One of the ways to enjoy your pool is by having a clean and clear pool. When you get a new pool it is pertinent that you shock it before using it. It is not good to have a red-eye, ear infection, or irritation of the skin after swimming in your pool. This is mostly caused by contaminants in the pool water. If you just built or bought a new pool, you may be wondering if it’s right to shock it first. Well, new pool doesn’t mean that it’s free from contaminants. So take the right step to ensure that the new pool is free of contaminants.
First, you need to shock a new pool as a preventive measure. When a new pool is opened, the chlorine level needs an immediate boost. And the easiest way you can achieve that is by adding a shock to the new pool. This chlorine shock helps to give your new swimming pool the needed chlorine boost to eliminate any contaminant present in the pool.
But it doesn’t stop there as microbes and debris will always find a way to invade your pool. So, you need to always shock your pool to enjoy it anytime you swim in it. If you have just acquired a new pool and you are wondering if you need to shock it before use, you are on the right page. You will get the necessary information you need to shock your new pool in this article.
What is pool shock?
Pool shock is the process of adding chlorine (or non-chlorine) chemicals to your pool to raise the free chlorine (chlorine that is ready to kill bacteria) level in the pool.
It can be used as a preventive measure to eliminate contaminants like bacteria, dirt, debris, and algae. Simply put, pool shock is the addition of chlorine to a pool to increase the amount of free chlorine in the pool water.
Do I need to shock a new pool?
Yes, you need to shock your new pool to raise the chlorine level. As earlier stated, when you have a new pool the chlorine level is usually low. To give it the needed boost as fast as possible, you would need to shock it.
Chlorine is a powerful sanitizer for pools and it will be best to raise its level to normal before taking a swim. With that, you are sure that you would be swimming in very healthy pool water. The hours you need to wait are about 8 hours when you shock your new pool.
Tips on how to get your new pool ready before a shock
To get your new pool ready for a shock, you need to observe the following rules
- Be sure that your filtration system is functional.
- Going by your type of finish or temperature, you can fill your pool either to the specified water level or leave it in the middle of the skimmer
- Leave the hose in the deepest area with a clean textile material on the end. This will help prevent damage to the surface material.
- You can start the filtration system immediately as you have filled your pool with water to the specified level or middle of the skimmer
- Well, your local water might be cloudy, acidic, or murky once you are done with filling it. You need to test it using the test strips. This is to give you a good idea of the water you are working with. You need to test for pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and metals. You need to work on them to get the water balanced. For the pH level, you need 7.2 -7.8; alkalinity should be between 100 and 200ppm, calcium hardness 200 -300ppm, free chlorine 1-3ppm, and cyanuric acid 30-50ppm.
- You would need to address the pH of your new pool. This is because if the pH of your pool is out of range, other features will mostly be out of range. This will also affect the sanitizer level.
- Do not swim in your pool until the water is properly balanced.
How to shock your new pool
The main chemical for shocking a pool is chlorine. First, the chlorine will be added to your pool to the shock levels. This is like the extra heavy dose that will enable a pool to start. This shock is to enable extra circulation. This ensures that all the water is treated properly in the beginning.
You should keep yourself away from the pool when you are adding the pool shock. This is because chlorine at elevated levels can cause discomfort and irritates the mucous membranes. Also, make sure that all the equipment like pool covers and pool cleaners are removed when adding the pool shock.
Then you can do the following:
- You will need chlorine tablets in 10, 25, or 50lb buckets to get the accurate amount to use. You would need either a test strip or test kit to determine the number of tablets you need to use and the best chlorinator setting. This will help to maintain a consistent chlorine level of 1-3ppm.
- After determining the tablets to use, add them to your chlorine feeder or chlorine floater to enable them to chlorinate the water properly.
- You need to check at this point to be sure, you do not need more tablets. At a start of a pool, you might need more tablets (about 3 tablets) than usual. This will help to build the first or initial residual.
- You can then start working with 2 tabs per week for every 10,000 gallons of pool water after the first shock
Note: As the weather becomes warm or hot, like in the summer period, you may need more chlorine tablets for your new pool shock than in the winter period.
How long do you have to wait to swim after you shock a pool?
You need to wait for 24 hours after you shock your new pool before you can swim in it. So, when the chlorine level is around 1-3ppm after about 24 hours, you can have a very safe swim.
What time of the day is best to shock your pool?
The best time recommended to add a shock to your pool as a first-timer is in the evening. The reason is that the sun’s UV rays will be able to dissolve the chlorine very fast before it will have the chance to oxidize.
How long after adding algaecide can you shock?
Algaecide is a chemical that can be added to a new pool which will help fight algae growth in the pool. So if you are adding this to your pool, you need to wait for about 24 hours before adding a shock to it.
Without necessary precaution, using algaecide and pool shock at the same time may lead to unwanted chemical reactions. If you are adding it after the shock, it is advisable to wait for about 24 hours, until the chlorine level returns to the normal level, before adding the algaecide.
Why did my new pool turn green after adding shock?
Well, if you have this experience of your pool turning green after adding shock, it means that there are metal particles in the pool water (increased amount of dissolved copper in your water). These particles might appear naturally in the water or may come from copper plumbing that is leeching into the pool.
The solution to this is for you to get a chelating agent (a chemical that removes copper from water). You can get it from any swimming pool store. Add any of them to your water to make the water safe for a swim.
Now, if you want to always prevent your pool from turning green after pool shock, you need to take some precautionary measures. To prevent your pool water from turning green after pool shock, you need to always test your water for the presence of copper.
Then apply the chelating agent if you notice the presence of copper. Also, if your plumbing is made of copper or you have copper elements in your pool, you need to test your pool always. Treat it, if necessary, to prevent it from turning green after adding shock.
The best chlorine to use to shock your new pool
It is better to use the stabilized chlorine than unstabilized chlorine to shock your new pool. Stabilized chlorine is great because this chlorine comes with added cyanuric acid. This kind of chlorine increases the time the chlorine will stay stabilized even in sunlit pool water. Again, stabilized chlorine that comes with cyanuric acid will help in maintaining the chlorine levels in outdoor pools more than 4 times than unstabilized chlorine.
Unstabilized chlorine on the other hand is still a form of chlorine that is added to the swimming pools as a sanitizer but the snag is that it doesn’t contain the stabilizing agent which is the cyanuric acid. So it doesn’t help with stabilizing chlorine in a new pool and which should be avoided.
It is pertinent you go for the stabilized ones like the chlorine tablets and chlorine with dichlor or trichlor compounds when getting chlorine for your pool for the first shock.
Pros of shocking a new pool
- A preventive measure against bacteria
This is the main purpose of pool shock. By raising your chlorine level, you are directly trying to keep bacteria at bay. It is easier to prevent than to fix the effects of microbes. Pool shock for your new swimming pool is very vital. You can’t enjoy your new swimming pool if you don’t have clear and clean pool water.
- To establish foothold chlorine levels
It is important to have the right level of chlorine residual in your pool. This is the free chlorine that helps to kill bacteria in your pool. By introducing shock to the new pool, you are starting right by building the right chlorine residual.
This helps to take away the maintenance issues associated with the filtration system or your health. The fact is that microbe and other organisms can multiply faster when the chlorine level in your pool is low. Once the pool is unhealthy, it can bring E-coli and other harmful bacteria.
- It is a cornerstone for keeping free chlorine balanced
Pool shock is one way of increasing the amount of free chlorine in your pool water. To keep the free chlorine active in your pool, it must be in proper balance with cyanuric acid. This is because a high level of cyanuric acid in your pool water will render the free chlorine ineffective.
If this happens, you may need to add more chlorine to the pool water almost all the time. Of course, this isn’t the recommended way of applying chlorine to a pool. So by adding a shock to your new pool, the free chlorine will get to the appropriate level.
- It will help to boost the efficiency of chlorine
One of the good advantages of pool shock for your new pool is that it will make the chlorine more effective. Chlorine is the best sanitizer for pool water care. As earlier stated, a new pool will normally be low in free chlorine.
The quickest way to boost its effectiveness is by adding a shock to the new pool (pool chlorination). So, with shock, you are increasing the fighting power of chlorine to help you do more for the health of your pool.
It is important to shock your new pool because normally a new pool has in it a low level of chlorine and as such to make it effective you would need to boost this free chlorine.
Chlorine is a powerful sanitizer for a swimming pool and as such, you would need to give a balanced of it to your pool. It will help in maintaining the health of your pool, its environment, and users.
Moreover, a chlorine-balanced pool will save you money in the long run. This is because the damage that comes with a low level of chlorine in your pool comes at a higher price. So with chlorine shock, you would be protecting life and property.