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How to Shock Your Swimming Pool

by Boris Dzhingarov on Oct 27, 2013

No, shocking your pool doesn’t involve some form of treatment with electricity. Pool shock is known as super chlorinating, and it’s a way to keep the water clean and safe. So what is involved, and how does the pool owner effectively use a shock treatment?

According to Wikihow.com, the basic process involves adding three to five times the normal amount of chlorine or chemical sanitizer to the pool water. This will significantly raise the chlorine level for a short time. The process will get rid of ineffective or inactive chlorine and will kill bacteria, along with anything organic in the pool. It will also increase the availability of effective chlorine. Shocking a pool is a good thing for a pool owner to know about – it should be part of the regular maintenance schedule for a family pool.

Be regular about it. What regular means will depend on how much use the pool gets, and how warm the water stays in the pool. The best way to check up on how frequently to use a shock treatment – do a home chlorine test and monitor the results. When the free available chlorine is below the recommended range, it’s time to use a shock treatment. It is recommended that a pool shock take place at least once a month. For a spa pool with really warm water, twice a month is better. Some experts recommend a shock treatment every week, especially if there has been a lot of rain, or for long periods of hot and sunny weather.

Do it after sundown. Since the UV rays in the sun will affect chlorine added to the water, it’s best to perform a shock treatment after the sun is down.

Prepare the pool shock chemical. First, the chemicals should be added to a bucket of water – always add the chemicals to water, not water to the chemicals. Make sure to stir up the water to ensure that the chemicals dissolve well.

Add the chemicals to the pool. While the filter is running, slowly add the water to the filtration system – in front of the return line fitting. Ask your pool professional about the proper place to add the chemicals if you’re unsure. The bucket of water containing the chemicals should be added slowly so that it properly circulates into the pool. When the bucket is about three-quarters empty, fill it up again, and stir the chemicals once more, then pour that bucket into the filtration system. This is to ensure that all the chemical granules go into the water, making the pool shock the most effective.

Let it be absorbed. It will take a while for the chlorine level to return to normal. Do a reading and make sure that the chlorine level is 3 PPM before re-entering the pool.

While a pool shock treatment sounds like a lot of work and effort, the pool owner who neglects his pool might find that a nasty layer of green algae has developed. Avoiding that scenario is a great reason for regular maintenance with shock treatments.

David Stanfield enjoys writing freelance articles for InTheSwim.com. He also enjoys time spent with his family, walking with his German Shepherd Rex, and his guilty pleasure – watching Survivor.

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