Ultimate Guide to Pool Shock
Pool shock is a term used frequently in the world of pool maintenance. But, what does it mean to shock a pool? When we suggest shocking a pool, we’re recommending adding an oxidizer to your pool that will powerfully sanitize and disinfect the water. The process is sometimes described as over-chlorination. “Shock” is the name for the extra strong treatment.
There are different types of shock treatments. Before jumping into the types, it’s important to know why shock treatments are used and when.
Why Should I Shock My Pool?
We hear this question a lot. The reason that most pool specialists recommend shocking a pool every 2 to 4 weeks during swimming season is because shock treatments are a good tool to keep your pool’s chemistry balanced and eliminate contaminates like algae and bacteria. As chlorine attacks organic materials in the water like lotions, oils, algae and urine it becomes less effective. Shocking your pool with a high intensity oxidizer quickly improves the water’s sanitation, quality and appearance.
Here are some additional benefits from shocking your pool:
- Killing bacteria in the water
- Destroying algae colonies and removing visible signs of algae
- Breaking apart chloramines and other byproducts of disinfection
- Restoring water clarity
- Getting rid of inorganic and organic contaminates
- Removing stains on concrete
When Should I Shock My Pool?
During the swimming season, when your pool is being used frequently, it is a good idea to shock your pool every 2 to 4 weeks or when you notice the water is getting cloudy. During the months when your pool is not used, it’s a good idea to do it once every other month.
When it’s time to shock your pool, here are a few guidelines to follow:
- Do the treatment in the evening or early morning when the sun isn’t shining on the pool
- To ensure potency, lower the pH level to 7.2
- Remove leaves and debris from the water beforehand
- Either sprinkle or dust the shock across the surface
- For vinyl pools, always dilute the shock with 5-gallons of water before use
- Brush the pool and run the filter afterwards
Be sure to also read the instructions on the container and follow them.
What Pool Shock Should I Use?
There are 4 common types of shock treatments to choose from. Anyone of them will do the job. Here’s a little information about each one to help you make the right choice for your pool:
This shock treatment is also known as cal hypo. Calcium Hypochlorite is the most popular shock treatment because it is powerful, fast acting and inexpensive. It is both an oxidizer and sanitizer. It is usually available in tablets or granules that dissolve quickly. It will raise the pH level of the water, so it is a good idea to adjust the pH beforehand.
This is a liquid chlorine that is chemically identical to household bleach but much stronger. Sodium Hypochlorite works quickly and leaves no residue. It does have a very high pH of 13. It should be used with care. It can be dangerous to transport or store.
This is the only shock treatment that will last in bright sunlight. Sodium Dichlor is the most popular shock treatment for saltwater pool and UV systems. It has a neutral pH and doesn’t contain any calcium.
This shock treatment is also known as MPS shock. Sodium Monopersulfate is a chlorine-free oxidizer. One of its benefits is that you can swim immediately afterward since it isn’t as harsh as the other chemicals. It uses active oxygen to do its job killing bacteria, ammonia, and chloramines. It is a very effective treatment except for against extreme algae.
If you want to learn more about pool shock or need to pick up some, stop by PoolWorks! We’ll be happy to help.