How To Turn On A Hot Tub (Step By Step Guide)

We describe the steps you need to take to turn on a hot tub and provide you with tips to ensure that your hot tub runs smoothly.

If you've been thinking about buying a new hot tub but haven't had the time or energy to get it up and running, this article is for you. We will walk you through the steps you need to take to turn on a hot tub if you just bought one or haven't used it for a long time. The good news is that it's not as complicated as you might think, and you don't even have to be an expert to get it done. All you need to do is follow the steps that we'll lay out for you, and you'll be able to turn on your hot tub in no time.

Get Your Hot Tub Up and Running

You just got a new hot tub or maybe had one sitting for a long time, and you're wondering whether to fill it up with water right off the bat or do some checking first to ensure you won't run into problems using it.

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Here's what you need to do when using your hot tub for the first time:

  1. Clean the empty hot tub. Be sure to clean the shell, headrest, and waterline before putting any water into your hot tub. Your sanitizers work best if you have a clean hot tub to begin with. It also prevents foaming later on.
  2. Rinse and drain. Whether it's a new hot tub or one that hasn't been used for a long time, it's very likely to have a small amount of antifreeze to protect the plumbing lines from damage. Do a rinse and drain by filling it up to the footwell, running the pumps for a few minutes, and draining the water out.
  3. Install or clean the filter. Filters are usually clean enough in a well-maintained hot tub. For new hot tubs, you just need to install them. Check the filters and clean them with a hose if it needs some light cleaning. Soak it in a cleaning solution overnight and rinse it with water for deep cleaning.
  4. Fill your hot tub. Now that you have a squeaky clean hot tub, it's time to fill it up with water. Some water contains impurities like calcium and metals like copper and iron that can cause problems to your hot tub plumbing. Attaching a hose filter will help solve this problem. If you want to be doubly sure, you can place the hose into the hot tub's filter well. Turn off the water when it gets to about an inch below the headrest.
  5. Check water chemistry and add the start-up chemicals. Hot tubs need to have balanced water chemistry to work to their fullest. This includes using sanitizers, alkalinity increasers, pH increaser/decreasers, and so on. Check with your hot tub dealer about the specific chemicals and the correct dose.
  6. Turn on the pumps. Get the pumps running to circulate the chemicals and keep them running for about six hours after setting your hot tub's temperature to distribute heat faster.
  7. Set the water temperature. In most hot tubs, 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees celsius) is the upper limit. You want to keep the temperature about 2 degrees lower when not in use. You're not only saving electricity, but you're also keeping your heating element from damage. Heating your hot tub can take between three to eight hours. Heating might be a little faster if your hot tub has a higher rating. If it has a low rating, you might have to wait longer.

Your hot tub is now ready for use. Remember to do hot tub maintenance regularly, like cleaning the water filter, checking your water chemistry, sanitizing, and shocking to continue enjoying your hot for weeks and months before replacing the water and starting over.

get your hot tub up and running


Turning on your hot tub isn't as difficult as it seems. It may take some time getting used to, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Fortunately, you only have to do it three to four times a year or when using it for the first time after winterizing it for the cold months.