How Long Should You Wait to Swim After Shocking Your Pool?
pool shock

Shocking your pool is a great way to keep your pool clean for you and your family, but don’t plan any pool parties right away. Pool shock is a chemical substance, and if you jump in too soon, the experience may be unpleasant. So how long should you wait to swim after shocking your pool? The experts at Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas can explain.

What is Pool Shock?

Most pool shocks are made of chlorine. Chlorine is the 17th element on the periodic table, famous for being a toxic, irritant, pale green gas. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Why would I put something like this in my pool?”

Well, when you mix it with other substances, you create compounds, which aren’t exactly chlorine, but use chlorine as one of the base elements. These compounds are then mixed with other compounds into solutions to create pool shock. These are not gasses, nor are they as toxic as long as they are stored and used properly.

Many of them still are irritants though, but they dissolve and dissipate quickly in water after they clean your pool water. After the appropriate amount of time, swimming after you shocked your pool won’t irritate your skin.

How Does Pool Shock Work?

Pool shock, when added to water, raises the “free chlorine” level of your pool to the point that germs, viruses, and other contaminants like algae, chloramines, and bacteria are destroyed. After a certain amount of time, the water will dissolve the pool shock and be filtered out so you and your family can swim in your pool again.

When Should You Use Pool Shock?

The best time to use pool shock is at least once a week, especially if you and multiple members of your household are swimming in your pool regularly. If you’re not, you can go a bit longer. If there are long periods of direct intense sunlight or rain, you should be shocking your pool more often than twice a week.

If there are a lot of people going in and out of your pool, you need to shock it. People bring in different germs, and you can’t account for everywhere they’ve been. If it’s just you, you know where you’ve been, but not only that, one person doesn’t bring in enough germs to warrant shocking it every week; a week and a half should suffice.

Direct sunlight will make your pool a festering spot for germs and bacteria, so you’ll need to shock your pool if there hasn’t been a cloud in the sky recently. If it’s rained, the issue is even worse because rain brings in all kinds of germs and bacteria. You should be shocking your pool once it’s done raining, every time.

How Long Should You Wait to Swim After Shocking Your Pool?

The general rule for pool shock is to wait at least 24 hours. That’s how long it takes for chlorine to work its magic and dissipate in your pool. You should always double-check the pH level and use your chemical test kit to make sure everything is balanced.

These two tests will make sure your chemicals won’t irritate your skin, but also make sure that the pool shock did its job. If the pH level is balanced, you don’t have contaminates like algae or bacteria. If the chemical test is balanced, that means the chlorine is gone. When they’re both good, it’s time to swim.

What Happens If You Swim Too Early?

Swimming in a pool before the chemicals are finished doing their job can lead to several issues. If you jump in just before the cut-off, you’re likely to experience irritation around your eyes, mouth, and your skin. You may also experience discomfort in your throat if you ingest the water.

The closer it is to when you last shocked it, the worse your symptoms will get. Jumping into a pool right after shocking it can lead to long-term lung problems. Pool shock is made with serious chemicals. It isn’t something you should be taking chances with, just like how you shouldn’t take chances with any of the contaminants that can make you sick.

Contact Aqua Leisure Pools and Spas for Chemicals and Help Shocking Your Pool

Pool shock is a useful tool for keeping your pool clean. You want to be able to enjoy swimming with your family and friends in a safe environment as much as possible, and pool shock is great for that. You just have to make sure that you use it correctly and use it early enough in preparation.

If you’re unsure how to do this, or confused about any of the specifics, contact our experts. We’re always happy to help.