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How to Shock Your Swimming Pool

We talk a lot about the need to shock your pool periodically during the summer.  It’s the best way to bring your water back into balance, and when you shock your pool, the water is cleaner and clearer.

So, in this article, we look at how to shock your swimming pool, but first let’s explain a few things.

Why Use Chlorine?

Chlorine is what you’ll use to shock your pool. It’s important as a pool owner that you understand the various ways we refer to chlorine. You’ll find three such ways:

  • When we refer to free chlorine we’re talking about the amount available to sanitize or disinfect your pool.
  • Your combined chlorine is the undesirable amount that forms when there isn’t enough free chlorine to manage the chlorine demand.
  • The total chlorine amount is the total that includes both your free chlorine and your combined chlorine.

What is Chlorine Demand?

Chlorine demand is the inability to keep an adequate free chlorine residual in pool water, even though the water is balanced and properly maintained. It can take the form of low total and free chlorine residuals or high combined chlorine (chloramines).

Chlorine demand is caused by various contaminants entering the pool that increase oxidation levels or tie up free available chlorine. Symptoms can include slimy or slick pool walls and cloudy water, although water can be clear and still have a high chlorine demand.

What Happens When You Shock Your Pool?

You know that contaminants get into your pool. They may enter for any of the following reasons:

  • Swimmers don’t rinse off before they get in the pool, bringing in soap and lotion residue.
  • High bather loads.
  • Dogs in the pool
  • Debris in the pool.
  • Urine and feces in the pool.
  • A host of other reasons.

Once these contaminants are in your pool, your free chlorine gets used up. If it isn’t concentrated enough, your contaminants may become inert, but they aren’t totally gone. In addition, your combined chlorine can’t break down the harmful bacteria.

When you shock your pool, you immediately elevate your free chlorine levels so you now have enough free chlorine to break up the combined chlorine.

After shocking your pool, you will be amazed at the crystal clear and clean water.

When Should You Shock Your Pool?

During the swimming season and times of high bather loads, shock your pool at least every couple of weeks.

In addition, if you have less than 1-3 ppm of free chlorine, shock your pool to raise the chlorine level.


What is the Best Time to Shock the Pool?

The sun affects your chlorine levels by dissolving the chlorine, so it’s best practice to shock your pool in the evening. Plus, your pool has plenty of time to free the chlorine and clean the water. Then, you’re ready to swim in the morning.

You’ll find several other optimal times to shock your pool:

  • You should shock your pool when you open it.
  • After you have a party with high bather loads. Your pool guests bring in contaminants and bacteria, so shocking after a party is a must.
  • If you have a stretch of very sunny  days, you want to shock your pool as the sun eats up your chlorine.
  • In addition, if there’s been a big rain storm, adding shock can bring your pH levels back into balance and remove contaminants.
  • You should shock your pool when you close it.

The Proper Way to Shock Your Pool

Once you’re ready to shock your pool, follow these steps:

  • Take the cover off.
  • Skim the pool, vacuum, and brush your pool and the walls.
  • Bring us a water sample for free testing and to check your pH levels.
  • Wear protective gear.
  • Get your shock ready and follow the instructions.
  • After shocking your pool, let the pump run for about six hours or overnight. Test your water again. Once your  chlorine levels are at 1-3 ppm, go swim!

To Conclude

Taking care of your pool is important so you can enjoy it all summer and for many years to come. At Ultra Modern, you can count on our expert service department to help you with all your pool needs. Feel free to contact us today if you’d like some help!

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Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash