How Often Should I Shock My Swimming Pool?

pool ladder

From keeping the correct chemical balances to keeping algae away, owning and maintaining a swimming pool is a lot of work — take it from the experts!

One of the key tasks that helps keep a pool clean is a process called shocking.

This treatment:

  • sanitizes your water
  • removes chloramines (that sting your eyes and create odors) 
  • prevents algae growth 

Shocking a Pool for Regular Maintenance

Based on Use

Infrequent Use: Bi-Weekly: Knowing how often to shock a pool can vary based on how often you use it. If you’re dipping your toes in the water every couple of days or swimming laps one day a week, you can get away with shocking your pool every other week.

Frequent Use: Weekly: If your family is always in the water, however, and is swimming every day, we recommend shocking the pool once a week.

Based on Weather

Temperate Months: Bi-Weekly 

Weather can also have an impact on your pool-shocking schedule. When temperatures and conditions are more temperate and stable, stick to an every-other-week timeline.

Hot & Rainy Months: Weekly

During the hotter months of the year, or when the forecast shows a chance of rain, shock your pool weekly. These conditions can significantly increase the chance of algae growth, and a weekly dose of shock will help keep the green away.

Shocking a Pool for Specific Reasons

Shock Your Pool If It's Taking on a Green Tinge

Algae is many pool owners' worst nightmare. Not only does it turn your pool an unsightly color — who wants to swim in green water? — but it also has the potential to damage your equipment and the surfaces of your pool.

If you catch sight of cloudy water, a single shock should take care of the problem. If the entire pool has taken on a green tinge, a double or triple shock may be necessary.

Read More: Pool Algae and How to Kill Any Type and/or Color

Shock Your Pool If It's Irritating Your Eyes

Have you ever had red and itchy eyes after swimming in a pool? This is likely caused by your water having too much chlorine that has bonded with the ammonia from sweat, saliva, urine, and other substances. This combination can also irritate the skin, lungs, and sinuses. Give the pool a shock to get things back to normal.

Shock Your Pool If It's Producing a Strong Chlorine Smell

Strangely enough, a stronger smell of chlorine actually means your pool is lacking in chlorine. When chlorine reacts to the ammonia in your pool, it turns to chloramine. This substance gives off that strong chlorine smell and often means your pool requires a shock.

Shock Your Pool After a Period of Heavy Rains

While lots of rain is good for the rest of your backyard, heavy rainfall can lower the pH levels of your pool and mess with the water’s chemical balance. And as a pool owner, you know that balance is crucial!

Rainwater can also bring debris and algae to your pool. So once the clouds have cleared away, it’s important to shock the pool in order to restore that chemical balance and correct the now diluted water.

Shock the Pool During or After a Severe Heat Wave

On those extremely hot summer days, we’re sure your family is extremely grateful to have a pool to splash around in and keep cool. When extreme heat is on its way, stock up on your shock supply!

UV rays can break down and weaken chlorine’s effectiveness, causing a disruption in the balance of your water. The heat also creates a breeding ground for germs, bacteria, and algae. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather and keep up with your shocking schedule before, during, and just after a heat wave.

Shock the Pool After a Party or Hosting an Event

One of the best parts of having a pool is sharing it with friends and family! With kids and adults running around, eating, drinking, playing, and splashing, the chance of your pool getting dirty increases. Food scraps, sweat, urine, grass, dirt, and other contaminants are sure to find their way into the water, making it less sanitary and reducing your chlorine levels.

Whether you have one big summer bash a year or are having a gathering every week, it’s a good idea to shock the pool after each pool party.

Definitely Shock the Pool After a Gastrointestinal Accident

If you have kids constantly playing in your pool, you know all too well that accidents happen. If you notice that your child has had an accident in the pool, it is important to shock the pool in order to sanitize the water and make it safe for swimming once again.

Do a Seasonal Shock When You Open or Close in the Spring & Fall

While we wish your pool could stay open all year long, not everyone lives in the right climate for year-round swimming. Opening and closing your pool for the season requires a lot of work — including shocking your pool.

When opening a pool, you’ll need to correctly balance the chemical makeup of the water before shocking it to sanitize and oxidize it. When closing the pool, shocking is essential in order to help keep the water as clean as possible until next spring.

What Time of Day Is Best to Shock Your Pool?

If you shock your pool in the morning, the sun’s rays will reduce the effectiveness of the chemicals throughout the day. For this reason, the best time to shock your pool is once the sun has set in the evening.

This gives the shock time to disperse across the water with the help of your pool pump, meaning that your pool will be ready for swimming by the next day. Remember, though, it’s important to check the chlorine levels of your water before cannon-balling in!

Call ASP for Assistance with All Your Pool Cleaning Needs

Pool maintenance is a lot of work, so why not leave it to the professionals? As a leader in the pool services industry, ASP - America's Swimming Pool Company offers reliable and effective pool maintenance, cleaning, repairs, and installations. Check out our services and give us a call at (866) 253-0455 today!