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How to pool shock

  • Swimming Pool Shock should be added to your swimming pool at least once each week, to keep pool water safe and clean. You should shock more frequently if the pool is used heavily, after you receive large amounts of rain, or during extended periods of hot, sunny weather. Shocking, or "super chlorinating", drastically raises the chlorine level for a short time. The chlorine level becomes so high that bacteria or anything organic in the pool water is completely destroyed. This is one of several very important steps in pool maintenance with which every swimming pool owner should be familiar.

  • Before pool shock is added to your swimming pool water the granular chemical must first be pre-dissolved in a bucket of water. All forms of pool shock are granular and should dissolve relatively quickly. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water from the pool and slowly pour the granular pool shock into the bucket of water. NEVER add water to a chemical, always add chemicals to water. Stir the bucket well and agitate the water for one minute or more to dissolve the pool shock.

With the filtration system running, slowly pour the bucket of dissolved shock directly in front of a return line fitting. You will see the water being carried out into the pool by the jet of water coming from the return line. Pour slow enough that all of the water from your bucket is carried out into the pool and does not settle to the pool floor.

POOL Shock using chlorine

  1. Confirm the number of gallons of water in your swimming pool by referring to the manufacturer's instructions.

  2. Calculate the amount of bleach you will need for your pool. Based on the pool size, you will need a half gallon of bleach per 10,000 gallons of water to increase the chlorine to five parts per million (ppm).

  3. Walk around the perimeter of pool with open bottle of non-scented household bleach. Pour calculated amount of bleach into pool. Try to pour as evenly as possible as you walk.

  4. Turn on pool filter and allow to run overnight.

  5. Test pool water using a pool test kit. Determine ppm of chlorine in the water. A safe ppm level is between two and four.

Balancing the water in the Pool

The three factors mentioned here--pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness--all affect one another, so it will take some trial and error to get all three in the proper range at once. Also note that before you add any chemical--especially an acid--to the water, you need to first turn on the pool's filter.

Use a water-testing kit to measure the calcium hardness (how "hard" or "soft" the water is). The proper calcium hardness is between 200 and 400 parts per million (ppm).

Following package directions add calcium carbonate dihydrate to raise calcium hardness; add sodium hexametaphophate to lower it. Carefully pour the chemical mixture into the pool at various spots a foot or two (about half a meter) away from the sides of the pool.

Measure the water's total alkalinity. This figure should be in the range of 80 to 150 ppm; 100 to 120 ppm is best. Adjust the total alkalinity by adding sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to raise it or sodium bisulfate (dry acid) to lower it. With a pH tester, measure the water's pH. The proper pH for a pool is in the range of 7.2 to 7.6. To lower the pH, add sodium bisulfate or liquid muriatic acid. To raise it, add soda ash (sodium carbonate). Add more chemicals as needed until the water is in balance.

Treating water with chlorine

Scoop chlorine granules into water in a nonmetal container, following package directions. Always wear goggles and rubber gloves when handling chlorine, and always put the chlorine into the water--don't pour the water over the chlorine. Stir for about 30 seconds, and leave for 30 minutes to settle. Turn on the filter. Reaching as far into the middle of the pool as possible (perhaps by standing on a diving board), pour the chlorine into the pool. Discard any sediment left in the container. Add chlorine three to four times a week for a pool in heavy use. Occasionally--no more than once a week--you may need to superchlorinate (also called shock) the pool to burn any built-up bacteria, algae and ammonia. Following chlorine package directions, make a solution for superchlorination (it will be three to five times as strong as normal chlorine). Add the chlorine solution to the pool after sundown, if possible, as the sun's rays break down chlorine. Before allowing anyone to go in the pool, test the residual chlorine level to make sure it has gone back down below 3.0 ppm. This will take at least several hours. Keeping the water dirt- and debris-free Remove any leaves from the pool with a leaf net each time you go swimming. Empty and rinse off the strainer basket of the skimmer once or twice a week, and as often as daily during falling-leaf season. Keep the deck clean by regularly sweeping and then rinsing it with a garden hose. Use a cover over your pool as often as possible. Thoroughly clean your pool filter at least monthly. Clean a sand filter by backwashing: Reverse the flow of water through the filter for 2 to 3 minutes until the wastewater is clear. Tips & Warnings Don't add harsh chemicals to the water through the pool skimmer, as that could damage the equipment. Take water samples for testing from at least a foot (30 cm) below the surface for a truer reading. Chlorine also comes in a more expensive but convenient liquid form, and in tablets and sticks that you place in dispensers to slowly dissolve.

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