Should I Leave My Hot Tub on All the Time? (Explained)

  • Written By: Rachel
  • Time to read: 6 min.

We’re told that the best way to save money on our electricity bill is to cut something off. It’s drilled into us from a very early age. I remember my mother yelling at me when she would walk behind me cutting all of the lights off in my wake. But not all electrical devices are made the same, and some should not be cut off to save energy. 

Hot tubs are designed to always be on. It is much more economical and energy-efficient to keep the hot tub on so the water remains at a constant temperature rather than heating it up from cold each time you plan to use it. 

Let’s look closer at the reasons why you should leave your hot tub on all of the time.

Why Should I Leave My Hot Tub on All of the Time?

The quick and easy? It can take a hot tub around 24 hours to heat up. That means you’ll have to plan out every single time you want to use the hot tub if you plan on unplugging it between your uses. That’s wholly impractical. What if you decide you want to use it even though you hadn’t planned on it? 

Also, do you realize how much more energy it takes to heat and circulate the water from cool tap water than it does to simply maintain the already heated temperature? That heater will be running on overdrive for more than 24 hours at a time, for multiple days a month. That’s much more expensive than simply maintaining a constant temperature that’s already been achieved. 

A Hot Tub Is Made to Keep the Water Hot or Set to a Standard Temperature as Well as Keep It Circulating 

Hot tubs are made with highly insulated components and bases. This is to keep the heat contained in the water. It also keeps the temperature relatively stable, especially when covered. You see, a hot tub does not absorb heat from direct sunlight or the flooring that its base rests on. It also doesn’t absorb the cold unless it’s uncovered for a long period of time.

And remember, you don’t have to keep the water hot at all times. When does this apply? For summer, when you need a bit of a cool down – the hot tub can provide while remaining on, circulating, and heated most of the other times. 

You can always cut the temperature down rather than cutting the hot tub off. During the summer this may be preferable now and again. One way to handle this is to simply place your hot tub in SLEEP MODE (or Sl or SLP mode). In this mode, the temperature will lower but keep within 20 degrees of the set temperature for use. As long as it’s in sleep mode, it’ll only heat during filtering cycles.

Some spas actually let you dictate the temperature of the water. These are best because then you really can turn the water down just enough to make it refreshing during the summer heat without going overboard. You and those who use your hot tub most often can decide on the best temperature and set it. 

If you don’t have either of these options, say you have an older model hot tub without these features, you can always turn off the heating element for the summer. The hot tub can maintain filter cycles and water circulation, but without the heat. Keep in mind, that this adds a bit of energy push once you actually reengage that heating element for cooler temperatures.  

When Should I Cut My Hot Tub Off?  

Unless there is a service needed in which the hot tub must be cut off, you shouldn’t ever cut it off. If you leave water in it and turn it off, that water will stagnate. If you drain it and cut it off, you need to always remember this can cause issues with drying or freezing in unused pipes. But, some people take that risk to save money on their power.

Boost the Lizard

Boost’s Tips

If you opt to drain and turn off your hot tub, be sure to also unplug it from the power source completely or make sure the power breaker is turned to the off position.

Winterizing a pool is a lot different than winterizing a hot tub. Why? Because generally, a pool is shut down, the lines are drained and there is no circulation. But a hot tub is kept on. Why? Because if the water in a hot tub freezes, it can burst the pipes and possibly more. Keeping it on allows for the water to remain in liquid form and for it to be filtered. 

Besides, the best time to use a hot tub is during the winter! At least, that’s my opinion.

If you don’t cut the hot tub off for winterizing, when do you cut it off? You should understand when it is proper to cut the hot tub off completely. The only time that you should turn your hot tub off is when a service technician needs you to cut it off and also when you clean it. 

If something’s going wrong with your hot tub, you know to call the service technicians you choose. They will let you know if it needs to be shut off or they will do it themselves. Obviously, the only caveat to this would be if there’s the smoke of something that lets you know something major is happening and you definitely need to cut the hot tub off! 

When you clean your hot tub – and that should be done periodically during the year depending on the usage, you have to cut it off. So long as the chemical makeup of the water is safe and clean, you shouldn’t worry much, especially when it’s not used a lot (ie our long summers which can be about 6 months out of the year). 

If I Leave My Hot Tub on Year-Round, What Temperature Should I Have My Hot Tub Set At? 

Most sources I’ve read stipulate that keeping your hot tub about 5 degrees lower than what it is when you get into it for a good soak is optimal. And you can set the hot tub to run at the heat you prefer – but should never exceed 104°F (40°C). Usually, people keep their hot tubs at 100°F (37.7°C). 

If you raise that temperature, you can hurt yourself and children are especially prone to getting dehydrated and passing out if they get too hot in a hot tub. So, be very careful about this. In the winter, we keep ours at around 102°F (38.8°C) and adjust it for summer. During the hot season is also when we are more likely to cut the temperature down a bit more between usage.  

Did You Know Doggie

Did You Know?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) report that the appropriate minimum hot tub water should be is 78.8°F (26°C). It may be tempting to go lower due to hot weather or strenuous activity, but believe me, you don’t want the health risks of letting your body temperature get too low.

The longer the hot tub takes to heat up, the more energy it uses. If it’s room temperature or colder, it’ll take a lot longer (up to 24 hours longer) to heat up than if it’s just 5 degrees below the normal usage temperature. Therefore it’ll use a lot more energy to get the temperature back up. 

Also, this way you don’t have to wait for a very long time to get your water back to where you need it to be. And hey, what if it’s mid-summer and you and your family and friends are roasty-toasty? Maybe you need a cooldown? You don’t have to turn the hot tub down more than a few degrees below your average human body temperature (98.6°F or 37°C) to accommodate a cool-down. I’ve listed above the ways to cool your hot tub down during hot months. 

In Conclusion

Turning the hot tub off while it’s not being used is not a good thing to do. And even though setting your water temperature lower when you know you won’t be using the hot tub for a while can help save you some money, it can also have some other effects. 

But the most important takeaway from all of this is that the energy savings are only 10% at most. So, if you cut your water temperature down, you’ll not have the hot tub ready for a while (which is how we tend to operate) and you’ll only save a few dollars a month.