A long-standing question asked by pool owners or enthusiasts is always about whether you can actually shock a pool too much.
Well, it depends on how you use your pool. You can shock your pool two days in a row. But before you can do that, you need to be sure that the process is necessary.
Though you shocked your pool, it could get cloudy or green overnight because of the way you used it the previous day. It could be possible that you didn’t give the pool enough shock.
That’s why it’s important to test your pool after the shock treatment. In this article, I will answer that question and many more like it. This, hopefully, will put your mind at rest.
Can you shock a pool too much?
You must have heard the saying, “that everything is good in moderation,” but surprisingly, when it comes to shocking your pool, this phrase doesn’t really apply.
Hence, the short answer to this question is no. It is possible for you to add more shock to your pool than is needed, but in essence, you probably can’t over shock it or shock it too much.
In fact, for you to overshock your pool, you would have to literally add up to a truckload of chemicals into your pool. At that point, you can’t even call that pool water anymore. Between me and you, we know that this is highly unlikely.
The essence of pool shock is to raise the chlorine concentration of your pool to at least 10 parts per million. This you do to kill bacteria and algae, and also to keep your pool sanitary. So as long as you stay out of the pool till it dissipates, you don’t have much of a problem.
How many times can you shock your pool in a week?
Pool shock is very much dependent on a lot of factors. Under normal usage, it is recommended to shock your pool at least once or twice a week to keep sanitary levels up. But there are other factors that can influence the frequency of shocks. Let’s look at them below:
- During the opening of the pool: Your pool could have been closed for a number of reasons: the arrival of the winter months; traveling out for a vacation; or traveling out for business. Regardless of the reason, when you reopen the pool, you will find a need to shock it.
This is because during those dormant periods, even if the pool was not in use, organisms like algae and bacteria could still be multiplying in the water. The shock is necessary at that point, because no one wants to dive into murky waters.
- After heavy usage: Pools need to be shocked after heavy usage. Pool parties, water sports, or routine visits to public pools are all contributors to how a pool can be used heavily. When a large number of swimmers come to the pool, there is an increased likelihood that bacteria and other contaminants will be introduced into the pool. These contaminants can deplete chlorine levels. When chlorine levels are depleted, it means it is time for a shocking session.
- After a heavy downpour: Heavy rain can cause the addition of unwanted contaminants to the pool. These contaminants can cause the use of chlorine in the pool. In addition, during a heavy downpour, there is the likelihood of pool overflow happening.
- Presence of chloramines: Chloramines in the pool are what are responsible for that strong “pool smell” that is perceived around the pool. This smell is not as a result of free chlorine, but rather used or combined chlorine.
The combined chlorine is what forms these compounds called chloramines, and that is the odor you perceive. It could even lead to irritated eyes. When you begin to notice these changes, know it is time to shock the pool.
A high level of chloramines indicates that the level of free chlorine has been depleted and you need to shock it to get back up. The shock breaks up those chloramines and releases free chlorine back into the water.
- When Closing: When the winter months come upon us or you intend to go on a trip that will take you away from your pool for a while, it is recommended that you shock the pool before closing. The truth is, you wouldn’t want any messy situation before you come back or intend to reopen it again. Also, shocking it before closing the pool makes your work easier when the time comes to reopen it again.
Can you double shock a pool?
Yes, you can.
A single shock dosage is a dose that involves adding 1 pound of shock to every 10,000 gallons of water. On the other hand, a double shock dosage is one that involves adding two pounds of shock to every 10,000 gallons of water.
You can double shock, primarily when there is an algae outbreak but it is not too severe. This is when the water has turned a mild green color, and it is clear that algae blooms are the cause. It is even possible to triple shock or quadruple shock, just depending on how severe the algae growth is.
Otherwise, if it is for your routine maintenance, a single shock dosage is sufficient.
How long should I run my pool pump after shocking it?
Shocking kills bacteria and algae, but it won’t just magically remove them from your pool. This is where your pool pump and filter come in. They help to remove that dead organic matter from your pool and eliminate cloudiness.
After shocking, the recommended time to run your pool’s pump and filter is a minimum of 6 hours. You can even run it for up to 24 hours or a week, depending on the severity of the algae outbreak.
Why did my pool get cloudy after I shocked it?
If your pool gets cloudy after you shock it, it could be for a variety of reasons:
- Filter problems: If your filter has problems, then you might end up with cloudy water. You need your filter running after the shock so as to clear up the cloudiness. The dead algae and bacteria are what can cause the cloudiness, hence you need the filter to remove them from your pool.
- Hard water: Calcium is one of the major contributors to hard water. When there is an excessive buildup of this calcium, it can lead to cloudiness. The shock you are using, if it contains calcium hypochlorite, can greatly contribute to cloudiness. So always make sure to bring down the hardness levels before shocking the pool.
- High pH levels: Chlorine doesn’t work effectively at high pH levels. If you shock your pool without testing for this, you have effectively wasted the chlorine. It will become useless, and your pool water might remain cloudy.
- Excessive presence of stabilizers: Stabilizers, in this case cyanuric acid, can cause problems when present in excess. When in excess, they can cause the water to be cloudy after shocking. So make sure to test for the levels of cyanuric acid before shocking.
- You don’t use a pool clarifier: A pool clarifier is a chemical you add to the water to clarify it. It helps to bind all those particles that are making it cloudy. Those particles clump together, and once they are out of the way, the water has a clear look.
Endeavor to use a pool clarifier immediately after shocking.
Will shock clear a cloudy pool?
If the cloudiness is due to algae blooms or bacterial infestation, then shocking is the answer. You might need to double or triple shock, depending on the severity. But if the cloudiness is as a result of calcium carbonate building up in the water, then shocking isn’t the way to go. It might only worsen it, especially if you are making use of calcium hypochlorite shock.
What you have to do is find ways to deal with the calcium levels in the pool.
What time of day should I shock my pool?
It is recommended that you shock your pool at dusk or during the night. This is because it won’t be exposed to too much sunlight and UV rays. UV rays and sunlight make chlorine degrade faster. Hence, this could dampen the results that you want from shock.
Do you leave filter running when shocking pool?
Yes, you should.
There is no harm in doing this. In fact, effectively, there are benefits. When you shock the pool as the filter is running, it helps the pool water and shock mix effectively, thus giving maximum results.
Should you vacuum the pool before shocking?
It is advisable to vacuum your pool before shocking. Vacuuming your pool helps to remove debris and dirt that can affect your pool’s chemistry before adding chlorine. It also reduces the number of contaminants that the chlorine has to deal with. Hence, the chlorine works much better and more effectively.
Can you swim in a cloudy pool after being shocked?
Though, for most parts, swimming in a pool after being shocked might not cause too much harm, it is still better to avoid it till the water has cleared. When you shock a pool, you are effectively raising the chlorine levels to 10 parts per million, and this is not really healthy for swimmers.
So ensure that the levels go down to normal. Then also, you can use pool clarifiers to clear up the water before letting swimmers in.