Do You Need to Shock a Hot Tub

By Mike

February 25, 2021

A hot tub is a great place to escape after a long day of work and can be used throughout the year. While having a hot tub is a wonderful addition to any backyard, you should always understand what is required to maintain and care for it properly. Many people wonder if they need to shock their hot tub.

Just like a swimming pool, hot tubs also need to be shocked in order to keep the water clean and bacteria free, making the hot tub safe for bathers. Most pool care experts recommend that you shock your hot tub at least once a week. If you use it regularly, then we recommend that you shock it twice per week. 

Shocking your hot tub is like a high impact sanitizer that will clean your hot tub and make it ready for others to use. There are a variety of cleaners that are either chlorine or non chlorine, and both are effective. 

Chlorine shock is more powerful, but you will have to wait for at least a day until the chemicals balance out. While non chlorine shock creates great water quality that, after it’s poured in, only has you waiting ten minutes. 

We will dive into why you need to shock your hot tub, how often, and how long to wait after you shock it. 

Why Do You Need to Shock a Hot Tub

Algae and contaminants can build up in your hot tub, causing a less than ideal experience. There are a variety of circumstances when you may need to shock your hot tub more often than usual.

For example, if you are using it a ton in one season, you will likely need to shock it more often. At the same time, if you haven’t used your hot tub in a while, it is recommended to give it a good shock. Shocking your hot tub is like a boost to get rid of any nasty algae that have built up on your hot tub over time. 

Shocking a hot tub acts as a major sanitizer to thoroughly and effectively clean your hot tub so you can use it throughout the year. As more people use your hot tub, the more often you will want to shock it. Just think of the contaminants coming in and out of your hot tub and how they can lead to building up after a while and shock away. Dead skin, hair, and other things can fall into your hot tub, which, if left alone, can make your hot tub not as welcoming as when you first purchased it. 

How Long Do You Need to Wait After You Shock a Hot Tub

How long you need to wait after you shock your hot tub completely depends on what you use. If you decide to utilize a shock that is non chlorine, then you only have to wait up to ten minutes before you can get in your hot tub. 

Using a chlorine shock is a completely different story. When using a chlorine shock in your pool, it is recommended to wait at least twenty-four hours before you use your hot tub. Also, this goes for any time you want to use your hot tub; you always want to make sure the chlorine is not above five ppm. If the chlorine level is higher than five ppm, you need to wait a little bit longer to enjoy your relaxing hot tub. 

What Happens If You Use a Hot Tub Without Chemicals 

If you decide that you don’t want to use chemicals in your hot tub, that is your own personal choice, but one that will come with an insane amount of upkeep. Keeping chemicals away from your hot tub means you will need to drain the hot tub every day after use and never keep water in the hot tub longer than twelve hours. If it sounds like a headache and timely chore, that’s because it absolutely is. 

Using chemicals in your hot tub can allow you to keep the same water in your hot tub for three months or more without any issues. 

There are certain ways that shocking your pool can clean your hot tub effectively. The shock treatment oxidizes and breaks down any organic matter that has found itself in your hot tub. When you use any type of chemical, you need to make sure you pay attention to how much to administer into your water. 

Pouring too much in will create a chemical imbalance that you will have to work out before you can use your hot tub. Using too few chemicals renders the entire process useless, causing you to need to redo your shock. 

Before you put shock into your hot tub, make sure your pH is between 7.2-7.6 and keep the cover off of your hot tub to allow chemicals to escape into the air instead of circulating in the water. Also, make sure to wear gloves and read safety steps before you administer any shock into your hot tub. 

How Often to Shock a Hot Tub

It is recommended to shock a hot tub once a week to keep your hot tub clean and the chemicals balanced. If you wait too long in between shocks, you will likely run into the murky water in your hot tub that isn’t appealing to get into. Shocking your hot tub and keeping it clean will ensure the use of your hot tub while also keeping contaminants at bay. 


Shocking your pool destroys and breaks down any contaminants that can lead to murky water or algae on your tub. By establishing a steady and consistent shocking treatment for your hot tub, you will increase the longevity of your hot tub. 

If it is the first time you are using your hot tub, it is recommended to shock the water to get it ready to use. Also, most times with hot tubs you need to replace the water every three to four months. Whenever you add new water to your tub, you should definitely shock your hot tub. After you shock your hot tub, you should always check the chemical level of the water before anyone enjoys the hot tub. You are wanting your chemical balance of chlorine to be at five ppm and no one should get into the hot tub until your chlorine is at this level. 

Conclusion 

A hot tub is an amazing feature to add to your outdoor living space. While they don’t require a ton of maintenance, knowing what they need to run properly is crucial for the life of your hot tub. Hot tubs can be used throughout the year, having a perfect spot to soak after a day’s work. Many new hot tub owners wonder if they truly need to shock their hot tub and, if so, why it’s necessary. 

When it comes to keeping your hot tub clean and sanitized, you should always shock your hot tub throughout the year. Experts recommend if you are using your hot tub often to shock it at least once a week. The more times your hot tub is used at one time, the more often you should shock it. Shocking your hot tub will get rid of contaminants and keep any build-up from forming on your hot tub. 


There are two options to shock your hot tub, chlorinated and non chlorinated. If you go the chlorine route, you will need to wait before you can enjoy your hot tub after you shock it, and the non chlorinated route you can use as little as ten minutes after.

About the author

Hi I'm Mike! I'm the owner, writer, and sometimes editor of Foundedproject.com. Being a new homeowner can be a little daunting, which is why I created this blog. I write about problems that a new home owner might run into. 

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