There is no doubt that pool shock is one of the most effective ways of sanitizing pool water to keep it clean and safe. However, it is also essential to know how to do it correctly, when and how often to shock your pool.
Experienced pool owners can quickly tell when their pool needs shocking from the smell or appearance of the water. If you are a new pool owner, you might not even know what pool shock is, but here is a closer look at what you need to comprehend.
Why Should You Shock Your Pool?
Pool shock entails adding large amounts of chlorine to the pool water, with the primary aim being to raise the levels to over 5 ppm (part per million) within a short time.
Raising the free chlorine level in the pool rapidly helps remove chloramines and kill algae, bacteria, and other microorganisms in pool water.
When Should You Shock Your Pool?
Shocking your pool is essential to keep it in great shape. However, it is also vital to make sure you know when to do it. Although you have to make it part of your routine maintenance, here are some crucial times when you must shock your pool.
1. After a Heavy Load
It is important to shock your pool water after a heavy bathe load, such as when you have a pool party or host several people that use the pool.
Humans will introduce all kinds of contaminants in the pool water, from natural ones like sweat and urine to others like body lotions and cosmetics.
The more the people that use the pool, the higher the level of contaminants, and so the free chlorine in your pool will not be able to handle them, meaning you need to give it a boost through shocking.
2. When There is a Strong Chlorine Odor
When you can smell chlorine in your pool water, it is time to shock. The strong chlorine odor comes from the accumulation of chloramines, which means there is less free chlorine in the pool water, so sanitization is not very effective.
Chloramines accumulate over time in the pool water as free chlorine binds to body excretions like sweat and urine or organic contaminants, creating more combined chlorine.
3. Extreme Weather Condition
It is vital to shock your pool after experiencing extreme weather conditions. Whether it is heavy rainfall, extreme heat, or windstorms, the chlorine in the pool will not work very well afterward.
For example, when the water has to face extreme heat for some time, most of the chlorine in the water will break down, meaning you need to add more rapidly. Heavy rainfall also dilutes the water and hence reducing the amount of free chlorine significantly.
How Often Do You Shock Your Pool?
There are no strict rules on how often you should shock your pool, as it largely depends on the usage and other things like weather conditions. However, most experienced pool owners and experts agree that you need to shock your pool at least once a week or biweekly.
Remember that you are constantly adding more chlorine to the pool water to keep it sanitized, and so it is only a matter of days before chloramines start forming, and you need to shock. That said, for pools that face heavy usage such as those in commercial establishments, shocking might be necessary every few days.
The sanitation system you use also does not affect the frequency of shocking. For example, if you have a saltwater system, you will still need to shock it every other week or even weekly.
Besides the weekly or biweekly pool shocking, it is also important to shock your pool at the beginning and the end of every swimming season. However, before doing it, you should first measure the chlorine levels. Test strips like the JNW Direct Pool and Spa Test Strips will be handy for this.
Shocking your pool is one of the best ways to ensure that your water remains clean and sanitized, as it allows the chlorine to work correctly.
Although there is no strict schedule you need to follow for pool shock, it is a good idea to do it at least once every week or biweekly, regardless of the pool type you have.
Additionally, pool shock is always necessary after heavy pool usage, extreme weather condition, and both at the beginning and end of the season.