Got pool shock but not sure if you need it? As an intensive pool cleaning solution, pool shock (also known as super-chlorinating) can remove bacteria, micro contaminants and kill algae. It’s not always a necessity to shock a pool, you can keep a safe and clean pool without it; Some people still choose to every week or so however. Ultimately it comes down to how you use your pool, and your personal preferences. There are however certain situations where a deeper clean is required, and shocking your pool is recommended.
Algae in the water
One of the principle uses of pool shock is to clean algae from a swimming pool – typically after a long winter. Shock can also be used to clean small spots of algae before they take further growth.
After contamination (accidents)
Pool shock is recommended to take care of contaminants such as urine, feces and other bodily fluids in your pool.
After heavy rain
Heavy rain can dilute your pools chlorine levels and lower it’s pH which means chlorine is used up more quickly. All this makes for a breeding ground for algae, nasty bacteria and other unwanted contaminants.
After pool parties (or heavy use)
Pool parties and lots of people in the pool introduce a mix of bodies and bodily fluids which can dramatically lower chlorine levels; this allows bacteria to grow. It’s always best to shock your pool after having a pool party.
To remove strong odors
If your pool has hosted several people or just simply smells then the pool shock can help to make it more pleasant for you.
Before closing your swimming pool
Pool shock is recommended as part of your pool closing process to help provide a clean pool when you open again in spring. If you don’t shock the pool then there is a greater chance of algae build up that you’ll have to deal with next year.
Raising chlorine levels (when next to 0)
Adding shock to a pool is the best way to bring the chlorine levels up fast. If you check your levels to discover they are almost zero then use shock.
Clearing cloudy water
Cloudy pool water can be caused by a myriad of reasons: algae, low chlorine, problems with the filter and an imbalance in your pool chemistry. Shocking will remove any cloudiness caused by bacteria, algae and other contaminants.
Pool shock tips
- Always add shock to water, not water to chock – you don’t want a chemical back-splash.
- Don’t add shock directly to the pool – it can simply sink to the bottom and bleach the liner – instead pre-dissolve in a bucket of water.
- Consider adding shock in the evening/night time – the sun can burn 1 ppm of chlorine per hour during the day – meaning some gets wasted
- Don’t store open bags of shock as it can spill