One of the most important steps you can take to ensure the health of your swimming pool and the safety of your family is to shock your pool. Shocking your pool kills contaminants that can not only cause an unsafe environment but can cause damage to the pool itself. While this process is often done by pool care professionals, doing it yourself is certainly an option. Whether you have a gunite pool or fabulous fiberglass, shocking the pool is a must.
What is Pool Shock?
It is helpful to know what pool shock is before you get started. Pool shock is either non-chlorine or chlorine chemicals that are added to your pool to destroy any contaminants in the water. Your goal is to raise the free chlorine levels so that it destroys any algae or bacteria that may be growing in the pool.
Organic pollutants and bacteria can build up in your pool and resist normal chlorination. To break these unwelcome visitors up, it’s important to raise the chlorine level quickly by shocking your pool.
How often should I shock my pool?
Shocking your pool should be a regular part of your pool maintenance. But the frequency depends on several factors:
- Frequency of use
- The presence of debris after rain or heavy winds
- If the pool water has been changed
The best way to determine if it is time to shock your pool is to test chemical levels weekly. The amount of free chlorine should be equal to the total chlorine. This ensures that you have enough chlorine present to eliminate contaminants.
How do I shock my pool?
There are a few different steps to take, to shock your pool:
- Always use gloves and protective eyewear.
- Add 1 pound of shock to a 5-gallon bucket of water, about 3/4 full.
- Always add shock to water, not water to shock.
- Wear clothes you don’t care about – they might get bleached.
- DO NOT add shock directly to your skimmer!
- Use a wooden stick and slowly stir in the shock, making sure it dissolves completely
- Slowly pour the bucket of pre-dissolved shock throughout your pool water. You may have some undissolved shock at the bottom of your bucket. In this case, just dip your bucket in some pool water give it a slow swish around, then pour it back into the pool to help dissolve the remaining shock.
- DO NOT mix all the bags together in one bucket.
- Always shock at dusk or nighttime. Chlorine works better when it’s not being burned off by the sun.
Swimming After Shocking
Are you wondering how long you need to wait to enter the water, post-shock? That depends on the type of chemical you used in the process.
Using pH, Alkalinity and Clarifier
If you use a blend of these chemicals, then you can enter the pool after at least 60 minutes of introducing water to level out the excess chemicals.
Using Calcium Chloride to Elevate Calcium Hardness
This process requires a longer wait time. Wait three to four hours after you cleanse the water to step in for a swim.
The General Wait for Liquid Chlorine
If you have used chlorine in the water, it is safe for you to take a dip as soon as the chemical level comes to 5 ppm. This usually happens a day after the cleansing.
This can be a quick cleaning fix and your swimming pool may be fit for a swim as early as 15 minutes after adding the algaecide. Since it is a mild chemical, it is relatively harmless.
For Those Using Muriatic Acid
Proceed with caution when choosing to use muriatic acid. This is primarily because muriatic acid is harsh and tends to make hot spots in the pool. It is possible to suffer a burn if the acid has not had enough time to dissolve. Simply avoiding the pool for the next 30 minutes after use, to ensure a safe swim.
If you have further questions about how to shock your pool, contact a nearby Premier Pool Service provider. Ready to build a new oasis? Fill in the form below for a new quote!