Pool Shock is a type of chemical used to destroy bacteria and other organic contaminants in your swimming pool. Chlorine shock can be used to give your chlorine level a boost when it is very low. After using a chlorine-based shock, you should wait at least 8 hours before going back into the pool. Non-chlorine shock is a nice alternative and can be used as a supplement to your normal pool chemicals. With most non-chlorine shocks, you can swim again 15 minutes after shocking the water. Always make sure that the filter system is running while shocking the pool.
Some pool owners choose to shock their pools once every 1-2 weeks as normal maintenance. This is a great way to keep your chlorine level up and prevent algae growth.
In addition to your regular maintenance, common circumstances in which it’s a good idea to add shock to your pool water include:
- When opening your pool in the spring – When a pool is first opened, the chlorine level normally needs an immediate boost, and shock is the quickest and easiest way to accomplish this. If the chlorine level is already adquate, a non-chlorine shock may be used to treat the water. A chlorine shock is included in our Spring Start Up Kit for Chlorinated or Saltwater Pools.
- When closing your pool in the fall – You’ll want to make sure your chlorine level is adequate before closing up for the winter. A chlorine shock may be used if the chlorine level is low, or a non-chlorine shock may be used if your chlorine level is already stable. Non-chlorine shock is included in our Winterizing Closing Kit for Chlorinated or Saltwater Pools.
- Extreme weather conditions – It’s important to shock your pool after heavy rain, windstorms, and during periods of extreme heat. If your pool gets a lot of direct sunlight, the chlorine in the water will dissipate faster and shock can be used as a quick way to boost the chlorine level. In this case, the shock should be added at night, so that it can stay active in the water without being quickly burned out by the sun.
- Algae Growth – If any visible algae starts to develop, you’ll need to shock the pool. Green algae is the most common, but it can also appear as yellow, brown, black or even pink. For visible algae growth, an algaecide should also be used. Both shock and algaecide are included in our Green Algae Package.
- After you have a lot of people in the pool – Humans can introduce all sorts of contaminants into the pool, including sweat, lotions, cosmetics, and body oils.
Just remember – At a minimum, be sure to shock your pool in any of the above situations. To be on the safe side, you may also consider shocking your pool every 1-2 weeks as a preventative measure. If you’re utilizing a saltwater system with your swimming pool, it’s also a good idea to periodically shock your swimming pool if the chlorine levels are low.
Swimmers, rainfall, sunlight, and debris deplete chlorine’s ability to sanitize your above ground pool. Shock “burns” or oxidizes these contaminants and replenishes the chlorine level in your pool. Pool shock actually restores your chlorine’s “fighting power” and makes it safe to swim again. Use pool shock once a week for a trouble-free season!