how soon can you use hot tub after adding chemicals

Hot tub chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine, are used to make sure that your hot tub is free from bacteria. However, if you enter your hot tub too soon after adding them, you risk irritation.

The real question is,

Is there a specific amount of time that you should wait to go into your hot tub after adding chemicals?

Come dive in with us as we explain the answer!

How Long Should I Wait To Get In My Hot Tub After Adding Chlorine?

30 minutes is about how long it takes for the chemicals to dissipate into your hot tub’s water.

However, its very important that you check your chemical levels prior to getting inside.

First, add your non-chlorine shock and give it ten minutes before adding chlorine shock. After you’ve added the chlorine shock, give it another twenty minutes before hopping in to be safe.

Rushing through the process of balancing the water inside your hot tub is not a good idea, as proper water balance is crucial to a happy and healthy hot tub experience.

The Difference Between Chlorine and Bromine

To get a better understanding of exactly how long that you need to wait prior to entering your hot tub after adding chlorine or any other chemicals, you first need to understand the difference between the two most popular kinds of hot tub chemical types, chlorine and bromine.

Both of these types of chemicals are sanitizers made to clean your spa and stop unwanted bacteria from popping up. 

Do note that chlorine is much less stable when it is used in hot tub water because of its dislike of warm temperatures.

You will commonly find chlorine in pools for this reason, while bromine is used more frequently in hot tubs.

The beauty of bromine is that it lasts much longer when it comes to warm water, meaning you don’t have to spend as much time applying. Bromine, when put in water, also dissolves much slower, which is one other reason that you don’t have to apply it nearly as often as chlorine.

Of course, many people don’t like having to use bromine because it is more expensive than adding chlorine to your hot tub. If you want the more effective option, an option that is even better for your skin, then we highly recommend going with bromine.

No matter which of these two chemicals you decide to add to your hot tub, we highly recommend waiting thirty minutes at the least.

We also highly recommend putting your jets on and allowing water circulation, as this will help absorb whichever chemical you put inside your hot tub. Make certain that when you are allowing the jets to run, you keep the hot tub cover off. If your hot tub cover is still on your hot tub, it could trap in vapors from the chemicals.

If you plan on adding chlorine into your hot tub, you want it to be around 5-8 parts per million (ppm). You can test this out with high-quality test strips. Having this amount of chlorine in your hot tub will make sure the hot tub is free from unwanted bacteria.

However, do note that chlorine isn’t nearly as effective when it comes to killing bacteria as bromine, which is why you will need to add more and wait for the levels to go down.

If you get in immediately after adding chlorine into your hot tub, you risk skin irritation.

Continue using your test strips to test your water until it gets to a point where it is around 3-5 parts per million. When it reaches this level, you will know that it is safe to get inside. Don’t get water or dirt on your test strip before you test the water, as it could have a negative impact on the testing process.

Can I Enter My Hot Tub Faster After Adding Bromine?

For the most part, you can get in a hot tub quicker after you add bromine compared to adding chlorine.

The safe level of bromine in hot tub water is anywhere between 1 and 3 parts per million (ppm). As you know now, the safe level of chlorine in your hot tub is anywhere between 3-5 parts per million.

Similarly to adding chlorine to your hot tub, it is also a good idea to make sure the cover is off so that the chemical vapors don’t sit around in your water once you’ve added bromine.

Give it at least twenty minutes before you test the water.

Usually, you can get in the hot tub after adding bromine much faster thanks to the fact that it isn’t as irritating as chlorine.

If you’re used to using chlorine, however, it is pretty easy to go a bit too heavy-handed with your bromine addition. In that case, you will need to wait until it reaches the safe level of 1-3 parts per million (ppm).

Depending on how high the initial levels are, you might have to wait up to 24 hours until it completely dissipates.

Just make sure that you keep testing your hot tub water to get an idea of the parts per million so that you can decide whether it is safe to hop in, or if you should wait for a bit longer.

Do note that when using bromine, the water in your hot tub may appear cloudier than compared to using chlorine. Chlorine oxidizes differently than bromine. You can get rid of that cloudy look and obtain crystal clear water by adding a water clarifying product and running the jets.

Your hot tub maintenance schedule should not differ too much, no matter which chemical you prefer, as at least once per week is recommended for both bromine and chlorine. 

Safe Bromine and Chlorine Levels For a Hot Tub

So you now know that the “safe levels” for bromine and chlorine are different from one another. When using bromine, it is much easier to get away with a lower number of parts per million, as bromine is far more stable, especially when it comes to hot water.

For a quick understanding of how many parts per million you need to add of each:

  • Chlorine in a pool – 1-3 parts per million
  • Chlorine in a hot tub – 3-5 parts per million
  • Bromine in a pool or hot tub – 2-6 parts per million

Do note that it can be very unpleasant bathing in a hot tub that has a high level of either bromine or chlorine in the water. Even if you have bromine in your hot tub, if the level is way too high, you will get the public pool-like chlorine smell.

If the chlorine levels in your hot tub are too high, you could end up dealing with problems, including respiratory problems, itchy eyes, rashes, and skin irritation.

High chlorine levels can also cause problems for the hot tub itself, diminishing the quality of the equipment within the hot tub, including the pipes.

Is It Safe To Use a Hot Tub With If the Chlorine Levels Are High?

If you get in a hot tub with high chlorine levels, you risk getting rashes and itching. There are plenty of natural hot tub treatments that you can use to avoid rashes and itchiness, which you can check out in our article, Natural Hot Tub Treatment Reviews.

This article discusses the best chemicals out there for sensitive skin and hair.

Regardless of how high the chlorine levels or chemical levels are in your hot tub, you will always be basking in a large chemical soup when you are using a hot tub. The last thing you want is for the levels to be far too high, as it can negatively impact your health.

If you check the chlorine levels within your hot tub after adding chlorine and you notice that they are anywhere above 3 to 5 parts per million, then the hot tub is not quite safe to use and you should wait at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes before going in.

Balancing Your Hot Tub Water

Trying to balance the water in your hot tub begs a lot of questions. The first thing you need to figure out is what kinds of chemicals you want to buy. It’s no fun playing chemist all day when all you want to do is enjoy a hot soak, which is why we highly recommend checking out one or both of the following guides: Best Hot Tub Chemicals or Best Hot Tub Chemicals For Sensitive Skin.

Whatever chemicals you choose, it is always important to test the water in your hot tub before you get in to make sure that is ready to use safely.

We hope that this article was helpful in answering your question about adding chemicals to your hot tub. Go off with this new knowledge and relax knowing that you’re taking advantage of a happy and healthy soaking experience. 

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