How Often to Shock a Hot Tub – for Perfect Water

Michael Keenan


Hot Tub Water Chemistry

Do you own a hot tub? If so, then you should know that shock treatment is an essential part of maintenance to ensure the water stays clean and safe. But how often should you shock your hot tub? It depends on several factors such as frequency of use, number of users, and sanitizer used.

In this article I’ll discuss why it’s important to shock your hot tub, what factors to consider when deciding how often to do it, and the benefits of shocking it regularly.

So if you want to keep your hot tub in tip-top shape and protect yourself from any potential health hazards associated with unhygienic hot tubs, read on!

how often to shock a hot tub

Quick Answer:

How often you shock your hot tub depends on factors such as frequency of use, number of users and type of sanitizer used. Chlorine treatments are stronger than non-chlorine ones which allow them to disinfect the water apart from cleaning it.

Shocking a hot tub comes with several health and cleanliness benefits, so make sure to test the water using a strip if you’re unsure about when to shock it.

What Is Shock Treatment and Why Is It Important?

Shock treatment is a cleaning procedure in which you add an oxidizer to the water in the hot tub to help balance the water’s pH while also decontaminating the water. There are two forms of shock treatments you can use – chlorine-based and non-chlorine-based shock treatments.

Chlorine treatments are stronger than non-chlorine ones, allowing them to disinfect the water apart from simply cleaning it.

Due to frequent usage and constant dust and debris entering the water from the surroundings, the water may end up developing bacteria while also becoming dusty and cloudy. This kind of water becomes unsafe and unsanitary to use, which is why it is important to shock the water regularly.

Take some time to read my series of guides covering shocking your hot tub. Check them out at the links below:

These cover all you need to know about shock in hot tubs and spas so get reading!

a number of people in a hot tub

So, How Often Should You Shock a Hot Tub?

How often to shock a hot tub depends on the frequency of use, number of users, and types of sanitizers used. There is no exact number of times per week or month – you need some common sense. The more frequent the use and the more the people that use it, the more frequently you should shock your hot tub.

I do it around once a week, but your usage and needs might differ, so make sure you account for certain factors to figure out how often your hot tub requires a shock treatment.

Some of the points highlighted below will help you understand these factors better.

  • Frequency of Use: The more often you end up using your hot tub, the more frequent should the shocking treatment be. Using the hot tub around 4 times a week, for instance, will need more frequent treatment than using it a couple of times each week.
  • Number of Users: If you are the only one using your hot tub, you should be okay with shocking the tub once every couple of weeks or so. However, if your entire family uses the tub every time or if you have a hot tub gathering, you will need to shock the tub much more often.
  • Type of Sanitizer Used: Your sanitizer might include chlorine or bromine, with the latter resulting in relatively weaker toxins as compared to chlorine. In this case, it might be okay to shock the hot tub less often. However, account for whether you use chlorine or shock treatments without chlorine as well.
  • Water Testing: If you are unsure or doubtful, the best thing to do is test the water in the hot tub. If the levels are off, it is time to perform a shock treatment.

Based on the above factors, you should shock a hot tub once or twice a week if you use the hot tub frequently. Similarly, if you have multiple users, it is a good idea to shock the hot tub immediately after your session ends.

Chlorine shock treatments should keep your tub safe for another couple of weeks if you do not use it often, such as in colder seasons or for indoor tubs.

Not every hot tub uses chlorine based sanitizer. There are alternative sanitizers for tubs and spas as I explain here. Then there are saltwater systems – I have a guide on converting your tub to saltwater here. These systems still benefit from shock treatments but you might modify how often you use them.

hot tub jets

When is the Best Time of Day to Shock?

This gets asked quite a bit but the truth is you can shock a hot tub at any time of day. It is good practice to avoid adding shock treatments when temperatures are extremely high or during rain. Use some common sense!

I usually do any chemical treatments in the evening when we have finished using the hot tub (or pool). This gives time for everything to settle overnight and be ready for use the next day – after testing of course.

The Benefits of Shocking Your Spa

Shocking a hot tub results in several advantages not only for you but also for the tub. The overall benefit is to keep the correct chemical balance in your tub. Take a look at the primary benefits of such treatments below.

Health Benefits

If contaminants pool up in your hot tub, they might also end up getting on your skin and inside your body, resulting in health issues like breathing, skin rashes, itchiness, and more. The bacteria may also result in various infections and illnesses, such as pneumonia, lung disorders, dermatitis, and others.

By getting rid of such contaminants, the shock treatment can help keep you safe and healthy no matter how many times you use your hot tub.

Additionally, sanitizers tend to leave behind chloramines or bromamines that may cause respiratory issues. Shock treatments decompose these so that they do not cause you any harm.

Cleanliness Benefits

Whenever you enter the hot tub, the water will sweep away all the dirt present on your body, such as dust, grease, hair products, soap oils, and hair, among others. Although these will clean you up, they will end up pooling in the water and result in unhygienic water for the next person who uses the hot tub or the next time you use it.

This can result in unsanitary conditions, with sanitizers not being enough to get rid of them either. This is where shock treatments come in, allowing the chemicals present in them to clear the water and keep the hot tub in a functional and efficient state.

Read next: How Much Chlorine To Add to Your Hot Tub the First Time You Use It.

Questions and Answers

What is the ideal frequency of shocking a hot tub?

The ideal frequency of shocking a hot tub is once every one to two weeks, depending on usage.

What kind of chemicals should be used for shocking a hot tub?

Commonly used chemicals for shocking a hot tub include chlorine, bromine and non-chlorine shock treatments such as oxygen shock or enzyme-based shocks.

How can I tell if my hot tub needs to be shocked?

You can tell if your hot tub needs to be shocked if there’s an increase in foaminess or cloudiness in the water, an unpleasant odor coming from the water, or discoloration of the water itself.

lady relaxing in a spa

Summing Up

Shocking a hot tub regularly is an important step to maintain the water’s cleanliness and hygiene. It should be done at least once or twice a week depending on frequency of use, number of users and types of sanitizers used.

Chlorine treatments are stronger than non-chlorine ones, allowing them to disinfect the water apart from simply cleaning it. Shock treatments can decompose chloramines or bromamines that may cause respiratory issues as well as help clear away dirt, dust and other contaminants from people using the hot tub.

Regular shocking can reduce the need to change the hot tub water frequently – saving you time and money. Not to mention saving water!

If you are unsure about when your hot tub needs a shock treatment, test the water with a strip for accurate results. This way you can make sure that your hot tub remains functional and efficient while also keeping you safe and healthy every time you use it!

michael keenan author

Author - Michael Keenan

I'm Michael Keenan the owner and creator of the Outdoor Care Guide. I'm a trained horticulturist with over 30 years of experience in pool care, plant care, and landscape care! Seemed like a good idea to share - I think I can make your life easier and save you some time and money!