Pool shock treatment is a term that sounds like a foreign language to people that don't own a pool; however, people that have an above ground or inground swimming pool in their backyard will know what it means, and how to go about doing it.
That is not where the confusion lies.
Many people (pool owners or not) are confused with regards to WHEN you should shock a pool. A handful of people think that you should only put shock in your pool at the beginning of the summer, and another handful of swimming pool owners think that you should add shock every single week.
Both of these people are wrong!
This article is dedicated to showing you the 5 times that pool shock treatment is absolutely essential. Follow these guidelines, and your pool will be ready and safe for swimming!
What Does Shocking A Pool Do?
Before letting you know the times that it is necessary to shock a pool, I think that I should go over what pool shock does!
There are literally hundreds of pool chemicals that you can use; however, shock is one of the most important ones!
Anytime that anything gets into a pool (animals, humans, or nature), organics are let into the water. These organics include blood, sweat, body lotion, skin that was shed, and pretty much anything else that these things let off. These organics form a feeding ground for the bacteria particles that exist in a pool; however, it is the chlorine's job to eat away at the bacteria. The chlorine in a pool usually does an amazing job at getting rid of the bacteria; however, there are certain circumstances in which the chlorine falls behind... this is what shock treatment does!
Pouring a bucket of shock into your pool is like adding reinforcements to your chlorine! The pool shock kills all of the bacteria in the pool! With that explained, it is easy to show you the 5 times that it is essential to shock your pool!
1. Before You Open It For The First Time Each Year
As you can imagine, there is a lot of bacteria that makes its way into your pool throughout the winter months. Pool maintenance men cover your pool with a very tight cover, but the bacteria always finds its way to your water! The chlorine that you have left in the pool water will do a decent job at fighting off some of the new bacteria; however, the fact of the matter is that you will need some help to get rid of all of the bacteria that was formed throughout the winter.
Shocking your pool when you open it for the summer will eliminate all of the bacteria that has formed in the water throughout the winter. It is ABSOLUTELY essential that use the appropriate pool shock treatment before letting people swim in the water!
2. When The "Total Chlorine" Exceeds The "Free Chlorine"
There are two types of readings that you can get from your swimming pool's water; you can measure the amount of "free chlorine" and "total chlorine". The total chlorine reading is pretty self-explanatory; it measures the total amount of chlorine that is present in the pool. On the other hand, the free chlorine describes the amount of chlorine particles that are available to kill the bacteria that enters the pool water.
The free chlorine exceeding the total chlorine is a signal to add some pool shock into the water. It is showing you that the amount of chlorine that is in the swimming pool will not be able to fight off the future bacteria!
It is essential that you add some shock to your pool water when you see that the free chlorine reading is more than the total chlorine reading.
3. After Really Heavy Use
As you can imagine, many people in your swimming pool equates to a ton of organic matter being released into the water! To be put simply, the amount of chlorine in your pool water is simply not enough to fight off the bacteria that will form.
With that being said, you should make it a point to add some shock into your pool water. This will provide some extra bacteria-fighting power for the chlorine to kill the new bacteria!
I would recommend running through the water with a pool skimmer first to get rid of any large objects that may be in the water. Once that is done, you may add some shock!
4. After A Heavy Rainfall
Pool shock treatment is not absolutely necessary after a heavy rainfall; however, I would highly recommend doing one! Lots of organics can be found in the rainwater; moreover, a heavy rainfall will cause many of those organics to make their way into your pool!
More organics in the pool water translates to more food for bacteria to feed off of. It is advisable to shock the pool after a heavy rainfall to counteract the extra organics in your pool water!
5. Once You Have Completed A Water Change
Believe it or not, there is tons of bacteria and organic matter in our sewage system. Changing the pool water will cause this bacteria and organic matter to literally dominate your pool water!
Pool shock treatment is ALWAYS needed when adding a significant amount of new water into the swimming pool!