How Much Chlorine to Add to a Hot Tub the First Time

You are eagerly waiting to bust out your best swimwear, and you’ve picked out the best hot tub accessories for adults, put on some classic tunes, and prepared a nice cocktail or mocktail to sip while soaking in that hot jetted Jacuzzi that you just set up in the backyard.

Before you jump in for the first time, you need to make sure the tub is chemically balanced. We know you likely did some research and know what chemicals are needed for a hot tub and have already stocked up on those–you may even know how to clean Jacuzzi tub jets with vinegar if you prefer to use fewer chemicals.

There is one thing, though, that you are probably stuck on, and which is arguably one of the most important things to take care of: having a firm grasp on how much chlorine you should add to your hot tub the first time after filling it up with water. The short answer is that it requires more than what’s needed during regular maintenance–let’s dive into the reasons why!

Why Do You Need Chlorine?

Chlorine is an essential chemical that should be used regularly to keep your hot tub safe and healthy, as well as to make sure it can stand the test of time. Chlorine keeps your hot tub clean and safe from harmful bacteria. Using it regularly helps ensure that your water is protected and free of hazardous microorganisms that might otherwise cause skin irritation or even infection. Just like the water in a pool that needs salt or chlorine added to it regularly to be safe to swim in, a hot tub needs chlorine, too.

How Much Chlorine Is Needed to Get Started

It often surprises people when they hear that a new hot tub requires more chlorine than is used during routine maintenance. If you think about it, it does make sense–a new hot tub with a fresh body of water has not been used yet. So, the water sitting in it has not yet had a chance to circulate through the pumps. 

In this scenario, higher levels of chlorine need to be added to ensure that the water reaches the appropriate levels in order to be safe and ready to use. 

Think of the first chlorine dosage as a shock. It kills unseen or unknown microorganisms that might be floating in the water and makes sure the water is safe for future continuous use. 

So, how much should you add the first time? The general consensus is that a new tub requires roughly 1.5 times the amount of chlorine suggested for routine maintenance, or around one teaspoon for every one hundred gallons of water. Of course, be sure to first check the instructions provided by the Jacuzzi manufacturer for guidance on how much to use the first time and how long you need to wait before jumping in.

After you add the chlorine, measure the pH levels of your water. Healthy, safe and balanced pH water levels fall somewhere between 7.2 and 7.8. Anything above or below should be adjusted accordingly. 

Test Your Chlorine Levels Regularly

The longevity of your Jacuzzi relies heavily on how well you care for it. Aside from adding chlorine regularly, be sure to also test the levels of pH and chlorine on a regular basis. 

There are plenty of hot tub water test strips you can purchase that will give you a clear picture of what your chlorine levels are. Knowing this information will guide you on what steps are necessary to keep your water clean and safe to use.

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