Things That Will Ruin a Hot Tub

Shailynn Krow

A hot tub is a place to relax after a long day or to soak a sore body. If you have a hot tub in the back yard, you must carefully maintain it to keep it clean and safe for use. Though frequent maintenance is key to a healthy hot tub, unexpected problems can ruin a hot tub permanently or be costly to repair.

A hot tub requires weekly maintenance.

Cold Weather

Cold weather is an enemy of hot tubs. When a hot tub is not in use during the winter, the water can freeze, which can damage both the interior of the hot tub and the pump. If you do not intend to use your hot tub during the winter, drain, clean and dry it out for storage. If you do plan to use the hot tub during the winter, set the temperature controls so the water stays above freezing. Make sure the cover is tight and that the water level does not drop below half, which can make freezing easier.

Mildew and Algae

Algae and mildew can clog the filter or pump and turn the water to an unsightly green. Monitor your hot tub’s chlorine levels at all times and change the filter regularly. Rather than leave your hot tub filled with standing water, drain and clean it when you know you will not use it for a few months.


During routine maintenance or shocking of the hot tub, you may notice an orange tint to the water. When this occurs, copper has already built up in the hot tub water. This occurs when copper is in the fill water or is leaching out of a bad heat exchanger in the tub. Copper will damage a gas heating unit, and the damage can be permanent if the copper goes unchecked. If you see copper buildup, drain the entire hot tub, clean it and refill it with clean water. Test your fill water before putting it in the hot tub to make sure the copper contamination did not come from a water line in the home and inspect the heat exchanger to make sure it is not faulty.

Rotting Wood Cover

A decorative wood cover and side often encase a hot tub. This covering hides mechanical parts and the drains located beneath the hot tub and gives an attractive appearance to the tub. Though the wood is treated, after frequent exposure to moisture or high amounts of water, it can begin to rot. This not only exposes people to mildew and mold, but the structure itself can break down and become a safety issue. Maintain the quality of a wood cover by restaining and retreating the wood during your quarterly and annual maintenance activities.