For the water in your hot tub to remain clean and healthy, you need to add hot tub chemicals to the water regularly, so it’s only right to have these chemicals in store for when you will need them. But there is a bit of a problem.
Like all other chemicals and products, the chemicals you add to your hot tub water also have an expiration date. This means the chemicals can expire and turn bad if you don’t use them before the expiration date.
So is it advisable to buy hot tub chemicals in bulk? How long do hot tub chemicals last? And how do you know if a hot tub chemical has expired? The answers to these questions and more will be revealed below. So let’s get on with it.
How Long Do Hot Tub Chemicals Last?
Hot tub chemicals generally last between 2 to 5 years provided all the required conditions for the chemicals’ storage are met. On average, hot tub chemicals last for about 4 years before they begin to go bad and expire.
But, these are just general estimates. Let’s check out some popular hot tub chemicals and how long they last.
How Long Does Chlorine Last?
Chlorine is the most popular of all hot tub chemicals. Generally, chlorine can last between 6 months and 5 years but the time frame depends on the type of chlorine sanitizer you have and the quality of the chemical.
Chlorine comes in three forms. The liquid chlorine, the chlorine tablets, and granular chlorine. All three forms have their specific shelf life.
How Long Does Liquid Chlorine Last?
Liquid chlorine lasts between 6 months and 9 months before it starts to drop in potency levels. Liquid chlorine or liquid bleach loses half of its potency (50%) after 6 months.
This is because liquid chlorine uses sodium hypochlorite which is very unstable and can be easily influenced by a change in temperature.
So, if you store your liquid chlorine under direct sunlight or in a room with a high temperature, it will degrade faster than it should and that’s saying much because liquid chlorine is quick to degrade even when stored correctly.
Related Read >>> Can You Use Liquid Bleach in a Hot Tub?
How Long Do Chlorine Tablets Last?
Chlorine tablets have the longest lifespan or shelf life. The tablets can retain 100% of their potency even after 4 years. Some quality chlorine tablets can even last up to 5 years before they expire.
How Long Does Granular Chlorine Last?
Granular chlorine lasts between 1 year and 4 years. The granules can start to dissolve after 12 months and can dissolve completely after 24 months or 2 years. However, if the chemical is stored correctly and at room temperature, it can last up to 3 years.
How Long Does Bromine Last?
Next to chlorine on the hot tub chemical popularity charts is bromine. Bromine is widely used by hot tub owners that have sensitive skins. Bromine is gentler than chlorine and also more stable which means it has a longer shelf life.
Bromine stored at room temperature and in a dry place can last up to 3 years. It can even last longer if it is stored in a sealed container.
Bromine as a chemical needs to interact with another chemical to lose its potency. So, if you store it in a sealed container and away from other chemicals, your bromine tablets can last up to 5 years.
Related Read >>> How To Lower Chlorine or Bromine Levels?
How Long Does Water Clarifier Last?
Water clarifier is another chemical used to keep hot tub water clean. This chemical can last up to 5 years if it’s kept correctly. To ensure the water clarifier maintains its potency, it should be stored in a dark cabinet and at a cool temperature.
How Long Does Calcium Increaser Last?
Calcium increaser generally lasts between 3 and 5 years. On average, calcium increaser lasts for about 4 years. Calcium increaser is used to increase the calcium level in the water. In other words, it is used to make the water harder.
If you have soft water in your hot tub, then the water can start to eat away at the pipes and metal parts of the hot tub.
Related Read >>> Can You Run a Hot Tub Without Chemicals?
How Long Do pH Increaser and pH Reducer Last?
The ph levels in the hot tub water should be between 7.2 and 7.6 on the ph scale. Any reading more or less is bad for your hot tub. You can use the pH increaser and pH reducer to adjust the pH levels of the water in the hot tub but like all chemicals, they can also go bad.
Ph increaser can last up to 5 years if stored correctly. My FDC water pH increaser is still in good condition after 3 years. The same isn’t the case for ph reducer.
Products advertised as pH reducers usually have a very high acidic level. These acids can react with the containers they are put in such as plastic. So the best-case scenario is to use up the ph reducer once you have opened it.
Though pH reducer can also last for years, the content and acidic level would have been altered by that time.
How Long Do Hot Tub Algaecides Last?
Hot tub algaecides are not popular hot tub chemicals but if you use them, you will be happy to know that they have an impressive shelf life. The chemicals can last over 5 years if stored correctly.
Algaecides are used to kill hot tub algae and even bacteria that are in the water.
How Long Does Hot Tub Shock Product Last?
Hot tub shock or spa shock are very strong chemicals that are used to give the hot tub a deeper clean that you can get with bromine or chlorine.
These chemicals are high in active content so they can kill algae, bacteria, and even break down grime that has accumulated and multiplied over time.
Due to the nature of these chemicals, they generally don’t last long. At best, hot tub shock can last for 2 to 3 years but many don’t even retain their potency after 12 months.
This is because the chemicals react quickly to air, moisture, and other compounds. If you want to store hot tub shock, ensure it is in an airtight container and a very dry place.
Do Hot Tub Test Strips Expire?
Yes, hot tub test strips do expire. Generally, hot tub or spa test strips last between 2 years (24 months) to 3 years (36 months) after the date of manufacture.
Once the test strips have expired, the results obtained from using them can’t be guaranteed as accurate. Expired test strips don’t give accurate readings so if the test strips have expired, it’s best not to use them.
Like all other products, hot tub test strips also have an expiration date on the bottle or the container. Once the date has passed, the test strips have expired.
The expiration date usually has nothing to do with room temperature and the likes. So, regardless of how you store the test strips, you can’t prolong the shelf life. If it has expired, it shouldn’t be used.
Related Read >>> How To Use Hot Tub Test Strips?
Should You Buy Hot Tub Chemicals in Bulk?
You can buy hot tub chemicals in bulk but there are a few things to take note of.
First, only buy chemicals you know you will use. It can be tempting to buy different hot tub chemicals so you don’t have to go back to the store anytime soon. However, you should only buy what you are sure you will need and use.
Also, you should check the expiration date on the chemicals before you purchase them. Ensure to buy chemicals that still have at least 3 years before they expire. That way, you wouldn’t need to worry about expired chemicals anytime soon.
You should also ensure to store the chemicals correctly after purchasing them. Every hot tub chemical will have instructions regarding how to store the chemical the right way. So follow the instructions.
A good rule of thumb is to store the chemicals in a cool and dry place. This will ensure the chemicals last as long as they should. But that’s not all. Keep reading to find out how to store hot tub chemicals.
How Do You Know When the Hot Tub Chemical Has Expired?
To know if your hot tub chemicals have expired, the first thing to check is the expiration date on the container of the hot tub chemical. All hot tub chemicals usually have an expiration date on the container. If the date had passed, then the chemical has expired.
Another method to know if the chemical has expired is to have it tested. You can take the chemical to a lab and have it tested there. Usually, hot tub chemicals that have expired would have dropped in potency levels by at least 50%.
If the hot tub chemical has expired, the best thing to do is to dispose of it. But how do you dispose of expired hot tub chemicals? Let’s find out.
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How to Dispose of Expired Hot Tub Chemicals
When hot tub chemicals have expired, they usually don’t have any use, at least not in your hot tub. So, they need to be disposed of. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this.
The wrong way is to put the hot tub chemicals in your trash can or garbage bag. This can cause corrosion and all sorts of chemical reactions in your garbage bag. The garbage bag and trash can were not designed to house chemicals either expired or not.
Also, never pour chemicals on the ground or in the toilet. The chemicals you pour on the ground can negatively affect the soil. This will even be more dangerous if you plant crops on that soil. The chemicals can alter the soil pH, cause stunted growth of plants, and can cause discoloration of leaves.
Pouring the chemicals in your toilet is also very wrong. The expired chemicals can eat away at the pipes and your bathroom plumbing.
The right way to dispose of expired chemicals is to contact the waste management company. Another alternative is to hand them over to the waste collector whenever they come around to pick up your garbage. They know the proper way to handle expired chemicals.
Hot tub chemicals last for years before they expire as long as you store them properly. You also wouldn’t need to worry much about expired chemicals as long as you buy only the chemicals you need and you use them before they expire. If your hot tub chemicals do expire, you know how to handle them.