If you’re a spa or pool owner, you’re probably aware that proper care and maintenance are needed to keep it functioning properly for many years. One of the most important aspects of maintenance is adding chemicals to keep the water clean and balanced. But how long do you need to wait before it’s safe to swim in chemically treated water? Read on as we dive into what you need to know.
Understanding the Need to Treat Your Pool or Spa with Chemicals
Maintaining water balance in your hot tub is key to keeping it running smoothly and ensuring that the water remains clean and clear. This is not only for your own comfort, but also for the overall health of your pool or spa and all its components. Part of this maintenance includes adding chemicals to the water regularly. To find out what chemicals to add and how much you need, you first need to find out the pH levels of your water. The recommended range is between 7.2 to 7.8. Levels outside of these numbers would mean that the water is either too alkaline or too acidic, which can cause harm to your pool or spa and those who will use it.
So how do you keep an eye on the water levels to ensure it’s in a healthy state? There are physical signs like when the water turns cloudy or when swimmers start to notice itchy or stinging eyes. However, issues can arise without any physical indicators. For more accuracy, it’s best to use testing strips or kits to find out which chemicals you need to add as well as how much. By testing and checking proactively, you can avoid potential problems down the road.
The Right Amount of Waiting Time Before You Can Swim
There are different chemicals used for maintaining water balance, including pH adjusters, sanitizers, shocking agents and more. How long you have to wait before swimming after adding each one might vary depending on the types and brands you use. But to be safe, a good rule of thumb would be to wait at least 20 minutes to an hour before jumping in. This way, there’s enough time for the chemicals to settle and be distributed evenly throughout the water.
The waiting time would be different if you shocked the water with a significant amount of chlorine. You might need to wait up to 8-24 hours before anyone can use your swim spa or pool in this case. Shocking the water with chlorine should be done whenever you notice that it has turned cloudy or start seeing signs of algae. Waiting at least a day will ensure that the water is cleared up and there are no remaining signs of algae. If you choose to use other types of sanitizers to clean the water instead, the waiting time might only be a couple of hours. This is applicable for sanitizers that are less intense than pure chlorine, even though some of them are chlorine-based.
Another chemical that’s commonly used for keeping the water balanced in swim spas and pools is Calcium Chloride. This is typically needed when the calcium hardness levels don’t fall within the ideal range. When calcium hardness gets too low, it can affect the condition of your swim spa or pool components. If you want your water to last longer, you should stay on top of this maintenance practice whenever necessary. As for the waiting time, it’s best to wait a couple of hours before anyone gets in the water.
Maintaining water balance by treating it with chemicals is part of the pool or swim spa ownership experience. If you’d like to learn more about water balance and the chemicals you need at home, a spa or pool dealer near you would be the best to ask. For more information on finding the best swim spa or pool that suits your lifestyle, you can download our buyer’s guide for free.