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If your hot tub stops heating in the dead of winter and you have ordered the replacement part or can't diagnose the problem, you want to keep the spa from freezing.

First remember, ice floats. This gives you a good idea what is happening down deep but do not just let the hot tub sit. During the day solar heat will help keep the water from freezing. Over the years we have seen a simple 100w droplight using the older bulbs that create heat work fairly good. Typically if you put the light into the equipment area and button up the sides and top of the spa, it will create enough heat for cold nights. But this might not work if you have a cold snap.

We have rural customers that simply drop a horse water tank heater into the water. That keeps the water from freezing. Not a bad idea.

The water in the hot tub will tend to be slow temperature changing. That is why keeping water in the spa often is better than draining. The water absorbs daylight solar heat and if you have a light in the equipment area, holds the heat. But if you know it will be awhile before you can fix the hot tub, then drain. If you aren't sure that ALL the water has been drained (see how to drain your hot tub) then putting a lightbulb in the equipment area and turning on at night makes sense.

Key is you want to avoid allowing the ice to split fittings by freezing.

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