How Soon Can You Use a Hot Tub After Adding Chemicals?

Last Updated on December 4, 2020

For centuries, humans have been using tubs to bathe and relax. So when we talk about bathing, it is necessary to ensure that the tub we are using is clean and hygienic to use.

Conventionally, tubs were cleaned using freshwater. However, with the evolution of science, chemicals such as Chlorine and Bromine are the go-to chemicals recommended by most tub companies for cleaning purposes.

So whether you’re using chlorine or bromine to clean your tub and make it bacteria-free, it is recommended to wait for at least 30 minutes, if not longer, before using it. The waiting time typically depends on how quickly you can achieve the desired pH levels. The best way to check whether you’ve achieved the safe-to-use desired pH level is by using a test strip.

The statement may seem pretty straight forward, however, there are more technicalities to it which we will be covering in today’s article.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get in a Hot Tub After Adding Chlorine?

Chlorine is a sanitizer that oxidizes contaminants. To put it in simple terms, it’s used more-often by hot tub owners to clean their tubs from the harmful bacteria and other invasive stuff which makes it unhygienic.

Chlorine is good at killing contaminants compared to its alternative bromine. This is because it does this job at a much faster rate. But does that mean that you can jump straight into your tub after having poured it?

The answer to that is NO!

No matter how much chlorine you add to your tub, it is recommended by both, the tub manufacturing companies and the chlorine manufacturing companies to wait for at least 30 minutes for the chlorine to dissolve appropriately in the water.

30 minutes is not a bottom-line figure. It is simple math, the more chlorine you add the more time it will take for it appropriately dissolve in water. Usually, this does not take more than a couple of hours, however, if you mistakenly add more chlorine to the water, you may end up waiting as many as 24 hours before you can use your tub.

Typically, as a sensible consumer, one must always check whether it is safe to enter a tub or not. Generally, a pH level between 2 to 4 parts per million is considered safe for consumption. The best way to test it is by using test strips that are easily available in different stores. It is important to note that these strips should be kept in an air-sealed container and away from water to derive a more accurate reading at the time of use.

If you are one of those individuals who add chlorine at the very last moment and are impatient to jump into the tub, then we recommend to keep the lid off from your tub and run the spinners after adding chlorine. This will fasten the process of dilution thereby ensuring that a safe pH level is achieved which is considered suitable for consumption.

Related Read: How To Reset A Hot Tub Heater?

Can I Get in a Hot Tub Faster if I Use Bromine Instead of Chlorine?

Bromine compared to its alternate Chlorine is an iodizer. It is a sanitizer but it works a bit differently to get rid of bacteria and other harmful invasive stuff. To make it more simple, it destroys the harmful stuff from inside-out while remaining active for a longer time as compared to Chlorine.

Does that mean that it is faster than chlorine because it stays active for a longer period? Well, the answer to that is no! It is relatively slower than chlorine in killing bacteria, however, it is also more efficient and stable as it stays active for long.

Because bromine takes longer to kill harmful bacteria and dilute in water, you cannot get into the hot tub faster if you use it as a replacement for chlorine. Typically, it is recommended by many experts to wait for at least 30 minutes after using bromine. It is better safe than sorry! This will ensure that it dissolves appropriately, making it safe to consume.

The amount of time required for bromine to dissolve depends on the amount of bromine one adds to his tub. The more it is added, the longer it will typically take for it to dissolve and achieve its desired pH level that is considered safe for consumption. Typically, a pH level between 1 and 3 parts per million is considered safe. Also, if you frequently bathe in hot water, then bromine is more suitable for cleaning the tub as it works more effectively in high temperatures.

Apart from its effectiveness, bromine is also less sensitive to skin. So if you have any skin allergy or get itchiness very frequently, bromine is relatively a safer option compared to its alternate Chlorine.

Whether or not you decide to use bromine or chlorine, you should keep the test strips handy. Use these test strips to check the pH levels before using the tub. If the level of bromine is between 1 and 3 ppm, then you can safely use the tub.

Related Read: Do Hot Tubs Attract Snakes?

What Is a Safe Level for Chlorine or Bromine in a Hot Tub?

As mentioned earlier, it is recommended to achieve the safe-to-use pH levels of both chlorine and bromine before using a hot tub. The reason for this is because both of them are chemicals and these can cause problems because they are reactive in nature.

As mentioned earlier, if you add more than enough chemicals then you have to wait longer to use the hot tub again. But, what is a safe level for chlorine or bromine in a hot tub? Well, there's a simple answer to this. For chlorine, the ppm should be 2-4, and for bromine, the ppm should be 1-3.

To reiterate, a generally safe level for chlorine and bromine are as follows:

  • Chlorine range for hot tubs = 2 to 4 parts per million
  • Bromine range for hot tubs = 1 to 3 parts per million

People who have used chlorine to clean their tubs have complaints that it causes their hair to itch more often. Also, they have had problems with itchy skin, irritation in the eyes, and respiratory issues.

Similarly, people who have used bromine have complained more often that it corrodes the hot tub’s equipment by reducing its life cycle, among many other problems.

So does that mean that you should not use chemicals to use a hot tub? The answer to that is NO! You should use chemicals to clean your hot tub but in quantities that have been recommended by the manufacturers. Using it in excess will always be harmful to both the human body and the tub equipment.

How Long Does It Take for Chlorine Levels to Drop?

There is no absolute range of time it takes for chlorine levels to drop to a certain point that is considered safe-to-use. It all depends on the amount of chlorine that you add to a certain amount of water.

Typically, for hot tubs, a very small amount of chlorine is required to get rid of bacteria and other harmful stuff. Although it’s recommended to wait for at least 30 minutes before using a hot tub, generally it takes between 2 to 4 hours for the chlorine to appropriately dilute in water.

When bathing in water mixed with chlorine, people often complain that it smells like swimming in a public pool. This is more often the case when they have added a significant amount of chlorine to the water. Not only does it smell bad, but it is also very dangerous for the human body as it can cause respiratory, among many other problems.

To check whether you have mixed chlorine in massive quantities, it is recommended to use a test strip to check the pH level. If the pH level is too high, it is advisable to reduce the amount of pH level between 2 to 4 parts per million.

The question that arises over here is how to reduce the amount of pH level to a certain point that is safe for consumption? No need to worry, we have covered this for you in a separate heading mentioned below.

Related Read: How to Get Rid of Bugs in Hot Tub?

How to Reduce the Amount of Ph Level if Chlorine or Bromine Has Been Used in Massive Quantities?

If you end up mixing chlorine or bromine in excess and end up getting a very bizarre reading on your test strip, you do not have to panic. There are various solutions to fix this problem which we have covered in detail for you.

There are two ways to get rid of the excess. We will cover the easy part first.

  1. Get rid of some water which contains the excess chlorine or bromine and mix it with fresh water.

Just flush the diluted water into your sewerage system. Once it comes to a certain point where you feel that adding fresh water will stabilize the pH levels, simply turn the taps on and let it run till your tub is full.

Once your tub is full, take a test strip and check the pH level. If it is between the safe level range as we discussed earlier, you can safely use the hot tub.

  1. Expose your hot tub to direct sunlight so that the evaporation process gets rid of the excess, thereby reducing pH levels.

This can be a lengthy and difficult process. Unless you are using an inflatable hot tub, it can be very difficult to expose it to direct sunlight.

This process requires patience. You have to expose the hot tub to direct sunlight and test for the pH levels after waiting for a couple of hours. The pH levels can take from a couple of hours to as much as 24 hours to stabilize. Use a test strip to check for the pH level and use the tub when it is within the safe level range.

Related Read: Can You Use Liquid Bleach In A Hot Tub?

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get in a Hot Tub After You Shock It?

Shocking a hot tub means adding more than usual the amount of chlorine or non-chlorine substance to kill the bacteria manifesting therein. This process is usually done every once a week to prevent bacteria from growing.

There are two ways a hot tub can be shocked. One is by using a chlorine substance and the other is by using a non-chlorine substance.

The amount of time required to wait before using a hot tub after shocking it depends on case to case. It is generally recommended to wait at least anywhere between 20 minutes to 24 hours after the hot tub has been shocked.

You should always use a test strip to check whether the pH levels are on the safer side before using a hot tub after it has been shocked.

Primarily you should be shocking your hot tub with a chemical substance that you will be using more often. This is generally the case to make your tub more accustomed to using a certain type of chemical.

After shocking the tub, you should add fresh water and mix it with the normal quantity of chlorine before using it. Make sure to test the pH level to ensure it is between 2 to 4 parts per million.

In cases where you’re using a non-chlorine like substance to shock the tub, it is generally recommended to use bromine afterward.

Did I Cover All the Essentials?

Whether you’re using chlorine or bromine to keep your tub bacteria-free, both are effective chemical substances to ensure you have a clean bathing experience.

The only precaution you should take is to ensure that your consumption levels are between 2 to 4 parts per million for Chlorine and 1 to 3 parts per million for Bromine. Keep a test strip handy to check these pH levels before using the hot tub.

Besides, keep a register handy to keep track of days to ensure timeliness and frequency of shocking your tub.

While you take care of yourself, make sure to take care of nature as well. This means flushing the water in streams which are away from plants and animal consumption. After all, both you and nature deserves to enjoy happiness and prosperity in parallel.

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