Freeze damage refers to when water expands or freezes inside spa equipment and spa pipes. It could be a heater, filter, or pump. Freezing can result in up to 10% water expansion. The unused space in half-filled spas allows for ice expansion. But filling a hot tub to the brim leaves some space for freezing, and that could introduce the risk of thick materials bursting due to the ice pressure.
However, there are a few tricks hot tub dealers can capitalize on to prevent their hot tub or spa from freezing. With these tricks, homeowners can avoid expensive repair costs and ensure the efficiency of their hot tubs.
Here are a few measures to prevent freeze damage in hot tubs or spas.
Run the Pump
Freezing is unlikely to occur as long as the water is flowing through all pipes. Try to open up all jets if the hot tub allows you to isolate the jets. Keeping spa water heated can help prevent freeze damages. But make sure that the hot water keeps flowing through all pipes when the temperature levels are low.
The heat from the hot tub pump can also heat the pipes to help prevent freeze damages. It makes sense to cover the spa with a cover during winter to avoid the formation of ice on the surface of the hot tub. People living in cold areas should consider running their spa pump throughout the day during winter. Alternatively, run the pump at least 10 minutes every hour.
Utilize Freeze Protection
Modern hot tubs come with a freeze protection mode that turns on the heat pump when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. Your spa probably does not have freeze protection if you cannot see this option in the control buttons.
Freeze protection units are loaded with a sensor that communicates with a temperature controller, which connects the hot tub to the power circuit. Modern hot tubs come standard with freeze protection for all spas with air-activated packs. Feel free to call a spa technician near you for assistance on any issue with your hot tub.
Winterize the Hot Tub
Experts discourage winterizing a hot tub unless it cannot be maintained or no one will use for at least three months. Winterizing a hot tub can take a few hours, but homeowners can use air to drain all water from the spa, hoses, and other equipment.
Your hot tub or spa needs to be thawed out if it has frozen. Using electric heaters could be dangerous for a hot tub with cracked pipes. However, thawing out a hot tub with a camping tent that is spacious enough to cover the entire hot tub can take a few hours than usual. If you notice any signs of freeze damage, drain the spa and repair it before filling it up with hot water.
Adding hot water to a hot tub can also help prevent freeze damages. Use an adapter to attach a garden hose to the sink faucets and then pump hot water to the hot tub. It is an old trick of raising the temperature in a spa for a quick thaw.