Shocking Your Pool in Scottsdale, AZ

Articles, Cleaning Tips

What Does It Mean to “Shock” Your Swimming Pool in Scottsdale, AZ

“Shocking” or “super-chlorination” is a term used to describe a process by which the amount of free chlorine (or alternative sanitizer) in the swimming pool is raised to a level 10 times the amount of the level of chloramines in the water. At that time, known as breakpoint chlorination, the large amount of free chlorine oxidizes all organic matter in it’s pathChlorine vs. Non-Chlorine Based ShockShocking as Part of Your Regular Maintenance Routine 

Shocking Your Swimming Pool in Scottsdale, AZIt is recommended that you replenish the amount of free chlorine in your swimming pool by shocking your swimming pool about once a week. Shocking your swimming pool can be achieved with any form of chlorine in the correct dosage. Slow dissolving tablets, while excellent for the slow release of chlorine into your pool water, fail to provide the amount of concentrated chlorine needed to effectively shock your swimming pool. Non-chlorine shock can also be used to perform this task. The advantage of non-chlorine based shock (known as potassium monopersulphate) is that you can return to swimming approximately 15 minutes after treatment. All methods involving chlorine based shock should allow sufficient time for chlorine levels to return to normal before swimming is resumed. This can be accomplished by shocking the pool in the evening and allowing the pool pump and filter to run overnight. In this case chlorine levels should be returned to normal by the next morning. Some common dosage recommendations for shocking your swimming pool using different methods are as follows: 

liquid chlorine – 1 gallon liquid chlorine / 10,000 gallons pool watergranular chlorine (dichlor) – 1 lb / 12,000 gallons pool watergranular chlorine (cal hypo) – 1 lb / 10,000 gallons pool waternon-chlorine shock – 1 lb / 10,000 gallons pool water ( once every 10 days ) 

These are synonymous terms for oxidizing everything in the pool. By raising chlorine levels ten times the level of chloramines, a threshold is reached called breakpoint chlorination. When this is reached, something of a shock, or perhaps more akin to a lightning bolt, rips through the water, slashing and burning everything in its path. 

When to shock? Some recommend shocking the pool when combined chlorine levels reach .3 ppm, while others suggest shocking after a party full of kids get out of the pool 🙂 (the theory here is that kids=urine=nitrogen+chlorine=chloramines). Others recommend it once every few weeks, whether it needs it or not. You may use your senses to determine the need for shocking. If the pool is hazy, because somebody left the filter off or forgot to add chlorine, your eyes may tell you it’s time to shock. If you notice a strong chlorine smell to the water, and the eyes are burning, you may sense the need for shocking. Large doses of chlorine, in the way of shocking, are also very effective when algae has turned the water or walls a yellow or green color. 

How much chlorine is required to shock? Generally, we want to raise the chlorine level up to around 10 ppm. If using cal hypo, you’ll find that at least one bag per 10,000 gallons will do the trick. A little more wouldn’t hurt, because if you don’t reach the crucial level of breakpoint chlorination, not only is the chloramine problem not solved, but matters have been made potentially worse. Follow instructions on the package of granular chlorine or non-chlorine shock, which may be potassium peroxymonosulfate. Liquid chlorine can also be used for superchlorination. Whatever chemical, we must introduce 10 times the potential of the chloramines. For example, if combined chlorine levels are at 1.0 ppm, we need 10 ppm of free chlorine levels to reach breakpoint. 

For all your pool cleaning needs in Scottsdale, AZ give Admiral Pools a call.

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