draining a swim spa

How to drain a swim spa: A step-by-step guide

A swim spa is a stress-free zone. The buoyancy of the water relieves the effects of gravity on your joints. And the hot tub jets help reduce the tension you carry in your body. You can complement your pool swimming with sessions in the swim spa or incorporate water exercise into your regular routine. Or, you can just enjoy the benefits of a pool — floating and hanging out with friends — year-round, no matter the climate.  

However, just like any other type of spa or pool, swim spas require regular maintenance to ensure they are clean and safe for use. Weekly tasks include keeping the chemicals balanced and filters rinsed. Once a month, you will want to clean the filters. 

Another essential task in caring for your swim spa is draining it. Master Spas recommends draining your Michael Phelps swim spa every six months, depending on how often you use it and the quality of your water.

Draining a swim spa gives you a fresh start on water care and helps keep your swim spa in tip-top shape for years to come.

swim spa water care
A frequently asked question is how often to drain your swim spa. Master Spas recommends draining your swim spa every six months.

Answering your questions about draining a swim spa

When you invest in a swim spa, you want to spend time in the water — not maintaining it. Michael Phelps swim spas are designed to be easy to care for. The EcoPur filtration system uses natural minerals, such as copper and zinc, to purify the water. This system also helps to reduce the amount of chemicals you need to keep your water clean and clear.

But even with regular water care, draining the water is an essential aspect of maintaining a swim spa. 

You might have questions, though, about draining your swim spa such as how often it should be done and how to know when it’s time.

Why should you drain your swim spa?

Over time, your swim spa’s water quality can deteriorate due to a buildup of various contaminants, such as body oils, lotions, sweat, and other chemicals. This can lead to problems such as skin irritation, unpleasant odors, cloudy water, and an increased risk of bacterial growth. Draining your swim spa is the best way to remove these contaminants and ensure that the water is clean and fresh for your next use.

How often should you drain your swim spa?

How often you drain your swim spa will depend on several factors, such as how frequently you use it, the number of people who use it, and your water care routine. 

Master Spas recommends that you drain your Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa every six months. However, that’s just a guideline. If you use your swim spa regularly or have a large family, you may need to drain it more frequently. On the flip side, with a consistent water care schedule and being sure to rinse swimsuits before you use the spa, you might have to drain it less frequently.

draining a swim spa
The most efficient way to drain your swim spa is with a sump pump.

How to know when it’s time to drain your swim spa?

There are several signs that indicate it’s time to drain your swim spa. The most obvious sign is when the water becomes cloudy or discolored, indicating that there is a buildup of contaminants in the water. Also, if you are struggling to keep your chemicals balanced properly despite adding more, it could indicate that it’s time to change the water.

How long does it take to drain a Michael Phelps spa?

A Michael Phelps Swim Spa can hold more than 2,000 gallons of water! With a submersible pump that has an output of 1,400 gallons of water per hour, it will take about 90 minutes to empty the spa. 

The time it takes to drain your swim spa will depend on the model you own and the submersible pump.

Keep in mind that you will want to monitor the pump while it’s operating. 

Step-by-step guide to draining your swim spa

Draining a swim spa is a straightforward process that can be done in a few simple steps. It is an essential task that should be done regularly to ensure that the water is clean and safe for use. 

Step 1: Power off and connect the sump pump

Turn off the power to the swim spa at the circuit breaker. You don’t want the pumps or jets to run while there isn’t any water in the spa.

Step 2: Run the hose to a suitable drainage location

When you are draining your swim spa with a submersible pump, you want to be sure that you run the hose to the right spot in your yard. Be sure to run it away from any vegetation or areas where you don’t have good drainage. You know those spots — the ones that turn into a small pond during a heavy rain. 

Step 3: Drain the swim spa 

To remove water from your Michael Phelps swim spa, place a submersible pump in the deepest part of the tub and turn it on. Ensure that the water is draining to the correct location and monitor the pump closely to prevent damage. If you have a pump with a float switch, it will automatically turn off when the water reaches a specified level. 

Once all the water has been pumped out, turn off and unplug the pump, remove it from the swim spa, and disconnect the drainage hose. Allow the pump and hose to dry completely before storing them in a shed or garage for safekeeping.

Step 4: Clean the interior of the spa

Once the water has drained, you can use a shop vac, sponge, or cloth to remove any remaining water from the spa’s bottom. 

When your swim spa is empty, it’s the perfect time to clean the interior. You can use a gentle cleaner, like Windex, to remove any residue or scum lines that you see. Be sure to wipe down all acrylic areas as well as your jets and spa pillows.

Step 5: Refill and balance chemicals

Refill the swim spa with fresh water and turn on the power. 

You can use a garden hose to fill your swim spa or use a water truck service. If you use a garden hose, be sure to use a pre-filter that attaches to the end of your hose.  A pre-filter helps remove any heavy metals from your source water, making it easier to balance the chemicals.

Once the swim spa is filled, be sure to balance the chemicals. Start with alkalinity and pH, and then add chlorine. At start-up, you want to bring up your chlorine levels to 5 ppm to 8 ppm and then give it time to drop to a safe level for use. 

Using a garden hose as a siphon

If you don’t have a sump pump or do not want to monitor the process, you can also use a garden hose to siphon out the water from your swim spa.Using a garden hose to siphon out water from a spa is an easy and efficient way to drain it. 

Keep in mind that this method of draining your spa will take more time than a submersible pump. 

Step 1: Turn on the hose

With your hose connected to the faucet and the discharge end in the swim spa, turn on the flow of water. You want to wait until all air has been removed from the hose and there’s a steady flow of water going into the spa. It’s important that the discharge end of the hose remains submerged in the swim spa. 

Step 2: Stop the flow of water

Once you’ve got water flowing into the tub, turn off the water at the faucet. Bend a kink into the hose a few feet away from the faucet. This keeps the water inside the hose nice and tight.

Step 3: Disconnect the hose

Disconnect the hose from the faucet and hold the kink in the hose. Choose a location in your backyard where you want the water to go and lay down the hose. Un-kink the end of the hose and watch the magic happen! You’ve just created a siphon!

Water always finds its own level, and that’s how this system works. The water pressure in the swim spa essentially pushes the water out of the hose because the open end of the hose is lower than the level of the water in the hot tub. 

Here’s the cool part: Since the hose was already filled with water, it creates suction at the end inside the tub, which pulls the water over the edge and down the line.

buy a swim spa

How to buy a swim spa

Do you want to be able to swim, exercise, and relax at home? Having a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa allows you to swim on your schedule while adding a fun factor to your backyard. You can click here to find out more about the benefits of hydrotherapy and relaxing in a hot tub. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.