When to Shock Pool

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Shocking a pool is the process of introducing an oxidant to the pool water to such a high level that all foreign matter is destroyed, to disinfect and purify the pool water. Shocking may seem a little scary, especially if you’re a new pool owner, but with practice and knowledge, it gets easier. One of the most important factors to know is when to shock pool.

When to Shock Pool - Keeping Your Pool Healthy

This article defines what pool shock is and when you need to shock your pool. it also outlines the benefits of pool shocking. Make sure that when you are deciding when to shock your pool, you are also considering your pool size.

Every pool has startup chemicals, but there is the possibility of over estimating how many chemicals go in the pool. If you’ve walked past a public pool with a strong unmistakable chemical smell then chances are the odor comes from chloramines rather than chlorine. The strong smell is also a typical sign of improperly treated water.

Chloramines form when the chlorine in your pool mixes with nitrogen in oils, sweat and urine. The formation of chloramine is a natural chemical process.

In addition to giving your pool a foul odor, too many chloramines can irritate your respiratory system, eyes and skin. This is where pool shocking comes in. It simply means adding enough chemical such as chlorine to destroy the buildup of chloramines. This process is referred to as superchlorination.

When and Why to Shock Pool

To Reduce the Buildup of Organic Matter and Microcontaminants

Most pools without water problems can do with a monthly shocking to help rid the water of contaminants and unwanted solids. These invisible solids can build up in your pool water and force your filter and sanitizer to work harder than they should. For general contaminant removal, it’s advisable to use non-chlorine shock.

To Destroy Bacteria (Both Harmless and Pathogenic) As Needed

If you’ve had very heavy and active pool use, or after a severe storm the chlorine levels dropped close to zero, or if there are dead animals, your pool is contaminated with fecal matter or other such problems, your pool is due for shocking.
To Remove Chloramine (Combined Chlorine Molecules)

Chloramines make your pool smell strongly of chlorine and can irritate your eyes. If the total chlorine level in your pool is more than 0.3ppm higher than the free chlorine levels then pool shocking is recommended to remove smelly chloramines. The best type of shock for removing chloramines is a non-chlorine shock.

To Treat Cloudy Water or Kill Algae Blooms

When used correctly, pool shock is a great algaecide. The trick is to make sure the pool pH is about 7.2 then keep adding shock until there’s no hint of green in the pool and the water turns blue-grey. Consider adding another pound of shock for good measure. Chlorine shock is the best for killing algae blooms.

Bottom Line

Taking care of your pool is important. Knowing when to shock pool is as critical as choosing the best shock treatment and how much you of it you need to use. The amount of shock to use depends on the current condition of the water and the problem you’re trying to solve. Similarly, the best type of shock to use depends on the pool problem you’re trying to prevent or solve.


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