Water Quality in your Intex Pool - Shocking your water
Shocking your water involves raising the chlorine to a level that is significantly higher than you would normally
maintain. These increased levels of chlorine will kill large amounts of algae or other unwanted gunk much more
quickly than regular levels.
Frankly, there is no specific reason to shock your water unless you develop a problem. The purpose of shocking
your water is to overpower a large outbreak of algae that has already established itself. If you keep your
chlorine & stabilizer at their reccomended levels, algae and other unwanted gunk will never have an opportunity
to get established. With that said, if you have a high swimmer load on certain days, it may be a good idea
to go ahead and shock just to make sure that your water stays sanitary and sparkling clean. But, this does
not need to be a weekly or even monthly routine. Shocking should be seen as an "as needed" treatment.
Many Intex pool owners will buy bottles of "shock treatment" or "algaecide" from stores. There is nothing
especially wrong with this, however you can get the same effectiveness by simply adding more chlorine to your
water (adding liquid bleach, or programming your salt water chlorine generator to stay on for longer).
Remember that your normal chlorine level is related to the amount of stabilizer in your water and should be
maintained between 10% and 15% of your stabilizer level. The level of chlorine to shock your pool is also
related to your stabilizer level. Generally speaking a good shock level is about 40% of your stabilizer level.
To get this value, multiply your stabilizer level by 0.4. So if your stabilizer is at 40, you'll need to
raise your chlorine level to 16 to shock your pool. If your stabilizer is at 70, you'll need to raise your
chlorine to 28 to shock. As always, use the calculator at www.poolcalculator.com
to know how much bleach to add to reach your shock level.
Finally, in order for your shock to be effective, you can't just add one dose of chlorine. Instead, you need
to maintain those high levels of chlorine for a length of time. If you are doing a shock after a high swimmer load,
12-15 hours should be sufficient. If you are recovering from a bad algae outbreak, you will want to maintain the
high levels for 24-36 hours after your water has cleared up. Measure your chlorine levels every 3-5 hours and if
it's dropped below shock level, then calculate & add more chlorine. The more often you maintain these levels,
the sooner your water will clear up.
Previously answered questions for this page...
Question From: Brenda N. on 4/9/2013 9:09:29 PM
"I just bought a house and the previous owner left their intex pool and I assume all the needed chemicals and equipment..My question is this will it need to be drained and refilled? It's got a bit of debris from trees and bugs in it. It doesn't appear there's any algae, but its just now starting to get warm. Is it possible to clean and retreat the water?"
Hi Brenda, thanks for the great question. If the debris isn't excessive and you donít mind spending the time to clear it up, then the existing water should absolutely be fine. Keep in mind that the sooner you get started on our water quality schedule, the easier it will be to get your water clean.
The first step youíll want to take is to clean or replace your filter and get your pump running. After that, get a pole & net and start working on the leaves and other debris. Next, begin to chlorinate the water with unscented bleach to start killing any algae that may have gotten started. In the first few days, the amount of bleach isnít critically important Ė a quart would be good on the smaller 10-12 foot Intex pools, maybe two quarts on the bigger 15-18 foot pools. The idea is to shock the water to prevent any scum from even getting started.
Youíll want to get a good water test kit soon after so that you can begin getting accurate measurements. You will especially want to check for high levels of stabilizer because the previous owner might have used stabilized tablets to sanitize the water. Check our page about stabilizer to see why this may be an issue. If you find that the stabilizer is too high, then you will need to drain some of the water to bring those levels down.
Please donít hesitate to ask a follow up question if you need to.
Question From: larissa on 5/5/2013 6:01:16 AM
"I just bought a 10x30 easy set pool that uses 1,018 gallons of water-what type of chlorine should I use, how much, and how often.
Hi, Larissa. The answers to those questions take up several pages on this site, but I'll try to give a short version here.
For the first several weeks, use stabilized chlorine tablets because these will provide chlorine and gradually build up levels of stabilizer. Just add a tablet and replace it once it's dissolved.
After you've gone through a few tablets, start testing your water for the right amount of stabilizer (also called CYA). Keep using the tablets until your CYA gets to the right level. After that, you'll want to switch to plain chlorine bleach so that your stabilizer levels don't get too high.
How much bleach to add and how often really depends on how much you use your pool and how much sun it gets. A starting point might be to add a cup or two of bleach per day and then test (with a good test kit) every two or three days to see where your chlorine level is at. If you keep track of your levels in a notebook, you'll start to figure out what works best for your pool and then just stick with that.
That's the short version, but I would encourage you to read the pages on our site about water care, because there is quite a bit more that it would be good for you to know.