how much bleach to shock hot tub

Shocking your hot tub is a very important part of sanitation maintenance. When you shock your hot tub, you are able to clear out tiny contaminants, such as unwanted bacteria, lingering smells, hair, dead skin cells, and more.

Shocking your hot tub regularly is extremely important for your health and comfort, though many people aren’t aware that you are able to shock your hot tub with something as simple as household bleach.

Come with us as we explore how you can shock your hot tub using household bleach.

Before we dive in and explore why you might choose to use bleach to shock a hot tub, we want to first make sure that you understand why you might choose to shock a hot tub in the first place.

Spa shocks are oxidizers that are made from a powdered form, and eventually create liquid chlorine, which is bleach, non-chlorine potassium sulfate, or granular chlorine. Hot tub shock can also be composed of a form of liquid hydrogen peroxide, which can only be used in a hot tub that uses chlorine, not a hot tube that uses bromine.

When it comes down to why people shock their hot tubs, there are three main reasons:

  • Shocking a hot tub helps destroy additional contaminants in the water if the hot tub has been used by multiple people
  • Shocking a hot tub reactivates bromide ions, turning them into active bromine
  • Shocking a hot tub kills pathogens, viruses, bacteria, algae, and anything else that may not disappear with your normal sanitation method.

Shocking a Hot Tub With Bleach

The good news is, when shocking your hot tub with bleach, you can use your everyday household bleach, as long as it does not come with additives and it is the non-scented variety.

However, because bleach has an extremely high pH of 13, it can cause your pH level in your hot tub to rise drastically.

Because of this, many hot tub owners will stray away from bleach and instead use dichlor, better known as chlorine granules, or non-chlorine shock, as both of these stray more towards the neutral side of the pH scale.

To determine how much bleach that you need to use in your hot tub, it is best to use a chlorine test kit.

 If you don’t have a test kit and you want to average it out, it is known that 1 cup of bleach that is 5% strength will raise a 300-gallon spa by 10 ppm.

Shocking Your Hot Tub With Chlorine

Before your decide to shock your hot tub using a chlorine shock, it is very important to understand that you can purchase chlorine granules in a wide variety of strengths and concentrations.

Foll0wing the dosage instructions on the packaging is crucial for safety.

If you have a hot tub with 300 gallons of water, for example, you can raise the chlorine level in that hot tub by around 10 ppm with only 0.7oz of chlorine granules when you shake them over the surface of the hot tub water.

You should only use a chlorine shock if your hot tub has a balanced pH level, which is sitting somewhere in the range of 7.2-7.4. You must also make sure that you are running the circulation pump on high, as it will allow the shock to distribute throughout the water quickly.

After you pour your chlorine shock in your hot tub, keep the hot tub cover off of the hot tub for around 30 minutes or so, as this will prevent any hot tub cover damage by allowing the reaction gases to escape.

Continue testing the water in your hot tub until the chlorine or bromine levels have dropped back down to 5 ppm or below.

Shocking Your Hot Tub With A Non-Chlorine Shock

A non-chlorine shock is made up of Potassium Monopersulfate or Potassium Peroxymonosulfate, otherwise known as MPS or PPMS. Non-chlorine shocks dissolve rather fast and are incredibly powerful oxidizers that are often used in hot tubs and spa.

It is extremely important to look at the box to get instructions on shock dosage, as you cannot measure a non-chlorine shock with your average test strip.

If you are planning on shocking an average hot tub, which is somewhere around 300 gallons, then you will likely use anywhere from one to two oz or non-chlorine shock. Make sure that the hot tub pump is running before broadcasting your shock atop the surface of the water.

It is crucial to use your shock after you use the hot tub, and not prior.

Shocking Your Hot Tub With Bromine

Many people think that if they have a bromine hot tub, then they would shock their hot tub with bromine. The thing is, you should never shock your hot tub using bromine, as there isn’t such a thing out there as a bromine shock. However, there are many people out there that tend to confuse hot tub shocks with bromie ions. Bromide, which is the reserve gathered from bromine. Bromides are sometimes used to boost the pool of bromide, which is then turned into bromine when MPS or chlorine granules are used

Can A Hot Tub Shock Water Be Dangerous?

If you mix a spa shock with any other type of chemical, they can actually be quite dangerous. It can also be dangerous to let a spa shock get moist before it is used in the hot tub, or become contaminated with debris. A spa shock can produce noxious fumes, and in many cases are highly flammable, which is why it is crucial that you properly store them at all time.

Because spa shocks are so very hazardous, it is crucial that you store them in a dry, cool location, far out 0f reach of children or pets.

A spa shock can also be very dangerous for a hot tub if too much is used. A spa shock overdose could damage a hot tub’s finish, as well as a hot tub cover. It is very important to allow bromine and chlorine levels to subside prior to when you want to use the hot tub, as levels that are too high could irritate the hair, skin, and eyes, cause breathing difficulties, or bleach swimsuit material.

Whether you are using a chlorine shock or a non-chlorine shock in your hot tub, it is very important to follow the instructions on the back of the box to make sure that your shock is done safely and properly.

Pros and Cons of a Bleach Shock

Pros of a Bleach Shock

There are a few reasons why a hot tub owner might choose to use bleach to shock hot tub water, including:

  • It can be easier to find than a regular shock product (you likely have some bleach somewhere in your house already)
  • Bleach is very inexpensive compared to chlorine products
  • You can purchase a fair amount of bleach at a regular store, meaning you don’t have to go out to a specialty retailer

If you’re looking to shock the hot tub without spending a ton of money, or if you need to shock it in a pinch, then bleach can be a great choice. Bleach is available most of the time, and if you ever need more, you won’t have to search very hard.

Cons of a Bleach Shock

In some cases, a spa shock with bleach isn’t the best idea. A few disadvantages of a bleach spa shock include:

  • Bleach doesn’t come with spa shock instructions like chlorine, meaning you have to make an educated guess as to how much you should use.
  • It could boost the pH levels in your spa by far too much compared to chlorine, which could cause calcium build-up in your spa. This could potentially damage some of the components in your spa and force you to clean your spa far more often.Too much in the water could end up irritating your skin
  • Too much in the water could end up irritating your skin

With that said, there are ways to avoid the negative impacts of bleach by only using the minimal amount that you need and correcting the pH levels in your water once you are finished with the shock process. Always make sure to use test strips to test out the pH in your spa water once you are done with your shock.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, all you need to shock your water is a good oxidizer. A spa that has been carefully shocked will kill bacteria and algae, sanitize your water, and get rid of that funky old spa smell. Generally, spa water can be shocked weekly. It is especially important to shock your spa water weekly if several people are using it, as it can kill harmful bacteria, contaminants, and more. 

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