Chlorine and chemicals are something you have to add to your hot tub water to keep it clean, fresh, and clear when you’re ready to go in.
However, chemicals can be very strong, especially if you don’t have the right concentration in the water. If you’re new to maintaining a hot tub and you’re not sure how soon you can use it after you add your chemicals, you’re in luck.
Once you add chemicals like chlorine to your hot tub’s water, you want to repeatedly test the water and wait until your chemical levels drop down to a safe level between two and four parts per million.
How Soon Can You Use Hot Tub After Adding Chemicals?
Depending on how many chemicals you add to the water, this process can take anywhere from two or three hours up to a full day for the levels to drop. Even if the levels test correct, you should wait an additional 30 minutes before you get in the water to ensure that there are no highly concentrated areas that could cause skin or respiratory system irritation.
So, you can’t just jump into your hot tub after you add any type of chemical to the water due to the chances of developing side effects.
Giving the chemicals time to disperse in the water will ensure that all of the water gets sanitized, so it’s safe for you to get in.
It’s a good idea to switch the jets on while you wait to allow the water a chance to circulate more, and you want to keep the hot tub cover off at this time to allow for the vapors to escape quicker.
If you need to add chlorine to your hot tub’s water to act as a sanitizer, you want to slowly add enough of this chemical until it reads between five and eight parts per million.
At these levels, you’re ensuring that the water has a good chlorine boost while making sure there are enough chemicals present to kill off any bacteria that are lurking in the water.
You do want to keep in mind that five and eight parts per million aren’t safe to bathe in, and it can easily cause irritation with your eyes, skin, or respiratory system.
Chlorine will decay over time, so you’ll have less and less present in the water the longer you wait to get in. Remember to check it first before you get in.
How to Correctly Check Chemical Levels in Your Hot Tub
All you need to test any chemical levels in your pool is a test strip that you dip into the water and compare to a color chart to see where they match up.
The strips will tell you how much of each chemical is present in the water, and all you have to do is dip a second test strip a few hours after the first to see how far it dropped.
You want to keep your test strips securely in a waterproof container when they’re not in use and make sure you don’t get any stray water drops on them when you use them because this can skew your results. Fluids, dirt, or sweat are also bad to get on these test strips.
Can You Get Into a Hot Tub with High Chemical Levels?
If you have excessive chemical levels in your hot tub, it’s really not a good idea to go in. Chemicals can be powerful on their own, and they’re even more so when they’re highly concentrated.
These chemicals can easily cause problems with your hair, skin irritation, respiratory issues, and very itchy eyes.
You should note that it’s not a guarantee that if you went into your hot tub with higher chemical levels that you would develop these symptoms, but you have an increased risk to contend with.
High chemical levels in the water also have other health risks associated with them, so it doesn’t make sense to not follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wait until the levels are inside safe parameters.
Remember, when you sit in a hot tub, you’ve basically sitting in a type of stew that produces vapors as well as what’s in the water. Ideally, the lower the chemical levels are in the water, the better off it is for you.
How to Safely Lower the Chemical Levels in Your Hot Tub
If you find that the chemical levels in your hot tub’s water are extremely high, you can do a few things apart from sitting and waiting for them to drop by themselves.
You can let some of the water out and refill it to reduce the chemical concentration in the water, and you can speed up the drainage process by using a sump pump if you don’t want to wait.
Do keep in mind that draining out water with higher chemical levels can damage any plants or grass it drains out on.
So, you will have to direct the water to space where you don’t care about the effects of the chlorine if you have one. If not, just sit back and wait at least 24 hours before you test it again.
How Long to Wait to Get in the Hot Tub After You Shock It
If you used a non-chlorine or natural shock on your hot tub, you could potentially get into the water right away without waiting.
Ideally, you’d wait at least 30 minutes to give the chemicals time to mix with your water and dissipate to remove any highly concentrated spots.
If you are using chemical-based chlorine to shock the hot tub, the same processes and rules apply that we outlined above.
You’ll have to test the water and wait until the chlorine levels fall to between two and four parts per million for it to be safe, and this could easily take between 24 and 48 hours from the time you add the chlorine to the hot tub.
You can avoid this problem entirely of having to wait for your chemicals to subside by adding shock or chlorine after each use rather than when you want to get in.
This method will work for a lot of people because they go into the hot tub at a fairly consistent time each day.
Just remember to shock the hot tub after each use, and it’ll have up to 24 hours to dissipate to safe levels.
It’s worth it to always do a quick test before you get in if you’re not sure to prevent issues with irritation or itchiness and reassure yourself that everything is as it should be so you can really relax.
If you get into this regular habit of maintaining your pool chemicals, you’ll find that it’s relatively easy to keep your hot tub water crystal-clear any time you want to use it.
Once you add chemicals to your hot tub, it’s a waiting game until you can safely go into the water without worrying about side effects like itchy eyes or respiratory problems.
Always test your water before you get in, especially if it’s been less than 24 hours since you added your chemicals to the water.
Once you get in the habit of routinely shocking your hot tub or adding chemicals and testing the water, you’ll end up with a beautifully clean and clear place to sit and relax in your home or yard.