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Hot Tub Shock: A Guide

One tool we recommend for your hot tub chemical kit is tub shock. Below is your how-to guide on using shock to super-clean your tub water.

What is Hot Tub Shock?

Let’s talk technical. From a chemical standpoint, hot tub shock is an oxidizer. An oxidizer is a chemical that causes impurities to lose electrons, and that causes them to break down quickly.

These are in powdered or liquid form and can come in various chemical composition: chlorine in granular form, non-chlorine salts, or liquid chlorine. It’s important to check with your Hot Tub manufacturer for information on your sanitization system and what forms of shock are most compatible with it.

Of course, these are chemicals that only perform safely when used correctly. Just like any other product- you should carefully monitor the amount of shock used to avoid skin and lung irritation. Additionally the product should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children and pets, where it cannot be exposed to debris or flame.

Why to Shock Your Hot Tub

Most of the time, regular sanitization of your tub is enough to keep it clean and comfortable. With multiple uses or a heavy bather load, the water can become contaminated by organic matter dragged in from users and we recomend shocking after each use. It’s also important to shock if you’re using your Tub for the first time, you’ve changed the water, or you begin to see the formation of algae.

Shocking your hot tub covers three actions: Removing, Eradicating, Reactivating.

Shocking your hot tub removes organic matter that causes cloudy water and other malfunctions. As mentioned previously, a heavy load of bathers, or frequent uses, can create a buildup of icky organic matter from hair and skin, to sweat and other unmentionables. This is, of course, an inevitability of bathers using the tub.

Shocking your hot tub removes Chloramines and Bromamines. These unsavory characters are molecules formed by organic waste (nitrogen and ammonia) meeting the contents of your pool sanitizer. This releases a particular odor- if you’ve ever been to a pool that stank very badly of chlorine, most likely it was in need of a shock.

These molecules can cause cloudy water, algae growth and can be dangerous to your bathers. Shocking, and for more extreme cases, draining and shocking, will help to get safe and clear water.

Shocking your Tub eradicates bacteria. If your haven’t frequently used your hot tub, left it uncovered and exposed to the sunshine or haven’t been sanitizing correctly- your bathers are at risk of bacteria exposure. Some of these bacteria, like Biofilm, are not particularly dangerous but can cause unclear water. However, there are other forms of bacteria like Legionella that can cause serious illness to you and your guests. Shock can be used to maintain a clean tub and a balanced PH.

Shocking your Tub reactivates bromides in the spa. Some Hot Tubs use bromine instead of chlorine for sanitizing. Weekly application of shock helps your bromine to do its job cleaning your tub.

How to Shock Your Hot Tub and How Long to Wait

  1. Remove your hot tub's cover. This is an important step as it allows the chemical reaction to release into the air rather than to circulate around the enclosure.
  2. Apply safety gloves while handling shock.
  3. Check that your tub's PH is between 7.2 and 7.6 (balanced or neutral PH).
  4. Turn on your pumps, but keep the air off. This will allow for calm water that is not too turbid.
  5. Choose your dose of shock according to the package and label. Be cautious while putting shock into the water.
  6. After NON-CHLORINE shock wait 10-15 minutes before entering. After chlorine shock it can take up to 24 hours to clear. Therefore it is recommended to use non-chlorine shock. It is always recommended to test with a PH strip again before entering.

Hot Tub Shock Application

To conclude: Shocking is important for maintaining clear water and guaranteeing the safety of your bathers. These chemicals remove and eradicate unsavory molecules and give your non-chlorine sanitizer a boost in doing its job. It can also help eliminate the need to drain and refill your tub.

Because of the chemical compound of shock, as discussed in the previous sections, shock should always be used carefully, according to the package. You must wait 10-15 minutes before entering the tub after application, and of course, PH testing is always a good idea.

If you’re ready to get shocking, below are some must have products for your hot tub tool kit!