How to Fill & Drain a Cal Spa Hot Tub

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Founded in 1978, Cal Spas offers an increasing range of hot tubs for private and public use. The company sells both in-ground and portable hot tubs. Cal Spas recommends draining, cleaning and refilling your hot tub every 2 to 4 months to keep it running smoothly. Cal Spas advises against draining your hot tub for the winter season, as internal parts may freeze and void your warranty.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Acrylic protectant
  • Garden hose
  • Test strips
  • Reagent test kit
  • Chlorine granules
  • Bromine granules
  • Bromine tablets
  • Phillips screwdriver

Filling In-Ground Hot Tubs

  • Clean the hot tub surface with a nonabrasive, all-purpose cleaner and apply a surface protectant to the acrylic.

  • Fill the spa with a garden hose until the water level reaches 6 inches from the top.

  • Turn on the power and prime the hot tub pump according to the owner's manual, as the priming process varies according to the type of pump you have.

  • Test the spa water with a test strip or reagent test kit. Adjust the total alkalinity to 80 to 100 ppm using an alkalinity increaser or decreaser according to the manufacturer's instructions, and adjust the pH to 7.2 to 7.6 using a pH increaser or decreaser.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of granulated chlorine or bromine, or add 2 bromine tablets to the bromine floater. Do not use chlorine and bromine at the same time.

  • Turn on the hot tub jets for 15 minutes with the cover off. After 15 minutes, place the cover on the hot tub and allow it to heat to the desired temperature.

Draining In-Ground Hot Tubs

  • Turn off the power at the breaker and remove the filter from the filter housing.

  • Place one end of a garden hose in the area where you want to drain the water, and attach the female end of the garden hose to the drain fitting.

  • Drain the spa and remove the garden hose.

Filling Portable Hot Tubs

  • Clean the hot tub surface with a nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner and apply a surface protectant to the acrylic.

  • Remove the filter cartridge from the housing and soak it in clean water for 30 minutes.

  • Place the end of a garden hose in the filter area and fill the hot tub until the water reaches 6 inches from the top.

  • Turn on the power and prime the hot tub pump according to the owner's manual, as the priming process varies according to the type of pump you have.

  • Replace the canister filter and cover the hot tub. Allow the hot tub to heat to the desired temperature.

  • Test the spa water with a test strip or reagent test kit. Adjust the total alkalinity to 80 to 100 ppm using an alkalinity increaser or decreaser according to the manufacturer's instructions, and adjust the pH to 7.2 to 7.6 using a pH increaser or decreaser.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of granulated chlorine or bromine, or add 2 bromine tablets to the bromine floater. Do not use chlorine and bromine at the same time.

Draining Portable Hot Tubs

  • Turn off the power at the breaker, remove the filters and close the gate valves. If your spa has a cabinet-mounted drain plug, unscrew the cap. If the drain is located inside the spa, open the access panel with a Phillips screwdriver and unscrew the cap from the drain.

  • Attach the female end of a garden hose to the drain and place the other end in the area where you want to drain the water. For a cabinet-mounted drain, pull the hose outward about 2 inches to start the flow of water. For an inside-mounted drain, turn the valve on the fixture.

  • Remove the hose when the hot tub is finished draining and replace the cap.

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