How to Shock a Hot Tub
If you want to make sure your hot tub water is free of all debris and nasty contaminents, there is one sound way to do it: SHOCK IT! Shocking your tub can clear up cloudy water, remove nasty compounds, kill bacteria, remove chlorines (and bromines), as well as reactivating bromides. Additionally, shock helps your regular sanitizers do their job and not get overwhelmed from bacteria maintenance.
In the interest of taking the best care of your hot tub that you can - you have to be diligent about shocking it... whether after frequent usage, before you even use it, or after it’s been dormant for a while.
Shocking Your Hot Tub
When shocking, you will need to use a large amount of an oxidizer product to get the water into a contaminant-free state. Here are step-by-step directions on how to shock your hot tub:
- First, remove the hot tub cover so the air is circulating and clear (breathing is important)!
- Make sure that your pH levels of your hot tub water are between 7.4 and 7.6. [To know what pH levels are, check our Ideal Water Balance Care Guide]
- Leave the circulation pump on and running, but turn off the air in the jets. You want to make sure the water is still moving in some capacity.
- Add shock (Such as SpaBoss Shock) to your hot tub, and be sure to measure the correct amount you need depending on how many gallons is in your hot tub.
It’s important to remember...
- Be extra careful when adding the shock as it’s a chemical and can be harmful if spilled.
- If the shock is spilled, clean it right away. More importantly, you should always wear gloves (and also googles) when dealing with chemicals!
- Test the water with test strips before returning to the water. If the chlorine levels are average (at least 5ppm), you’re good to go! It depends on how much shock you have used, as it can take between 20 minutes to 12 hours for the levels to normalize.
What Type of Shock Should I Use for My Spa?
Below will walk you through the types of chemical products to use and the various methods that all achieve the same outcome of clean, crystal-clear, hot tub water.
There are two main types of shock recommended for hot tubs: Chlorine and Non-Chlorine shock. The type you pick to shock your hot tub will depend on which type of sanitizer you use to regularly clean your home spa. If you use chlorine, a chlorine shock is recommended.
Chlorine Shock: Hot tubs that are used quite often and with a high number of people in it on a regular basis should be treated with regular chlorine spa shock to sanitize the water. You could also use non-chlorine shock in between periodical chlorine shocks to keep the organic buildup at bay.
Be sure to never mix any chemicals dry and to always test the water getting in after a shock treatment. It is important to keep the cover off of your hot tub for 20 minutes after a chemical shock so that chemical damage does not occur to the spa’s pillows or covering. Hot tub users should wait 24 hours after a chlorine shock before entering the water.
Non-chlorine Shock: This shock aids in the creation of “free chlorine.” Free chlorine is a term used to describe how much chlorine is in the hot tub water that has not mixed fully with the chlorinated water. That amount of “free chlorine” is available to kill organic waste in the water. This is one benefit to non-chlorine shock; however, this process does not kill bacteria in the water. This type of shock is recommended to be done every 7 to 10 days as an excellent way to help chlorine do its job and also help any hot tubs on bromine to work more efficiently. The nice thing about using a non-chlorine shock is you can typically get into the water about 25-30 minutes after completing the shock process. Again, be sure to test the water to check the levels before getting into the hot tub. " Once you figure out a regular schedule and rhythm to shocking your hot tub, it will become second nature to the regular maintenance of the spa water. Then you can really enjoy stepping into the relaxation section of your home and appreciate the clean, clear water you’ve worked hard to achieve.