How Long to Wait to Get in Swim Spa after Adding Chemicals?

Unfortunately, swim spas don’t operate solely on swimming and soaking alone! In order to maintain a safe environment for exercise and aquatic fun, the water needs to be kept clean and fresh. This requires testing the water regularly, adding chemicals when necessary, and generally keeping the swim spa clean and functioning properly. But fortunately, being able to do this doesn’t require a set of extraordinary skills. Learning a handful of technical terms and some simple procedures will be enough to allow you to operate a swim spa like a pro. And while some people may be intimidated by the use of chemicals, you’ll find that all it takes is a bit of practice until handling them becomes second nature. You’ll have an understanding of what chemicals are required, the quantities that need to be administered, and how long to wait to get in the swim spa after adding chemicals. To provide an overview of swim spa water chemistry maintenance, we’ve put together this guide.

Water Chemistry Balance

The first and most recurring task of swim spa maintenance is to get the water chemistry properly balanced. Knowing how this is supposed to take place is the result of water tests that need to be performed on at least a weekly basis. If the swim spa is getting used regularly or a large number of people use it in a short period of time, water testing should take place more frequently. It’s possible to use paper test strips, a liquid reagent test kit, or by bringing a water sample to the local swim spa dealership to have them test it for you.

Total Alkalinity And pH Levels

The best place to start when balancing the water chemistry is with the total alkalinity. Getting this in balance will make balancing all the subsequent levels much easier. Once the total alkalinity is taken care of the pH level can be adjusted. You’ll be adding acids or bases to the water to manipulate these levels. You’ll want the water to circulate for 20 minutes to an hour before getting in the swim spa after adding these chemicals.


There are many different types of sanitizers that can be used in a swim spa, but chlorine is the most popular. It’s cheap, effective, and easy to use. Those who are especially sensitive to chlorine might use bromine, saltwater systems, or other chemicals. Each type of sanitizer has its own pros and cons, so some thorough investigation should be done before deciding on one. If you’re wondering how long to wait to get in the swim spa after adding chemicals of these types, your best bet is to keep testing the water until they reach their proper concentrations. Generally speaking, however, you’ll want to wait at least a few hours for the chemicals to thoroughly mix with the water.


Shocking is typically done on a weekly basis to quickly treat the water, clear out any cloudiness and prevent the growth of algae and bacteria. The type of shock you’ll use will depend on the type of sanitizer you use. For example, swim spas sanitized with chlorine should use a chlorine-based shock whereas a bromine sanitizer should be followed up with a bromine-based shock. Depending on how much shock has been used, you’ll want to wait at least overnight before using the swim spa again. Water testing may indicate you should stay out of the water for 8 hours or more.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness tests will let you know the concentrations of calcium in the water also known as the hardness of the water. If you need to raise the calcium hardness by adding calcium chloride it’s recommended to wait at least an hour or two to allow the compound to be fully cycled through the water.

Now that you have a better idea of how long you should wait to get in a swim spa after adding chemicals, download a free buyer’s guide for more information.

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