How Long After Shocking Pool Can You Swim?

How Long After Shocking A Pool Until You Can Swim?

As pool owners, working towards crystal-clear water is essential for that refreshing swimming experience. One common practice to reset water quality in your pool is a method known as  pool shocking. However common the practice, a crucial question for all pool owners should arise: How long should you wait before swimming your pool after administering a shock treatment? Let’s explore the ins and outs of pool shock and the necessary waiting time for a safe swim!

What is pool shock?

Pool shock, also commonly referred to as shock treatment, involves adding a concentrated dose of chemicals, generally chlorine, to the pool water. This process helps eliminate the buildup of contaminants, bacteria, and algae, ensuring a hygienic swimming environment and a blank slate to start over with. Think of it as a deep clean for the chemical balance of your water prior to adding cyanuric acid or other stabilizing chemicals.

How long after a shock are you able to swim?

When it comes to the art of timing when it is appropriate to enjoy your pool following a routine shock, there are a few factors each pool owner should consider prior to jumping in. Generally, to be safe, you should wait at least 24 hours after shocking to swim in your pool. If you’re feeling impatient, test your water to make sure chlorine levels are safely under 4 ppm before swimming too early.

Below are two of our most common factors that can impact how long you’ll need to wait before enjoying your swimming pool again.

Time to wait can depend on how much shock you added

Both the amount of shock added to the pool, as well as the type of shock will play a large role around timing. For starters, the amount of liquid shock needed is going to be different than the amount of calcium hypochlorite (solid chlorine). Always be sure to take note of what type of shock is being used, and time any swim plans around the guidelines outlined by the shock manufacturer.

On the safe side, wait an hour per pound of shock product you’ve added to the pool.

Will chlorine-free shock work as well as regular shock?

Chlorine based shock is the most common tool used when trying to reset and cleanse your pool’s water, but there are non-chlorine options, too! Chlorine-free shock is a great alternative to the regular use of harsh pool chemicals. However, chlorine-free options work a little differently. Chlorine shock will sanitize your water, whereas chlorine-free shock will oxidize your water and gently break up contaminants. Although it does destroy debris, it will not eradicate bacteria in the water as effectively. 

Chlorine-free options are a great solution for regular shock maintenance and even makes the utilization of actual chlorine products more effective.

What happens if you swim in a shocked pool?

Choosing to ignore the recommended waiting period can lead to a number of consequences for anyone who comes in contact with the water. From minor irritations to more severe health risks, it’s essential to be aware of the potential outcomes of swimming in a pool that has recently undergone a shock treatment.

Skin and eye irritation

The strength of pool shock can dry out the skin and cause noticeable irritation to the eyes. Blurred vision, burning, and redness are all common side effects of exposing the eyes to high levels of chlorine. Individuals with skin conditions may also see outbreaks or flare ups as a result of the chemical exposure. To avoid any damage and irritation, always be sure to check the chlorine is at safe levels prior to entering the water with a chemical test kit. 

Discoloration of swimwear and clothing

Aside from physical reactions to the abundance of chlorine in the water, both clothing and swimwear can be affected. The chemicals present are strong enough to permanently discolor any article of clothing it comes in contact with. Checking your chlorine levels will ensure that you don’t lose any swimwear or clothing as a result of pool shock. 

More serious side effects of ingesting too much chlorine

Ingesting chlorine – especially at such high levels – can also result in illness. While accidental ingestion of chlorine following a shock is unlikely to be fatal or life threatening, it can still result in illness or even hospitalization depending on the severity. Swallowing elevated levels of chlorine can present itself by causing the people to feel nauseous or even vomit as a result.

Shop GPS Pools in Tampa for all your pool maintenance needs!

GPS Pools is your trusted provider for everything you need for your pool. From equipment and supplies to professional advice and services, we’re sure to have exactly what you need in order to provide the best possible pool experience for your friends and family. Visit our website for more information and a list of our locations, products, and services.