How to Shock My Swimming Pool

Perhaps the first thing to understand completely before learning how to shock your swimming pool is

What is “Shock”?

Shock is a chemical combination of different oxidizing compounds that are added to the water in order to decontaminate your pool from chloramines and other types of undesirable substances. Once the chlorine in your pool water fights off the algae, mold, and mildew, it produces these chloramines as a side effect, which can lead to the water looking rather cloudy at times. In short, chloramines are dead chlorine particles. You need to get rid of them. Shock will help you do this.

When you add shock to your pool, it essentially turns these chloramines into a gaseous substance. This is why you smell chlorine when you go swimming. You are actually smelling the chloramines, rather than the chlorine. There are three different types of pool shock available:

  • Lithium Hypochlorite Shock
  • Potassium Non-Chlorine Shock
  • Calcium Hypochlorite Shock

The most common variety is the Calcium Shock. It only takes about 8 hours to work, so pool owners often perform the process in the evening. Calcium shock is by far the cheapest, as well, but needs to be pre-dissolved in a bucket of water before you place it in the pool. The lithium variety does not require pre-dissolving, but you still need to wait 8 hours before you or your children can go swimming. Potassium Monopersulfate is a Non-Chlorine Shock needs no pre-dissolving but is sprinkled directly into the pool and works within 15 minutes. This means “minimum wait time”, but it is usually the most costly.

Tips for How to Shock your Swimming Pool

  • Non-chlorine shock can be poured directly from the pouch or bottle into the pool as you walk around the perimeter.
  • You can do the same thing with chlorine granular shock but be aware it may bleach your liner if it doesn’t dissolve thoroughly before hitting the bottom of the pool.
  • Another way is to allow the chlorine to dissolve in a bucket of water and then pour that water in the pool as you walk around the perimeter.

Either way if handling chlorine we recommend the following safety tips:

  • Always wear rubber gloves and some sort of protective goggles for the eyes.
  • Wear old clothes. They may get soiled or bleached during the process.
  • Never add water to shock, but rather add shock to water!
  • Never add shock directly into the skimmer!
  • Do not mix multiple bags of shock together in one bucket!

Shocking the pool should be done weekly or whenever the pool starts to look cloudy. This often occurs after a rain storm or when the pool has been under heavy use.

Now, go enjoy a dip in the pool, and always be safe!

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