The Best Way to Shock a Salt Water Pool: Simple Steps and Best Tips

To maintain your pool and prevent cloudy water, you need to shock your pool. Shock is adding chlorine or other sanitizers to eliminate organic matter, leading to algae, bacteria, and stains on pool surfaces. Shock also removes the buildup of chloramines in the water, which can cause odors and eye irritation. So let’s say you’re …

To maintain your pool and prevent cloudy water, you need to shock your pool. Shock is adding chlorine or other sanitizers to eliminate organic matter, leading to algae, bacteria, and stains on pool surfaces. Shock also removes the buildup of chloramines in the water, which can cause odors and eye irritation.

Shock a Salt Water Pool: Putting Chlorine in Pool

So let’s say you’re eager to learn more about how to shock a salt water pool, but are scared because it looks complicated! Hold on just a minute, though; following this guide will have you swimming smoothly in no time!

By the end of this article, you’ll learn more about shock saltwater pools, steps on how to shock a salt water pool, and tips on how to do it. 

It is Necessary to Shock a Salt Water Pool?

It’s absolutely ok to shock your pool; in fact, it is really important. However, even though your pool system is probably equipped with a chlorine generator to super chlorinate the water, it should not be replaced by a weekly shock treatment for both of these reasons:

  • Constant usage of your saltwater chlorinator wears out the motor faster.
  • Saltwater chlorinator will not always eliminate all algae in the pool water as efficiently as pool shock. 

When Is It Necessary to Shock a Saltwater Pool?

Shock is among the most common pool water treatments, and it is necessary for saltwater pools. Shock treatment can be used to remove stubborn bands of algae, unsightly stains and identify leaks before the problem expands.

Shock a Salt Water Pool: Stain and Algae in Swimming Pool

Depending on where you live, the shock might also be required to disinfect after a heavy rainfall or during periods of high sun exposure during winter months when gradual development of contaminants makes management difficult.

The chlorine in your saltwater pool needs to be checked regularly. Whether it sits for a week or just a day, the chlorine levels will rise and fall dramatically. It’s important to shock a salt water pool regularly so that the chlorine isn’t too high, killing good bacteria.

If you’re wondering if you should shock a salt water pool before dipping in again, it’s worth checking because over shocking have some drawbacks –

“Being too much of a good thing is just as bad as having too little”

Michael Dean,

Steps on How to Shock a Salt Water Pool

Shock a Salt Water Pool: Chemical and pH Balance in Poolside

It’s a summer day, the sun is out, and you want to enjoy your backyard. So you head outside to take a dip in your saltwater pool. Your skin feels slimy, it feels like bugs are crawling over you, and something smells funny.

What happened? Your pool is an unhealthy mess from algae blooms! To learn how some easy steps on how to shock a saltwater pool, read on.

Step 1: Measure Pool Chemistry

Test your pool’s pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness with your pool test kit or test strips.

It may look unnecessary to do this step before shocking your pool, but an imbalance in any of these levels combined with an excessive dosage of chlorine could produce discoloration, deposits, and pitting on the surface of the pool.

Step 2: Adjust Chemicals as Necessary

Adjust pool’s water chemistry levels to normal levels:

pH 7.4 – 7.6
Calcium Hardness200 – 400
Total Alkalinity80 – 140 ppm

Step 3: Calculate the Right Amount of Pool Shock to Use

How to calculate the right amount of pool shock to use?

  • To reach the optimal chlorination levels, you’ll need to achieve a concentration of around 30 ppm.
  • Determine the size of your pool. A small pool would be around 5,000 gallons; a medium-sized one, 10,000 gallons; and a large one, 20,000 gallons.
  • Measure 3 pounds of shock per 10,000 gallons of water. 

    In this example, for a small pool (5000 gallons), you would use 1.5 pounds of shock. For a medium-sized one (10,000 gallons), you would use 3 pounds of shock, and for a large one (20,000gallons), you would use 6 pounds of shock.

Step 4: Turn On Your Filtration System

The pool filter will help dissolve the pool shock more evenly, providing you with better outcomes. 

Step 5: Add the Required Amount of the Chemical to the Pool Water

Follow the manufacturer’s handbook when adding shock to your saltwater pool, 

You can usually add the shock straight to the pool water; however, if you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, you will most likely need to dissolve it in water first to avoid staining. 

Step 6: Turn Off the Salt Chlorinator

If you’ve reached the optimal level of chlorine in your pool, the shock should last several days, so it would be best for you to turn off your salt chlorinator for a little while. 

What to Expect?

If everything went according to plan, the water in your pool could turn to hazy blue.

Don’t worry!

This means that you have effectively destroyed some algae, and it is now simply waiting to be filtered away by the filtering system. Just keep the filter running, and your pool will be back into that pristine blue in no time. 

Tips for How to Shock a Saltwater Pool

Shock a Salt Water Pool: Lifeguard Cleaning the Pool

Clean the Pool Before Shocking the Saltwater Pool

Before beginning the pool shock treatment, it is necessary to clean the pool to ensure good outcomes.

Remove leaves, sticks, rocks, etc., and clean other pool equipment. When you’re done cleaning, make sure to clean the pool’s skimmer box too.

Shock the Pool in Low Heath or Low Light Conditions

Chlorine deteriorates to exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, making the saltwater pool shocking procedure far less effective than it could be. As a result, it is best to do the treatment after the sun has set to allow the chemicals ample time to act before the sun rises the next day. It is less important to consider the sun for indoor pool or spa facility, especially if there is a means to screen out the sun’s harmful rays.

Utilize the Proper Pool Shock Chemicals

Pool shocking is accomplished with the use of highly concentrated chlorine, referred to as pool shock chemicals. When working with saltwater pool chlorinators, it is critical to keep their particular mode of action when selecting shock chemicals to buy. It is recommended to use chlorine salt-based compounds that easily break into the chlorinator. 

Pour the Mixture Around the Pool

Make sure to pour the mixture evenly around the pool to allow chemicals to diffuse and equilibrate in the entire area.


Never swim in a saltwater pool that has been shocked or super-chlorinated, continue to monitor the water chemistry levels, and do not allow anybody in until the chlorine level range to 1.0 and 3.0 ppm.

Shock treatment of saltwater pools is an important part of pool upkeep. We hope that the methods above could assist you in achieving an efficiently sanitized saltwater pool. 

Let’s find out how to maintain our swimming pool in the most effective and safest way. You can find our complete guide here, and we have added some of it below.

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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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