How Long Should You Wait to Use a Spa or Pool After Putting Chemicals in?

How long should you wait to use the water of a pool or swim spa after the chemicals have been put in? 

Growing up, many of us were told we needed to wait 30-minutes between eating and swimming to digest properly. But what is the basic rule of thumb when it comes to swimming after chemicals have been put in the water? As we dive into a summer full of fun and swimming, here’s what you need to know!

Why Adding Chemicals to Your Pool or Spa is So Important 

When it comes to maintaining the proper health of your pool or spa, using chemicals is a must. For swim spas and pools, the desired pH levels are between 7.2 to 7.8. Anything lower or higher means your water is either too alkaline or too acidic, and neither is good for swimmers or the actual spa itself. By regularly checking your water’s levels with testing strips or kits, you can keep an eye on when chemicals need to be added so you’re not dealing with a larger problem down the line. Although there are physical changes or indicators that your water will need chemicals, like cloudy, murky water or swimmers complaining of itchy or stinging eyes, there can also be issues sometimes without any physical signs. However, when the water is imbalanced, it means the spa or pool and all of its functioning parts are also being affected. This is why it’s essential to regularly check at least once a week and add chemicals as needed!

How Long Do You Need to Wait to Swim? 

As a pool or swim spa owner, using chemicals and maintaining the right balance will become like second nature, so there’s no need to worry! Generally speaking, if you’re adding in acids or bases to adjust the alkalinity of your water, you will likely need to wait a minimum of 20 minutes to one hour. This allows the chemicals to work and the water to settle before anyone jumps in!

When it comes to shocking the water with a significant amount of chlorine, it is typically done when murky water is present or there are signs of algae. Just as its name implies, it’s a way of shocking your water back to its healthy state. Depending on the amount of chlorine you put in when shocking, you may have to wait up to 24 hours before using the water. This will allow it to clear up the water and get rid of any algae that you may have been able to see. A less intense means of getting rid of bacteria is by using a sanitizer. Although it is also chlorine-based in many cases, it will likely only take a couple of hours to settle. A quick test with strips or a kit will show you when the water is in a healthy state again. 

Lastly, if your calcium hardness levels are off, you will need to use Calcium Chloride. If these levels are too low, they can have an impact on the functioning parts of your spa, so it’s best to address the issue if it ever presents itself. This will likely take a couple of hours to cycle through before it is safe for you to get in the water. When it comes to adding chemicals into your pool or spa, it’s important that everyone waits the necessary time before re-entering the water. Although the waiting game is never fun, especially for little ones, it’s important to ensure every swimmer’s health and safety. 

If at any point you’re uncertain about how to approach things or which chemicals you need to have on hand, a spa or pool dealer near you will be able to answer any questions you may have.

To learn more about owning a swim spa or finding the perfect one for you and your home, download our free buyer’s guide today.


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