Even if your Vancouver pool is well maintained, you should consider shocking the water from time to time. 

Not sure what this is or why it is important to shock your pool water? 

Unclear about how to shock the water? 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about shocking your swimming pool. 

What is swimming pool shock?

Swimming pool shock refers to a granular oxidizer, a powdered form of chlorine that is used for pool water treatment. It also describes the process of adding enough granular oxidizer to the water in order to fully clean your pool and destroy the buildup of combined chlorine molecules, aka chloramines. This process is also called superchlorination.

You generally can’t shock your pool using your regular chlorine tablets. Instead, you should use a different product to pump up your chlorine levels. Some options include: 

  • Calcium Hypochlorite
  • Lithium Hypochlorite
  • Dichlor
  • Non-chlorine shock (potassium peroxymonosulfate)

Why you should shock your Vancouver pool

To put it simply, shocking your pool helps keep the water clean. When chloramines build-up, it can cause your pool to emit a funky smell and cause irritation to your skin, eyes, and respiratory system, that is why it is important to regularly shock your Vancouver pool. Shocking your pool also helps to:

  • Eliminate chloramines and bromamines 
  • Kill bacteria 
  • Remove organic contaminants, including from bathers 

When to shock your swimming pool

You should be shocking your pool once a week or at least once every other week, depending on how often you are using your pool. You should also consider doing it after a:

  • Pool party
  • Rainstorm
  • Major water level change
  • Bowel-related pool accident
  • Wildlife visitor
  • Opening or closing your pool for the season

If your pool water looks like any of the examples listed here, shocking your pool is a key step in how to resolve the situation.

Once you have decided to shock your pool, you will need to wait until in order to begin as the sun can burn off unstabilized chlorine, rendering your shock less effective.

How to shock your swimming pool 

Now that you know why and when you should be shocking your pool’s water, it is time to learn how to do it.

1. Protect yourself and your environment

Make sure to wear the proper protective equipment while handling any pool chemicals. Pool shock can harm your skin and bleach your clothing, so make sure you wear clothes you do not mind ruining, along with gloves and protective eyewear. Do not shock the water with children or animals in the area. Make sure there are no strong winds, as this can blow the chemicals away or even into your face.

2. Test and balance your pool water

Before beginning any pool maintenance that involves chemicals, you should test your pool’s water to determine your current chemical levels before you begin to establish a baseline to measure against the results of the shock. It is recommended that your pool’s water have a pH of 7.2 – 7.4 before shocking. For the most powerful effect, balance your water first if your water is currently outside of that range.

3. Read the instructions

When you are dealing with strong chemicals, it is vital to know how to work with them. The best way to do that is to read the information provided to you by the manufacturer. Even if you have worked with the chemicals before, take the time to refresh your knowledge by re-reading the instructions. 

4. Prepare the chemicals

Shocking your Vancouver pool is all about dosing, which should be based on the size of your pool and the issue you are looking to rectify. If you add too much of the chemicals you are using, you can overdose the water. On the other side, you can underdose, meaning your water does not get shocked at all. If your chemicals do not come with a measuring device, buy one to use when shocking your pool. Do not mix your pool shock with any other chemicals – the only thing it should ever be mixed with is water.

5. Shock the pool

Bring the measuring device close to the water and pour the chemicals in slowly. If you get any chemicals in your face or on your skin, wash it off right away and seek medical assistance, if necessary. 

6. Leave it overnight

The chemicals will need to sit for a few hours in order to work their magic and destroy the chloramines, so it is best to let your pool sit uncovered overnight. 

7. Re-check your pool water

In the morning, re-test your pool water to ensure that your pool’s chemicals are properly balanced. You should be aiming for a pH around 7.2. Make sure the levels have returned to normal before you allow anyone in.

8. Run the filtration system

To ensure that your whole system is cleaned, run your filter and brush your pool to help distribute and circulate the shock. Let that sit for an additional 24 hours.

9. Store chemicals safely

Finish by putting your chemicals away in a secure area. We suggest keeping them in a locked cabinet to ensure there is no risk of children or animals accidentally coming across them. As always, safety should be a top priority when it comes to your pool’s chemicals. 

Looking to shock your hot tub? Learn how to do it here.