How to shock your swimming pool
Shocking your swimming pool is an integral part of owning a pool, and admittedly can seem like quite the daunting task. Having to handle such a large quantity of chemicals is enough to make anyone feel intimidated, however it really doesn’t need to be!
It’s the part of caring for your pool that ensures your pool is ALWAYS fresh and ready for swimming…
… And you can do it 7 simple steps.
Always remember to wear all your protective clothing and equipment.
Some of the things you’ll need are:
- Enclosed footwear
- Adequate protective clothing (long pants, long sleeve shirt, gloves)
- Eye goggles
Now you’re all protected, let’s get that pool shocked.
Equipment You’ll Need
A few essentials for your shock job:
- Water testing strips or liquid reagent testing kit
- Your choice of pool shock
- Stirring stick (preferably wood)
- An 18L bucket
Conduct a Free Chlorine (FC) and Total Chlorine (TC) test to calculate your Combined Chlorine (CC) levels.
- Simply subtract the FC from the TC to find the CC (TC – FC = CC)
- The result will determine the amount of shock required by your pool
Read and follow the manufacturer provided instructions to correctly measure the amount of shock required.
If you weren’t provided instructions or you need to do a self-calculation use the following as a rule of thumb:
- Use your CC reading [CC = TC – FC]
- Multiply your CC by ten [CC x 10]
- Subtract the FC from the product to find Difference [(CC x 10) – FC = D]
- Find out how many grams of shock (MS) will affect a chemical change of 1ppm chlorine in 10,000L of water
- Divide your Total Water Volume by 10,000 to calculate the Divided Water Volume [TWV / 10,000 = DWV]
- Multiply the divided water volume by the mass of shock needed for chemical change by the Difference [DWV x MS x D]
You now have the required amount of shock in grams, simply divide by 1000 to find it in kilograms
If your chosen shock treatment needs to be dissolved first (otherwise go straight to step 5), do so by filling up your bucket three quarters of the way full with warm water.
Now add the shock to the bucket carefully, and slowly stir it in so that as mn with your stick, so that as much of it dissolves as possible. Go to step 6
If you do not need to dissolve your shock treatment, then add the required amount of shock you will need, one at a time, until you reach the breakpoint.
Walk around the pool and evenly pour the water-shock concoction for a more even distribution. Make sure to fully dissolve any clumps that are at the bottom of your bucket before emptying it into your pool.
Avoid skin and eye irritation by waiting the recommended period of time before going for a dip!
That’s it! As simply as that, you can keep your pool fresh, clean and ready for a swim just by following this 7-step pool shocking process. Make sure you share this handy guide with someone you know is about to shock their pool.
Beginner’s Guide to Pool Chlorine
Choosing the Chlorine
The first step to keeping your pool water hygienic and sanitised is to choose the right chlorine for you and your pool.
Chlorine is an essential part of your pool set-up which kills algae, bacteria and other micro-organisms.
You can purchase chlorine in liquid, tablet and granular form, with most common supermarkets stocking one form or another.
Despite all the flashy marketing and packaging, they are all the same thing; chlorine!
Which is why the main differences you’ll be looking out for is the concentration of chlorine per bottle and the different methods of application for each specific type.
Basic Chlorinating Tablets
This tablet form of chlorine usually contains a stabiliser to protect against excessive chlorine breakdown from sunlight.
Chlorinating tablets are also generally slow dissolving and keep your water clear when used in conjunction with your floating chlorine dispenser, skimmer or automatic chlorinator.
They can be found between 10mm – 35mm and are a very simple yet effective choice for the everyday pool owner.
Different Variations Of Chlorinating Tablets
Moving away from the more essential capabilities of the basic chlorinating tablets, you will find many manufacturers provide multifunctional chlorinating tablets too. These range from products such as 2-in-1 sanitiser and shock treatments, as an example, whilst others might soften water or remove contaminants from the water.
Similar to your average household bleach formula, only 2 – 3 times stronger, it is very simple to apply and use. However, despite being such an effective and easy to use chlorine choice, you will need to be mindful that the shelf-life is generally much shorter; usually only a few weeks at most!
Liquid chlorine is administered directly into the pool water and left to circulate through the pump system overnight for full effect.
Due to the extreme potency of liquid chlorine you will need to exercise great care when handling the product. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing (enclosed shoes, eye protection, long pants and gloves) when handling the chlorine. If you do happen to get any chlorine on your skin, make sure to wash it off immediately and thoroughly.
Also, as liquid chlorine does not contain a stabiliser you will need to make sure you add the chlorine after sunset to ensure the sun’s UV rays don’t break down all that new chlorine!
1) Fill up a jug with the manufacturer recommended quantity of the liquid chlorine
2) Go to the deep end of your pool, and hold the jug out as far as is comfortable and safe for you to do so
3) Carefully pour the chlorine into the water
4) Avoid splashing the water or chlorine as you pour
5) Brush your pool floor and wall, ensuring that any algae growth on the sides is eliminated and the chlorine is stirred well through the water
6) Leave the pool cover open and the pump circulating over night
7) The following morning check that your chlorine reading is now in or above the normal range of 1 – 3 ppm
Granular chlorine, as the name suggests, is chlorine as in granular form which provides exceptional value by being very multifunctional. The chlorine granules will effectively sanitise, shock and kill algae with single daily applications.
As always remember to take care when handling and storing your chlorine and speak to your local pool shop for any assistance.
Using Pool Chlorine Tablets And Pool Chlorine Granules
The first method is using a floating dispenser to distribute the chlorine amongst your pool water as it dissolves. If you have a pool liner you may want to steer clear though; if the dispenser unevenly distributes the chlorine you may discolour or damage your liner!
They are a very convenient and low-maintenance option, allowing you to “set and forget” as it spreads the chlorine throughout your pool water.
One great and convenient method of applying your chlorine tablets is to place them in your skimmer basket and let them dissolve as the water flows over them. The water is spread amongst the pool by the return jets, leading to a far more effective spread of the chlorine amongst your pool.
You will have to make sure your pool pump is constantly running as it dissolves to avoid a super concentrated chlorine solution that could potentially damage your pool equipment. If you want to save a few dollars on your electricity bill, look into purchasing a variable speed pool pump to make sure your pool system is running efficiently.
Using an automatic chlorinator means you’re getting the best of both worlds. You’ll definitely enjoy the ease and simplicity behind its design, allowing you to “set and forget” the system after placing your chlorine tablets and initiating the correct settings. By remembering to place your automatic chlorinator in your pool system before the filtered water re-enters the pool, you’ll make sure the water in your pool is properly cleaned and chlorinated.
Out of the three option, this one will require the largest initial investment, however for the convenience and ease of use it’s definitely one you’ll want to consider.
That is everything you need to know about pool chlorine and shocking your pool. For more information about pool cleaning and maintenance read our post about How To Clean Your Pool. Or if you have any questions, send an email to email@example.com