Swimming Pool Shocking: Frequency and Waiting Times

In part one of this multi-part blog series, we went over some of the initial basics on “shocking” a swimming pool. Referring to a product and a process where chlorine and other chemicals are used to clean and sanitize the water in a pool, shocking — also called superchlorinating — kills off numerous contaminants, including bacteria, algae and others.

At Packman’s Pools, we’re here to not only offer high-quality swimming pool construction and design services, but also to help our clients maintain and care for their pools for years into the future. Today’s part two of our series will go over how frequently you should be shocking your pool, plus a couple other important areas to be aware of.

swimming pool shocking frequency

Pool Shocking Frequency Recommendations

As you may have guessed, the specific answer to the question of how often you should shock your pool depends on a number of factors. These will include how often the pool is used, who uses it, how often the pool sees rain or other weather events, and possibly other issues.

Generally speaking, though, we recommend shocking the pool about once every one or two weeks during primary swim season. In addition, those who own pools that get regular use during the summer can also purchase test kits that will let them know when it’s time to shock their pools.

In addition, the pool should be shocked when it’s first opened up for the spring after a winter of inactivity, and when it’s closed down in the fall for the winter. Failing to shock a pool during these times can lead to contamination and other problems, so we recommend taking action even when you don’t see any contaminants in your water.

How Soon Can I Swim After Shocking?

Once again, the answer here depends — in this case, primarily on the type of pool shock being used (we’ll go over this in more detail in part three of our series). Generally speaking, though, different pool shock products will list the required waiting time on their labels so that the product can work effectively.

In our experience, though, most pool shock products will require a waiting period of about two to four hours before swimming once they’re applied to the water in the pool. Some types of pool shock, particularly calcium hypochlorite-based shocks that are designed to be used with pools having low calcium hardness levels, may require up to 12 hours. If you’re not sure about the waiting time for your particular type of pool shock, it’s best to check with the manufacturer or your local pool professional before swimming. And in many cases, we recommend adding an hour or two to the advised time, just to be safe.

For more on swimming pool shocking, or to learn about any of our swimming pool design or construction services, speak to the pros at Packman’s Pools today.