How Long Should You Run the Filter After Shocking Your Pool?

Keeping your pool clean keeps you and your swimmers safe and healthy, and adding shock treatments for pools to your water is an important part of pool maintenance.

Shock treatments are concentrated doses of chlorine or non-chlorine chemicals to destroy contaminants (algae, bacteria, etc.). The shock needs time to fully filter through your pool water, otherwise it is unsafe to swim in. These highly concentrated chemicals can cause damage to eyes and skin, and if swallowed, swimmers should seek immediate medical attention.

So, how long should you run your filter before it is safe to swim? The general rule of thumb is to wait anywhere between eight and twenty-four hours after using a chlorine-based shock. If you use non-chlorine shock, you can usually dive in around the eight hour mark. 

You should always test your chlorine levels before swimming. Test your water to see if the chlorine levels have dropped to a safe range (three parts per million or under five parts per million.)

Shocking Your Pool F.A.Q.

Can I Add Chlorine Tablets After Shocking?

Maybe you’ve just finished shocking your pool, but you aren’t convinced it is clean enough to swim in. Remember that shock is typically chlorine in a high dose, and chlorine tablets maintain a chlorine residual in water. 

When can you add chlorine tablets after shocking your pool? You don’t need to add chlorine tablets and shock at the same time. Chlorine tablets help the chlorine shock from completely dissipating out of the water. After shocking your pool, you can add chlorine tablets when the chlorine level falls below the one and three ppm range. As tabs run out, replace them.

What Is the Best Pool Shock?

Chlorine or non-chlorine shock? There are many pros and cons to both shocks. 

Non-chlorine shocks are great if you want to clear your pool of murky water and general organic debris, and jump right back in without waiting a day or so. The downside is this is generally unsafe if your pool has a large group of swimmers. Non-chlorine shock does not kill pathogenic bacteria, which can make swimmers sick.

Chlorine shocks take more time to filter through before it is safe to swim, but are extremely effective at clearing your pool of those pathogenic bacteria. If your pool sees a high volume of swimmers, you must use chlorine shock.

Why Is My Pool Still Green?

If you just spent your weekend shocking your pool and can’t see the bottom, you’re not alone. Why is your pool still green after shocking it? If you are using chlorine shock, there could be a number of reasons, including:

  • Metals in the water are oxidizing from the chlorine (including copper-based algaecide).
  • Your pH or CYA levels are off.
  • You need to use flocculants or clarifiers.
  • There are phosphates in the water.

Shocking your pool can be intimidating if you are a new pool owner. Whether you are experienced in working with pool chemicals or you are just starting, you aren’t alone in your journey. 

If you’re unsure of what steps to take next, we recommend consulting experienced pool enthusiasts such as The Pool Guy. Everyone’s pool and habits are unique, and The Pool Guy offers insights and niche tips and tricks to maintaining a clean and beautiful pool!

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