What Does Shocking A Hot Tub Do?


The main reason to shock your hot tub is solely to kill harmful bacteria. Shocking a hot tub means sanitizing a hot tub with special cleaners and solutions. This is important because harmful bacteria buildup in your hot tub can cause some diseases or infections. 

Additionally, hot tub rash is very common in spas that aren’t taken care of or cleaned regularly. This infection will cause redness, itchiness, pain, and hive-like reactions on your skin, which will take a few days to a few weeks to go away. 

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When should I shock my hot tub?

It’s recommended to shock your hot tub at least once a week. If you use your hot tub countless times throughout the week and invite others in, you should also consider shocking your hot tub more than once a week. 

You will generally know when it’s time to shock your hot tub because of the water. If your hot tub’s water is cloudy or if your hot tub smells, it’s likely to shock your tub. On the other hand, you may use your hot tub sparingly. 

If this is the case, and hot tub use is few and far between, you should consider shocking your hot tub before using it again after extended periods of time. This cleaning before using your hot tub will eliminate any bacteria that has grown in your hot tub’s water from sitting still for long amounts of time. 

How long does shocking a hot tub take?

Shocking your hot tub will take a few minutes. However, it’s recommended to refrain from entering your hot tub for at least 20 minutes after the shock takes place. Additionally, you should keep the hot tubs covered while you are waiting 20 minutes after putting the cleaning solutions in. 

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How many times can you shock a hot tub?

Even though shocking your hot tub is a good thing, you must follow the general rules of doing so. This is because shocking your hot tub involves adding a high dose of chemicals to your tub’s water. Frequent shocking is alright, but there is a limit. 

Generally, it is recommended to shock your hot tub at least once a week, and maybe more if usage is high. Some users will shock their hot tubs after each use or daily. This will be great if their spas water constantly becomes cloudy or smelly. However, as long as you shock your tub once a week, and if you see dirty water or smells, you will be on the right track. 

What is the best way to shock a hot tub?

There are recommended steps that you can follow when it comes to shocking your hot tub. First, you need to take off your hot tub’s cover and check that your tub’s pH balance is between 7.2 and 7.6 and that the chlorine levels are sitting between 7.0 and 7.4.

Once this has been confirmed, turning on the jets is recommended in order to circulate the chemicals further and ready the water for cleaning solutions. However, if your hot tub has a blower, don’t switch this on; only the jets. From there, you can add cleaning solutions. 

It’s suggested to ensure you always use the proper amounts of chlorine shock for the size of your spa. When you have completed adding the proper amounts of solution, you need to allow it to circulate for about 20 minutes. 

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What happens if you don’t shock your hot tub?

If you don’t shock your hot tub, there will be a build-up of bacteria within your hot tub, causing those who use your hot tub issues. Sometimes, hair, dead skin, or other follicles can end up on your body, which can cause blockages or bacteria growth over time.

By leaving your hot tub dirty, you will be exposing yourself and others to infections and diseases. Some of the most common problems that one can experience with dirty hot tubs are ear infections, trashes, legionella infections, UTIs, and lung infections. 

Swimming Pool Company in Hickory, NC / Google Stock Images

How long after you shock a hot tub to be able to go back in the water?

Generally, it’s expected that you wait at least 20 minutes after shocking your hot tub. Sometimes, a test strip is suggested to ensure that the chlorine solution levels have calmed down before exposing your body to the water. 


  • Jason

    Jason is an experienced writer, having contributed to many popular websites over the years. He currently writes for Big Hot Tub, a blog about everything hot tubs. When he's not writing or working on his blog, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.