A wooden hot tub in the middle of grassy backyard.

Can Hot Tub Water Kill Grass?

A wooden hot tub in the middle of grassy backyard.

If you own a hot tub, it’s common knowledge that your hot tub water should be changed at least 3 to 4 times each year. However, a lot of hot tub owners wonder where, exactly, they can drain their hot tub water. Some even try to drain it on their lawn. The question is, could this damage your grass?

Unfortunately, yes. Because hot tub water contains chemicals that could be harmful, such as bromine or chlorine, you could be killing or permanently discoloring your lawn by dousing it in hot tub water. In this article, we’re going to dive into draining hot tub water properly and some of the hazards associated with it so you can avoid killing your lawn and other plant life (including trees) around your property.

Why Does Hot Tub Water Kill Grass?

As mentioned above, you should not drain hot tub water on your grass. Most hot tubs can have harmful cleaning chemicals and other things that can hurt the grass.

If you use the hot tub, everything that is on your body contaminates the water. This can be anything from makeup to deodorant. Even if it isn’t bad for your skin, it could be bad for your lawn. Some people want to have the additives removed. If you take a shower before getting in the hot tub then it might be okay to dump the water on your grass. You might still need to watch for cleaning chemicals.

This can result in dead grass, which can stop further growth, and could overwater it, which can damage roots and out fixtures. If you don’t see any bromine, chlorine, or other chemicals on your tester kit then you should be okay.

Even if you are completely safe, you still shouldn’t drain the water on the grass. It can be a little too warm for the grass. If you have to do it, then you should let it cool down so that it doesn’t burn your grass. After draining it you will also need to wipe it down and fill it back up.

A woman enjoying the hot tub at the backyard.

Understanding Chlorine & Bromine

Chlorine and bromine can both kill off bacteria and other lifeforms, which can mean your grass as well. Not only can it damage your grass, but it can also stop it from growing. Usually, both aren’t used in a hot tub or pool.

But either can create damage to your grass and it might mean you need to remove the sod and reapply it. If you are draining your hot tub then you need to look at the levels of chlorine or bromine. They are never used together, so you will only need to check one. If nothing is showing up then your grass will be safe from chemicals, at least.

But, even a small amount of chlorine or bromine can kill a lot of your grass. If you use these infrequently they can kill off algae before you even see it. It can be done quickly. Bromine doesn’t happen as quickly as chlorine but it is still deadly to your grass. Chlorine can dry out the surface, which is why skin feels dry after swimming. Grass and other plants need a lot of water, but if you dry them out they will die quickly.

A man holding a large chlorine pellet.

Does Chlorine Kill Trees?

Most plants can deal with low levels of chlorine and some can see an increase in growth and longevity. But, there is a lot more than just a drop of chlorine in a pool or hot tub.

Trees are huge, but they can be hurt just as easily as grass can be. Water that has chlorine can hurt grass, plants, and trees. If you need to drain your water, keep it away from your trees. The tree trunk might be fine if it gets a little chlorine but the leaves will suffer.

Leaves are brittle and they take in liquid quickly. Chlorine is like poison to a leaf because it will kill it in a short time. The biggest worries for those who have hot tubs should be the roots of a tree. It will take a lot of water with chlorine to do damage, but it is possible to kill a tree with enough chlorine. This means you are better off keeping the chlorine away from your trees.

Chlorine can also damage your soil. And, since trees and plants need soil to grow this can result in trees and plants not growing. It might even cause homeowners to have to remove the soil and replant plants with new soil. Despite this, there are safe ways to drain a hot tub without ruining your lawn.

Not only will you need to change the water in your hot tub, but you will also have to change your filter every one to two years. You should also do monthly and quarterly cleaning that will help make your filter last longer. They help make sure the water has the best quality as well.

A close look at an outdoor faucet of a house.

How to Drain Your Hot Tub Properly

1. With a Hose Spigot

ARROWHEAD BRASS & PLUMBING 251LF 1/2" Male Pipe Thread, Lead Free
Click image for more info

This is a great way for removing water from the hot tub. Usually, hot tubs have a hole that is for draining and some can have a threaded portion where you can add a spigot and a hose. You can hook up the ¾ inch spigot on the drain, connect it to a hose and let the water out.

2. With Submersible Pumps

Professional EZ Travel Collection Submersible Drain Pump and 25' Water Hose, Sump Pump Kit for Pools, Hot Tubs, Water Tanks, Ponds, and More (2,000 GPH)
Click image for more info

This is a popular method when draining a hot tub. Submersible Pumps have a lot of different prices depending on what horsepower and brand you want. The energy-efficiency rating is also important when determining the price. You should put the submersible pump completely in the water. Hook it up, turn it on and then watch. It is great for people who have to drain a hot tub uphill.

3. With a Backwash Hose

Blue Devil 75-Foot Backwash Hose for Pool with Hose Clamp, 2" W x 75' L
Click image for more info

This isn’t a common method but it is something that you can use. It will only work, though, if you have a filter that you can backwash. You should then hook the hose up, turn the valve on to the right setting and let it drain out.

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