winterize your hot tub

How to Winterize Your Hot Tub

Posted by Kendra Nickerson on

Designed and built in Canada, the GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub is intended for use in all seasons and any type of weather. However, before the temperatures drop into deep freeze territory, there are a few steps to make sure your winter hot tub is prepared.


frozen block of ice

As a general rule of thumb, don’t allow a hot tub full of water to freeze solid. It’s a hassle to melt that much ice. If you’re not going to use your wood fired hot tub for an extended period during the winter we recommend draining and turning the tub on its side.

If you’re an avid winter bather, we have a few tips to keep your wood fired hot tub from completely freezing up.


hot tub in winter by GOODLAND

Get started on winterizing your hot tub by emptying it and following the steps below:

1 / Remove the hot tub's drain hose

We don’t want to capture water inside the drain hose, as it can crack. Your best option is to remove the hose for the season.

Then do a little prep work ensuring the area under your hot tub has proper drainage without the hose, such as through a deck or onto gravel. (See the FAQs at the end for more on this topic.)

2 / Add more insulation

Our Wood Burning Hot Tub is triple insulated: the aluminum shell is wrapped in reflective insulation to stop radiant heat loss while the cedar slats act as a thermal insulator on the tub’s exterior. 

For added insulation, consider adding a piece of 2.5” rigid insulation to the base of the tub, it’ll help it retain heat longer and speed up the heating time. Be sure to leave the drain area clear.

Go the extra mile by adding rigid insulation to the top of the hot tub to trap the heat in. Float it under your hot tub cover when you’re prepping the water for a soak, and when the tub is not in use. The water will heat up faster the next day.

Tip: Find rigid insulation at your local building centre. Look for an R-value of 10 or greater (“R-value” is a measure of how well the insulation resists heat flow). 

3 / Use a pond de-icer in the tub

Pond or stock tank de-icers are small electrical devices designed to keep large tanks of water from freezing and turning into solid blocks of ice. It’s a simple way to keep the ice at bay, especially if you’re not planning on using your winter hot tub for more than a few days.


ice water plunge

Tip: Include a chilly dip in the lake or sea - or a cold tub - with your hot tub to set up your own Nordic Cycle, a rejuvenating form of water therapy.

Craig walks you through how to winterize your hot tub in this video: 


FAQs on Winter Hot Tub Use

How do I stop water from freezing in my hot tub?

Add extra insulation underneath your GOODLAND hot tub to protect it from the frozen ground and use a pond de-icer.

How do the wood fired hot tub’s materials do in harsh weather conditions?

All of the materials are chosen for their hardiness and will weather beautifully. Western red cedar has extreme weather resistance—it’s favoured for its strength, longevity, and warp resistance. Marine grade aluminum is used in shipbuilding and high quality outdoor products. It won’t corrode, crack, or leak.


off-grid wood fired hot tub in winter

How can the GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub be used off-grid in the winter without electricity or running water?

Watch Jonathan Kuhn’s video on this very topic. He drilled a hole in the lake’s ice and pumped water into his hot tub in an authentic Canadian winter. 

How do I ensure I have proper drainage around my hot tub in the winter to avoid ice build up?

Proper drainage is important year-round, especially if you’re not using the supplied drainage hose. In the winter, we ask that you remove the hose to prevent cracking which means your hot tub will drain directly onto the ground. Elevating your hot tub on a platform, or ensuring a drainage area with gravel in place will help keep ice at bay.


hot tub firebox with wood in winter

How can I speed up heating time in the winter?

Adding rigid insulation to the underside of your hot tub, and burning high-temperature hardwoods can help speed up heating time on cold days. Woods like ash, maple, and oak burn exceptionally hot.

Read The Best Firewood to Burn for detailed, practical tips for creating efficient fires.


wood fired hot tub in winter

How do you fill the hot tub in the winter?

If you don’t already have one, installing a frost-proof pipe to your outdoor water connection is one of the best options. This long-term solution is our favourite because it won’t run a high project bill. Depending on where you live, there may be other solutions for outdoor water access in the winter.

Feel free to contact us with any other questions on winterizing your hot tub.


Photography by Jonathan Kuhn; firebox image by When They Find Us.

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