Ultimate Guide to Swimming Pool Shock Treatment
A vinyl pool shock treatment or any other pool shock treatment may not seem like the most interesting chore, but it’s vital to maintaining a sanitary aquatic environment. If you follow the steps that we have provided in this guide, you can keep your pool crystal clear for the entire season. All it takes is a careful balancing act of chemicals.
What is Swimming Pool Shock Treatment?
Pool shock treatment is an oxidizing process that is added to the pool for disinfection and sanitization purposes. This substance comes in a granular form and contains high chlorine concentrations. During the shock treatment of the swimming pool, high levels of chlorine are added to the water, which gradually sanitizes it and destroys any chloramine build-up. Large doses help guard against green water by disrupting the chloramine bond and eliminating bacteria. Smaller doses, on the other hand, remove algae colonies and surface stains.
To understand chlorine, you need to familiarize yourself with the difference between total, free, combined chlorine, and breakpoint chlorination.
Free chlorine represents the pool chlorine that actively disinfects the water. To properly do the job, the water’s free chlorine level should be between 1 and 3 parts ppm. In contrast, combined chlorine is the amount of chlorine being used, and the level should be less than 0.2 ppm.
Total chlorine is the sum of the two previously mentioned solutions. Pool water testing kits easily measure this. They also help if you want to find the proper combined chlorine level in the pool, which is a subtraction of the free chlorine from the total chlorine. Breakpoint chlorination happens when there is enough free chlorine that shatters the molecular chloramine bonds. To hit this point, you need ten times the combined chlorine amount.
Why Do We Need to Shock the Swimming Pool?
Pool shock treatment is needed for several purposes. From making sure the pool water is not becoming dark and cloudy to keeping up the fight against algae. This should be a regular maintenance process that occurs every 2-4 weeks. This will keep the pH level high enough while not allowing algae and bacteria to go through.
How Does Chlorine Shock Work?
As chlorine is the most popular pool sanitizer, using it during shock treatments helps to increase the water’s chlorine level, thus cleaning the pool effectively.
The process is simple. The shock treatment increases the chlorine combined with chlorinated water, also known as free chlorine level. This sanitizes the water and eliminates harmful microorganisms. The free chlorine molecules, while attached to any dirt or algae, fully eliminate them. Additionally, free chlorine is critical against the removal of the combined chlorine as well, which, when built over time, loses its sanitization ability.
How to Shock a Pool Safely?
And while pool shock treatment is a necessity, chemicals that are part of the process can be dangerous if mishandled as well. And this is not about exaggerating, as improperly stored chlorine can explode. First things first – no shock through the pool skimmer. Once the shock treatment is mixed with chlorine, dangerous gas is created, which can lead to the chlorinator exploding. Protective gear is a must, especially chemical-resistant gloves and goggles. This is highly recommended to prevent skin and eye irritation.
You should also do your best when it comes to avoiding direct container breathing, as exposure to chlorine gas causes lung and throat irritation. And while a dust mask is not needed, breathing away from the container will be a much safer option. Of course, a chemical mask can always be used if that brings peace of mind to anybody. Furthermore, no two pool shock types should be mixed. Mixing them can easily create a volatile reaction, so make sure to add each chemical to the pool separately. Finally, unless specifically instructed, do not add the shock directly to the water. Work one container one at a time and follow the instructions on each packaging closely.
How Long Do You Have to Wait to Swim After Shocking a Swimming Pool?
Once all this is done, it is normal to want to go back to your pool. However, please allow at least 8 to 12 hours before you go back in the pool while making sure the filtration system is ok. To be on the safe side, you can always check from the package instructions, just in case the instructions recommend a longer time span. Have more questions about pool shock treatment? We have answers along with more recommendations for your outdoor space. Contact us today.