How often should you shock your pool?

November 9, 2023

Caring for a swimming pool whether in ground or above ground may seem complicated, in fact it’s quite the opposite once you understand how, in fact, it’s EASY. A frequent question that comes up is “how often do I shock my pool?” The first thing that we need to understand is exactly what “shocking” the pool does to it chemically. Then we can go into how often it needs done.

Shocking a pool is a process in which (with the use of chemicals) you raise the “free chlorine” level in your pool. The “free chlorine” is that which has combined with a contaminant. Raising the “free chlorine” level in your swimming pool will effectively destroy contaminants like algae and bacteria. This is due to chlorine’s harsh nature. The living microorganisms cannot live in a chlorine rich environment since it is effectively poison. This is why our eyes burn if the level is too high since our bodies attempt to fend off the toxin.

How often you need to shock your pool can depend on a lot of variables. During peak season, it is recommended that you shock your pool once per week. Remember though, how often will also depend on how many people use the poos, whether they shower before entering or not, and the weather (rain dilutes the water and makes shock necessary). There is however three safe criteria to use when trying to decide whether or not your pool needs shocked.

  • Is there algae growing? If yes then shock the pool
  • Is the combined chlorine level above 0.5? If yes shock the pool
  • Is the free chlorine level at zero? If yes shock your pool

These levels can be determined by using a pool test kit available anywhere pool supplies are sold.

Let’s now take a look at how to shock your pool. The goal of shocking is to raise the free chlorine level to ten times higher than the combined chlorine. When this level is reached, you achieve the “breaking point” and free chlorine can now eliminate contaminants. It is best to use a store bought chemical for shocking your pool. Always read the directions on the packaging and remember to stay away from things like bleach. They are not designed to be used in a pool and could damage the liner or other components.

Shocking your pool is vital to maintaining a healthy swimming environment. Take the information provided, clear up the water, and dive in!