Whether you are a new pool owner or an experienced pool maintenance veteran, the pool shocking process can always change. Consider your pool a living organism in that a treatment one week may not suffice the next. You may need to add different chemicals at times, or incorporate a different cleaning approach–but let’s lock down the basics.
What is pool shock? Pool shock is a chemical (either chlorine or non-chlorine) that oxidizes the chloramines in your pool’s water. This sanitizes the water and destroys the build-up of chloramines. If you’re wondering how much liquid chlorine you need to shock your pool, normal dosages are about 12.5% of liquid chlorine shock. You need one gallon of this shock per 10,000 gallons of water.
Pool shock is extremely acidic; any seasoned pool owner knows you must wait between eight and forty-eight hours before swimming in a pool after it has been shocked. The pH in the pool will be too high and cause irritation to eyes and skin of swimmers, and the water should not be ingested.
Now that we have gotten into the chemical aspect of shocking your pool, put on your chemist goggles! Where does baking soda play into all of this? Baking soda is naturally alkaline. When you add baking soda to pool water, you raise the pH and alkalinity in your pool. The result is improved stability and clarity in your water.
It is completely safe to shock your pool after you have added baking soda, as this balances out the pH in the pool. If you accidentally added too much sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), your pool shock will help balance it out.
Why You Should Use Baking Soda
The process of shocking and cleaning your pool is tedious at first. Many questions arise, such as: ‘Should I backwash after shocking my pool, and will copper-based algaecides turn my water green?’ While you are finding your rhythm for your pool’s cleaning, consider including baking soda in your pool maintenance has many benefits. For instance, it often:
Improves Water Clarity
When your pool’s water looks cloudy or distorted, adding baking soda can help improve clarity. Cloudiness is linked to the pH and alkalinity levels in your pool. The pH in your pool should fall between 7.2 and 7.8. If those levels are low, adding baking soda can rebalance the pH. This also makes the water feel softer and smoother on the skin.
Lowers Corrosion in Pool
When your pool water is too acidic, the hard water can corrode parts of your pool. This includes: ladders, pipes, and especially metallic components of your pool. These high levels of acidity can cause pitting in your pool liner and tiles, as well.
When you check your pH levels each week, be sure that the pH is above 7.2 and your alkalinity is above 110 PPM. If it is lower for either of those levels, add baking soda to your pool’s water–this will help balance the pH and alkalinity and avoid corrosion.
Minimizes Algae in Pool
Imagine enjoying your pool when your foot touches down to the pool floor and it slides from slime build-up. We’ve all been there, and the memory alone makes us squirm. Algae and scale build-up is what causes the walls and floor of the pool to feel slimy to the touch and give water a green tint.
When you use a strong dose of baking soda, you can kill off algae infestations. When you use your algaecide, concentrated amounts of baking soda and a brush can effectively brush away and scrape off stubborn algae and slime, preventing regrowth.
There are many benefits for including baking soda in your pool maintenance routine. Also, consider that baking soda is inexpensive and provides preventable care for your pool. For more tips on implementing baking soda in your routine, as well as other useful tricks, the Pool Care Guy has you covered!