If you’re new to owning a hot tub, then you’re probably aware that you need to put time aside to properly sanitise and clean your hot tub to ensure you can use it safely. However, one term you may have heard of, but might not be familiar with, is hot tub shocking.

Forming a key part of any good hot tub maintenance routine, shock treatment for hot tubs is an absolute must if you’re looking to completely purge your hot tub of any remaining bacteria and dirt that may be lingering in your hot tub’s water. Therefore, understanding how to shock a hot tub properly is an essential step to understand, as are the dos and don’ts of hot tub shocking in order to avoid damaging your hot tub’s systems over time. Keep reading to learn about all this and more in our guide to shocking a hot tub the right way.

What is ‘shocking’ a hot tub?

Despite the name, shocking a hot tub has nothing to do with electricity. Instead, shocking refers to the use of adding a large dose of chlorine or bromine into your water in order to eliminate any stubborn bacteria and microorganisms that might be calling your hot tub home, as well as removing lingering smells caused by other sanitisers.

Essentially, a shock treatment for a hot tub is all about ‘shocking’ the water in your tub in order to maximise the cleansing potential of your sanitisers. But compared to standard chlorine and bromine hot tub chemical washes, which require a concentration of at least 1.5 and 3 ppm, a shock requires a concentration of over 10 ppm!

As you can imagine, this has a much more powerful effect compared to your regular sanitiser, but it’s guaranteed to utterly eliminate any remaining smells and dirt still harboured in your hot tub’s water.

Why do you need to use hot tub shock?

As we’ve just highlighted, the main reason you’d want to shock your hot tub is to make sure that any sanitiser scents and bacteria are removed from your water. But if shocking a hot tub results in water that has a very high concentration of chlorine, something that you’d typically want to avoid, why do you need to use it?

Well, despite being the main way to ensure your hot water stays disinfected, over time, your sanitisers will actually produce smelly compounds known as chloramines or bromamines over time, depending on whether you use chlorine or bromine as a sanitiser.

On top of that, bacteria will eventually grow in your water, regardless of regular sanitiser use. And when combined with the oils, skin, hair, skin cells, and other things that you leave behind every time you use your hot tub (which regular sanitiser can’t remove), eventually, you’re going to need to substantially dose your water in sanitiser or drain and replace it.

What are the different types of hot tub shock?

When it comes to purchasing a shock treatment for your hot tub, there are two main types of hot tub chemicals you’ll have to choose from – chlorine shock and non-chlorine shock.

Chlorine shock is, as the name suggests, made from a higher concentration of powdered chlorine, giving it a more potent effect than a non-chlorine shock due to chlorine’s higher intensity as a sanitiser.

On the other hand, non-chlorine shock is made up of other oxidising agents, which will still clean your tub while not raising the chlorine level but may require a higher dosage in order to be fully effective. However, it will all really depend on the dosage instructions given by your chosen hot tub shock.

How to shock a hot tub for the first time

Now that we’ve covered what hot tub shock is, let’s now look at how to shock a hot tub for the first time. And the good news is that this is very easy to do. Simply follow the steps below and you should have no trouble fully sanitising your tub:

  1. Start by purchasing your preferred hot tub shock of choice, either chlorine or non-chlorine, and then make sure you have protective goggles and gloves to hand before using it.
  2. With your shock in hand, remove your hot tub’s cover and rigorously follow the instructions given for use on your chosen product.
  3. Once added to your hot tub’s water, activate the jets of your tub on a low setting with the air valves off to allow for proper shock circulation and leave your tub with the cover off for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Finally, check the chlorine level of your water using a hot tub test strip. If the levels are within normal levels, you can use your hot tub straightaway. Otherwise, run your hot tub for a little bit longer in order to allow the shock to fully dissolve.

Get your new hot tub from Platinum Spas

And there you have it – shocking a hot tub really is that easy! With our guide, you should now have no trouble keeping your hot tub clean and fresh for regular use and relaxation.

Of course, if you’re still doing your research about owning a hot tub, and now feel ready to make your first purchase, then you should get in touch with the experts at Platinum Spa today!

With hot tubs designed to suit all types of homes and hot tub owners, our tubs are some of the best on the market, making sure you get a hot tub you know you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.

Of course, there’s also more to looking after a hot tub than simply sanitising it regularly, all of which you can learn about over on our owners’ hub where we have articles covering related topics such as using a hot tub without chemicals and how to balance your hot tub’s pH levels correctly.

Hot tub shock FAQs

How much chlorine is needed to shock a hot tub?

To properly shock a tub, you’ll need roughly between 35-40 grams of shock for every 1500 litres of water. However, it’s always best to refer to your chosen hot tub shock for exact measurements when shocking your tub.

Are chlorine and shock the same thing?

In most cases, chlorine and shock will be similar, if not exactly the same thing. However, other kinds of shock don’t use chlorine at all, but these are also effective oxidizers. If you would rather not use chlorine, you can purchase a number of types of non-chlorine shock to use instead.

Can you over-shock a tub?

Yes, you can indeed over-shock a hot tub by adding too much shock to your water. This is why it’s so important to closely follow the instructions for application laid out on your purchased hot tub shock. Otherwise, you risk damaging the pipes and filters of your tub.

How long do you need to wait after shocking a hot tub to use it again?

You should always wait at least 20 minutes before using your tub after shocking. However, longer is always better. Again, if you’re unsure how long to wait, you should refer to the instructions provided on your chosen shock product.

How often should a hot tub be shocked?

You should aim to shock your hot tub regularly, at least once per week. But if you use your hot tub for several hours each day or fill it with people multiple times per week, you should shock it twice per week. However, do be sure to check your hot tub’s pH levels regularly to ensure that you’re also not shocking it too much.

Jamie Smith