How Often to Use Pool Shock

Having your own custom pool allows you to enjoy time with your family and friends and helps you beat the heat during scorching Tucson summers. In order to get the most use out of your swimming pool, you need to perform proper maintenance. Although features such as an in-floor cleaning system can keep your water clean for longer, adding pool chemicals is important to kill bacteria and keep your pool safe for swimming. Pool shock is a strong chemical that you will need to add to your pool every so often.

Some tips for how and when to use pool shock: 

What Pool Shock Is and How It Works

Pool shock is a powerful granular form of chlorine that is stronger than the chlorine tabs you normally use in your pool. There are a few different chemical compounds that you can use. Calcium hypochlorite (cal hypo) is the most economical option. Sodium dichlor costs slightly more but does not create calcium build-up. In some cases, you may want to use non-chlorine shock, such as potassium monopersulfate.

There are two types of chlorine in your pool. The first is free chlorine, which has not reacted with bacteria. The second is combined chlorine or chloramines. This builds up as free chlorine reacts with bacteria. This creates an unpleasant chemical smell. Too many chloramines can also result in unsanitary water. Pool shock works by adding a high concentration of chlorine, which breaks the bonds in chloramines. Non-chlorine shock also breaks chloramine bonds but does this using oxygen instead of chlorine.

Why Do You Need To Use Pool Shock?

A pool is an easy place for bacteria to grow and accumulate. While you may think grabbing the pool net and scooping up leaves and debris from your pool is enough to keep it sanitary, the truth is that is only part of the cleaning process. Bacteria that you cannot see can do more damage to your water and if left unchecked, can lead to algae growths that will make it impossible to enjoy your pool. Shocking your pool regularly is a lot easier than you may think and it is essential to keep your pool pristine.

How To Shock Your Pool

In most cases, you should shock when the sun has set. The sun’s harsh ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause the chlorine in pool shock to dissolve. This makes the process less effective.

Before beginning the shocking process, make sure you are wearing the necessary protective gear. Pool shock contains strong chemicals and can damage your skin and eyes if you are not careful. Gloves, eyewear, and clothing that covers your skin are all essential.

Next, you will want to check your pool’s pH level to determine the appropriate amount of pool shock to add. For most types of shock, you will need to dilute it before adding it to your pool. This is done by mixing the powder with water.

To ensure you evenly distribute the shock, follow and pour along the edges of your pool. Once this is complete, you should not swim until your pool filter has completely cycled the water. This usually takes 2-4 hours. Before you swim, you should test the chlorine level. If it is under 5 parts per million (ppm) it is safe to swim.

When to Shock Your Pool

You should create a schedule to shock your pool regularly. This depends on how often you use your pool and how many people typically swim. As a general rule, shocking every week or every other week at a minimum is a good goal. In addition to this schedule, you should consider shocking your swimming pool after pool parties, big storms, or if you notice algae.

Get The Most Out of Your Pool By Using Pool Shock

Having a pool is a luxury in the Arizona heat. In order to enjoy swimming as much as possible, it is important to stay on top of maintenance. At Pools by Design, we install innovative features such as an A&A in-floor cleaning system. When we build your new pool we will make sure to give you all the information you need about upkeep.

Turn your backyard into a vacation destination with Pools by Design. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

How Often Should You Add Chlorine to Your Pool?

Maintaining swimming pools can be a complicated task and there are many factors you need to consider to keep your pool running smoothly. A pool is a big investment and you want to make sure it looks great and works well so that you can get the most use out of it. Unless you opted to install a salt water pool system, one step you need to take to keep your pool clean is adding chlorine regularly. However, it can be difficult to determine exactly how to keep this chemical element at the right concentration in your inground pool.

How often should you add chlorine to your pool?

Understanding How Chlorine Works

Before determining how often you need to add this chemical to your pool, it is important that you understand how chlorine works as it relates to pool sanitation. The chemical element naturally occurs as chlorine gas, so when you add it to your pool you are adding a stabilized version of elemental chlorine. When it enters your pool, it will react with water to form hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and other chemical compounds.

The chlorine compounds then react with bacteria in your pool. This process can be complicated. The simple explanation is that the compounds destroy the lipids (fats) in bacteria cell walls. This kills the bacteria, which leaves your pool clean and safe for you to swim in without worrying about harmful germs.

Too Much Chlorine

You may think that since chlorine kills bacteria that can harm you or your family, it is best to add as much as possible. However, too much of this compound in your pool can be just as harmful as letting bacteria thrive. For example, if you add too much of this pool chemical, chlorine gas can start to form at the surface of your pool. This not only smells bad but can actively hurt you by making it difficult to breathe.

The Right Level of Pool Chemicals

Since adding chemicals to your pool is a chemical reaction, it must be done with the utmost care to stay in the right range where chlorine kills bacteria without harming you. Ideally, you should have 3 ppm (parts per million) of chlorine in your pool. This means that for every million molecules in your pool water, 3 of them should be chlorine. Although this seems like a small amount, this chemical is powerful enough that this small concentration is enough to keep your pool clean.

You can test your pool water using chemical test strips, which you can purchase at any pool supply store. These can show you the ppm values of any number of important pool chemicals. They also help you manage pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Each chemical level can be managed by adding different compounds to your pool.

Under normal circumstances, you should add a tablet of chlorine every 3-7 days, depending on the results of your water tests. Tablets are often the best option, as they are easier to handle and measure. Make sure to store them in a cool and dry place. Do not keep them for too long as they become less effective over time.

Build the Pool of your Dreams with Pools by Design

Chlorine or Salt Water Systems

At Pools by Design we will help you design the pool of your dreams. We will be sure to go over pool maintenance so that your new pool will always look its best.

We look forward to working with you to create a swimming pool that you and your family will love.