How to Prepare a Hot Tub for a Winter Storm

prepare-hot-tub-for-winter-stormWhen a big winter storm is on its way bringing snow, ice and the potential for loss of power, it’s important to prepare a hot tub for a winter storm with a few simple steps:

Pre-Storm Planning

  • Turn up the Temperature: Most hot tubs go up to 104 degrees. Turn your hot tub to the hottest setting and make sure the “summer” or “economy” mode is off. The higher the temperature, the more time you buy yourself before you have to worry about the hot tub freezing, in case there is a loss of power.

Steps if you lose Power

Do not drain your hot tub!

If you don’t have a generator:

  • Leave the hot tub cover closed. With your spa set to 104 degrees, in the typical Pennsylvania and New Jersey winter storm, you can have up to 3-5 days without power before you need to worry about the hot tub freezing.

If you have a generator: 

  • Plug an extension cord from the generator into a submersible pump, and place the pump in the hot tub. The heat from the pump will add to the water plus keep the water circulating, preventing it from freezing.
  • Another option is to use the generator to run a space heater or 100 watt light bulb. Place the heater or bulb into the equipment area (Inside of the cabinet) of your spa and run for a few hours at a time.

Once power is restored, if you notice an issue with your spa, contact us right away to schedule a service or repair.


How to protect your Hot Tub from freezing

protect a hot tub from freezing

If you lose heat to your hot tub in the cold winter months, don’t panic! For a Fully-Foamed hot tub to start to freeze the temperature needs to be below 28 degrees F for at least 36 Hours straight. Even if it does get that cold if your hot tub & pumps are still operating, the water is circulating and will not freeze.

Freeze damage to a hot tub is a costly repair, so to protect your non-heating hot tub from freezing in the winter months, follow these easy instructions put together by George Thomas our service manage, who is one of the brightest in the hot tub industry:

Protect a Hot Tub from Freezing

  1. DO NOT DRAIN THE SPA! If it has been drained refill it.
  2. Periodically run the jet pumps to circulate the water. This will add heat generated by pump motors to your water. (If your jets do not operate go to step #3)
  3. Place submersible pump in center of foot well of your spa (See image below). Plug in the pump and allow to run in the spa without a hose. This will circulate water in spa and transfer heat generated by pump motor to water. NOTE: Pump should be plastic and NOT SMALLER than 1/4 Horse Power!protect a hot tub from freezing
  4. Place a small ceramic heater or a 100 watt incandescent light bulb in the equipment area of your hot tub, making sure that the heater or bulb DOES NOT TOUCH any components or plumbing. Re-install front panel to keep heat inside. NOTE: On SUNDANCE SPAS this is to be installed behind Front Right Side Equipment door Not Center Panel.
  6. If these instructions are followed the spa will be in NO DANGER of FREEZING!

If you’re in the Philadelphia area, contact our service department to schedule a service appointment for your non-heating hot tub!

Request Hot Tub Service


©George Thomas and Spring Dance Hot tubs. May not reproduce without permission

Should I close my hot tub for the winter?

We’re often asked Should I close my Hot Tub for the winter?

We think the wintertime with its cold temperatures is a GREAT time to be hot-tubbing. But we understand that if you’re going away or really not going to use it, you might want to save energy throughout the cold months.

close my hot tub for the winter

We were recently asked a great question about hot-tubbing in the wintertime:

My hot tub won’t go below 80 degrees F, but I would like to save energy over the winter and run it cooler without shutting it off. Can it be reprogrammed? 

The difference in cost in running your hot tub at 80 degrees vs. 100 degrees throughout the winter is pennies, if that. As long as you have the cover on your hot tub, the heat has no where to go and it maintains a nice warm, toasty temperature. The energy will not burn off from the hot tub.

We don’t suggest keeping your hot tub at a low temperature during the cold months for a few reasons:

  1. If the power goes out to your hot tub or home, your hot tub only has 50 degrees to get to freezing if it’s set at 80. At 100, it would take a lot longer to freeze
  2. What if you decide you want to use your spa in the winter? It will take more energy & use of your heater to get the tub from 80 to 100 in a few hours than if you just kept it at 100 and ready to use at a moments notice!

So what do you do if you want to save energy in the winter.?

You could have your hot tub winterized. (Check out our post: To Winterize or NOT to Winterize) During the winterization process we drain the hot tub completely and suck all the water from the plumbing in your spa. But, in our opinion, the cost of the hot tub winterization negates the energy savings over the cold months because our hot tubs are so energy efficient.

We only really recommend winterization if you’re going to be away during the winter or are leaving your hot tub empty for more than just one season!

But then again, we’re really biased because we just LOVE Hot-tubbing in the wintertime!

Contact the Spring Dance Hot Tubs’ Service Department for more information

Health Benefits of a Sauna

This month we’re talking about Hot-Tubbing in the cold, and yes we realize that saunas aren’t exactly hot tubs, but we think they are the PERFECT cold-weather ‘accessory!’

Not only do saunas have incredible health benefits, but there is evidence that sitting in a sauna can ward off cold symptoms! Here are a few other of our favorite Sauna health benefits:

A 30 minute infrared sauna session can burn 200-600 calories! As the body works to cool itself while using an infrared sauna, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate. Your body’s natural response to infrared heat therapy is to increase circulation and sweat.

Improve your skin’s appearance with regular use of a sauna. Open wounds heal quicker with reduced scarring. Infrared heat therapy helps acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns and skin lesions or cuts. It also reduces wrinkles, makes skin look radiant, firms and improves skin tone and elasticity. Regular use may also help reduce cellulite trapped beneath the skin, lessen the appearance of scars, and help burns heal significantly.

Relieve back, neck and arthritis pain with infrared sauna heat therapy. Researchers studying HRP (Heat Responsive Pain) have observed remarkable therapeutic benefits by using continuous low level heat therapy for treating lower back and upper body pain, all conditions that fall under the HRP classification.

Find out more about the Saunas at Spring Dance Hot Tubs and Request a Quote Today!

Spa of the Month: The Limelight Pulse

Since we’re talking about Hot-tubbing in the cold this month, it’s a perfect time to feature our favorite hot tub to use once the weather turns frigid: Our Spa of the Month- The Limelight Pulse!

Okay you caught us, we think every hot tub is great to use in the cold, but here are some great features about The Pulse anyway:

Raio Lighting & the Limelight Waterfall
  • The Pulse seats 6 adults (that’s a lot of room!)
  • It comes standard with the Limelight line’s exclusive & beautiful Raio LED-Lighting System!

And there is so much more!! Discover more about The Spa of the Month: The Limelight Pulse and Request a Quote today!

Hot Tubs and the Common Cold

Bless you!

With cold & flu season just around the corner, people are always looking for extra ways to stay healthy during the cold months.

Did you know your hot tub has health benefits beyond just a fun place for the family to congregate and a relaxing place to enjoy a glass of wine?

Here are a few tips to use your hot tub to ward off a winter cold:

1. Bump up the Heat:

Raising your body temperature by soaking in hot water can help your body fight multiplying cold germs.  Generally you want to keep the tempearture below 104 degrees or the manufacturer’s recommended temperature. Slowly ease yourself into the hot water- it might sting at first- but the hotter the temperature the more you’ll sweat, ridding your body of the cold & flu toxins (And all that Sweat? Good thing our hot tubs have great filtration!

2. But Make sure the hot tub is sanitized:

You don’t want to make yourself feel worse by getting into dirty hot tub water, so make sure to check (or have a healthy friend or family member check) the water’s balance. Never get into a hot tub if it looks or smells dirty!

3. Soak Often:

It’s okay to soak as often as you’d like while you’re feeling under the weather. Medical professionals suggest staying in a hot tub for no more than 20 minutes at a time. So go from the couch to the tub and back to the couch, as many times as you feel up to it!

4. Stay hydrated:

Even when you’re not feeling sick, a hot tub can quickly dehydrate your system, especially with the temperature as high as 104. So make sure you stay hydrated with plenty of water while you’re hot-tubbing!

Here’s to a healthy hot-tubbing winter season!

Hot-Tubbing in the Cold: Save Money when heating your hot tub

Here’s a HOT TIP for winter hot tub care about your Hot Spring brand hot tub* that can save you money on your electric bill this winter!

When you’re heating your hot tub for the first time or on a refill, turn off the breaker that runs your heater. You have a 24/7 circulation pump in your hot tub that will get cold tap water heated to a nice luke-warm 75 degrees using much less energy than if your heater was running!

Once the water hits around 75 degrees F, turn the breaker to your heater back on & let your hot tub heat up the rest of the way! Now you have nice, warm hot tub water, but you used much less energy!

Another tip straight from our service manager is to run the jets on your Hot Spring Spa with your cover closed as you are heating the spa. The heat from the pumps will warm the water using less energy!

Don’t know which breaker controls your heater? Follow this handy chart to figure it out:

30 amp Breaker 20 amp Breaker

Do you have a Caldera Hot Tub? All Caldera Models except on the Vancanza Series* (Marino, Palatino, Vanto, Aventine, Cima, Lina) control the heater with the 20 amp breaker.

*Unfortunately, this trick can’t be used with a Hot Spot or Vancaza Series hot tubs. These models only have 1 breaker which will shut off the hot tub completely!

This post is part of our November 2011 feature: Hot Tubbing in the Cold! Join us all month for tips & fun facts about winter hot tub care!

Hot-tubbing in the snow!

Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures of your or your family hot-tubbing during one of the many blizzards we’ve had this season! The funny thing is when we first asked for pictures to be submitted, it was during the FIRST of those two snow storms we got back to back. Most of these pictures are from THAT snowstorm! We got another foot plus after these pictures were submitted!!!!

So beautiful and peaceful!

I bet he had a blast!
How did you GET to your hot tub is my question!?

No fair! You have an umbrella to protect you from the snow!

How fun for the kids!

It’s been a few weeks I already forget how much snow we got! Look at that!

How fun! Invite me next time!
Thanks everyone! I’ve always said winter time in the snow is my FAVORITE time to be in a hot tub!

Hot Tubbing in a Winter Wonderland

With the East Coast about to be pounded with snow, we got to thinking about HOW MUCH FUN it is to be in a hot tub when it’s snowy out!



Read some tips on Hot-tubbing in the snow!

  • Don’t shovel the snow off your cover! Most likely you’ll damage the cover. Try to brush off the snow gently (before it turns to ice!)
  • Don’t Panic if your hot tub stops heating. Read what to do here
  • Send us a picture of you or your family in the hot tub! The first three people to send in a picture will get a $50 store credit! Email your picture here!
  • If we get a ton of wind like they’re predicting, it’s not a good idea to be IN your tub if you have a cover lifter. The lifter can snap if it’s especially windy out!
  • HAVE FUN and be safe!!!

What to do if your hot tub stops heating


No.. just kidding. You don’t need to panic. In the rare case that your Hot Spring, Caldera or Sundance spa DOES stop heating, know you’re in good hands. First of all those 3 brands have the BEST warranties in the industry, and even if your hot tub is out of warranty, our service department has highly trained service technicians who can take care of your spa quickly and efficiently!

In the cold season, you do need to remember a few things if your hot tub stops heating:

  1. Don’t panic!
  2. Contact our service department if you’re a Spring Dance Hot Tub’s customer OR contact the service center where you purchased your spa if you’re outside of our area.
  3. Do not under any circumstance drain your hot tub! Especially when the temperature drops below freezing, you could be doing MORE damage to your spa if it’s empty and the plumbing lines are still filled with water. And freeze damage is not covered under ANY warranty!

After the jump, read some suggestions for hot tub heater fixes!

Why is my heater not working!?

Without a service technician checking out the heater element of your hot tub, it’s hard to know for sure, but if you’re experiencing intermittent heating issues or your spa is taking a long time to heat, it may just be a simple fix:

If your heater is cycling on and off continuously: You could have a dirty filter! Try cleaning your filter cartridge(s) or try our simple filter test. In rare cases, you could have a low water level. If your spa’s water level looks unusually low, trying filling the spa a bit to see if the heater kicks on continuously.

If your hot tub is taking a long time to heat: You could have a bad thermostat or hi-limit switch in your spa, but it won’t hurt to try the simple filter test here as well. This could also be the result of a dirty filter.