When Should I Shock My Pool?
So many times, people question when they should shock their pool? The simplest answer is do not wait for a problem to arise like itchy eyes, bad smells, or cloudy water. Pool shock should be used as part of your routine maintenance plan.
In addition to your weekly routine maintenance, you may want to perform an extra pool shock under certain circumstances, such as after:
- heavy pool use (like a pool party with a large bather load or children using the pool)
- a severe rainstorm or damaging winds (especially if your pool collected debris)
- a major water level change, if you had to lower a large amount of water
- a fecal-related pool accident (this should receive a double shock and the pool needs to be without swimmers for 24 hours and leave pool running for 24 complete hours).
Think of extra shock as insurance against algae developing, bacteria, or other contaminants. It’s better to take out bacteria before it has a chance to affect the quality of your water or safety of the swimmers.
When shocking your pool, you need to follow safety guidelines:
Pool Shock is a necessary part of good pool maintenance, but please remember the chemicals you use to shock your pool can be extremely dangerous if they’re mishandled or you do not follow directions. It is very important to understand that improperly stored chlorine can literally explode.
As a homeowner, we suggest you wear safety goggles, safety breathing mask and gloves when adding chemicals to your pool, especially shock. Pool shock, especially calcium hypochlorite, can sometimes release small amounts of chlorine gas. Wearing safety gear can help prevent breathing, eye and skin irritation. Do your best to avoid directly breathing from the containers. Exposure to chlorine gas can cause throat and lung irritation.
One of the most important safety rules is to never mix pool shocks. Mixing different chlorine types can explode when moisture is added. Never mix pool chemicals or allow them to contact each other, even a drop of algaecide, clarifier, antifreeze, or other liquids mixed with chlorine, can erupt into a raging fire. Mixing chlorine and acid (pH down) will create a deadly gas. Chemical residue from a bucket or scoop mixing with another chemical can react. Dirt, dust, leaves and any liquid can cause a volatile reaction when mixed with pool chlorine. Make sure you are using clean buckets, scoops, or sticks to mix with.
Do not add shock directly to your water unless instructed to do so by a pool professional or the product instructions advise to. If the package says dissolve before adding, make sure to pre-dissolve, as it is important. Only open one container at a time. If you need to use more than one container of shock, make sure you completely empty out each container before moving on to the next one. Finally, make sure all empty containers have the lids placed back on them and dispose of as recommended on the package or directed by your pool professional.