Should I Leave My Hot Tub Running All the Time?

If you’ve recently installed a hot tub in your yard, you may be curious how to care for your hot tub to improve its performance and quality. One question that may come to mind is “Should I leave my hot tub running all the time?” While this question may seem simple, it’s important to understand when hot tubs should run, as well as when they should be turned off.

The quick answer to this question is yes, hot tubs can run all the time. In fact, they were designed to do so. Because heating up such a large volume of water takes time, it is more economical to leave a hot tub on rather than turn it off each day.

In short, maintaining a hot tub’s temperature 24/7 is a necessary part of hot tub operation. If you’re interested in learning more about why hot tubs should be left turned on, continue reading to learn the benefits of keeping a hot tub on, and when hot tubs should be turned off.

Do You Leave Your Hot Tub On All the Time?

If you own a hot tub, you may be hesitant to leave a hot tub running all the time. Leaving a hot tub running 24/7 may appear to waste electricity and raise your electric bill. Additionally, if you’re like many hot tub owners, you may only use your hot tub occasionally. This may lead you to wonder whether or not it’s necessary to leave a hot tub on every day.

In short, hot tubs are designed to be kept on all the time. Even if you only use your hot tub occasionally, leaving a hot tub running is more economical, as it doesn’t have to heat such a large volume of water every time it’s turned on.

The good news is that hot tubs were specifically designed to constantly run. Thus, hot tubs are equipped with many features that maintain the water temperature, as well as reduce running costs. Many high-quality hot tubs include insulated side panels and covers to retain as much heat as possible.

Below, let’s take a closer look at why hot tubs are left running all the time.

Why Are Hot Tubs Left On?

As we previously mentioned, hot tubs are left running for one purpose: to reduce the energy used when heating the water. If you were to turn on a hot tub each day, it would take hours for the water to heat up. Additionally, heating a cold hot tub requires a significant amount of energy, which in turn will dramatically raise your running costs.

Leaving a hot tub running, on the other hand, requires minimal energy. While the outside temperature does have an impact on your hot tub’s performance, in general, hot tubs left running every day use less electricity. As a result, your hot tub’s running costs will lower.

Turning off a hot tub for extended periods can damage your hot tub in ways you may not be aware of. For instance, a hot tub not running may be prone to leaking, causing damage to the hot tub’s pipework. This is particularly a concern if a hot tub is turned off during the winter, as the water will freeze inside the pipes.

Another issue with turning a hot tub off is that water will become stagnant. As a result, it may be more difficult to maintain clean water in your hot tub. Thus, it’s a good idea to leave a hot tub running every day, year-round.

When Should I Turn a Hot Tub Off?

As we’ve discussed above, hot tubs are designed to be left running all the time. In fact, turning a hot tub off may cause damage to your hot tub’s pipework and water quality. That being said, there may be times you desire to turn off your hot tub, such as when you don’t plan on using it for weeks at a time. In this case, it’s important to understand when a hot tub should be turned off, and how to do it.

The most ideal time to turn a hot tub completely off is when you plan on draining, cleaning, and refilling it. Draining and cleaning a hot tub is recommended every 3 months, as it keeps your hot tub running properly. Additionally, it ensures the water is always crystal clear when you soak in a hot tub.

Another time to turn a hot tub off is when you plan on not using it. Perhaps you’ll be away for over a week, or maybe you simply don’t plan on using it for several days. Either way, turning your hot tub off makes more economic sense than leaving it running 24/7.

Additionally, if you don’t plan on using your hot tub during the winter, you may want to turn it off. After turning it off, make sure to drain all the water. Any remaining water can quickly become frozen in cold temperatures, causing damage to your hot tub’s piping. Once a hot tub has been drained, be sure to place a cover on it to protect it from the elements.

How to Turn a Hot Tub Off

Learning how to turn a hot tub off is an important part of hot tub maintenance. While it may seem as easy as flipping off a switch, shutting off a hot tub requires a few steps. If you plan on winterizing your hot tub, you may need to drain the entire hot tub as well.

When not in use, a hot tub’s therapy pumps and jets can be turned off using the control panel. The circulation pump, however, should be kept on, as it will maintain water clarity in your hot tub.

If you want to completely turn off your hot tub, you’ll need to identify what type of hot tub it is. If it is a hard-wired hot tub, you’ll need to switch the breaker off. For a plug-and-play hot tub, all you’ll need to do is unplug it. From here, you may continue the draining process to clean or winterize your hot tub.

How to Shut Off a Hard-Wired Hot Tub

If you own a hard-wired hot tub, you’ll first need to find your hot tub’s disconnect box. This small, grey metal box is located at least 5 feet from the hot tub. Some disconnect boxes may be as far as 50 feet. You’ll likely find it mounted to the side of your house near the hot tub.

To shut off the hot tub, first, open the hatch on the disconnect box. Once opened, you will see a large circuit breaker. To shut the hot tub off, simply flip the switch to the “off” position. If your disconnect box has two switches, be sure to turn both switches off. Turning both switches off ensures there is no current flowing to the hot tub.

How to Shut Off a Plug-and-Play Hot Tub

As mentioned above, turning off a plug-and-play hot tub is as simple as unplugging it. Always unplug your hot tub when doing electrical or mechanical maintenance. Additionally, never leave a hot tub running when there is no water in it. Running an empty hot tub not only wastes energy but can seriously damage your hot tub.

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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