How To Shock A Hot Tub

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How often should you shock your hot tub or spa? Should you use chlorine or bromine? These are common questions, and the answers depend on your circumstances and preferences.

Below, we’ll go over everything you need to know about how to shock a hot tub or spa to make informed decisions about when to shock and what type of chemical shock to use.

We’ll also cover tips on how to tell if you need to shock, plus we’ll share some shocking tips!

Why Do We Need To Shock Our Hot Tubs?

Hot tubs, spas, and swimming pools are natural breeding grounds for algae.

While not usually harmful to your health, it can cause problems with water quality and be very unsightly. You may find yourself covered in green slime or bits of yellow that look like dandruff.

Shocking your hot tub is easy to eliminate these unwanted algae growth. The most common reason people shock their hot tubs is that they have been neglected by their owners and have begun to grow green slimy stuff on them.

How To Shock A Hot Tub

An Algae Bath Tub

This is a simple fix but requires you to shock your spa first before cleaning it properly. If you don’t do both at once, you could shock your spa twice and waste time and money!

Another great reason we shock our hot tubs is when we plan to have lots of guests over or if we want to keep our hot tub looking new and clean.

Shocking your spa regularly will prevent things from getting out of hands, such as eye infections, skin rashes, and more.

Some people shock their tubs to remove organic and inorganic contaminants from their bodies. These contaminants are skin cells, oils, and other products we rub on our bodies.

They can build up in the spa and cause the tub water to be cloudy. Shocking your tub also helps in breaking down chloramines.

These chlorine particles combine with organic and inorganic contaminants mentioned above, causing a strong chlorine odor.

There are two ways to shock your spa; in-season and off-season.

In-season means shocking your hot tub when no one uses it during the winter months. This ensures that any toxins that build up while no one is using it are eliminated right away, so you won’t have to worry about going into spring with a dirty pool.

Off-season shock treatments happen in early spring or fall when you take your hot tub down for storage. It’s best to shock your spa right before putting it away to make it easier to clean later.

After taking your hot tub down, make sure you drain all the water out completely, let dry, then shock treat.

How To Shock A Hot Tub? There are several different methods of shocking your hot tub but what matters is what type of filter system you have installed.

What Type Of Shock Should I Use?

There are a few different types of shock that you can use to shock your hot tub or spa. Before we talk about the different kinds of shock you can use on your hot tub or spa. You should check out our recent posts about hot tub chemicals and what you need and how to use them to understand better how you can properly treat your hot tub.

  • One of them is muriatic acid, also called hydrochloric acid. This is pretty effective, but you can get even better results with other additions to help increase chlorine levels. It’s also very affordable compared to some of the available alternatives.
  • Another type of shock you can use is calcium hypochlorite, which has been around for years and has proven an excellent way to shock your hot tub or spa. The main benefit here is that it will last longer than muriatic acid, so you won’t have to worry about shocking again for at least another month.
  • You can also shock your hot tub with only chlorine. As much as this is a popular choice among people, we recommend that this shock be used after a heavy hot tub or after changing the water to bring the chlorine level up.
  • There are also other non-chlorine treatments (NCO), but the problem is that it doesn’t disinfect the water. We don’t recommend them. Still, you can use it for weekly treatment as a water oxidant and eliminate contaminants and cloudy water.

You should use NCO shock if your hot tub is used infrequently, has been drained for an extended time, or if it contains high levels of organic material such as algae or bacteria.

How To Shock A Hot Tub

We recommend shocking your hot tub at least once per month or whenever you notice a significant drop in water quality.

The steps to shocking your hot tub aren’t complicated, but they require some chemicals that are best purchased from a pool or spa professional, who can advise you on how much shock to use.

Follow these basic instructions to shock your hot tub;

  1. The first step is to remove the hot tub cover to allow oxygen to get into the water. You can choose to replace the cover at this point if it looks worn out.
  2. The second step is to test your spa water. Ensure that the pH level of the tub water is correct and between 7.2 and 7.6. Ensure it’s between 7.2 and 7.6 if you are using a chlorine sanitizer and between 7.0 and 7.4 if you use a bromine sanitizer. Your shock might not be effective if your pH level is off.
  3. After ensuring that the pH level is at the proper range, turn on your circular pump and turn off the blower and jets. The circular pump will help circulate the shock throughout the pump.
  4. Take every preventive safety measure and start adding shock treatment to the hot tub water. The amount of shock treatment you need will depend on how much water is in your hot tub, but a good rule of thumb is to add one pound of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. For example, if you have a 20,000-gallon hot tub, you’ll want to add two pounds of shock.
  5. Leave the cover off for the next twenty (20) minutes.
  6. After adding shock treatment to your hot tub, you’ll need to wait 24 hours before turning on your filter. Some pools and spas have timers built into their filtration systems that will turn off your filter at certain times of day, but you can turn it off manually if yours doesn’t have a timer. This allows chemicals time to work effectively and removes any of them that could be released back into your pool water when you start your filtration system again.

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How Long Do I Need To Wait After Shocking My Hot Tub?

You may need to wait 24 – 48 hours after shocking your hot tub before using it.

It takes at least 24 hours for shock to dissipate from a spa or hot tub. This allows the sanitizer to settle and do its job while you’re waiting. If you don’t wait long enough, your water will still be dirty even after treating it.

The shock dissipates in about two days, but you should wait until then to use your hot tub again so that there is no residual shock left in it. Residual shock can irritate skin and eyes if they contact it.

Shock also doesn’t kill all of the bacteria in your water – just most of them – so you shouldn’t use your hot tub if there is any residual shock.

Pro Tips on Treating Your Hot Tubs or Spas Better!

  • Make sure you shock your hot tub or spa about once a month. Shock treatment can help keep harmful bacteria from growing in your water, leading to skin irritation, eye infection, and other health concerns. If you wait too long between treatments, shock at least every two weeks to avoid dealing with a hot tub full of algae and bacteria!
  • The chemicals used for shock treatment are not intended for use on humans, so it’s essential to follow these steps carefully.
  • Also, be aware that it is possible to shock your hot tub too much; if you notice any symptoms like hair loss or rashes after shocking, check with a doctor before using it again.
  • We also recommend wearing gloves when handling shock chemicals and showering immediately after working with them.

It’s important to shock your hot tub or spa on a regular basis, especially if you use it regularly. By shocking your hot tub or spa, you will keep any algae and bacteria from growing in your water. If left unchecked, an imbalance of these things can cause a smell and even health problems for users.

If you have questions about how to shock a hot tub or spa, contact us today! We would love to answer all of your questions and help you get started on a regular shock schedule for keeping your water clean.


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