Swimming pool maintenance is a critical task for any pool owner, and among the most important aspects of this is the process known as “pool shocking.” Whether you are a new pool owner or looking to better understand how to maintain your pool, comprehending what pool shock does and how it works is essential. Metropolitan Pools will break down what pool shock is and how or when to use this chemical to help you pool’s water.
What is Pool Shock?
Pool shock refers to the process of adding chemicals to your swimming pool to break down organic contaminants, such as bacteria, algae, sweat, oils, and urine, and to restore the proper chemical balance of the water. This process is also known as superchlorination.
Is Pool Shock Really Necessary?
Over time, the chlorine in your pool which is used to disinfect the water can combine with ammonia and nitrogen compounds, forming chloramines. While chloramines are still sanitizers, they are less effective than free chlorine and can cause issues like eye irritation and a strong chlorine smell. Shocking the pool breaks these chloramines down, restoring the effectiveness of the chlorine and ensuring the water is clean and safe for swimming.
How Does Pool Shock Work?
The process involves adding a large dose of oxidizing chemicals to the pool water. This breaks up the molecular bonds of the contaminants and chloramines, essentially “burning” them off. The most commonly used chemicals for pool shocking are:
• Calcium Hypochlorite: A strong and fast-acting chlorine based shock that needs to be dissolved in water before being added to the pool.
• Lithium Hypochlorite: A chlorine based shock that’s ideal for areas with hard water but more expensive.
• Dichloroisocyanuric Acid (Dichlor): A stabilized form of chlorine that dissolves quickly and does not require pre-dissolving.
• Potassium Monopersulfate (Non-chlorine Shock): An alternative to chlorine-based shocks, ideal for those sensitive to chlorine. It is effective in oxidizing contaminants but doesn’t kill bacteria or algae.
How Often Should I Put Shock in My Pool?
• Regular Maintenance: As a general rule, pools should be shocked once a week during the swimming season.
• After Heavy Use: If your pool has seen a lot of activity, such as after a pool party, it is a good idea to shock it immediately afterward.
• Following Rainfall: Heavy rains can dilute the chemicals in your pool and introduce contaminants.
• When Algae Appears: Algae growth is a clear sign that your pool needs shocking.
• When Chlorine Smell is Strong: Ironically, a strong chlorine smell indicates not too much, but too little free chlorine, and it’s time to shock.
Vinyl Pool Installation, Repair, Maintenance & More in Sandusky, Lorain, Elyria, Medina, Parma, Mentor, Akron & Greater Cleveland, Ohio
Regular pool shocking is a critical component of pool maintenance. It ensures that your pool remains a healthy and enjoyable place to swim by keeping the water balanced and free of harmful contaminants. Remember, consistent pool care not only preserves the quality and longevity of your pool but also protects the health and safety of everyone who enjoys it. For quality pool services and more, contact Metropolitan Pools today.