How to Keep a Hot Tub Hot: Most Effective Tips

  • Written By: Rachel
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Do you need to know how we keep our hot tub water hot and ready for a good dip all year round? Well, I have some tips for you. 

There are several methods of heating your hot tub water and retaining the heat, including keeping the cover down, running the jets, leaving the power on, adding insulation, adding other heaters, and just keeping your hot tub serviced and maintained appropriately.  

There’s a difference between keeping your hot tub hot and making your hot tub heat up faster. Since both are essentially reaching the same goal – which is having your hot tub at that perfect place when you are ready to enjoy it – I plan on covering both. 

How Do I Quickly Heat My Hot Tub?

This is something that comes up, not always because your hot tub isn’t keeping the right temperature. It could be as simple as, you just got the hot tub and can’t wait to use it. Or, you’re doing the maintenance, had to refill the hot tub, and now you’re just dying to get in and enjoy. Is there a way to speed up the heat up? 

The easiest thing to do is almost a ‘duh’ thing – keep the top down! The cover is insulated and will help keep any heated air on the surface of your water, thus helping it heat up quicker. Also, it keeps the water from evaporating out of the top, because my next suggestion is to turn the jets on. 

You may think turning the jets on is counter-intuitive, but if the top is down and sealed, the moisture and heat remain inside the hot tub. And the jets help bounce those heated water molecules around more so they’re touching and warming up the cold molecules. Science! 

If you have anything available to put around the hot tub as it’s heating up, this will further insulate it. Some people have pergolas or some other covering around their hot tubs so they can drape covers all around them. Other people purchase insulating blankets to spread over the hot tub, to just further insulate the thing. Some use pop-up tents. No matter which you use – or if you use all of these things – the water will get hotter faster. 

There are things called immersion heaters that you can purchase. You plug it in and put the heater portion in the water. When this is running and the hot tub’s heater is also running, the water will heat up a lot quicker. And guess what? You can use more than one at a time. Just, don’t overload your outlet, okay? 

If you have access to heated water to run to your hot tub, obviously that would be great. But that’s not something many of us can do. One thing we do is wait until we know the day is going to be hot or warm before we plan out refills. It’s not much, but it helps out. 

How Can I Keep the Water in My Hot Tub Hot? 

Because all hot tubs operate differently and there are different styles of hot tubs, just know that what may work for one, may not work for another. So don’t get frustrated. All we can do is our best – that goes for life as well as troubleshooting and keeping a hot tub – hot. 

Your hot tub can be affected by so many things – and they aren’t just the components and age of your equipment. The ambient temperature and things I mentioned above – like if your hot tub is covered or insulated in some way can affect whether it keeps its heat well. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what might be keeping your hot tub from staying hot on a regular basis. 

Keeping your hot tub covered at all times when not in use will help keep the water hot. Putting an insulated blanket over that cover (or just making sure your cover has extra insulation) will help out a lot. This is a low-cost helper that will also help you spend less money on running those heating elements. 

Always leave your hot tub on; they are made to leave on. I promise this is a good thing. It costs a lot more to reheat that water than to maintain the temperature. And who wants to go to use their hot tub only to have lukewarm water inside? No thank you. Leave the hot tub on to keep the temperature steady. 

Try to build your patio furnishings and landscaping around your hot tub. The more a hot tub is protected from the elements, the easier it is to keep heated well. It’s like applying extra insulation. You can plant things around the hot tub that not only insulate it but add to the aesthetic of your outdoor living space. Place the landscaping just right, and it also can provide your hot tub with a bit of privacy as well. 

Most importantly, always keep your hot tub’s service up to date. Keep the filters clean, maintain the jets and keep the heaters serviced and running properly. If any of these parts of your hot tub’s internal systems begin to get worn out or need replacing, you will see the energy efficiency begin to decrease and the water will no longer be heated or maintain heat. 

How Do I Troubleshoot Cold Water or Water That’s Not Heating in My Hot Tub?

The first thing I always do is look for simple stuff. Did the hot tub get unplugged? Did the plug get water in it and trip the breaker? Was the breaker tripped at all? Is the outlet getting power? Armed with my eyes, a voltmeter, and a pulse – I’m ready to figure this part out. 

All that checked out? Then it’s time to move on to the hot tub itself. After giving the piece of machinery my most intimidating stare, I’ll go to work. Is the water level appropriate? I begin looking for any clogs in the system. I check the filter. That done, I’m gonna try the reset button.

If I still don’t have anything, I’m checking to see if the jets are working. Why? Because if the jets aren’t pushing water, that means I might have air trapped in the pump. This is something that can happen when you’ve just cleaned your hot tub and refilled it. If the pumps aren’t pushing water to the jets – STOP EVERYTHING! A pump could burn out if it’s running without water!  

If your hot tub has a PRIME MODE on your control panel, use that. Turn the jets on for 10 seconds, then switch them to high for 20 seconds, and repeat until they are working appropriately. If this doesn’t work, I say it’s time to call a technician. I do not want to replace my pump. 

There are instructions on going farther into this yourself, but it involved electricity and it also might void your warranty if you do – so be aware. I’m not going to go into detail here, but I will tell you that I trust people like Swim University for my information when I need it.   

Another issue might be the heating element. I’m not sure of how to check it on my new hot tub, so, at this point, I believe I would defer to an expert and let them come out and take a look. Even if I found the heating element and knew it was the culprit, the warranty on my hit tub tells me at this point to call an appropriately licensed technician anyway, so that would be it for me. 

I suppose, what I’m trying to get at is that sometimes having cold water in your hot tub is really a technical issue that you need to figure out. That way you’re not wasting your time and energy heating it up every time you want to use it.  

In My Experience 

I believe that once the hubs and I got our hot tub, we really started noticing the difference in the energy bill and wanted to be sure that it didn’t go beyond what we had planned, especially during the summer and the height of winter. Keeping our hot tub running and hot has leveled the energy bill out. 

Actually, all of the suggestions I gave in this article for keeping your hot tub water hot and making the heat-up time quicker can also be used as tips for making your hot tub energy efficient. So you’re welcome! 

I hope this article has been helpful for you and I’ll toss the question out to you if you own a hot tub, what’s been your experience?