How To Shock An Above-Ground Pool

Beginner Info, Pool

how to shock an above ground pool
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So, how to shock an above-ground pool?

Well, in this post, I would be walking you through various aspects of shocking a pool to help you make an informed decision.

Moreover, I would also be responding to queries related to shocking a pool to help you achieve an optimum result.

Frankly speaking, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, this comprehensive guide on shocking the pool would definitely be of great help.

How To Shock An Above Ground Pool | Beginner’s Guide

In short, after reading this post, you would be able to get the answer to the queries including why you need to shock your pool when to shock your pool, how to shock your pool, and the various types of pool shock to use.

Our team has tried to the best of its capabilities to come up with a satisfactory answer to the question, how to shock an above-ground pool?

Shocking your pool will not take much of your time and would definitely, help you to achieve a clean, clear, and algae-free pool.

How to shock above-ground pool water?

Trust me, there are numerous ways to shock your pool water and the best part is that you can do it on your own with little to no professional help.

But, before we explain the steps to you, it’s my humble request that for the best result follow and expedite all the steps without skipping any.

Protect Your Body

Yes, you heard it, RIGHT!

Even before you start expediting the shock of your pool, you need to protect yourself by wearing goggles, hand gloves, and a face mask.

The reason why I’m saying so is because of the fact that pool shock can harm your skin and bleach your clothes.

Taking all the preventive measures would definitely help you to prevent any last-hour misadventure.

Chemicals Preparation

First and foremost, you need to choose your pool chlorine shock.

Once done, you need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do the needful accordingly.

Let’s understand this with an example.

If you’ve chosen a granular shock then you need to first prepare the solution by dissolving the shock in a five-gallon bucket of water.

And, once the solution is prepared, you need to pour it into the pool.

However, some shocks such as lithium hypochlorite can be directly poured into the pool.

When you’re preparing your shock, you need to ensure that an adequate amount of shock is prepared to depend on the size of your pool.

In layman’s language, the prerequisite of preparing your pool shock is figuring out the gallons of water that your pool can hold.

Pool Shock

So, I’m assuming that you’ve prepared the solution as per your pool capacity.

Now, it’s high time that you pour the solution into your pool water as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

There are two ways to pour the solution into the pool.

Either you can disperse it evenly around the edge or you can pour it in the vicinity of jets and allows it to circulate into the pool water.

Leave It Alone

Yes, you need to leave the shock in the pool for a couple of hours so that it can do its work.

Again, follow the instructions mentioned by the manufacturer so that you can prevent unprecedented events.

For the best result, I would suggest you should leave it overnight.

Check Your Pool Chemistry

After waiting for the recommended number of hours, you need to test your pool chemistry levels before you allow swimmers to enter the pool.

Make sure that all the chemical levels including chlorine, calcium hardness, pH, and alkalinity are well in the prescribed range.

The pH level must be restored in the range of 7.2 and 7.6.

On the other hand, if your pH level is above 8.0 then shocking your pool hasn’t proved to be worth the effort.

In layman’s language, you need to shock your pool again if the pH level post-treatment is above 8.0.

Run The Filtration System

Shocking your pool will kill most of the algae spores and bacteria.

And, the filtration needs to be followed post the pool water treatment.

Post shocking your pool, you need to run a filter for the next 24 hours for the best result.

What is Pool Shock?

Pool shocking is nothing but super-chlorinating of your pool that is mainly done to destroy the build-ups of chloramines as well as kill bacteria and algae.

So, if you’re not aware of what chloramines are, then please allow me to explain it to you.

Chloramines are another name for combined chlorine which is the end result of the reaction between free chlorine and organic debris such as sweat, oil, etc.

So, when you’re shocking your pool, it simply means you’re adding enough chlorine to break chloramines.

Did my explanation end your inquisitiveness?

Do I need to shock my pool regularly?

It goes without saying that you need to shock your pool on a regular basis for its healthy functioning as well as keeping the algae, bacteria, and debris at bay.

But, before you expedite the process, it is equally important that you know the RIGHT WAY of shocking your pool to achieve an optimum result.

Normal chlorine is capable of tackling most bacteria in an effective way.

However, to break chloramines you definitely need super-chlorination.

Let’s have a quick look at three reasons that might force you to shock your pool.

  • Free chlorine becomes inactive in the presence of sunlight if an effective pool stabilizer isn’t used
  • Your pool receives suddenly a surge in the number of swimmers and as a result, free chlorine becomes incompetent in dealing with organic debris that is brought into the pool by these swimmers
  • Heavy rainfall can flood your pool thereby leaving diluting the chlorine level

When should I shock my swimming pool?

Most of the pool owners, shock their pool only when the pool turns green or cloudy.

But, when such conditions have prevailed then it would take a good amount of effort in order to restore the healthy swimming condition.

I always believe and recommend my clientele take precautionary measures seriously.

By doing so, you would be able to prevent conditions such as alarming algae growth.

If your pool has been invaded by organic debris, algae, or even bacteria then definitely, you would be involved in doing loads and loads of scrubbing, vacuuming, and draining.

So, why go to such an extent?

It’s always better to give your best and prepare for the worst.

Doing proper and regular maintenance of your pool would definitely keep the unwanted elements at bay.

Free Chlorine Level Drops Below 3 Parts Per Million

So, it’s high time that we talk about the difference between free chlorine, combined chlorine, and total chlorine.

As the name suggests, free chlorine is the amount of chlorine that is freely available in your pool water to expedite the cleaning process.

However, for the effectiveness of the free chlorine, you need to use a stabilizer such as CYA.

Combined chlorine is that state of chlorine that has been used up and technically NOT present freely for countering the algae and debris.

So, if your pool has a high level of combined chlorine then it simply means that most of the free chlorine has been consumed in tackling the unwanted bacteria.

Total chlorine is nothing but the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine.

So, as a thumb rule, the free chlorine present in your pool should be at least 10 times that of combined chlorine, and the entire phenomenon is known as breakpoint chlorination.

An effective test kit would be needed to measure the total chlorine and combined chlorine.

Unfortunately, affordable test strips might not be able to measure the total chlorine and combined chlorine in an effective way.

All in all, whenever your free chlorine levels drop below 3 parts per million, it’s high time that you shock your pool.

Moreover, your swimming pool definitely needs a boost in the free chlorine level before you open the pool for the swimmers in the spring.

It becomes more important if you’ve had to cover your above-ground pool all over winter.

By adding an adequate amount of chlorine, you make sure that the pool is safe and free from bacteria and algae spores, and swimmers can dive in.

On the other hand, you need to keep certain things in mind before you close you winterize your inground or above-ground pool.

Before closing your pool for winter, make sure that even the minutest of the algae spores have been removed from your pool water.

Also, ensure that the pool water is crystal clear and safe before you close it for winter.

Extreme weather conditions including heavy rainfall can disturb the pool chemistry balance.

So, after such incidents, you need to test the pool chemicals and restore them for a safe and healthy swimming ambiance.

Similarly, after heavy use of your pool, the probability is quite high that the concentration of organic debris such as sweat, hair, urine, etc would have drastically increased so you need to fix the problem at the earliest.

Furthermore, it is highly recommended that you fix the algae spores at first sight else it will blossom quickly and become a pain in your butt.

Pool Shock Type

Well, there are quite a few types of pool shocks available on the market.

And, before you make a decision of buying one, it is equally important that you’re well-informed about the types of pool shock.

You can buy them either from an eCommerce website or a local store.

Calcium Hypochlorite

Well, calcium hypochlorite (check the current price on Amazon) is usually granular and also known as Cal-hypo shock.

The good thing about calcium hypochlorite is that it is capable of destroying germs that are known to cause diseases such as diarrhea, swimmer’s ear (a nasty earache), and various respiratory, skin, and wound infections.

It is very popular among pool owners because of its effectiveness and affordability.

Though it is known to dissolve quickly still I would recommend you use it in the absence of sunlight for the optimum outcome.

Lithium Hypochlorite

If your pool water comprises a high calcium level then definitely, you need to use lithium hypochlorite shock.

It’s comparatively more convenient to use lithium hypochlorite as compared to other shocks because you don’t have to pre-dissolve it.

Sodium Dichlor

The sodium dichlor (check the current price on Amazon) is a great shock and lasts longer than the cal-hypo because the former dissolves slowly and gradually.

It has a neutral pH level and is readily available on the market.

But, at the same time, you need to use it correctly else you’ll find a surge in cyanuric acid levels.

Potassium Peroxymonosulfate (non-chlorine shock)

So, here I come up with a non-chlorine shock that is quite popular among pool owners who prefer NOT to use chlorine shock.

The non-chlorine shock (check the current price on Amazon) is mostly popular with vinyl liner pools.

Unlike chlorine-based shock, this is oxygen-based and is known to oxidize the pool water and boost chlorine levels.

The good thing about the non-chlorine shock is that you don’t have to wait longer for getting into the pool rather you can swim very soon post the treatment.

You can even try non-chlorine shock when you’re receiving heavy footfall in your pool.


As promised to my readers, I’ll be responding to the queries related to how to shock an above-ground pool.

Moreover, if you also have any doubts or queries related to shocking the pool then feel free to ask us in the comment section.

What’s the best time of the day to shock the pool?

An interesting question, indeed.

And, mostly the newbies are inquisitive about this question, right?

Well, chlorine pool shocks are mostly used in the absence of sunlight in order to reap the maximum benefits.

Other benefits of using both non-chlorine and chlorine shock at night are that the pool gets an ample amount of time for shocking to do its job.

How long does it take to shock a pool?

Shocking your pool wouldn’t consume more than an hour or so.

But, depending upon the type of shock you’re using for your pool, the duration after which you can use your pool varies.

For example, non-chlorine shock can allow you to use your pool after an epigrammatic span of time.

On the other hand, chlorine shock would take at least 8 hours or so before which you would be able to enter the pool.

Quick Hacks

Let’s have a quick look at some of the hacks that might benefit you when it comes to shocking your pool.

  • Always refrain from adding pool shock directly to the skimmers
  • Until and unless, chlorine levels return to normal, keep the pool uncovered
  • I highly recommend you should throw in pool toys and accessories for decontamination after the pool shock is added to your pool
  • Before you enter the pool, ensure that the chlorine levels are under control and less than 3 parts per million
  • It is highly recommended that you calculate your pool size before you shock the pool so that an adequate amount of product could be added
  • Avoid using shock in the presence of sunlight and windy days
  • Shock your pool once a week in order to keep contaminants and algae at bay
  • For even distribution of chlorine, you can brush your pool aftershock

It’s A Wrap

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

I hope you would’ve got a satisfactory answer to the question, how to shock an above-ground pool?

Moreover, I along with my team have put loads and loads of effort to come up with this comprehensive guide on how to shock an above-ground pool.

In case, you’ve liked our effort and want to appreciate us then feel free to rate us on a scale of 1 to 5 with the latter being the best.

Cutting long-story-short, none of us with a filthy pool, right?

So, to keep your pool clean and safe for swimming, I highly recommend you should shock your pool once a week if NOT MORE.

Keeping a close watch on algae spores and bacteria, and taking the necessary measures would help you in proper maintenance of your pool.

Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

Do let us know in the comment section, what do you think about our post “How To Shock An Above Ground Pool”?

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