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How to Shock a Pool: A Guide for Beginners

First things first, let's clear up the fact that shocking a pool has nothing to do with electricity. While that may be an effective way to kill some bacteria, it might also kill some equipment. Check out this blog post by Best Pro Pool about why skipping pool service and repair is dangerous to your health, and your budget.


Test The pH

A pool is shocked to clean it, so you need the right starting point. Every pool test kit will vary based on the brand you buy, but ideally, try to get one with a stamp of approval from pool companies. Once you have it, think of it as a chemistry experiment. Be extremely meticulous about the quantities, and follow the instructions exactly.


Starting with the wrong pH could lay waste to your efforts, so make sure you test with a steady hand. Alternatively, outsource to swimming pool services in Merced.


Prepare The Shock Solution

If your pool pH is balanced, grab a sturdy bucket and get to pouring. The proportions should be aligned with your pool's size, but opinions vary on the best ingredients. Some prefer to make homemade shocks, and some prefer to use active ingredients like sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione (dichlor) or sodium trichloro-s-triazinetrione (trichlor).


Pool cleaners would be able to advise you based on your pool materials and your regional climate.


Check the Pump

Make sure the pump is running.


The Shock

Pour your solution around the pool's edges, then let the pump run for at least six hours. The purpose of a shock is to deep clean your pool water and sort of reset it, killing any lingering bacteria. After it's shocked, the water should be clearer than you've ever seen it.


Wait For The Chlorine Levels To Become Safe

To check the chlorine levels, you'll need a chlorine test kit. This is because a low chlorine level can open up swimmers to illnesses, and a high level can cause long-term health problems.


Your test kit might show a scale with labels for total chlorine, free chlorine, or both. Chlorine leftover after the chlorination process is complete is called total chlorine. It's leftover because the water became clean before it was all used.


Total chlorine is made up of "combined chlorine" (deactivated chlorine) and free chlorine (active chlorine). A safe level for free chlorine in a pool is between 1 and 3 PPM (parts per million).



Handling your pool shocking isn't for the faint of heart, but it's a great step in effective swimming pool care. However, the chemicals, the smells, and the rigorous testing, with stakes as high as good health, can prompt you to outsource to reliable swimming pool services in Merced.


Best Pro Pool is committed to comprehensive and preventive swimming pool maintenance, but we also offer pool equipment repair should you need it.


We can do residential and commercial pool cleaning in Turlock, Atwater, and many surrounding counties. Call us at 209-358=7665, and we'll have your pool gleaming.