Swimming is simply bliss. Imagine coming from work after a stressful day, water does a lot to help ease the mind and body, this is why for many people having a swimming pool is just a must have.
As much as we love to swim at any time and every time of the day ay, for some reason you may not be able to. Shocking is one of those reasons why you might not be able to seeing at all times.
What is Shocking a Pool
Shocking a pool means adding non chlorine or chlorine chemicals to the swimming pool to raise the free chlorine level up to a level that kills all harmful contaminants and bacteria in the water. It is the best way to ensure that the chemicals in your pool are at a perfect balance. Shocking is mostly done during summer as that is when bacteria multiplies faster and in hotter countries, shocking should be done very often.
To keep the pool constantly safe and healthy, you should make provisions for shocking the pool at least once in 2 to 3 weeks, in a public pool, it should be done at least once a week. Do not wait till something looks or feel wrong before you do so. If you however notice that your pool water changes color or the odor becomes distasteful, you should proceed to shock it immediately.
Before you proceed to shock your pool, you should understand and know these terms
Free Chlorine: The good type of chlorine that is desirable in your pool
Combined Chlorine: The type of chlorine that makes your pool water go bad and smell awful. They are also known as chloramines.
Total Chlorine: Consist of both the free and combined types of chlorine
The ultimate goal of shocking a pool is to get rid of the combined chlorine by making sure that the pool contains only free chlorine, which then helps to break down combined chlorine in the water to keep the pool clean and fresh.
How to Shock a Swimming Pool
- Before you start, clean the pool by vaccuming all the sediment that may have settled below and wash the pool structures properly.
- Dress and protect yourself appropriately as this involves use of chemicals.
- Check and ensure a balanced PH of your pool water.
- Prepare your shock ahead using pool water in a container of about 5 gallons
- Ensure the pump that supplies water to the pool is running
- Poor your shock mix along the sides of the swimming pool into the water.
- Let the pump run for about 6 hours , then test the PH and chlorine level of the water to see if it is within normal range.
How Long after Shocking a Swimming Pool can You Swim
Right after you shock your pool ,you should wait for a day i.e. at least 24 hours before you can go for a dive or swim in the pool. But really, it depends on many factors
1. Your manufacturer’s guide
After purchasing the chemicals you want to use for shocking your pool, you should always refer to the instructions and information given by the manufacturer on how to use.
The general rule of thumb is often to wait for 24 hours or at most a couple of days but checking your manufacturer’s guide helps you to be double sure. Also different chemicals are used to prepare a shock, only your manufacturer knows what their product contains and what rules to be adhered to.
2. Testing the pool
Testing a pool for chlorine level helps you to know the amount of free chlorine in the water i.e. the type of chlorine that we want in the pool and is capable of killing germs. The test is usually done using test strips. A test drip is dipped slightly into the pool water for a few seconds and the color change the matched with the standard chart reading parts per million chlorine levels. The standard chlorine level before you can attempt a swim should be between 1 to 3 part per million levels(1-3ppm).A test kit can be used by anyone and you should check the nearest pool store or pharmacy to purchase a test strip.
3. The size of your pool
The size of of the pool will to a large extent determine how distributed or concentrated the chlorine levels of the pool is after shocking.
4. Kind of shocking/ Type of chemical used
Sometimes, people can decide to use non chlorine shockers for their pool, non chlorine shockers often take less time than chlorine shocks before people can start to use the pool.
Shocking using a clarifier, alkalinity and PH would take just about 20 minutes after use before swimmers can start to use.
Calcium chloride is usually added to increase the hardness of chlorine in water and the reaction usually takes 2 to 4 hours after which the water is safe for use.
Shocking with muriatic acids causes hot points that can be irritating to the skin and even cause damage. It always suggested to wait 30 to 45 minutes after adding before using the pool.
Algaecides are the safest shocks for swimming pool, they only kills algae and after fifteen 15 minutes of adding to a pool, you can take a swim without fearing for it harming the skin in anyway.
Swimming in a pool that is not fully recovered after shocking can lead to damages and cause a lot of risks. It can cause your skin to be irritated, itch or inflamed. There could also be itching in the eyes and mistakenly swallowing the water can cause poisoning or respiratory distress. If you do enter a previously shocked pool and have any of the symptoms above, you should rinse the whole body with clean water and report at the clinic immediately.