How to Shock Your Inground Pool
Owning a pool can be one of life’s joys. It brings joy and relaxation to you, your friends and your family during hot summer days and casual weekend afternoons. Having a pool also enhances your property’s value, making it a valuable investment when you put in the proper level of upkeep.
The good times require upkeep, though. Every pool owner must work hard to keep their pool in good shape. Your pool may see a lot of action as the main attraction to your parties and get-togethers, so it’s up to you to make sure the water stays clean and safe to swim in.
This article will help you learn how to shock your pool so that you can get the most out of it this season and for years to come.
What Is Pool Shock?
Shocking your pool is the act of adding a specific chemical to oxidize the chloramines in your pool’s water.
Chloramines are a natural chemical byproduct of swimming in chlorinated water. They form when free available chlorine (FAC) binds to the sweat, oils and cosmetics that swimmers carry into the pool, becoming combined available chlorine (CAC). As more chloramines form, the water loses its sanitizing ability.
Shocking — or “super chlorinating” — your pool lets you destroy those chloramines. By bringing the water back to a proper level of FAC, you can restore your pool to a safe, sanitary condition.
Supplies for Shocking Your Pool
You can choose from many types of pool shock supplies depending on your needs and preferences, the most important of which is the shock itself. Here are some of the options you may encounter:
Calcium hypochlorite shock: A trustworthy pool disinfectant for many decades, this shock is affordable and convenient to use. You’ll need to dissolve calcium hypochlorite products in water before adding them to your pool. Since calcium hypochlorite is vulnerable to heat and direct sunlight, only use this shock after the sun goes down.
Lithium hypochlorite shock: This chlorine shock is an excellent choice for pool water with high-calcium content. Note that most manufacturers are turning away from this chemical, so it may be hard to find.
Dichlor shock: Dichlor shock is a popular option because it’s easy to use — depending on the product, you may even be able to add it directly to your pool water. Besides being used for shocking your pool, it also works as a regular chlorine treatment. This shock contains cyanuric acid, which extends the active life of the chlorine in your water.
Chlorine-free shock: Many non-chlorine pool shock products use potassium peroxymonosulfate, the preferred shock chemical for saltwater pools.
Handling pool shock can be dangerous, so it’s important to protect yourself. Be sure to wear protective gear when shocking your pool, including:
Pants and shirts that cover as much skin as possible.
You should also have a liquid testing kit on hand, as well as a five-gallon bucket and a wooden stick for dissolving the shock before adding it to your pool.
How to Shock a Pool in Three Steps
Once you’ve chosen the right pool shock product for your specific needs, it’s time to get to work. Here are three steps for shocking your pool:
Test the water: See if your pool water’s FAC level is less than the total chlorine level, the combined measurement of FAC and CAC. You should also check your pH and alkalinity levels to ensure they’re where they should be. Pool shock will be more effective in properly balanced pool water.
Dissolve your pool shock: Most pool shock products will have you dissolve the shock in a five-gallon bucket before adding it to the water. Follow product directions to know how much chlorine you need to shock the pool.
Add pool shock to the water: Finally, add the dissolved pool shock to the water near the pool’s edges. Keep testing the water until you reach the breakpoint when there’s enough FAC to break up the chloramine. The breakpoint occurs when your FAC level is about 10 times greater than the CAC level.
Remember always to shock your pool at dusk. The sun’s ultraviolet rays may break down the shock in the water, so shocking your pool during the day risks losing the chlorine’s effectiveness.
How Long Does It Take to Shock a Pool?
Check the manufacturer’s directions for the pool shock product you’re using. Along with instructions for using the product safely, you’ll find information about how long the product will take to work.
Using your pool too soon after shocking it can lead to:
Dry or irritated skin.
If you add shock to your pool after dusk, the water should be fully shocked and safe to use by the next day. However, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test the water before use to confirm that the chlorine content has reached a safe level.
How Often Should You Shock Your Inground Pool?
We recommend shocking your inground pool once a week with regular use or at least once every two weeks with light use. Any longer than that will risk your pool developing unwanted conditions that can be difficult to correct. Work shocking your pool into your weekly routine for the best results.
Apart from the regular schedule, you should also shock your pool:
When you open your pool for the season.
When you close your pool after pool season.
After heavy pool use like long, packed pool parties or several days of lengthy swims in a row.
After urine or fecal matter enters the pool.
At the first sign of algae.
Shock Your Pool in One Easy Step With Quantus Pools
Now that you know how to shock an inground pool, you can see that this essential part of pool care demands a lot of time and effort. If you’d rather let someone else handle that part of your pool care, then Quantus Pools is the answer you’ve been looking for.
Our weekly maintenance services include shocking your pool to keep it clean and ready for all your summer swimming fun. We invite you to schedule a service call online today to take the next step toward enjoying your inground pool more this year.