How to Shock a Pool the Right Way

As owner or maintainer with pool, you must know when and how to shock a pool.

This is a method of ensuring that a pool is clean from unsightly algae or other contaminants that can make pool water unpleasant to swim in.

Tips Before Shocking

  • Pools should be shocked every 1 – 2 weeks.
  • Buy and wear a proper set of gloves and eyewear.
  • Shocking agents should be added to water. The proper ratio is 1 pound of shock to 5 gallons of water.
  • Stir the shock with a wooden stick.
  • Shock contains bleaching agents which can ruin your clothes.
  • Shock should not all be mixed in one bucket.
  • Shocking should be done after sunset to achieve maximum results.
  • Slowly pouring shock around the pool is recommended.
  • If there is any shock left at the bottom of your bucket, add water, mix and then pour it into the pool; you never want pure shock to be poured into a pool.

Understanding Shocking Types

Now that we have discussed a few tips to help you get started, you need to choose the right shocking agent for your needs. These agents include the following:

Calcium Hypochlorite

This is the go-to option and is the best choice if you have no idea of which type of shock to choose. This product contains about 68 percent chlorine and is very effective.

Users that choose this product will want to wait 8 hours before swimming in the pool and will want to perform shocking at night. This product will not dissolve completely within your mixing bucket.

Lithium Hypochlorite

If your pool has a high amount of calcium, this is the shock treatment of choice. With a total chlorine percent of just 35 percent, this product will be ideal to remove excess calcium from your pool.

This product should be added at night and does not require any dissolving. This means that there is less overall work needed. You must wait 8 hours before swimming after using Lithium Hypochlorite.


The easiest shock treatment to use is Di-Chlor. This treatment uses 60 percent chlorine and does not need to be mixed with water. Users simply pour Di-Chlor into their pool and they do not have to do anything else.

This is a more expensive option, but it does have its own chlorine stabilizer which means that the chlorine is not burned off when used during the daytime hours. It is recommended that users wait 8 hours before swimming. While Di-Chlor can be used during the day, it is better to use this treatment at night.

Potassium Peroxymonosulfate

Potassium Peroxymonosulfate is the most expensive option that is chlorine-free. This treatment does not need mixing, can be added to pools during the day or night and allows users to swim within 15 minutes of use.

The only downside to this product is that it can become very expensive when used regularly.

Shocking Your Pool

Follow these steps to properly shock your pool.

  1. Put on clothes that you do not care about as you may drop treatment on them.
  2. Put on your gloves and protective eyewear.
  3. If your treatment requires dissolving, add warm water to your bucket.
  4. If required, add 1 pound of treatment per 5 gallons of water and mix together with a wooden stick.
  5. Walk around your pool, pouring the agent into the pool water slowly.
  6. Wait at least 8 hours, except in the cause of Potassium Peroxymonosulfate, before swimming in your pool.

The key to keeping your pool clean is to know how to shock a pool properly. If you shock your pool weekly or bi-weekly and adhere to proper maintenance and cleaning schedules, your pool will never be filled with algae or contain discolored water.

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