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What Pool Shock To Use

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What Type Of Shock Is Best

How to Use Pool Shock

You could go by your pool type as summarized above or you could choose an oxidizer based on your water chemistry.

  • If your calcium hardness level is high, avoid calcium hypochlorite shock, which will contribute to even higher levels. Choose Di-Chlor or Non-Chlor shock instead.
  • If your cyanuric acid level is hHigh, avoid Di-Chlor shock, which is stabilized and will contribute to even higher levels of CYA. Choose Cal Hypo or Non-Chlor shock instead.

I could talk about oxidizers all day long but, Ive other work to do here about the lab.

If you have other questions about which pool shock to use, or want me to explain this joke, call us, or send an email!

Pool Shock The Boilerplate

When I started doing research for this article, I visited some of the most respected survival and preparedness blogs and forums for background material. After all, pool shock is pool shock and there must be some standards for use, right?

With just one exception, all of the sites I visited included this boilerplate from the EPA:

You can use granular calcium hypochlorite to disinfect water.

Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite for each two gallons of water, or 5 milliliters per 7.5 liters of water.

The mixture will produce a stock chlorine solution of approximately 500 milligrams per liter, since the calcium hypochlorite has available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight.

To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water or to be disinfected.

To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the disinfected water by pouring it back and forth from one clean container to another.

Have your eyes glazed over yet? Mine have. Being an accountant, I like to deal in absolutes so what is this business about one heaping teaspoon? Plus, whats up with the references to approximately and roughly?

Did I mention this made my head hurt?

How To Shock The Pool

When youre shocking a pool, the goal is to raise the free chlorine level of the pool water to roughly 10 times the combined chlorine level. Reaching this mark is the breakpoint chlorination.

Shocking a pool should be done at dusk. The sun will burn off unstabilized chlorine. Shocking your pool at night makes sure the chemicals work properly.

Here’s how to shock a pool:

  • Test the water. You will need to check the pH level in your pool. Pool test kits can measure the FC and TC of your water. To find the CC of your pool, subtract the FC from the TC. This will let you know how much chlorine you need to add to the pool.
  • Calculate the amount of shock you will need to mix. Refer to the amount indicated on the package of the shock chemical you plan to use.
  • You can add some granular pool shock to your swimming pool directly, but most varieties need to be mixed with water before use. Mix the granular pool shock with water ahead of time, if necessary. This will save you time and help prevent calculation mistakes. Pre-mix the pool shock in a five-gallon bucket.
  • Liquid pool shock is also available.
  • Ensure the pool pump is running.
  • Pour the mixture into the water, around the edges of the pool.
  • Let the pump run for about six hours or more.
  • Test the water to ensure proper chlorine levels.
  • Dont use the pool right away. Wait for the free chlorine levels to drop to 1 to 3 ppm.
  • Wear gloves and safety glasses while working with pool chemicals.

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Other Times To Use Pool Shock

Shocking the pool also removes organic contaminants from dirt, leaves and air pollution. There is a lot of harmless matter that gets into a pool and gets in the way of water balance and sanitation. Cloudy water can often be corrected by superchlorinating the pool, or by adding non-chlorine oxidizer, to destroy the colloidal particles that cause cloudy water.

In short, for best results, use Chlorine Shock for Algae and Bacteria removal, and use Non-Chlorine Shock for Chloramine and Contaminant removal and treatment of Cloudy Water.

Start-Up and Close-Down: For pools that are winterized, opening the pool is the first time of the year that pool shock is used, after the water chemistry is balanced. This helps oxidize particles, kill bacteria and algae and restore water clarity. Prior to closing the pool, pool shock is used to disinfect the water, in preparation for the long winter ahead.

Heavy Rain: Rain is pure water, distilled by evaporation, but as it falls through the air, it picks up airborne particles that wash into your pool. Air pollution, dust, pollen, algae spores can discolor the water, consume your chlorine, and affect water chemistry. During heavy storms, overhanging trees, overflowing planters or lawn areas next to the pool can wash in soil laden with bacteria and phosphates, in addition to of tree and plant debris.

When Pool Water Temperature Rises

Clorox Pool& Spa Shock Xtra Blue Pool Shock (12 Pack ...

Bacteria and other organisms such as algae thrive in warm water. In addition, the amount of free chlorine decreases with rising temperatures.

Most pools are kept at a comfortable level of 86-88 °F. The temperature should be lowered to a range of 78-84 °F if there are a lot of swimmers or if the pool is used for athletic activities. You can use a pool thermometer to measure water temperature.

If the temperature rises above the recommended levels, you should shock your pool.

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When Should You Shock Your Pool And How Often

These are probably the two most common questions that swimming pool owners have about pool shock. And, like many pool-related questions, theres no single right answer.

The short, simple answer to both questions is, it depends on several factors, like how much you use your pool and if it has been exposed to any contaminants. The guidelines below should help you decide when to shock your pool:

Are Chlorine And Shock The Same Thing

SKIMMER NOTES: No. Chlorine and shock are not the same thing. Shock has a more intense chemical strength than the traditional chlorine sanitizers, and it also differs in how you should apply it to your swimming pool.

Short answer: No. Chlorine sanitizers and shock are similar but different in strength.

What IS the difference between chlorine and shock?

Granular chlorine, liquid chlorine, chlorine tablets and granular shock all have similar active chemicals that sanitize your pool. Whats different about shock is the strength of the chemical and how youre supposed to use it.

How much chlorine do you need to shock a pool?

Unfortunately, you cant shock your pool using your regular 3-inch chlorine tablets. Common chlorine sanitizing products are great for maintaining chlorine levels, but not necessarily eliminating new waste, bacteria and algae.

A good shock product should raise the free chlorine above 5 parts per million for several hours to destroy bacteria and chloramines. Keep in mind, if you have visible algae of any kind , you may need to double or triple the normal dosing of pool shock to eradicate the problem. Thats where the power of shock come in. For example, some 1-pound bags of shock treatment can deliver 7 parts per million of free chlorine per 10,000 gallons of pool water.

We hope that answers your question on chlorine versus shock. For more information on chlorine tablets, be sure to check out our article on the difference between chlorine tablets.

Also Check: Lowe’s Pool Shock

Heres To A Shockingly Fresh Swim

Congratulations, youre now part of the club. Once you complete your first shock and feel the differenceafter waiting eight hours, of coursetheres no going back, with the exception of a backstroke. Enjoy your next swim. Not only is it relaxing as ever, but now its all the more safe. And in the end, isnt that really what matters most?

Nava Chemicals Starplus Chlorinating Shock Treatment

Can You Use Pool Shock in a Hot Tub?

Best Dichlor Shock

This stabilized pool shock is a great option for clearing up any type of pool or spa. The high dosage of chlorine works to shock your pool quickly by getting rid of any foreign matter in the water.

The manufacturers of this stabilized pool shock guarantee that using this product will not lead to scale build up in your pool. Scale refers to calcium and mineral buildup that can result from the use of certain chemicals in your pool.

This product can be used approximately once a month, but actual usage amounts will vary according to your pools conditions.

  • Dichlor stabilized shock is approximately 55.5% chlorine
  • Dosage: 1 pound per 10,000 gallons
  • Available in 12 or 24 count 1-pound bags
  • Dissolve speed is not available


  • Can be used in all types of pools and spas
  • Works as a nonharmful disinfectant and clarifier


  • A little more expensive than other similar products

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Use Aquachek Chlorine 4

The AquaChek Chlorine 4-in-1 + ShockChek test kit helps you avoid time-consuming and expensive murky water and algae outbreaks, so you can spend more time relaxing and less time maintaining your pool or spa. This test kit includes an easy-to-read test that advises you when to shock the water and covers the critical chemistries for keeping balanced water.

Tests for: Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, Stabilizer

How To Use Pool Shock To Purify Water

If I were to ask how many of you store liquid bleach along with your other prepping supplies, I am certain that a good percentage of you would raise your hands. Liquid bleach is a powerful disinfectant and sanitizer but did you know that there is something better? Something with an almost indefinite shelf life that is inexpensive and takes almost no room to store?

That something is the chemical Calcium Hypochlorite most commonly known as Pool Shock.

I have known about Pool Shock for years but because it is not readily available in my area, I never took the time to search it out so I could stockpile some for my own emergency preps. That has now changed and today I plan to show you how to use Pool Shock the easy way, step by step.

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Sounds Electrifying What Is Pool Shock

Basically, pool shock is an exciting term for oxidation. Its technically a type of chlorine, but dont let that fool you. Despite its categorization, it enacts a more specific function than simply sanitizing your pool waterthough it does that, too.

Here are the facts: after a chlorine particle attacks and kills bacteria or another organic material in your pool, it creates what is called a chloramine. This is an inactive particle that floats along in your water until it can be broken apart. And the only way this happens? You guessed it: pool shock.

Pool shock is the only kind of jolt your pool should be getting. Keep it warm and relaxed with the Energy-Saving ComforTemp Pool Heat Pump. As customer Angela G. notes, It runs great and looks impressive. A good valueeven our electrician was impressed.

What Is Pool Shock Anyway

Clorox 33006CLX Pool& Spa XtraBlue Shock Plus, 6 Lbs ...

Think back to the last time you walked past a hotel pool. The chemical smell probably knocked your socks off, right? You may think that unmistakable smell is chlorine, but the odor actually comes from chloramines, a sign of improperly balanced water.

Chloramines form when the chlorine in your pool mixes with the nitrogen in sweat, oils, and urine . This is a natural chemical process, basically a byproduct of your chlorine doing its job.

In addition to giving your pool a funky smell, too many chloramines can also irritate your skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

By shocking your pool, youre adding enough chlorine to clean the water and destroy the buildup of chloramines. This process is also called superchlorination.

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What Is Pool Shock

It is time to shock your pool. That may sound a little scary but dont worry it is not as frightening as it sounds. In fact, there is no need to use any electricity or scares. Shocking your pool may sound intense, but it is rather mundane when you get down to it. This article aims to clear up everything about shocking your pool, from why you do it to how to do it. Lets get started with the question, what is pool shock?

When The Free Chlorine Level Goes Below 3 Ppm

The quantity of free chlorine in the water should be 3 ppm, which is also what the total chlorine level should be around. The combined chlorine level should always be maintained below 0.5 ppmor at 0.0 ppm, if possible.

  • Free chlorine is the chlorine content that is unused, or “free” to do its job: cleaning and disinfecting your pool.
  • Combined chlorine, or chloramine, is the result of the chlorine’s sanitizing action. Chloramine is formed from the combination of free chlorine and sweat, body oils, and urine, creating the infamous “pool smell” that people often attribute to chlorine. High levels of combined chlorine means there is less free chlorine to kill bacteria, parasites, and algae.
  • Total chlorine is the sum of the free chlorine and combined chlorine contents.

Most test strips available on the market only measure free chlorine, but you also need to know values of total and/or combined chlorine before shocking your pool.

I use the Lamotte ColorQ Pro 11digital pool water test kit. I like this equipment since it is accurate, easy to use, and measures other pool chemicals and properties such as pH, bromine, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardness.

Important: Improper maintenance of pool chemistryespecially pH and cyanuric acid levelschanges the efficacy of chlorine, so make sure you use accurate equipment and frequently check your pool water’s chemistry.

If you find that the free chlorine level is lower than 3 ppm, it is time to shock your pool.

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Clorox Pool& spa Salt Essence

Saltwater pools typically require less maintenance than standard chlorine pools, but they still need to be shocked regularly. If you have a saltwater pool, you may want to consider a shock that doesnt contain liquid chlorine or come in the form of chlorine tablets. When it comes to shocking a saltwater pool, our pick is the Salt Essence Chlorine-Free Shock Oxidizer from CLOROX Pool& Spa.

Its specially formulated to get rid of sweat, sunscreen, oils, bacteria, and other organic contaminants. Salt Essence can also correct cloudy water and eliminate odors. All in all, its an excellent swimming pool maintenance product that can be used as often as every week.

Pool Essentials Shock Treatment

Why and When to Use Pool Shock

Whats the best pool shock for weekly treatment? Were partial to Pool Essentials Shock Treatment, a fast-dissolving product that clears murky water by getting rid of oils, sweat, sunscreen, and other contaminants swimmers leave behind.

You can apply this easy-to-use chlorine shock directly to your pool water in the deepest area. Not only is it super effective at shocking pools, but its also affordable enough to use once a week . Pool Essentials Shock Treatment can be used at any time of year and is safe for frequent use.

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Check Your Pool Chemistry

After youve waited the recommended number of hours, you still need to test your pools chlorine levels before letting anyone swim.

Make sure the levels have returned to normal before you allow anyone in.

Note that low pH levels are important here: if your pH level is over 8.0, your pool shock is basically useless. Shoot for a pH level of around 7.2 if you need to lower it.

Aqua Chem Shock Xtra Blue

If youre looking for a tried-and-true, all-purpose pool shock, we recommend Aqua Chem Shock Xtra Blue. This product is suitable for use in all types of pools, including salt water pools, above-ground pools and inground pools. The active ingredient is sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione , which contains chlorine. It effectively kills algae, bacteria, and chloramines while making pool water crystal-clear and sparkling clean.

Best of all, Shock Xtra Blue works extremely fast your pool will be swim-ready in as little as 15 minutes after treating it. Additionally, its formulated to reduce eye irritation and minimize the chlorine smell. This shock is also budget-friendly compared to similar products on the market.

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Why Shock A Pool

Chlorine levels will fluctuate depending on the bather load and contaminants in your pool water. Pool chlorine is engineered to attack and kill bacteria so the pool is safe to swim, but will also bind to ammonia in water, forming chloramines. This type of wastes come from swimmers, fertilizers, bird droppings, sunscreen lotions, etc. The only way to release the bound chlorine is by shocking the pool.

What Is Calcium Hypochlorite Used For In A Swimming Pool

Clorox Pool& Spa Shock XtraBlue Pool Shock for Swimming ...

Although pool owners and professionals throw the word shock around quite a bit, not everyone knows exactly what pool shock does to swimming pools. Many assume that it is just a large blast of chlorine to really get the water clean after a large swim load or an algae issue.

Although it is partially true that Calcium Hpyophlorite is used to give the pool a large dose of chlorine, there is a bit more to it than that.

Cal Hypo has unstabilized chlorine as the active ingredient, and it has quite a bit of it. Most brands will contain about 65 to 75 percent chlorine. The concentration is quite high, and it will have the power necessary to take care of bacteria growing in your pool. Shock products find bacteria and destroy their cell structure so that people can swim in the pool yet again.

The cal hypo is unstabilized, so although your pool may have a very high chlorine level after its initial application, the sun will burn off the excess chlorine rather quickly. Therefore the pool is safe to swim in about eight to twelve hours.

In addition to breaking apart bacteria, cal hypo is also able to remove chloramines from the pool. Chloramines are actually quite gross. Essentially this is where chlorine will trap itself with dead skin cells or human organic matter of any kind. Unfortunately, chlorine is not all that good at getting these things out of the pool, and the contaminants just hang out in your water.

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