Shocking the pool can be a total waste of money

If you saw the title of the article and you are here reading it thinking that we are going to tell you that you do not need to shock the pool, then you misinterpreted the intent of this article. Pool shock in-and-of-itself is not a waste of money. In fact, you must buy pool shock.

Too many pool owners do not shock their pools often enough. And for those pool owners that shock frequently enough, too many don’t add enough shock. When you don’t use enough shock, the shock you added will do nothing. You will simply be throwing your money away. So yes, there are times when shocking the pool is a waste of money.

Maintenance Shocking

When your water is clean and clear and the sanitizer level is ideal, you can maintenance shock. Here, you can follow the label instructions. Most shock products advise to add one pound of shock pound per x-gallons of water, with x-gallons being listed on the shock product.

NOTE: x-gallons is typically 10,000 gallons or 15,000 gallons. This will depend on the manufacturer, the type of shock, and the amount of available chlorine in the shock.

For example – using a 30,000 gallon pool in the example:

  • If the label instructions say to add 1-pound of shock per every 10,000 gallons of water, then you would add 3-pounds of this shock product (in your 30,000 gallon pool).
  • If the label instructions say to add 1-pound of shock per every 15,000 gallons of water, then you would add 2-pounds of this shock product (in your 30,000 gallon pool).

Again, this is for when your water is clean and clear and the sanitizer level is ideal. Here, you’re shocking the pool for maintenance purposes.

Breakpoint Shocking

But what about when the water is not clear? What about when the sanitizer level is not ideal?

This is where a good test kit will really help you. In fact, every pool owner should be using a Taylor test kit – either the K2005 or the K2006 – to test all of their chemical levels. A Taylor test kit will tell you if you need to shock. And if you do, some simple math will tell you how much shock to add. All Taylor test kits also come with a great water chemistry booklet.

When the water is unclear and the sanitizer level is not ideal, you will need to shock the pool to reach breakpoint. Rather than engaging in a prolonged and boring science and chemistry lecture, just know that reaching breakpoint is adding the amount of shock needed to revive your sanitizer when the water is unclear and the sanitizer level is currently not within its ideal range.

When you shock the pool to reach breakpoint, you must use the amount of shock required. If you just use 1-2 pounds of shock but your pool requires that 5 pounds (or perhaps more) are needed to reach breakpoint, then whatever shock you added will do nothing of real value. It may do nothing at all…except waste your money.

Shocking the Pool

If you just add an arbitrary amount of shock without knowing how much shock you need to add, then you just wasted the shock that you added. Therefore, you just wasted your money.

While there are plenty of ways to save money as a pool owner, skimping on shock is certainly not one of them. You must shock your pool. And you use the correct type of shock and the correct amount of that shock.


Contact Expert Pool Work, Inc. at 402-341-8132 or info@expertpoolwork.com to discuss your pool or submit a short form to schedule free onsite consultation.


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