The Complete Guide to Performing Pool Shock to Create a Sparkling, Clear Pool

Did you know that pool shock can be used to help with water clarity? In this article, we’ll give you the inside scoop on how to use shock, what to use for pool shock, and how to best apply it to your pool.

Pool shock is the most important thing for maintaining your pool. Shocking your pool breaks up combined chlorine (chlorine + contaminants) to create a clear, sparkling pool that’s ready for a swim.

Once you experience that crystal-clear water after shocking the pool, you’ll realize just how important it is to keep doing this to keep things in balance and maintain a healthy swimming environment! So shock your pool now and enjoy the benefits of clear water for weeks on end – free of algae!

How to Pool Shock

Read on to understand why shocking your pool is so important, how much pool shock you need, and how you can make sure that it spreads evenly in your pool water. So, keep an open mind, take a deep breath, and let’s dive in. 

Understanding the Three Types of Chlorine

Before testing your chlorine levels, it’s important to understand how chlorine in swimming pools is classified in three ways.

Free Chlorine

This is the chlorine substance that is free for use in your water.

Combined Chlorine

This is used chlorine that often produces bad-smelling chloramines that are produced when there’s not enough free chlorine to overcome the chlorine demand.

Total Chlorine

This is the total amount of free and combined chlorine.

Does Shocking Your Pool Really Work?

Pool Shock Works
  • Chlorine kills of contaminants on swimming pools. If the free chlorine concentration is insufficient, then your pool has lower chances of destroying these contaminants. 
  • Combined chlorine is useless in the killing of harmful contaminants that enter your swimming pool. Fortunately, shocking your pool breaks combined chlorine and raises the levels of free chlorine to up to 5 – 10 ppm.
  •  Shocking your pool increases chlorine levels which help maintain your water clean, safe, and healthy for your family to enjoy.

FAQs About Pool Shock

When should you shock your pool?

  • As much as possible, shock your pool two times a month, especially in summer and swimming season.
  • Shocking your pool is recommended if your free chlorine levels are outside the recommended 1-3 ppm.

Do you need to shock a salt pool?

Yes, even salt pools require pool shock from time to time. A chlorine generator is used to convert salt to chlorine. You can adjust the generator to increase chlorine levels and meet the chlorine demand caused by contaminants. However, even salt water pools must be shocked when the generator cannot keep up with the contamination load.

When is the best time of the day to shock your pool?

  • After sunset and before daybreak. You’ll want to shock your pool after the sunset. This allows ample time during the night for the chlorine to clean the water. So when the morning comes, you should be able to enjoy your pool. If you shock your pool during the day, the sun rays will just eat up the chlorine leaving it inefficient.
  • Before your opening day. You should clean and shock your pool before the youngsters jump in for the new season. Algae tend to develop during the winter or periods of inactivity. So before opening day, ensure that the pool water is clean, clear, and healthy for your family.
  • Before a party. A pool party may take a huge toll on the quality of your pool. All those bathers carry germs and bacteria that your pool may have a hard time keeping its chlorine levels in check. Free chlorine levels decrease rapidly during periods of high use, so shock your pool after the party to restore normal levels.
  • After stormy weather. Spring and summer bring strong winds and torrential rainfall. Clean your pool and add shock to combat the changes in your pool’s water. This eliminates contaminants and raises the pH level. Prior to applying shock, make sure to restore the water level to normal first. 
  • Hot days. Summer brings the ideal pool weather! However, when the days are hot for long periods, the pool water’s chemistry is affected. Bacteria and other harmful contaminants thrive well on hot days, leaving your pool’s chlorine with too much work. So, shock your pool to release combined chlorine, giving you more free chlorine that gives your pool a huge chance to fight bad pool contaminants. 
  • Closing time. Nobody likes it, but time will come for pool owners to say “Adios!” to pool season. It’s best to plan ahead of time by cleaning and shocking your pool. You’ll be pleased you did it! Then, when the new pool season begins the following year, you’ll get a jump start on getting your pool up and running.

How can you shock your pool?

The method of shocking your pool is pretty straightforward. But before you start, skim the surface, vacuum up any debris, and brush the pool’s walls and floor. Also, ensure that you protect yourself with the right equipment, such as safety eyewear gloves and work clothes, before you start shocking your pool. 

  • Make sure the pH levels in your pools is balanced
  • In a 5-gallon bucket, mix the shock and the water.
  • Dissolve the shock solution well into the water, so mix it slowly with a stir stick.
  • Before pouring the mixture around the pool, ensure the pool pump works properly.
  • Start by pouring the mixture on the shallow part of the pool and gradually walk to the sides to distribute the pool shock evenly. 
  • After adding the pool shock to your pool’s water, wait for about 6 hours or more and test the water once again. Don’t let anyone use your swimming pool until the chlorine level gets back to 1-3 ppm. When the water test results meet the standard levels, it’s time to dive right in!


Shocking your pool may be a difficult task, but it’s definitely worth your time and effort. Once you’ve gone through the process, you’ll become an expert and a pool pro! Just wait until the compliments start rolling in. After that, you might just want to take a minute and pat yourself on the back! 

We hope this article has provided you a lot of information about taking care of your pool. It’s important to maintain your pool and know when it’s time to shock your pool. With these steps, you can ensure that your family is safe and having fun in the summer sun!

Check out the articles below that will make you less concerned about your pool. You can find all of our articles on our website. You can find answers to your pool questions in no time with these articles. Happy swimming!

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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