Swimming season means knowing how to care for your pool. No matter the type of sanitation you are using, you will need to shock your pool. And, know how to correctly shock your pool. Shocking is done in addition to your regular pool chemical maintenance. Whether you’re a new pool owner or a seasoned one, shocking your swimming pool might seem a little intimidating. Don’t worry. We have you covered. Let’s first take a look at what pool shock is exactly.
What Is It?
Shocking your pool means to add enough chlorine to your pool water to eliminate all combined chlorine in your pool or spa. This is usually about 10X the amount of chlorine. Shocking removes algae and other bacteria by oxidizing the contaminants in the pool water. You should shock your pool when:
- Algae begins to grow in your pool water
- The free chlorine level of your pool is zero
- The chloramines or combined chlorine level rises above 0.5 ppm
Remember – a pool that has a strong chlorine odor does not mean that it is clean. It means that you have chloramines. Chloramines form when your pool or spa water mixes with nitrogen, oils, sweat, and urine.
- Shock your pool at dusk/night – The Sun burns off unstabilized chlorine.
- Test your pool water – Check the pH in your pool & find the combined chlorine (the amount of chlorine that has been used in your pool).
- Calculate the amount of shock you need to mix – Never apply water to pool chemicals. Always apply chemicals to water.
- Prepare the shock ahead of time. – Store chemicals in a cool & dry place.
- Make sure your pool pump is running.
- Distribute the shock around the edges of the pool.
- Keep your pump running for at least 6 more hours.
- Check chlorine levels.
- Wait for chlorine levels to drop between 1-3ppm. – Don’t use the pool right away.
- After a heavy storm
- When a major change in water level occurs
- When someone has had an accident in the pool
- After a pool party or when your pool was heavily used