how to drain a swim spa properly and how often to do itThe steps are not that time-consuming or excruciating and will rather keep your spa free from germs and bacteria so that you can enjoy your time with friends and family. 

Thank you for giving this article a read, and I wish you a splendid day ahead!

Kenneth Wilson
August 24, 2021
Contractor Tips, Exterior, Pool

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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