The why and how of shocking a swimming pool.
02 Apr The why and how of shocking a swimming pool.
The why & how of superchlorination
How’s this for a bit of misinformation: “Every once in a while, you’ve got to shock the pool water by adding an extra-large amount of chlorine to get rid of algae and other contaminants that might otherwise be left to grow.”
This is an actual bit of advice that was overheard being given to a pool owner by the counterperson at a home-supply store that happened to sell pool chemicals — and as advice goes, it’s dead wrong!
True, you do have to periodically shock pool or spa water. And true, it is often done with chlorine — although “an extra-large amount” is not really an accurate guideline to be followed.
But the reason given for shocking is the most inaccurate portiion of a generally inaccurate statement. Shocking the water may, indeed, help prevent the spread of algae, but the true purpose of this periodic treatment is to rid the water of organic compounds that irritate swimmers and bathers and tie up chlorine to prevent it from performing its task as a sanitizer.