You're one of the lucky ones with a backyard pool. No small investment, the sting of the cost is probably offset by the fun and refreshment your pool provides. But because you did pay a pretty penny for that pool, you want to be sure you're taking the best possible care of it. Chances are, though, even with the best of intentions, you're making a few "shocking" mistakes and those mistakes can not only shorten the lifespan of your pool equipment, some of then can actually hurt you!
You shock your pool during the day.
You know that you should shock your pool once a week, because shock helps eliminate chloramines. But did you also know that you should only shock your pool at dusk or at night? Shock is just unstable chlorine and exposing it to sunlight burns off some of its effectiveness. So once you put it in your pool, the sun continues to beat down on it and dilute it's chloramine fighting abilities. Shocking at dusk or at night allows the shock to work in the dark at full strength.
You add shock in through your skimmer.
This mistake is a big pool maintenance no-no. Why? Because it's actually dangerous! Pool shock and chlorine mixed together form a destructive gas. If you have an automatic chlorinator attached to your filter system, the shock and chlorine will mix inside your chlorinator, creating the gas. This can literally cause your filter system to explode, harming you and your loved ones and ruining your pool equipment. Do not go through your filter system to add shock.
You knew not to use your skimmer, so you just dump the shock into your pool.
This seems to make the most sense, especially if you knew about exploding filter systems. But dumping the shock directly into your pool, even at night, isn't the right answer either. Shock is a very high concentrate of chlorine, so it can actually ruin clothes and towels by bleaching the colors on them. Splash a little on yourself on nearby fabrics and you've ruined the material. If you have a vinyl liner in your pool, chlorine can damage it, ruining the color and even causing it to become brittle and potentially begin leaking.
Instead of tossing the shock directly into the pool, dissolve it in a bucket water first. Not only will this protect your clothes and your liner, if you have one, but it will also help distribute the shock more evenly throughout your pool. Be aware that if you use warm water, steam will rise from the bucket, so you may want to wear goggles, a face mask and gloves to be safe.
Shock should help your pool water but it shouldn't harm you or your pool equipment. Careful handling and proper usage will only help to enhance your pool ownership experience. To learn more about pool maintenance, visit Imperial Paddock Pools Ltd.