too much chlorine in hot tub

When it comes to sanitizing the water inside of a hot tub, only a small amount of chlorine is necessary. It is very easy to overdo the amount of chlorine if you don’t add your chemicals in with caution. Too much chlorine in the water can be very bad on your lungs, eyes, skin, and hair.

The beauty is, reducing the amount of chlorine in your hot tub is fairly easy. In many cases, you won’t have to do much at all.

Come dive in with us as we explore the ins and out of dealing with high chlorine levels in a hot tub.

Do I Have Too Much Chlorine In My Hot Tub?

Many hot tub owners assume their hot tub chlorine levels are too high.

People often think that they can determine chlorine levels in their hot tub by simply smelling it, while some think that a change in hair color or a bit of skin discomfort is a tell-tale sign.

In reality, these signs aren’t accurate measurements of high chlorine levels. 

If you’re dealing with any of these consequences, it is likely that you have other substances in your hot tub water, include copper or chloramines. High pH levels could also be the cause. See our guide to What Causes High pH In A Hot Tub for more information.

The true way to know whether or not your chlorine levels are too high is by using chlorine test strips to test the water. According to the CDC, it is a good idea to keep the chlorine levels in your hot tub between 1-3 ppm to use your hot tub safely. If your test strips show that the chlorine level is above or below this range, its best to make some adjustments.

What Happens If I Have High Levels Of Chlorine In My Hot Tub Water?

Keeping a close eye on your bromine vs chlorine levels is crucial. If they are much too high, you could be in trouble. Hot tubs should have a chlorine level of about three ppm. Hot tubs with chlorine levels around three ppm can keep your water free from bacteria without harming your skin, eyes, or hair.

However, numerous issues can arise if you add too much chlorine to your hot tub. It can degrade the physical surfaces of the spa very quickly, including filters and pillows. While bromine is a strong chemical compound, chlorine is much stronger.

If you realize that your skin, eyes, or any other parts of your body are feeling irritated due to the high amount of chlorine in the water, you may want to drain your hot tub and switch over to bromine. The beauty of bromine is that it is far better on the body and is also extremely effective at killing bacteria.

Visit Best Hot Tub Chemicals For Sensitive Skin or Best Hot Tub Chemicals to see our recommended products.

Regardless of the type of sanitizer you prefer to use, having the right amount in your hot tub water is crucial for killing contaminants without jeopardizing your health or the integrity of your hot tub.

Reducing Hot Tub Chlorine Levels In Your Water

Not Doing Anything

You might decide to let the chlorine level in your hot tub water reduce on its own. If you test the levels of chlorine in your water and see that it is above 3 ppm and you won’t be using your hot tub any time in the near future, you shouldn’t have to do anything at all. 

If this is the case, wait at least a day before you hop into your hot tub water, and don’t add any more chlorine to the water. Eventually, the chlorine levels will drop on their own. If you want to expedite the level reduction process, you can take the hot tub cover off of your hot tub and run your jets. UV light is also known to reduce chlorine levels in hot tubs, which is great if you live in an especially sunny location.

Use Fresh Water To Refill Your Spa

One simple way to reduce chlorine levels in your hot tub is to drain the hot tub altogether. Once your hot tub is drained, you can fill it back up with fresh water. After adding fresh water, add bromine or chlorine chemicals as your sanitizers. You’ll want to use a test strip to test the water in your hot tub once you add these chemicals to make sure the water is at a safe level.

After adding your bromine or chlorine, make sure that you don’t use your spa for at least a few hours, giving it time to dissipate.

Note: Choose one or the other. Never use both simultaneously. Mixing Bromine And Chlorine In A Hot Tub should never be done. 

Using a Chlorine Neutralizer

If after shocking your hot tub with chlorine granules, you realize you have too much chlorine in your hot tub, there are a few things you can do. Using a chemical called chlorine neutralizer is one of the best ways to neutralize hot tub water that has too much chlorine shock in it. Before using a chlorine neutralizer, however, we highly recommend that you follow the steps above to see if they work first.

For starters, it will save you some money, but it is also much healthier to go with a natural method rather than adding more chemicals to your hot tub than is necessary.

However, we understand that there are many scenarios when you may need to deplete the levels of chlorine as fast as you possibly can. If this is the case, you can use something called sodium thiosulfate. Sodium thiosulfate is a type of neutralizer that gets rid of high levels of chlorine in your spa. Make sure that you use this chlorine neutralizer super carefully, following all of the directions based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Final Thoughts – Balancing The Levels of Chlorine In Your Hot Tub

We hope that you are able to balance the levels of chlorine or bromine in your hot tub using the tips above. It is important that you only enjoy your hot tub when the chlorine levels are safe, as high chlorine levels could negatively impact your hair, skin, and eyes.

Once the chlorine or bromine is balanced out, you should check the other chemicals in your hot tub also. When chlorine or bromine levels rise and fall in a hot tub, the other chemical levels can be impacted as well. Using a test strip is the best way to get an idea of the balance of the water in your hot tub. We have a handy How To Raise & Lower Alkalinity In A Hot Tub article that you may find useful.

Hot tub maintenance isn’t difficult, though figuring out how much chlorine or bromine you should have in your hot tub is necessary for a healthy soak.

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Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

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