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What does it mean when you shock your pool?

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

It could be referred to as simply “shock”, or “shock treat”, “shock treatment”, “super-chlorinate”, or Russ’s favorite term “bomb it”. Either way, these terms all mean adding chlorine to your pool in larger than normal amounts, in addition to also using your Trichlor -s- Triazinetrione "Trichlor" tabs or your Poolife® NST calcium hypochlorite tabs. This step is a vital part of your pool maintenance. This larger dose of chlorine helps “zap” bacteria and other organic contaminants.

Generally, a shock treatment adds 5 – 10 parts per million (ppm) free available chlorine (FAC)*. We recommend picking a “shock day”. It is best to shock around the same time on the same day. Optimal time of day would be at sundown. This allows chorine to work without fighting ultra-violet rays. It is best for your pump and filter to be in operation during the shock treatment. This concentrated blast of chlorine helps prevent and can often correct many pool problems.

When shocking your pool, be sure you are using a calcium hypochlorite, maybe referred to “cal-hypo”, shock treatment. We offer 2 options of shock treat. Our Poolife® Turboshock® offers you 78% cal-hypo. Our Shockwave shock treat offers you 68%. These options are available in 1 pound bags or 25 pound buckets. These two products are true sanitizers for your pool to help control algae and kills bacteria without adding additional cyanuric acid to your pool. For more information regarding cyanuric acid, please refer to our blog “Understanding Cyanuric Acid”.

There are instances where you might need a non-chlorine shock sanitizer. This would be based on your current chlorine levels (bring us a water sample). We have this non-chlor shock available in 1 pound bags (Shockwave: potassium peroxymonosulfate 42.8%**, other ingredients 57.2%. Pool Breeze: Potassium monopersulfate 44.7%***, other ingredients 55.3%) .

Situations that call for additional shock:

After heavy swimmer loads

After strong rains and wind

During periods of extreme sun

When swimmers complain of burning eyes

When unpleasant odors occur

When signs of algae growth appear

When water appears, dull, hazy or cloudy

As always, every pool is different. Different scenarios, environment and even your equipment can produce different results. The information above may not be suited for everyone. Talk to your pool professional or stop by our store 7 days a week for any questions or concerns.

*Free available chlorine (FAC) is the amount of active available chlorinator in the water

**Active Oxygen 4.5%

*** Active Oxygen 4.7%

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