It’s finally summer again, where the scorching sun blazes directly on our skin, so everyone everywhere is gearing up and preparing to use the pool and cool themselves down from the heat. But our pools aren’t just going to prepare themselves just like that; we first have to keep them prepped for use, and by prepped I mean shocking the water.
Firstly, you may ask what shocking a pool means. Well, it simply refers to the process of adding chlorine or non-chlorine pool chemicals to water in order to raise the free chlorine level. The main goal of shocking the water is to remove or kill contaminants such as algae, chloroamine, and bacteria, etc.
Shocking is an important part of having a clean pool and though it involves the use of heavy chemicals, it’s only natural to ask questions such as what happens if there is not enough chlorine in the water, what happens if you don’t shock the water, and so on. If these questions are on your mind, then you are at the right place.
Shocking a pool makes the water safe and clean. But then if there’s not enough chlorine in the water, you are exposed to getting sick because of the possibility of being exposed to bacteria, algae, and other things that were supposedly not killed by chlorine or other pool chemicals, and since the skin is porous, microorganisms or other microscopic impurities can pass through, thereby making you prone to all sorts of skin infections, irritations, and diseases.
It also gives the water a murky look. Chlorine is way less harmful compared to the impurities it kills, which makes it important to clean the pool with chlorine. Another popular question is: what happens if you do not shock the pool at all?
What happens if you do not shock a pool?
Pool maintenance can be rather time-consuming, but foregoing or overlooking pool maintenance can lead to disastrous consequences. Not shocking a pool could create an algae bloom, plus long term use of a pool without shocking could make you sick or at the very least contribute to rashes and other types of skin irritation such as eczema, ringworms, etc.
It could also lead to the presence of chloroamine in your pool, and if the chloroamine level continues to rise unchecked, you may eventually have to partially or even fully replace your pool water to fix the issue, which is more expensive compared to just shocking the water. It is important to shock the pool every now and then to make it safe for swimming and other activities.
Another popular question people ask is how long the water in the pool can be kept without chlorine. Keep reading to see the answer.
How long can you keep water in a pool without chlorine?
Well, the pool can go without chlorine for 3 to 6 days. The issue is that the chlorine you need to keep the bacteria in check is used up more quickly as the temperature rises and as sweat and other body waste, such as urine, is put into the pool. It is difficult to fully enjoy the pool without the use of chlorine.
We must note that chlorine is used to keep bacteria and all other microscopic impurities in check, so we must not take too long to chlorinate the water in a pool in order to fully enjoy it. There’s another very common question, which is “what is the minimum recommended chlorine level?” Read on.
What is the minimum recommended chlorine level?
The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals recommends chlorine levels be kept between 2-4 ppm and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends chlorine stays above 1 ppm in pools and 3 ppm in hot tubs.
Chlorine is basically added to water to kill germs within a few minutes. The recommended pH level is between 7.2 and 7.8 in pools. The normal range should be between 96 to 106 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/l) or 96-106 millimoles per litre (millimoles/l). The next discussion would answer the question, “What to do if the free chlorine is low in a pool?”
What to do if free chlorine is low in a pool?
Maintaining a free chlorine level is a difficult task if you’re looking forward to a safe and clean swimming environment. So, if free chlorine is low in a pool, it is advised to shock the pool. Free chlorine is used to sanitize and destroy bacteria, algae, and other harmful organisms.
A shock is heavily dosed with chlorine and is used to raise the free chlorine level quickly, so it’s safe to say that shocking the pool is the solution to the low free chlorine level in a pool.
How do i raise the chlorine level in my pool?
First of all, put on your gloves and get ready to test the FAC concentration so you can know how much you have to raise the chlorine to. If the water in the pool is cloudy or green, you may have to shock the pool by raising the chlorine level to 10 ppm or more and patiently waiting for the level to drop to 5.5 ppm before doing anything.
If the water just happens to be clear, you can just add enough to raise the concentration to a value between 1 ppm and 3 ppm. I would elaborate on the steps to raising the chlorine level in a pool.
1. Calculate the volume of the pool in case you don’t know. Measure both the width and length of the pool and also the average depth of the water in feet and multiply these numbers together. Convert the results to gallons using the conversion formula. 1 cubic foot = 7.5 gallons.
2. Be sure to read the instructions on the product you want to use to determine how much you need to add to raise the chlorine concentration to the desired level based on the volume of the pool.
3. Back wash the pool filter and remove any sediments or particles at the bottom to Waste. This is to ensure that more of the chlorine you add will remain available in the pool water.
4. Add the chlorine in the late afternoon or early evening to prevent it from being degraded by sunlight.
5. Pour the required amount of chemical into the sides of the pool gradually while you walk around the pool. Do not pour it directly into the skimmer. Run the circulation pump for about 8 hours after adding the chlorine.
This is basically the steps required to raise the chlorine level of water in a pool. Here’s another popular question…
Do I have to shock the pool after it rains?
Heavy rainfall or normal rainfall, whichever it is, usually depletes or lowers the pool water’s chlorine level, and because of that, the alkalinity of the water will basically drop to a significantly low level, so it is a very good idea to shock the water in a pool so as to help replenish the chlorine which has been lost from rain, and though one shock treatment won’t be enough to balance your water, it will work well to clean and treat the water in the pool.
Will shock raise free chlorine?
Yes, shock raises free chlorine. Shocking releases combined chlorine and gases from the algae, bacteria, and chloroamine in the pool. Generally, the goal of shocking the pool is to increase the combined chlorine level of your pool water. Adding shock to your pool will oxidize to destroy organic materials and increase or boost the free chlorine in the pool.
Do I need to shock my pool every week?
This is another question that is often asked. Well, yes, this is because shocking your pool regularly will help to keep the water clean and free of contaminants. So you should aim to shock your pool about once a week. You should choose a day every week to shock the pool because the shock in a pool lasts for about 12-24 hours in certain situations, so we should shock the water often to be safe.
How often should i put chlorine tablet in my pool?
Chlorine tablets are a safe, effective, and affordable way to sanitize a pool. They are designed to gradually dissolve, releasing chlorine into the water as they get smaller and smaller. You need around 2 to 4 tablets per week, and you can also put at least one directly into the skimmer. You should use it every week. You just have to choose a particular day every week to use the chlorine tablet.
Can I add both shock and chlorine at the same time?
You mean adding algaecide and shocking at the same time (shocking means adding chlorine or non-chlorine pool chemicals to raise the free chlorine level). It should not be done together. Both shocking and adding algaecide are effective ways of getting rid of algae but should not be done together.
This is because when you do both together, it renders both of them useless, so it is advised that you first shock the pool and wait for the chlorine level to fall below 5.5 ppm. Only then can you add algaecide to get the best results.
Can you swim in a pool before adding chemicals?
Swimming in a pool that hasn’t been shocked yet isn’t safe; it exposes you to all kinds of skin diseases and irritation. You need to shock the water in the pool first and wait for about 8 hours, depending on the volume of the pool, before you can swim safely.
What happens if you swim in a shocked pool?
If you do not wait for the chemicals used to shock the pool to totally dissolve, then you could be seriously placing yourself in danger because you will feel itchy both in your skin and eyes because of the chemicals present in the water. But if you wait patiently until the chemical dissolves, you will be right to believe that algae and all other microscopic organisms and impurities are destroyed and the water is safe and clean to dive in.
How long after shocking pool can you swim?
This is a frequently asked question. You have to wait for about 24 hours before you hop into the pool after it has been shocked, the time required to wait is depending on the size of the pool, that’s why it’s always best to test first.
How do you know if the pool water is safe?
The first thing to look out for is the cloudiness in the water. You must make sure you can see all the way to the bottom of the pool, even the deep end. If the water is tinted green or if it’s cloudy, it may be contaminated with algae.
In all, it is advised to keep the water clean and safe by periodic maintenance and shocking, to enjoy skin free of irritation, swimming and summer at large.