Should You Shock a Saltwater Pool?

Saltwater pools can be hard to take care of, especially when you need to adjust the chemical content. Luckily, you should shock a saltwater pool, the pH, alkalinity, and hardness level start to change. But is it safe?

Technically speaking, the results vary, depending on the conditions of your pool.

Shocking removes molecular choline, algae, and other forms of micro contaminants. Turns out, your excess bather waste and bacteria get a kick out of the pool after a slight shock.

Now let us check out how shocking benefits your pool and the whole shocking process. Read below for more. 

Should You Shock a Saltwater Pool

Reasons and ways to shock a saltwater pool

If you have a saltwater pool, simply cleaning it with a sand pump won’t do the magic. You need to shock it. Shocking your saltwater pool once a week improves the water quality and removes impurities. Now let’s see the whole story.

Removal of Algae

One thing is for sure, algae are really stubborn. To remove it, you need to take some particular measures. Then again, you have to adjust the intensity of the shock, depending on the species and density. 

Confused? Check the table below to know more.

Alga types  Shock Intensity
Green Any setting
Black High setting
Yellow Doesn’t work. You need to check your pool with a sand pump. 
Pink algae or slime Medium settings. 

Note: You need to adjust the intensity up if the algae don’t die with a low shock.

Release Chlorine atoms

Adding some chlorine to the pool helps to reduce the number of bio-contaminants. However, after a few days, the water starts to degrade as there is a lack of chlorine inside. If you want to improve the chlorine content in your saltwater pool, shock it. Like literally.

Electric shock boosts the internal energy of the inactive chlorine molecules and separates only the chlorine.

As a result, this chlorine becomes activated and kills the organism, which makes your pool dirty.

Remove organic debris

Ever felt a shock from an electric wire? Turns out, this feeling is like a lighting stick to micro-organisms. When you take a bath in a pool or leave it out in the open, debris starts to form and contaminate your pool.

Shocking your pool creates a dead zone for the contaminants and kills them ultimately. Besides, the activated chlorine helps to improve the quality of water suitable for longer.

To make the water crystal clear

Sometimes your pool water isn’t as clear as it should be. Even after you filter it for hours, the results can’t satisfy your poor soul. Shocking the saltwater pool can improve the looks of your pool by removing the most minor debris. If you shock your pool once every week, the chances of your pool being dirty will go down to zero.

Saltwater pool shocking tips

Things you are going to need:

  • pH meter
  • Alkalinity meter
  • Water Hardness meter
  • Calculator
  • Calcium hypochlorite, or cal-hypo

Now let’s see how to initiate the saltwater shock.

Measuring of the pH

First, take a pH meter and measure the pool water’s pH. The average level is 7.4 to 7.6.

Alkaline test

Now take the Alkaline meter and measure the alkalinity. Typically, the measure is from 80-140 ppm. The meter will show you everything. However, you can try the chemical process as well, but we don’t recommend it.

Hardness check

To measure the hardness of water, use a water hardness meter and keep the range around 300. Usually, the range is from 200-300, but we prefer around the 300 marks.

Balance everything

Here comes the hard part. Balancing the pH, hardness, and alkalinity. Sometimes balancing the pH increases the hardness or the alkalinity. We should take a check before applying the shock.

Application of the shock

Remember the Calcium hypochlorite or cal-hypo? Now calculate the total water in your pool. Apply 3lbs of Calcium hypochlorite or cal-hypo per 10000 gallons of water. Use the calculator to measure the suitable amount for you.

Now take it and distribute it evenly. However, if your pool has glass or vinyl flooring, you have to dilute it first.

Using salt cell

Salt cells or salt chlorinators have a shock bottom which loads the salt cell. This results in the degrading of the service of the cells.

If you have a salt system of fewer than 50000 gallons, avoid using salt cells.

When should I shock my saltwater pool?

We all want a way to improve the quality of our saltwater pool. So, we have to keep it clean. A shocking saltwater pool enhances the quality of water and also gets rid of algae and other organic debris.

Do you need to shock the saltwater pool?

Getting rid of algae can be difficult, especially if you don’t know how to get rid of them. Turns out, shocking the saltwater pool removes all sorts of algae(green, black, yellow, or pink). Besides, you will get rid of those pesky bacteria, which gives you an itch every time you go into the pool.

What chemicals do I need to start up my saltwater pool?

First and foremost, you will need the Calcium hypochlorite, or any other chemical acting as the shocking agent. Then you will need metals like calcium to balance the pH. That’s it. Now you need some meters like pH meter and hardness meter.

What happens if you put chlorine in a saltwater pool?

If you put chlorine in a saltwater pool, the water starts to become more transparent. The chlorine in the pool creates a dead zone for bacteria and algae. So, you don’t have to clean your pool water again and again.

What type of shock is best for saltwater pool?

The best saltwater pool shock is the calcium hypochlorite or cal-hypo. You can also use your salt cell, but you will need a big pool to use it.

Does your body absorb the salt in salt water pools?

Yes. Human skin can absorb a slight amount of salt. However, the amount is significantly less. Then Again, the salts aren’t harmful at all, as we consume salts of Na+ and Cl- regularly.

Does salt water pool damage concrete?

Saltwater in the pool doesn’t damage the concrete. If you don’t make the salinity more than seawater, that is. In a small amount, your concrete will be just fine.

More on VacuumHunt
Do Salt Water Pools Kill Bacteria?
Salt Water Pool Conversion Pros and Cons
Can I Use A Sand Filter with Saltwater Pool System
How Long should I Run My Salt Chlorinator?


Shocking your pool water can do wonders for you. For starters, you don’t have to worry about bacteria and algae. Additionally, cleaning the pool will also take less time for a shock-treated pool.

But you should remember not to swim in the water if the chlorine level isn’t between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm. Other than that, just dive right in.

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