What Is Hot Tub Shock?

What Is Hot Tub Shock?

For those in the market for their first hot tub they may have come across a term that instills fear and warns of danger.  What is hot tub shock anyway?  You’ll be happy to know that it’s neither dangerous nor anything to be afraid of.  Hot tub shock is basically a regular maintenance procedure used to keep the water in your hot tub free of bacteria and algae while allowing it to remain fresh and clear. 

Do You Need to Shock Hot Tubs?

The simple answer is, “Yes, most definitely!”  Without regular shocking you would find yourself soaking in smelly water that’s full of dead skin cells, germs and other contaminants.  When people use the hot tub, their body’s skin and natural oils, along with soap and sunscreen residues, perfumes and deodorants, end up left behind.  This, and the warm water, creates an environment that allows microorganisms, funguses and algaes to grow.  What results is cloudy, odorific water than might give you a skin condition.  Fortunately shocking the water can combat this and allow you to soak to your heart’s content without any worry of infection.

What Is Hot Tub Shock Made Of?

There are two main types of hot tub shock available for sale.  Chlorine based shocks work by oxidizing contaminants, whereas bromine-based shocks work by ionizing the contaminants.  The major differences between the two are that chlorine-based shocks work faster but dissipate more quickly.  Bromine based shocks take longer to work, but also last longer.  Consequently, you’ll have to apply chlorine shock more often than bromine shock.  Because chlorine is stronger it also has an adverse effect on the components of the hot tub.  It has a characteristic odor that’s hard on the nose, lungs and eyes.  Bromine is milder, but high concentrations will still irritate the skin.

How to Shock A Hot Tub?

As mentioned, both types of hot tub shock can irritate the skin.  You definitely don’t want to be getting them in your eyes.  For this reason, it’s important to wear eye protection and rubber gloves when working with them.  Take extra care when it’s windy out and thoroughly clean up any spills.  You’ll also need to choose one type of shock treatment.  Mixing them can result in a dangerous chemical reaction.  Before adding the shock to the water, make sure your pH levels are balanced.  Follow the directions on the package to measure the correct amount.  Once added to the water, leave the hot tub uncovered while allowing the shock to do its job.

How Long Will It Take?

The amount of time that must elapse before the hot tub is ready to use again depends on the type of shock you’re using, the amount you added and how contaminated the water was.  Your shock will come with test strips that allow you to measure their levels in the water.  Follow the directions to find out when to start testing the water and the levels you need to reach before the hot tub can be used safely again.

More Information

If you want to learn more about the maintenance procedures required to run a hot tub, the different types of hot tubs available or the benefits of using a hot tub, download a buyer’s guide today.