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Hot Tub User Information: Protect Yourself from Recreational Water Illnesses and Stay HOT!

Print-and-Go Fact Sheet tub rules for safe and healthy use.

  • Refrain from entering a hot tub when you have diarrhea.
  • Avoid swallowing hot tub water or even getting it into your mouth.
  • Shower or bathe with soap before entering the hot tub.
  • Observe limits, if posted, on the maximum allowable number of bathers.
  • Exclude children less than 5 years of age from using hot tubs.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before entering the hot tub or during hot tub use.
  • If pregnant, consult a physician before hot tub use, particularly in the first trimester.

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Observe...and listen to the hot tub and its surroundings. What should you notice?

  • No odor; a well-chlorinated hot tub has little odor. A strong chemical smell indicates a maintenance problem.
  • Smooth hot tub sides; tiles should not be sticky or slippery.
  • Hot tub equipment is working; pumps and filtration systems make noise and you should hear them running.
  • Hot tub temperature; the water temperature should not exceed 104°F (40°C)
  • Check the hot tub water; test for adequate free chlorine (2–4 parts per million or ppm) or bromine (4–6 ppm) and pH (7.2–7.8) levels. Pool and hot tub disinfectant test strips are available at local home improvement stores, discount retailers and pool supply stores. If you want to practice using them at home, visit the page on test strips home test instructions.

Top of Page hot tub owners/staff and other hot tub users.

  • What was the health inspector’s grade for the hot tub after its last inspection?
  • Are chlorine and pH levels checked at least twice per day?
  • Are these levels checked during times when the hot tub is most heavily used?
  • Are trained operation staff available during the weekends when the hot tub is most heavily used?
  • What specialized training did the staff take to prepare for working at or operating a hot tub?
  • Learn about RWIs and educate other users and your hot tub operator.
  • Urge your hot tub management to spread the word about RWIs to hot tub staff and users.

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Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
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