Introduction to Pool Shock
A swimming pool is only as good as the quality of the water in it. You’ll never be able to enjoy your pool if the water has a weird color and smell or if it is harsh to your skin. To guarantee high-quality water, pool owners have to invest in pool shocks. These help in the treatment of mucky water preventing the development of bacteria and algae. Most pool shocks usually work without interfering with a pool’s pH balance, but you will have to be keen on the amount and type of shock you use to keep the water safe.
If you are buying a pool shock, you will have to choose between three main types. It is tough to recommend one particular kind of pool shock because these chemicals usually work depending on the specific characteristics of your pool. This is also one of the reasons why most owners find it so difficult to choose one particular shock. The good news is that we are going to provide you with a comprehensive guide that will help you to make a wise decision when shopping for a pool shock.
Types of Pool Shocks
There are three main types of pool shocks which come in either liquid or powdered form. These include:
- Calcium Hypochlorite
This is the most popular shock in the market. It is also the strongest making it a fast-acting chemical. When exposed to sunlight, calcium hypochlorite gets burnt, but this does not affect the cyanuric acid levels of your pool. Unfortunately, the shock does raise the pH levels temporarily, and hence you are advised to avoid using the pool until the pH gets back to normal. This shock should only be used in the evening.
- Sodium Di-Chlor
Unlike Calcium hypochlorite, Sodium Di-Chlor comes with a stabilizer, and it also improves the levels of cyanuric acid in the pool. This shock dissolves slowly, and it also lasts longer in the pool compared to calcium Hypochlorite. Sodium Di-Chlor can be used as both a shock treatment and maintenance chlorine. It will also raise your pH levels, and hence after applying the shock, you’ll need to give your pool around 30 minutes or so before using it. Like calcium hypochlorite, this shock should be used in the evening.
- Potassium Mono Persulfate
Potassium Mono Sulfate is the most convenient of all the three shocks. This chemical does not contain any chlorine, but instead, it works using oxygen. The shock oxidizes the pool to remove all contaminants in it. You can, therefore, use this shock at any time and dive into your pool immediately. It also doesn’t affect the levels of cyanuric acid in the pool.
Powdered vs. Liquid Pool Shocks
Both of these shocks deliver the same results, but the path towards that result is different. When buying a pool shock, you have to consider what your pool liner is made of. This is because powdered shocks tend to damage certain types of liners. In some cases, you could end up with bunches of powdered shocks on your pool liner especially if it is made of cement. Don’t worry though because you can easily remove them with a brush. Powdered shocks are recommended for gunite and vinyl liner pools, and even then you will have to check to confirm if the shock is safe for that particular liner.
Liquid shocks are better compared to their counterparts because you can use them with virtually any liner without causing any damages.
To avoid all these issues, we usually urge pool owners to use re-circulate option or to pre-mix the shocks before applying them. This is safer, and it also delivers better results.
Which Pool shock is best for my pool?
To identify the pool shock that is perfect for your pool, you’ll need to be clear on the main reason for using the pool shock. The three shocks are each good at doing one thing more than the other and hence knowing what you are looking for helps you to get a shock that more suited for that particular task.
If you are looking for regular maintenance of either a concrete or fiberglass pool, then any of the three shocks can get the job done. If you are dealing with bromine sanitized pools, then Potassium Mono Persulfate is the best choice. This pool shock is also good for maintenance of vinyl pools before heavy use. When treating a pool with green water, you will need Calcium Hypochlorite.
Here are the best pool shocks in the market.
- In The Swim Chlorine-Free Pool Shock
The In The Swim Chlorine-Free Pool Shock contains 50% potassium mono persulfate and a couple of other elements. This shock usually comes in 24 bags each weighing around 1 pound allowing you to put right amounts of the shock into your water.
This product has various uses. You can utilize it to fight the growth of algae and other harmful bacteria in your pool or to get rid of dead chlorine cells. You can also use it for regular maintenance of the pool where it helps to make the water healthier and crystal clear. The shock works well in pools sanitized by bromine. It is also very affordable and hence a good option for financially strained pool owners.
- It is free from chlorine
- Works effectively to prevent the growth of algae and bacteria
- With this shock, you can start using your pool immediately after applying it
- Works best in pools that contain lots of chlorine
- Aqua-Chem 12101AQU-02 Xtra Blue Pool Shock
Aqua-Chem Xtra Blue pool shock is another incredible product that is available at very affordable prices. This shock comes with five packs with each bag weighing around 1 pound.
This shock is used in fighting the development of bacteria and algae leaving your pool safe and sparkling clean. It’s also instrumental in eliminating the smell of chlorine and will even prevent cases of skin irritation and other reactions. The best part about this product is that it can be used with all pool. You can also use your pool immediately after applying it.
- Fights the growth of algae and bacteria
- Leaves your smelling nice and looking really clean
- Works with all types of pools
- A few users have complained of receiving expired packets of this pool shock. Make sure you check yours on delivery before using it
- Clorox Pool and Spa Shock Xtra Blue
Unlike most other shocks in the market that are packed in bags, the Clorox Pool and Spa Shock Xtra Blue come in an easy to use a bottle that allows you to put right amounts of the chemical. This power product works super-fast helping to put an end to blue, mustard, black and green algae. Other than killing the existing algae, this shock will prevent the development of new algae in the future thus ensuring your pool remains clear and safe to use.
The Clorox Pool and Spa Shock is also one of the few such products that work without bleaching your pool. It can, therefore, be used with different pool liners including vinyl without causing any issues.
- It destroys and prevents the growth of different types of algae
- Comes with an easy-to-use bottle
- It doesn’t damage your swimming pool’s liner
- The shock may leave behind some residues on the filters
Final Thoughts on Pool Shocks
Ideally, a pool shock should be able to work and leave your pool ready to use as soon as possible. With some pool shocks, you can start using your pool right away while in others you may have to wait for a bit. Whatever the case, the most important thing is making sure that the shock does its work in the best way possible. With that in mind, the above three shocks have passed all the relevant standards and proved to be reliable in fighting algae and bacteria, restoring safe chlorine levels and for the overall cleaning of your water. They are also reasonably priced, and that is why we recommend them to any pool owner out there.