Shocking the pool is an ideal way of ensuring that the swimming pool is free of bacteria and other harmful contaminants. Pool chlorine works by attacking and sanitizing bacteria present in the pool to make it safe to swim. The bacteria may come from sunscreen lotions, bird droppings or debris.
Pool Sanitizer Vs Shock
Chlorine combines with bacteria and other harmful contaminants to kill them but in the process of neutralizing these contaminants, the chlorine becomes inactive forming a “combined chlorine” that makes the pool unsafe for swimming. Shocking helps to remove the combined chlorine through a process known as super chlorinating or breakpoint chlorination that raises the chlorine in the pool to a high enough level for a short time before dropping it down to break up the combined chlorine or chloramines. The combined chlorine will be burned off and turned back into a more effective sanitizer. When super chlorinating your pool, it is advisable to use a calcium hypochlorite for best results.
When To Shock Your Pool
Ideally, if you can smell chlorine in your pool, it means that the chlorine has combined with ammonia and other contaminants and is no longer effective. Shocking eliminates this smell by breaking up the combined chlorine for a safe and clean pool. Shocking should be done on a regular basis depending on the levels of chlorine in the pool. It is recommended to alternate between a chlorine-based shock and a non-chlorine shock on a weekly basis to oxidize any contaminants in the water. Besides reducing the amount of chlorine needed, this method also increases the effectiveness of the chlorine. It is important to test the pool water each week when in use to determine the chloramine level or the difference between total chlorine levels and free chlorine. Chloramines can cause eye and skin irritation while swimming.
The proper range of chlorine in the pool should be between 2 to 4ppm. When your chlorine is within this range, you can use a non-chlorine shock to ensure that the total chlorine and the free chlorine are at the same level all the time. If you add chlorine to your pool over and over again without conducting water tests, the chlorine may be of no benefit. Pool shock is the most effective way to keep your swimming pool’s chemistry balanced and is also a great way to eliminate bacteria and algae to keep your pool water in pristine condition. When done regularly during the high bather load months, shocking significantly reduces the level of chemical exposure to swimmers.