What Is Hot Tub Shock?

What Is Hot Tub Shock?

For those who aren’t intimately familiar with hot tubs but have come across the term, “hot tub shock,” they may feel slightly uneasy or possibly even frightened.  But the fact is there’s no reason to be scared.  What is hot tub shock?  Fortunately, it isn’t a disease and it has nothing to do with electricity.  It’s actually a process that keeps your hot tub and its water fresh and clean.  It’s part of the regular maintenance of a hot tub that allows you to soak in the warm, bubbly waters without any health worries.  In this article we’ll go over the process of shocking a hot tub and the steps that need to be taken.

What Does A Hot Tub Shock Do?

Basically, shocking your hot tub will clean the water of contaminants and eliminate odours leaving it clear and safe to soak in.  When people use a hot tub their body oils, deodorants and other organic compounds end up washing off in the water.  Over time they can build up and promote the growth of bacteria and algae and cause the water to become cloudy and foul smelling.  Shocking your hot tub should be a regular cleaning procedure.  You’ll need to perform it weekly with regular hot tub use or more often if the tub sees more activity. 

What Kind of Shocks Are There?

There are two main types of hot tub shock: chlorine based and bromine based.  Chlorine shock oxidizes and disinfects the water.  Bromine shock, on the other hand, ionizes the contaminants by breaking their chemical bonds.  Chlorine shocks work faster than bromine shocks, but chlorine can also be very hard on the hot tub components as well as your eyes and lungs. 

How Do You Shock A Hot Tub?

Besides the alarming name, hot tub shocking is not a difficult process.  You simply add the chemicals to the hot tub water and allow them to do their work.  Before adding the shock, you’ll need to make sure the hot tub water is at the correct pH level, which is between 7.4 and 7.6.  There are simple pH testing kits that allow you to do this.  Wearing rubber gloves and goggles, follow the instructions on the shocking compound container and measure the appropriate amount to be added to the water.  Once added, leave the hot tub uncovered and allow the chemicals to mix with the water. 

How Long Do You Have to Wait?

Your shocking compound will also come with test strips that allow you to measure the amount of shock that’s still in the water.  Depending on how dirty the water is and how much shock you actually used, the time it takes to reach the appropriate levels will vary.  You should expect to wait a minimum of 20 minutes, but it may take a lot longer than that.  Continue to test the water until you reach the recommended levels.

More Information

If you want to learn more about shocking and hot tub maintenance, download a hot tub buyer’s guide for more information.

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