How to Shock a Hot Tub with These 6 Quick Guides

Having a hot tub is definitely something worthy that you can consider adding to your house, especially if you love a water feature for relaxing purposes. The hydrotherapy function that comes with a hot tub or spa is the best option for people who seek something that helps to improve their health or just simply for entertainment purposes like gatherings or parties.

How to Shock a Hot Tub

No matter what purpose that you’re looking for from a hot tub, just like other water features, regular maintenance is very important when it comes to a hot tub. It’s because when someone gets into the tub, they take many organic contaminants in like dead skin cells, shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, makeup, and others. Of course, these contaminants may affect the function and condition of the hot tub water.

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Some homeowners might think that sanitizing a hot tub is enough to make it clean and good enough to use when in fact, no it’s not enough. The hot tub shock in this term is the use of a large dose of oxidizer to ensure that the water is in a safe state after it’s been contaminated. This process has a few functions such as:

  • Remove organic contaminants. If you use your hot tub often or you have 3 or 4 bathers in there at once, the level of organic contaminants can spike quickly, and removing these contaminants is a must.
  • Kill bacteria. Chlorine and bromine-based shock products can easily kill bacteria so it is safe. However, if you use other types of shock compounds, they will not disinfect the water.
  • Remove bromamines or chloramines. Performing shock once a week will help break the bonds that form these contaminants so they can easily be removed from the water.
  • Reactivate bromides. If your hot tub uses bromine, adding shock once a week will help activate it to properly clean the water of your hot tub.

Supplies and Tools That You’ll Need:

  • Hot tub shock products (chlorine or non-chlorine-based)
  • Protective gears (goggles and gloves)
  • Chemical test strips kit

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The Steps


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There are two types of shock products that you can choose based on your needs, those are:

  • Chlorine-based: this type can work as oxidizers and disinfectants that can be used periodically because the chemicals can be hard on your hot tub’s plumbing if you’re not careful. This shock is best used when you first open your hot tub or when you change the water and when you need to give it a good cleaning after a heavy bather load.
  • Non-chlorine-based: this shock is not the right choice if you want to remove bacteria since this compound won’t disinfect the water. However, they’re great at oxidizing other contaminants and can be used for regular use such as on a regular basis to keep the water safe while you are using your spa on a fairly regular basis.


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This step is basically needed throughout the whole process to keep the chemicals off from the water and let your spa breathe. The spa cover, thermal cover, or any other accessories that float on the water have to be removed completely.

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Another important point to check is the chemistry level of the tub that includes:

  • pH level should be between 7.4 – 7.6.
  • Alkalinity should be between 100 ppm to 150 ppm.
  • Calcium hardness needs to be about 100 ppm to 250 ppm.

For a more detailed explanation of this chemistry test, you can check this page about how to maintain a hot tub by yourself.


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  • Turn on the circulation pump to help the shock circulate well through the hot tub.
  • Turn off the jets so the water won’t move too agitated.

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Now it’s the main process which is adding the shock to the hot tub. Please make sure that you add the right amount of product.

  • Check the manufacture’s instructions to know the perfect dose of shock.
  • Measure the amount of shock you need for the amount of water your hot tub holds. Consult the manufacturer if you’re not sure how many gallons of water are in your hot tub.
  • Please make sure to open the windows to get a well-ventilated workspace if it’s indoors.
  • If your hot tub is outdoors, you have to be extra careful because the strong wind might blow the chemical to you.
  • Once you’re done, pour the shock into the hot tub and wait about 20 minutes.


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  • After 20 minutes, you can cover the hot tub if you’re not going to use it immediately.
  • Before soaking, please ensure the time needed for the shock to be completely done.
  • There’s no exact rule about how long you have to wait before using the hot tub again. You can check the chemistry level again and the shock instruction pages for more details.

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Soaking in the cloudy and dirty hot tub is not something that you want because instead of having a relaxing time and hydrotherapy effect, you will only get contaminated by unwanted contaminants – both organics and inorganics. If you use your hot tub often or with other 2-3 more people, then you have no other choice than to do the shock at least once or twice every week.

This process may look like a hassle but again, it’s for your health and the life of the hot tub itself. If you’re not sure about the process or a first-timer, of course, it would be great to contact a pro at first to know the process better. After that, you can do it by yourself by keeping everything safe. So, when was the last time you shook your hot tub?

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