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When to Shock Your Hot Tub

When should I shock my hot tub?

As a hot tub owner, you are probably familiar with the necessity of sanitizer in the water. There are many chemicals that you need to balance in your hot tub or pool and sanitizer is only one (or a handful) of them. That being said, using sanitizer in your hot tub’s water is critical to maintaining a hot tub that is not only safe but enjoyable to use. Sanitizer, which typically comes in the form of chlorine or bromine, takes the form of active chemicals to rid the water of biological contaminants.

There is routine sanitation which typically takes the form of administration of bromine or chlorine granules or tablets, and then there is shocking. Shocking a swimming pool or hot tub refers to the process of periodically raising the sanitizer levels in the water to “shock” it, hence the name, and among other things, it restores water clarity and removes unpleasant odors. The purpose of shocking the water is to spike the sanitizer level and knock out any colonies of contaminants, biofilm, or algae that may have gained a foothold in the water.

Shocking your hot tub or pool periodically can be just as important to the quality of the water as routine sanitation, and the balance of sanitizer and shock can keep your pool or hot tub cleaner, clearer, and more pleasant to use. While you should periodically shock your hot tub, here are some other specific times when you might want to consider shocking your hot tub as a good practice.

When should you add more shock to your hot tub?

After You’ve Had a Lot of People in the Hot Tub

In addition to the periodic shocks you administer to your hot tub, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of shocking your spa any time you’ve had a big gathering or a pool party. Any time a lot of people have been in your hot tub, they will release compounds like body oils, perspiration, and dead skin cells - no matter how fastidious their hygiene. Plus, if you’ve had little kids in the hot tub or pool, it’s a good idea. Shock the water removes a lot of contaminants that came along with them.

After a Prolonged Period of Sunny Weather

This is something we can’t help but mention. Chlorine, for example, is not very stable under the influence of UV radiation, which, you guessed it, is present in sunlight. Therefore, after your hot tub or pool has been baking in the sun for a few days, you can expect a reduction in the sanitizer level. Shocking the hot tub after a few days of sun will not only help to get the sanitizer back to an acceptable level, but it will also help kill anything that started to grow.

After a Period of Heavy Rain

Imagine that, we’re suggesting that you shock your hot tub after periods of prolonged exposure to the sun as well as after heavy rain - how can that be? Well, whereas chlorine sanitizer breaks down under the influence of UV radiation, there is an entirely different chip to consider with heavy rain. Water seeks its level, and a hot tub is full of water. When it rains, some of that rain is going to run off into the hot tub. Therefore, your hot tub is going to experience a spike in contaminants, whether in the form of leaves that blew into the hot tub during a storm or in the form of dirt that got washed into the hot tub with the rainwater. Either way, it’s a good idea to shock your hot tub to clear it out after a big rainstorm.

When Your Sanitizer Level Drops

If you’ve noticed that your sanitizer levels have dropped, it’s sometimes a good idea to shock the hot tub to get them back up to the right level. As chlorine works to remove contaminants from the water, it creates compounds known as chloramines, that burn eyes and creates the unpleasant yet all too familiar ‘pool’ odor. If you suspect the sanitizer level has dropped, test the water, and if necessary, shock the hot tub or pool.

There’s another thing we should note - it’s a good habit to shock your hot tub or pool at night since the shock will get a break from the harsh UV radiation over the night and better circulate through the water. That’s something to note, regardless of the reason you intend to shock your hot tub in the first place.

Right here at LeisureQuip, we offer shocks and other products specially formulated for shocking hot tubs like SpaGuard Enhanced Shock. Enhanced Shock is a multipurpose shock and oxidizer that restores water sparkle and contains a pH buffer to help prevent changes to the delicate pH balance of your spa. It even reduces unpleasant odors - and while SpaGuard Enhanced Shock is formulated specially for hot tubs, we offer plenty of other shocking products, including those designed for pools, right here on our site. Check out our collection of spa maintenance and sanitizing chemicals, and if you have any questions on products, give us a call at 866-546-8882. 

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