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How to Regulate Chlorine in Hot Tub

Photo by Mark-Christian Killick-Calver on

Photo by Mark-Christian Killick-Calver on

Maintaining the proper chlorine level in your hot tub is essential for keeping the water clean, safe, and enjoyable to use. Chlorine is the most common chemical used to sanitize hot tubs, as it effectively kills bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants that can cause illness or infections. However, it's important to regulate the chlorine level in your hot tub to ensure that it's not too high or too low, as both can have negative consequences.

What happens if you go in a hot tub with low chlorine?

It's important to maintain the proper chlorine level in your hot tub to ensure the water is safe and enjoyable to use. If the chlorine level is too low, it can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Bacterial growth. Chlorine is the primary chemical used to kill bacteria and other contaminants in hot tub water. If the chlorine level is too low, bacteria and other contaminants can thrive, leading to illness and infections.
  • Eye irritation. Low chlorine levels can cause eye irritation and redness, as the chlorine helps to neutralize chlorine by-products and other contaminants that can cause irritation.
  • Skin irritation. Low chlorine levels can also cause skin irritation and dryness, as the chlorine helps to neutralize chlorine by-products and other contaminants that can cause irritation.
  • Foul odors. Low chlorine levels can lead to foul odors in the hot tub water, as bacteria and other contaminants can thrive and release unpleasant odors.

Symptoms of chlorine overexposure may include:

  • Respiratory irritation, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath
  • Eye irritation, such as redness, tearing, and pain
  • Skin irritation, such as itching, burning, and redness
  • Throat irritation and pain
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain and tightness
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • In severe cases, lung damage and chemical burns.

If you suspect that you or someone else has been overexposed to chlorine, it is important to remove yourself or the person from the source of exposure and seek medical attention immediately.

Image by prostooleh on Freepik

Image by prostooleh on Freepik

Here's how to regulate the chlorine level in your hot tub:

  1. Test the chlorine level regularly. The first step to regulating the chlorine level in your hot tub is to test it regularly using a hot tub test strip or a chlorine test kit. These kits are readily available at pool and spa supply stores and are relatively easy to use. Simply follow the instructions provided to determine the chlorine level in your hot tub.
  2. Add chlorine as needed. If the chlorine level in your hot tub is too low, you'll need to add more chlorine to bring it up to the recommended level. This is typically between 1-3 parts per million (ppm) for most hot tubs. Be sure to follow the instructions provided on the chlorine product you're using and add the recommended amount.
  3. Reduce chlorine if necessary. If the chlorine level in your hot tub is too high, you'll need to reduce it to the recommended level. This can be done by diluting the water with fresh water or by using a chlorine neutralizing product. Again, be sure to follow the instructions provided and take care not to overdo it.
  4. Adjust the pH level. The pH level of your hot tub water is another important factor to consider when regulating the chlorine level. The pH level should be between 7.2-7.8 for most hot tubs. If the pH level is too low or too high, it can interfere with the effectiveness of the chlorine. Use a hot tub test strip or pH test kit to determine the pH level and adjust as needed using pH balancing products.
Photo by Greg Rosenke on

Photo by Greg Rosenke on

How frequently should you add chlorine to hot tub?

It's generally recommended to add chlorine to your hot tub at least once a day to maintain the proper sanitizer level. The exact amount of chlorine you'll need to add will depend on factors such as the size of your hot tub, the number of people using it, and the local climate.

To determine the correct amount of chlorine to add to your hot tub, it's important to regularly test the chlorine level using a hot tub test strip or chlorine test kit. These kits are readily available at pool and spa supply stores and are relatively easy to use.

Simply follow the instructions provided to determine the chlorine level in your hot tub. If the level is too low, add the recommended amount of chlorine according to the product you're using. If the level is too high, you may need to reduce the chlorine level by diluting the water with fresh water or using a chlorine neutralizing product.

Is there a difference between hot tub chlorine and pool chlorine?

Yes, there is a difference between hot tub chlorine and pool chlorine. Hot tubs and pools require different levels of chlorine due to their size and usage patterns.

Hot tubs typically require a higher level of chlorine to maintain the proper sanitizer level. This is because hot tubs have a smaller volume of water and are used more frequently than pools, which means they can become contaminated more easily. The recommended chlorine level for hot tubs is usually between 1-3 parts per million (ppm), while the recommended chlorine level for pools is typically between 1-3 ppm for outdoor pools and 3-5 ppm for indoor pools.

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Additionally, hot tubs and pools may require different types of chlorine due to their different water chemistry and circulation systems. For example, hot tubs may require more stable forms of chlorine, such as tablets or slow-dissolving granules, to maintain the proper chlorine level over time. Pools, on the other hand, may require more fast-acting forms of chlorine, such as liquid or shock, to quickly sanitize the water.

Photo by mana5280 on

Photo by mana5280 on

Type of chlorine to use

There are several types of chlorine products available for use in hot tubs, including tablets, granules, and liquid. Here's a brief overview of each type:

  1. Chlorine tablets. Chlorine tablets are a convenient and easy-to-use option for hot tubs. They're typically sold in a cylindrical container and are placed in a floating dispenser or skimmer basket. They dissolve slowly over time, releasing a steady stream of chlorine into the water. One downside of tablets is that they can be difficult to measure accurately, so it's important to follow the instructions provided and use a test strip to ensure the proper chlorine level is maintained.
  2. Chlorine granules. Chlorine granules are another popular option for hot tubs. They're typically sold in a resealable bag and are added to the hot tub directly or placed in a floating dispenser. They dissolve faster than tablets and can be more accurately measured, but they can also be more difficult to evenly distribute in the water.
  3. Liquid chlorine. Liquid chlorine is a fast-acting option for hot tubs. It's typically sold in a bottle and is added directly to the hot tub water. It's easy to measure and distribute, but it can be more expensive and can also have a strong chlorine smell.

Overall, the best type of chlorine to use in your hot tub will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Consider factors such as convenience, cost, and effectiveness when choosing a chlorine product for your hot tub.

Using shock to raise free chlorine

Yes, shock can raise the free chlorine level in your hot tub. Shock is a chemical treatment that is used to quickly raise the free chlorine level in the water and kill bacteria and other contaminants. It's typically used when the free chlorine level is too low or when the water is particularly dirty or cloudy.

There are several types of shock products available, including chlorine shock and non-chlorine shock. Chlorine shock is a fast-acting option that raises the free chlorine level and helps to kill bacteria and other contaminants. Non-chlorine shock is a gentler option that raises the free chlorine level without adding additional chlorine to the water. Both types of shock can be effective at raising the free chlorine level, but chlorine shock may be more suitable for particularly dirty or contaminated water.

To use shock, follow the instructions provided on the product you're using. Most shock products should be added directly to the hot tub water and allowed to circulate for a period of time before use. It's generally recommended to shock the hot tub at least once a week or whenever the free chlorine level is low or the water is dirty or cloudy. Be sure to test the free chlorine level after shocking the hot tub to ensure that it's at the recommended level.

Photo by John Fornander on

Photo by John Fornander on

Should you shower before and after chlorine hot tub?

It's generally recommended to shower before and after using a chlorine hot tub to help rinse off any chlorine or chemical residue that may be on your skin. This can help to prevent skin irritation and dryness, as well as reduce the amount of chlorine and chemicals that are introduced to the hot tub water.

Before showering, it's also a good idea to rinse off any lotions, perfumes, or other personal care products that you may have used, as these can interfere with the effectiveness of the chlorine and affect the water balance of the hot tub.

When showering, be sure to use warm water and a mild soap or body wash to gently clean your skin. Avoid using hot water, as this can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause irritation. After showering, be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any soap or shampoo residue.

By following these steps, you can regulate the chlorine level in your hot tub and ensure that the water is clean, safe, and enjoyable to use. Regular testing and adjustment is the key to maintaining the proper chlorine level in your hot tub. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy your hot tub for years to come.

© 2023 Dylan Anthony

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