The shocking truth about shock.

A lot of people put “shock” in their pool thinking that it’s going to help clear the pool water and for the most part it does. The problem comes when anything goes wrong with the pool’s chemistry. Chlorine is a gas, so in order to get it in your pool is to mix it with something else to get it into a solid-state. Shock is actually mixed with something called Cyanuric acid, which is a chemical you want to have in your pool but if the only product that you’re using is shock then what you’re doing is continuously putting Cyanuric acid in your pool.

Cyanuric acid has a tendency to stay in your pool for long periods of time until it is removed by backwashing or draining. Why do you want some Cyanuric acid in your pool? Cyanuric acid is also known as a Stabilizer, it helps the chlorine stay in your water. The problem is even though you have Cyanuric acid in your pool chlorine evaporates out of your pool water and or gets used up by fighting algae and the other things that chlorine is trying to kill inside your water.

Cyanuric acid does not have that obstacle to overcome so it stays in your water. When you “shock” continuously what you’re doing is you are actually increasing the Cyanuric acid levels steadily but the chlorine levels go up fight off what they need to then they come right back down. Because you’re using up the chlorine in the water, but you’re not using up that much Cyanuric acid so over time that will cause the Cyanuric acid levels to be very very high and when they get to a certain point you’ll actually cause a chlorine lock then no matter how much chlorine you put in it will not do a thing.

We are currently working on a pool that’s greener than green Kool-Aid and it has Cyanuric acid levels off the chart because of a chlorine lock. As a result, we are going to have to drain the pool to dilute that Cyanuric acid enough to get it down to where we can get the water to absorb some chlorine to get it clear again. There’s nothing wrong with using shock, just be very careful and monitor all of your chemical levels, not just chlorine and pH that is not the only thing that you need to look at when you’re maintaining your pool.

So like our customer with the green Kool-Aid pool asked us “What is the answer?” Part of it is monitoring all your levels on a regular basis or hire a CPO to do it for you. The staff at Aquanut shy away from shock. We prefer to use Cal-hypo (Calcium Hypochlorite) instead for your granular and sticks (which are the same chemical as “Shock”) that way you are getting some of everything that your pool needs if you are watching your levels.

Have questions about your pool chemical levels? Feel free to contact our pool cleaning specialists.