Drain & Refill Hot Tub / Spa / Jacuzzi

Hey everybody!

For those of you who maintain a spa or hot tub or jacuzzi at their listing, how often do you drain and refill it? Are there any hosts out there who drain and refill between every guest? We recently had a potential guest ask if we drained the hot tub between guests, and it got me thinking.

Our Softub Resort 300 holds 300 gallons and we currently drain and refill it every few months, or when necessary. I check the levels of 8 chemicals with a strip after each stay, during the turnover process and adjust the chemistry as needed. I do have 2 sets of filters that I swap out/clean about every month or so – remove dirty set; install clean set; soak, rinse, dry old set for next time. We’ve had no complaints or issues. But does anyone know of a reason to drain and refill between every guest as a rule? We do back-to-backs and have only a 2-night minimum and when busy have 10 stays a month. The water bill alone would be crazy!

In our area 300 gallons of water cost $1.52; Sewer cost would be $3.47. Total: $ 4.99.
I suppose it’s much higher out west, but I would guess it’s not a big number. $10?? Worth checking.

We were considering a hot tub awhile ago and researched this issue. Some people said that there was no need to drain it between uses (majority view of those we spoke to) but some did drain with every turnover.

You might want to check whether there is any local regulation/guidance in your area. [Probably not, just like STR pools arguably should be inspected as public pools but usually aren’t.] But if there is local regulation, it’s worth asking them as not draining doubles down on the spa really being public not private. But even if you drained each time, I would bet that if there were regulations that it would still be considered public and still require inspection because of the need to balance the water.

I wonder if your manufacturer or local spa maintenance firm (?) has any guidance.

If you’re shocking it, then there is no need to drain it, unless someone had a cut and bleed all over it. Folks don’t drain pools after each guest stay so why drain a hot tub.


To me, it wouldn’t just be a matter of the cost of the water to drain it between each booking- it’s an unconscionable waste of water, a precious resource, when half the world is suffering from drought conditions.

Speaking of wasting water, how’s this for the ultimate in a sense of entitlement:


The argument that some make is that chlorine doesn’t kill everything (e.g., parasites).

Then why aren’t pools drained? And FYI high heat kills parasites.

I don’t recall the precise rationale those had for draining the spa with each turnover. I remember that no one I talked with could give me any authority.

But the thinking might be along the lines that because a spa is so much smaller than a pool that its chemistry can get out of whack faster, and that the easiest thing to do in some circumstances is just to drain it because it is only 300 gallons of water, whereas our pool for example, is 32,000 gallons.

Again, the majority view I spoke with was that there was no need to drain the spa with each turnover.

As I recall the greater challenge was keeping the spa clean during a stay without monitoring the chemicals every day. I recall a lot of discussion on that, and the risks of infection within the stay.

Still, like short-term rentals, the most likely accident in hot tubs is a slip or fall.

“Only” 300 gallons of water is what the average American uses in about 5 days for everything- bathing, dish washing, clothes washing, cooking, etc. (And Americans use more resources per capita than anyone else in the world) It’s hardly an insignificant amount. Try living somewhere where water doesn’t gush out of the taps 24/7- you’ll learn to appreciate it and consider any water wastage to be a borderline criminal act. You’d never say “only 300 gallons” again.

I think that the concept of draining a hot tub between bookings is more a matter of the “ick” perception- “Ooh, some strangers sat in here, gross.”
There’s no valid reason to drain it as long as it’s properly maintained- that’s what all those chemicals are for.

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Think about public hot tubs that can be used at public indoor swimming pools with constantly changing people getting in and out. Willing to bet they don’t drain it every day. Chemicals are probably over the top so I don’t use them, if there’s a sauna, that’s for me.


This might have been part of the thinking that someone raised with me. That a short-term rental pool and hot tub are really public facilities that should be tested but typically aren’t, that draining the hot tub on turnovers makes them ‘private’.

Though I don’t know if that argument holds any water. :rofl:

It’s ‘only’ 300 in context; the comparison was with 32,000 gallons.

As an aside Americans use on average about 100 gallons of water per day, so 300 gallons is what would be used in three days. So it’s even worse.

But worse than that is that CA grows three billion pounds of almonds a year. Each almond takes between one and three gallons of water, and there are about 400 almonds in a pound. So it takes 3,000,000,000 x 400 x 1 (or more gallons of water) = a trillion and 200 billion gallons of water. 70% are exported!

This is just almonds, where the math is simple. We have thirstier crops – and of course there’s beef – that consume lots of water.

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…Times ten stays per month = $100
Whose money you burnin’?
I’d be burnin’ mine…
Math. (Maths.)

I only eat the salted almonds.

And I don’t grow them.

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Exactly. Ask the Biltmore, the Westin, the Radisson, the fukin Ritz… Hey when did you last drain ALL THE JACUZZIS?

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I’m not burnin’ anyone’s money.

That guy was suspended for doing that! :slight_smile:

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I’m trying to do my part to NOT be those guys. They also profit rather well off that “wastage.” In my case we lose if we’d drain after every guest. There’s no premium I could charge to say to potential guests that “We drain and refill the hot tub every guest, for YOU!”

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Right, and no one here is suggesting that you do.

It’s just astounding that it would even occur to anyone to do such a thing. And unless the phone was waterproof, which some are, of course it wasn’t ever going to work again after being in the water.

Just one more of many reasons NOT to have a hot tub for a STR. IMO



You’re right! I guess I had simply made an inference when you wrote: