FAQ

Swimming Pool FAQ

Why do I need to shock my pool?   Up Arrow

Pool water composition always includes some undesirable elements that actually contaminate the water and reduce the efficiency of the disinfectant or sanitizer. Material such as hair spray, suntan oil, cosmetics, perspiration and other organic material react to combine with the chlorine in the water to form "combined chlorine". Once "combined chlorine" forms, it acts as a very poor disinfectant, contributing to eye and skin irritations and the forming of unpleasant chlorine odor. Pools with this problem are often inaccurately accused of having too much chlorine.

Routine shock treatment is necessary to destroy combined chlorine compounds and restore the chlorine sanitizer to "free chlorine" efficiency. A pool can be shock treated by adding large doses of chlorine, commonly referred to as super chlorination, or by adding a non-chlorine shock.

My pool has a very strong chlorine odor. Is there too much chlorine in my pool?   Up Arrow

No, you don't have enough "free chlorine" in your pool. Most pools contain both good chlorine and bad chlorine. The good chlorine is called free chlorine and is capable of killing germs. Bad chlorine, on the other hand, is called "combined chlorine" and is a poor germ killer.

Too much combined chlorine in your pool causes the strong chlorine odor. When the combined chlorine level reaches 0.2 ppm or more, it is time to shock your water. Shocking will eliminate the odor.

When I shock my pool, should I use chlorine or non-chlorine shock?   Up Arrow

Both treatments accomplish the goal of destroying and removing bather waste and preventing the formation of combined chlorine.

Super chlorination, the addition of large amounts of chlorine, has some drawbacks. Because it requires large amounts of chlorine, it can damage liners and swimsuits and upset water balance. Additionally, it is difficult to determine proper dosage amounts and it requires swimmers to wait until the level of chlorine drops, often a day or more, until they can swim.

Non-chlorine shock, on the other hand, does not require excessive chlorine use and allows swimming almost immediately after application, does not harm liners, has easily determined dosage rates and does not upset water balance.

Do I need to add a sanitizer regularly?   Up Arrow

Yes, an E.P.A. registered sanitizer should be added and maintained at proper levels at all times. Non-chlorine shock treatments contain no chlorine, therefore you must make regular additions of sanitizer to ensure that you are disinfecting the water.

I have heard of people talking about pink algae. What is that and how do I treat it?   Up Arrow

Pink algae is not an algae at all, but a bacteria. Normal algaecides will not reliably work on them. There are products that are designed to assist chlorine with removal of these bacteria. To eliminate pink algae, you must super chlorinate your pool, turn off the filter, and clean it with a good filter cleaner. Let the filter soak overnight then backwash to waste. Let the chlorine level subside before using again. (Hint: a good rule of thumb is to toss into the pool the equipment that is normally used for pool maintenance, including hoses, brushes, etc. prior to super chlorinating. These need to be disinfected too).