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How Pool Shocking Works

  September 23, 2015      Swimming pool renovation     No Comments


You might have heard of your pool maintenance guy ask you about shock treatments for your pool. Shocking a pool, as it is known, does not involve electricity in any way, it does, however, involve a lot of chemicals ‘shocking’ your pool and cleaning it before it recovers. It is an important part of pool repair. The main ingredient to the shocking process is chlorine.

Super-chlorination as it is also called is the adding of large doses of chlorine directly into the pool’s water, it can be from 5 to 10 times the normal amount used in pools. The main reason behind super-chlorination is to get the pool to maintain a positive level of free chlorine. It is achieved when the excess amounts of the chemical breaks down all the combined chlorine, clearing contamination and destroying organic waste. The process will be repeated till the water can hold free chlorine for a few hours after the treatment.

When to shock a pool

Shocking a pool should be done at the first sign of algae. If you feel a slippery slime like layer over the floor and walls of the pool, or see floating colonies, it has to be done. It is a good idea to go for this treatment right after the year’s rains as well. If there has been a period of heavy usage with a lot of people continually over a few days, or if the water starts to look muddled and dirty, shocking can be done.

As for the frequency of shocking, it depends on the temperature of the region and how often the water is used. If you live in a cool or cold region, once a month is a good idea, pools in warm and hot regions will have to be shocked twice a month, minimum.

One of the biggest advantages to shocking your pool periodically is that you can prevent the development of resistant microorganisms in the water, which is unpleasant and will eventually hike the cost of pool repairs in the future.

Note that it may not be safe to use the pool right after shocking it as chlorine is highly toxic and swimming or ingesting water from pools that have been super-chlorinated is dangerous. Have the maintenance crew check and test the water, wait for their clearance before jumping into it. The safe levels are below 3 ppm, this can take, depending on a number of variables, between 3 and 12 hours.


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