What Happens if You Over Shock Your Spa?
man checking chemical levels in overshocked spa

One major benefit of a spa is that it’s open year-round. You don’t have to close it for the whole winter like you would a pool, but the tradeoff is that you have to keep it clean all year round instead. This means you should measure the pH and chemical levels regularly and shock the water consistently, not just during the summer.

But can you over-shock a hot tub? Yes! When you shock the water, you need to make sure you don’t overshock your spa.

You over-shock your spa by using too many chemicals during one of your shock treatments or over multiple shock treatments. If you do this, you’ll physically damage your spa, not just your water. Hot tub chemicals are still chemicals, and if they’re not handled properly, they’ll have the opposite effect you want.

What Happens if You Over-shock a Spa

The experts at Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas can help you figure out what works best for your swim spa or hot tub. We can also tell what happens if you over-shock a spa.

#1. It Can Clog the Pipes and Filters

A lot of shock treatments for spas and pools contain a high chlorine concentration, but several different chemicals can be added to balance it out. One of the most popular is calcium hypochlorite. If you add too much of a shock treatment or other chemical treatment with this compound in it, you may have more calcium hypochlorite than chlorine.

When you have too much calcium hypochlorite, you start to see calcium chunks in your water, and these will clog up your pipes and water filters and sit in your spa water. It can be uncomfortable and annoying to clean up, and if there’s too much of it, you might need to drain your spa to clear out the pipes and filters.

#2. It’s Not Safe to Swim In

This may feel obvious, but it’s most important. If you over-shock your spa water, it will no longer be safe to soak or swim in. Even if it is just a little over the recommended amount, you may experience mild symptoms like skin and eye irritation. Over-shocking a spa is like overshocking a pool; it often leads to:

  • Bleached swimwear
  • Weakened swimwear fabrics
  • Jewelry turning green
  • Bleached hair turning green

Hot tub chemicals don’t mix well with other chemicals if they’re not balanced out, so you may see other items reacting poorly with regular items if you’ve over-shocked your spa.

#3. It May Damage the Water Filters

As we said, hot tub chemicals can have poor reactions if unbalanced, and one of the worst offenders is chlorine. Chlorine can produce several different compounds and solutions when mixed with the wrong amount of chemicals and water. One of the compounds made to balance chlorine out is cyanuric acid. This tries to keep chlorine from burning out, but too much cyanuric acid will break down the water filters.

‘Acid’ is in the compound’s name, so naturally, it would have some acidic properties when it’s used in excess. If the spa’s water filters are damaged, the spa’s ability to remain clean can be permanently damaged until the spa is repaired. The cost of repairs is $0 when you don’t over-shock your spa.

#4. It May Damage the Pipes

If your shock chemicals don’t use chlorine, you still run the risk of damaging parts of your pool. While cyanuric acid is in chemicals that use chlorine, chemicals that don’t use chlorine tend to have oxidizers instead. Oxidizers, through a complicated and highly scientific process, can lead to high bromine levels.

Bromine is not something you want in your spa water, especially not at high levels. This can erode metals in your swim spa and hot tub, including the pipes, the heater, and the water filter. If the pipes are damaged enough, it may be so expensive to fix that you need a new spa entirely, which is not ideal.

#5. It Can Damage Your Equipment

Heaters and water pumps are sensitive to hot tub/pool chemicals, chlorine in particular. So, if you add too much shock to the water, it can rust and corrode the impeller, igniter, and/or other pool components. Consequently, you’ll have expensive repairs on your hands.

That’s not all. The chemicals in an over-shocked hot tub can break down seals and gaskets in your spa equipment. This can lead to leaks and reduce the equipment’s efficiency.

Overshocking a pool can also impact plastic components in the spa’s system, causing them to become brittle, cracked, or discolored. What’s more, it’s incredibly damaging to the environment.

Contact Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas for Help with Your Hot Tub Chemicals

It’s possible to put too much shock in a spa. And when that happens, you could be looking at some serious problems. Fortunately, there are ways to fix this issue if (and when) it occurs. Also, we recommend you wait for a few days before you start using the spa again.

If you’re unsure of what kind of chemicals to use in your swim spa or hot tub, don’t experiment on your own. The experts at Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas have a selection of chemicals for swim spas and hot tubs. We know exactly what can and should be used to treat our spa models. You can trust our experts to help you figure out the best way to keep from over-shocking your spa. Contact us today for help or visit one of our locations.