How To Safely Use Your Softub During The Winter Season


Cartoon of two people in a hot tub in the winter snow.

Soaking yourself in a heated Softub during the cooler months is one of the most enjoyable things to do. It definitely beats getting in water that is above 100 degrees in the middle of summer.

Just like after a long scorching hot day in the middle of summer when you can’t wait to jump in a cool swimming pool, a Softub is an excellent retreat to wind down after a cold blustery weather event has moved in.

While it is extremely fun and soothing to take a dip in the steamy pool on a cold day, there are a few precautions you want to take to ensure a safe experience for you and your family.

During the winter make sure your Softub has an easily accessible path, is not beneath tree limbs that could potentially ice over or near any rooftop that may accumulate snow which could fall into your tub. Limit your soaking to only 15 minutes at a time and keep the water temperature a few degrees cooler than you set it to during the fall and summer months.

Location

One of the big advantages a Softub has over hard hot tubs is that they are much more portable. Since they plug into a standard 110-Volt wall and weight light enough for one person to maneuver around, it can be placed just about anywhere you can plug it in.

First take a look at your current location where your pool is setting at. You may prefer to have it at different locations during certain seasons, or it may work perfectly where it is year round. A few things to consider are:

Indoors

Some people prefer to bring their Softub indoors in the winter. This is great option if you have space in the garage, a spare room that is concrete or water resistant.

This option allows for less issues that the weather during the winter can cause. There is no need to worry about tree’s falling on it, ice freezing the cover so you can’t open it and freezing yourself off when getting in and out.

For others, this isn’t an option, or they simply prefer the fill of keeping it outside to get the best experience while laying in it and watching snowflakes fly above.

Distance From House

In the summertime you might have your Softub farther away from your house, possibly near a nice pool or spot where you have other outdoor activities such as horse shoes, volleyball or a playground.

During the wintertime though, you might want to consider locating it closer the entrance of your house if you plan on keeping it outdoors. This will allow for a much more enjoyable time when you are in the frigid cold air and will not require as much time traveling on foot to the Softub.

Accessibility

If you have a concrete slab right out your back door where your Softub will fit, this could be the perfect place to have it sit during the frigid temperatures.

If not, make sure you have a clear path that leads to it and can easily be accessed. You might have a couple pair of flip flops, water proof boots or other slip resistant shoes in the area as well.

When you are using any kind of heated pool outdoors in the winter there is a chance that water from around the pool can freeze. This can be dangerous when exiting it and heading back indoors to the house. Be sure you have the proper footwear to avoid slipping on the ground.

Terrain

You will need a flat and level area where you will be placing your Softub preferably free of rocks, sticks and other objects that could damage the bottom of the unit.

If you have any trees surrounding the area try and select a location that is not directly below large tree limbs. This is especially true if you live in an area where mother nature tends to deliver heavy snow and ice storms.

If a tree limb becomes heavy from ice and breaks it might fall onto your Softub. This could cause some damage depending on the limb size. It is best to not have any tree limbs above it.

Rooftop

In some regions wet snow can become several inches to even a foot thick on the roof of a house when a major winter storm arrives. This has even been known to cause roofs to cave in during some of the worst snow storms on record.

Another issue that snow on a roof, especially if it is a slanted one, can cause is an avalanche type effect. As the snow piles up it adds weight and the weight some point will give way. This can be from wind, warming temperatures causing part of the snow to melt or random for no reason at all.

When this occurs the snow will come racing down the shingles and onto the side of your house. If your Softub is in an area that would be directly affected if this were to happen it could cause some damage.

Worst than that would be if you or guests were using it when this happened. You could have several hundred pounds were of snow hitting you head on.

Electricity Access

Make sure you are in an area that you have access to 100-Volt electrical outlet. The outlet should also be 6 feet away from where you place the Softub to be up to code in most municipalities. Check your local ordinances for the most up to date rules.

If possible it would be best to have an outdoor plug, but an indoor plug would work as well. It is also not recommended to use an electric cord when in use.

It can actually void the pumps warranty if it is new and under warranty as it will cause the pump to run hotter and could cause it to reduce the life expectancy.

Water Availability

Another thing to consider is the ability to fill it where it is placed. This might sound obvious, but if you don’t think about this and prep the perfect location to find that the closest outdoor faucet it several hundred feet away, it could pose an issue.

You will want to be able to add water when needed as it will evaporate, get splashed out and need changed on occasion.

If you find your perfect location a football field length away from the closest spout, you can always get some long water hoses and make do. Just be sure you are aware of where a faucet is located.

Weather

Now you can’t control or even predict what the weather is going to do from one winter to the next. If last season you barely had a dusting of snow, this year you might get a blizzard!

Still, it is best to place your Softub in an area that is a bit weather proof if possible. This doesn’t mean have it in an outdoor shed or under a carport, but at least an understanding of what the weather does.

I for example live in Oklahoma where the weather can go from one extreme to the next with little warning. To top that off the forecast is only right about a third of the time when it comes to winter storms, but I still want to have my Softub placed in an area that works best for what might come.

Winds

As we all know south winds are warm in the summer and north winds are extremely cold in the winter. If you have a fence or a building, house, etc. that would block the north side to prevent north winds from hitting the Softub, that might be an idea to consider.

Even better yet, if you have an area that blocks wind from 2 or even 3 sides you will have a much less breezy time when laying in it. When cold fronts push through winds in excess of 40 miles per hour can make it extremely cold outside. In fact with these winds I think I would pass on jumping in to begin with, but place it so that you can if you want to.

Slippery Frozen Ice

As rain, sleet and snow falls in the season and temperatures fall below 32 degrees the ground will likely begin to freeze. This can cause unwanted hazards when you are heading to get into or get out of your Softub.

Have some salt available to place in the path that leads from the pool to your door entrance to make a safe and easy path for people to walk on.

Keep in mind that the water from the Softub might also splash out and can freeze as well. It is not uncommon for people to slip and fall after exiting the pool even with no precipitation. This is because water splashed out can freeze on the ground service also causing a hazard.

Water Temperature

A Softub can heat up to a maximum of 104 degrees before the heating stops. It can also heat an extra 1 or 2 degrees afterwards making the water even hotter from just sitting.

These are great temperatures to lounge in during the summer and fall evenings because the temperature outside will not have near the gap as it will in the winter.

I recommend you lower the temperature of the water a few degrees when using it in colder temperatures. It will still fill plenty hot due to the fact that it is colder outside.

In the winter months keep your water at about 99 to 102 degrees instead of keeping it at 104 degrees. It will be plenty warm enough when the air outside is in the 20’s, trust me.

Time In Softub

No matter what time of year it is, staying in an extremely hot pool for an extended period of time should really be avoided. I always recommend about 30 minutes per session during the summer and only 15 minutes in the winter.

There are many factors that you need to consider and you should consult a physician if you have underlying medical conditions or are on medications to determine how long you can safely stay in.

During cold weather your shoulders, face, ears and arms that are out of the Softub are at a much colder temperature than the rest of your body. This can cause you to overheat much faster and you may not even know it when it happens.

If you start to feel as if you are sweating, get dizzy or feel weird, get out a little while. You can always go back in just a little later, but breaks are recommended when being used.

Avoid Frozen Jets

If you do not want to use your Softub in the winter there are a couple things you can do to be sure that it doesn’t get ruined.

If you are planning on leaving it outside the entire time keep water in it at all times and set the water temperature to about 50 degrees. This will keep the water warm enough so that it will not freeze and the pump will circulate the water 2 times per day.

This temperature is also cool enough to prevent any algae from forming in the water.

Check it weekly to make sure there were no power surges or any issues that caused the water to either re-heat to 100 degrees by default or not be on at all.

Store Indoors

If you don’t want to have it running at all during the winter, unplug it, disconnect the hoses and roll it indoors. If should fit in a garage or small room and will be ready to take back out in the spring.

I do not recommend draining it and leaving it outside. You will not be able to get rid of all the residue, moisture and water from inside the pump. During a hard freeze just a little bit of water could be enough to crack a hose, the pump or other part of the unit and then it would not be usable until repaired.

Final Thoughts

A Softub should be used in the winter. It is designed to run 365 days a year for 4 seasons. There are however a few simple things you should think about based on the season you are entering into so that it can be fun and enjoyable no matter what mother nature does.

If you don’t want to use it in the winter, be sure to store it indoors or take some steps to prevent it freezing inside the lines when not in use.

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