What Is Hot Tub Shock?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

What Is Hot Tub Shock?


If you have been looking into buying a hot tub, you have probably heard of the term ‘shocking your hot tub.’ While this may sound odd, or even dangerous, it is actually just a common part of routine hot tub maintenance in keeping your water sanitary and clean. If you have been wondering what is hot tub shock and what steps need to be taken to shock a hot tub, keep reading below.


Why Shock a Hot Tub?


Whether for regular maintenance, after a period of inactivity or a hot tub party with heavy usage, shocking your hot tub will make sure that you rid your water from foul smells and contaminants. This makes the water clean, clear and safe for soaking.

But why do you have to shock in the first place? When bathers enter a hot tub, they bring organic compounds and bacteria that they leave behind. Shocking the water will kill this bacteria and chlorine or bromine-based shock compounds will disinfect the water.


Type of Shock


There are two common types of shock available on the market. Chlorine shock works as an oxidizer and disinfectant but can be a bit hard on your hot tubs components and plumbing systems. This type of shock is typically recommended for really heavy cleanings but not every single time it needs basic maintenance. The second type of shock is not chlorine-based, so it won’t actually disinfect the water but works great at giving it a good clean and oxidizing other contaminants that may be present.


Therefore, once you own a hot tub, you will probably have two types of shock that you use. The non-chlorine one for weekly maintenance and the chlorine-based shock for periodic maintenance.


How Do You Shock Your Hot Tub?


Although it may sound a bit scary, shocking your hot tub is a fairly easy process. In fact, it is really easy. You simply just need to add the shock to the water and let it sit. It will work and do its magic all by itself. The few steps that you need to follow are:


    • Make sure that the pH level is between 7.4 and 7.6 before adding the shock.
    • Keep the hot tub cover off while the water is being shocked.


As shock is a chemical, there are also few safety precautions to follow.


    • Make sure that you measure the shocking amount exactly as the instructions indicate.
    • Do not add the shock if it is extremely windy outside as it could blow before it hits the water end up in your face/eyes.
    • If the shock gets accidentally spilled, clean it immediately and always keep out of reach of children or pets.
    • In fact, it is recommended that you always wear goggles and rubber gloves when adding shock to your hot tub to keep your skin and eyes safe.


How Long to Wait After Shocking?


There isn’t a strict rule about how many hours you need to wait after shocking your hot tub before you can use it again. The way that you can determine whether or not the water is ready is by using water test strips. When the strips show that the chlorine level in the water is below 5 ppm, then the water is safe to soak in. How long it takes for the water to reach this level after being shocked depends on a number of factors including how much shock was used and how dirty the water was. Typically, it will take at a minimum of 20 minutes to reach this level.


When you become a hot tub owner, you never want to use your hot tub when it has cloudy or dirty water. By knowing what shock is and how to follow your hot tub recommended cleaning schedule, you can ensure that your hot tub is always clean, sanitary and ready to use.


 Find out more about what steps are needed to maintain your hot tub by downloading a hot tub buyer’s guide.

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