Can I Drain My Hot Tub on My Lawn? (no, but here’s what to do)

All hot tub owners should change the water at least 3-4 times per year. But the first time you do it, it’s common to wonder can I drain my hot tub on my lawn?

Here’s what I’ve learned in owning 4 of them:

No. You shouldn’t drain your hot tub on your lawn. Spa water contains harmful chemicals like chlorine or bromine that will kill your grass and discolor your well-kept lawn. Instead, run your hose or drain well away from grass or vegetation and also away from the foundation supporting the hot tub.

But that’s just the beginning of proper hot tub drainage.

There’s more to know about what plants and trees the water could hurt and where you should be draining it.

I even cover the 1 way to drain your hot tub in as little as 15 minutes!

The rest of this article will dive in-depth into some vital questions regarding hot tub water and your lawn:

  • Is it safe to drain hot tub water on grass?
  • Does water with chlorine or bromine kill grass?
  • Will chlorinated water kill trees?
  • What’s the best way to drain your hot tub?

Let’s get going!

Is It Safe to Drain Hot Tub Water on Grass?

No, it’s not safe to drain hot tub water on the grass.

While it’s well-known that most hot tubs contain harmful cleaning chemicals, other substances in the water can also hurt your grass.

When you, your friends, and your family use the hot tub, everything on you contaminates the water. This includes makeup products, cologne, gel, deodorant, and more.

It might not be bad for your skin, but this mixture certainly isn’t good for your lawn.

Some homeowners prefer to have all of those additives removed before soaking up. If you require showers before using your hot tub, it might be okay to drain your hot tub on the grass.

However, you still need to watch out for cleaning chemicals.

These can cause dead grass, prevent further growth, and might even oversaturate the surface or your lawn, damaging roots and other plant fixtures.

If there’s zero bromine, chlorine, or any other treatment chemicals registering on your tester kit, then you’re probably in the clear.

Despite the apparent safety of draining water that doesn’t contain substances or chemicals, you still probably shouldn’t drain it on your lawn. Even if the water is free of chemicals and other additives, it can still be too warm for your grass.

If you do plan to drain your water on the grass, at least let it cool down to avoid burning the lawn.

Once you’ve drained it, of course, you’ll want to give it a good wipe down and then fill it back up.

But for new hot tub owners, the next question to ask is always how long does it take to fill back up? Luckily, I have a recent article which answers that question.

But I also give you some tips on how to speed up that process. And also how to do it safely since you’re working around high voltage equipment.

Just click that link to see it on my site.

Does Water with Chlorine or Bromine Kill Grass?

Chlorine and bromine are both concentrated sanitizers for water.

This means that they kill off bacteria and other small lifeforms, including the grass on your lawn. It can damage the grass or even prevent it from ever growing back. You don’t typically use both in a hot tub or pool.

But either one can damage your lawn. You might need to go as far as removing and reapplying sod to patch it up.

When you’re draining the spa, you should consider the levels of chlorine or bromine in your spa.

These two chemicals are never used together, so you’ll only have to worry about checking whichever one you currently use in the water. If nothing is registering, your grass should be safe from chemical damage.

However, even a bit of spa water with chlorine or bromine can kill a large amount of grass.

Think about how quickly it sanitizes the water in your pool or hot tub. Infrequent use of these chemicals kills off algae on a microscopic level before you even see it growing. This can happen just as quickly if you decide to drain your hot tub on the lawn.

Bromine doesn’t act as quickly as chlorine, but it’s equally as deadly.

Chlorine tends to dry out the surface, which is usually why your skin might feel dry when you get out of chlorinated water.

We all know how much grass and other plants require hydration! By drying out, the chlorine will effectively kill grass quickly.

Will Chlorinated Water Kill Trees?

Almost all plants can tolerate low levels of chlorine – some plants even see an increase in growth and longevity after exposure to a tiny amount of chlorine!

However, there’s much more than a drop of chlorine found in pool and spa water.

Trees might seem like massive plants that can’t be destroyed as easily as grass, but that’s not quite the case.

Chlorinated water can bring havoc to all plants, including trees. If you’re planning on draining your hot tub, you should avoid letting it get anywhere near your trees.

The trunk of a tree might be alright after a light soaking of chlorinated water, but the leaves are made of much softer tissue.

The surface of a leaf is brittle and fragile, absorbing liquid as soon as it touches the leaf. Chlorine is practically poison to a leaf, as it follows the veins and kills it off in a short amount of time.

The biggest worry that hot tub owners must consider is that the roots of a tree can become weak from chlorine as well.

It takes a lot of chlorinated water to do this.

Still, it’s entirely possible to completely kill a tree by pouring so much chlorine that it soaks into the tree’s roots. To avoid this, you’d be better off draining your hot tub in a completely different direction from any nearby trees.

The final reason that chlorinated water is so dangerous to your lawn is that it can damage the soil. Since trees require soil to grow and maintain proper health, bad soil has immediately bad results.

In some cases, homeowners might even have to remove the surrounding soil and replant the plants with new soil.

Don’t worry, though! There are several safe, harmless methods to drain your hot tub without harming your plants.


Of course, the water in your hot tub isn’t the only thing you’ll need to change from time to time.

The filters not only have to be changed every 1-2 years, but there are monthly and quarterly cleanings that will make sure you get the longest life out of your filters.

And those cleanings also ensure the water will be the highest quality for you and your guests.

In a recent article, I cover all the best tips on both how often to replace your filters, but the best ways to clean them in between changes, including the 1 things sure to ruin your filters.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

What is the Best Way to Drain My Hot Tub?

There are three ways to safely and effectively drain your hot tub without harming any plants in your backyard:

  • Use a hose spigot. A hose spigot is a great way to remove water from your spa. Most hot tubs have a draining hole, and some of them even have a threaded portion to add a spigot and a hose. You can hook up a ΒΎ” spigot onto this drain, attach it to a hose, and let the water drain downhill through it.
  • Submersible pumps are another popular method for draining hot tubs. These pumps vary in price depending on the horsepower, brand, and energy-efficiency rating. Lower the submersible pump until the inlet is entirely underwater. Hook it up to a hose, turn it on, and watch the magic happen. A submersible pump is an excellent choice for people who have to drain their hot tub going uphill.
  • Using a backwash hose isn’t as common, but it’s absolutely doable. This method will only work if you have a filter that can be back washed. Hook up the backwash hose, turn the valve to the appropriate setting (usually labeled as “Drain”), and let it flow out.

The area in which you can legally drain your hot tub depends on your local regulations.

Most cities recommend that you drain the hot tub at the closest sewer cleanout. To make sure you’re following the rules, always call the city before draining your spa.

Note: Certain hot tubs can only be used with one or two methods, so review the three options above to see which one best suits your model!

My choice of the 3 methods is definitely the submersible pump.

My submersible drain pump has a 25β€² hose. That way it’s EASY to drain the hot tub well away from my hot tub and the surrounding grass and trees.

Plus, there’s no more siding to remove and no garden hoses to hook up.

Just plop this thing in your hot tub and watch it drain in mere minutes at lightning speed!

My hot tub normally takes over an hour to drain. But with this pump, I can drain it in 15 minutes!

It has fantastic reviews on Amazon and also comes with free shipping.

Do be aware that it has to be all the way under the water before it will turn on.

Of course, there will be a little water left at the bottom of your hot tub when it’s done, but that can easily be removed with a  wet-dry vac.

CLICK HERE to check the current prices on Amazon on the pump; you’ll thank me later!

Did I cover all you wanted to know about draining your hot tub and how it affects your lawn?

In this article, we took a look at draining hot tub water and some of the hazards of doing that.

We looked at how it can hurt grass and trees. But we also explored some of the really bad effects on your trees from the long-term exposure to that.

But we also covered some really easy ways to drain your hot tub safely; one of which can be done in under 15 minutes!

Ultimately, we answered the question can I drain my hot tub on my lawn with a definite no. At least not if you care how your lawn looks.

Here are the key points covered in this article:

  • It’s not a good idea to drain your hot tub water on your lawn. Chemicals, foreign contaminants, and the heat of the water can all damage the plants in your backyard.
  • Water with bromine or chlorine kills grass. If you treat your water with either of these chemicals, don’t drain it on the lawn.
  • Chlorinated water can kill trees. If you add chlorine to your hot tub, make sure the drained water doesn’t come near any of the trees on your property.
  • There are three effective ways to drain your hot tub: use a hose spigot, use a submersible pump, or use a backwash hose.

Of course, now that you know the best ways to drain your hot tub, make sure you know how often to change your water.

After all, changing it too infrequently can lead to high levels of bacteria in the water. Yuck! So check out a recent article where I review the usual recommendations on changing the water in a hot tub.

But I also get into how to tell when it’s time even if it’s ahead of your normal schedule.

Just click the link to see it on my site.

 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, hot tub lover, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market.

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