Does Shocking a Pool Make the Water Clear? Here’s the Truth

Maintaining clear water in your pool is essential for keeping pool water safe to swim in. Among the many steps of maintenance that pools require, shocking is one of the best ways to destroy algae growth and other bacteria. Because shocking a pool is a necessary part of pool maintenance, most pool-owners use it once a week. However, if you’ve ever experienced cloudy water after using pool shock, you may begin to wonder whether or not shocking a pool makes the water clear.

In short, shocking a pool once a week does make water clear. Depending on how cloudy the water is, it may take 12 to 24 hours to clear up. If the water remains cloudy after shocking the pool, it is likely caused by another issue, such as poor circulation.

In addition to promoting clear water, pool shock is necessary for maintaining proper pool water chemistry. If you’re unsure how to use pool shock, continue reading to learn how to shock your pool and why pool shock will make your pool crystal clear again.

Will Shocking a Pool Make the Water Clear?

Shocking a pool is the process of adding chemicals to the pool water. By adding chlorine or non-chlorine chemicals to the pool, the free chlorine level will rise to a point that contaminants will be destroyed. Although it may seem quite obvious that shocking a pool makes water clear, you may still wonder how effective pool shock really is.

Simply put, shocking a pool is essential for maintaining clear, well-balanced water. Shocking a pool once a week will kill contaminants such as algae, bacteria, and chloramines. If pool water is still murky after shocking the pool, it is likely caused by another issue such as poor circulation.

Generally, it takes 12 to 24 hours for the water to clear up after adding pool shock. If it remains cloudy after this, you may need to add another treatment of pool shock. Always make sure the pump is circulating water to ensure the chemicals are evenly distributed.

Although shocking a pool is effective for destroying many types of contaminants, there may be certain situations where the water still appears murky, even after shocking the pool. In this case, it’s important to give your pool a thorough check-up.

Why is My Pool Still Cloudy After Shocking?

The last thing any pool owner wants to see is cloudy, green water in their pool. Unfortunately, cloudy water is one of the most common issues pool owners face, even after shocking their pool. While it may seem that a dose of pool shock will make the water clear again, there may be other reasons for the water to remain murky. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the main causes of cloudy water in pools.

Filtration Issues

The most common reason for water to remain cloudy even after shocking is filtration issues. Your pool’s filtration system is essential for keeping pool water clear. When the filtration system is failing, it will lead to cloudy and even green water in your pool.

How to solve the issue greatly depends on what type of filter you’re using. If you’re using a cartridge filter, make sure the filter is performing properly. When water becomes extremely cloudy, you may need to clean the filter every day until the water becomes clear again.

If you’re using a sand filter, it may take up to a week to completely clean the water. Make sure the filter is working properly and clean the filter sand regularly.

Finally, if you have a diatomaceous earth (DE) filter, you may need to backwash it to maintain clear water. If the water still remains unclear, you may need to repair or replace the filter. In some cases, the pool pump may be the cause of the cloudy water in your pool.

The pool pump is the heart of the pool’s filtration system. When a pool pump isn’t functioning properly, the entire filtration system will suffer. In many cases, the solution for cloudy pool water is simply running the pool pump for longer periods. Typically, a pool pump should be run for at least 8 hours to ensure the water is well-circulated. If the pump takes longer than 8 hours to filter the pool’s water, it may be because the pump is damaged. Regularly check your pump to ensure it is in top condition.

Unbalanced Chemicals

The main purpose of shocking a pool is to maintain proper water chemistry by balancing the chemicals. However, adding too much of each chemical may result in green water in your pool. For this reason, it is always important to test the water pH levels before adding chemicals to your pool water.

When adding chlorine tablets to your pool, you may notice the stabilizer levels may raise. As a result, chlorine will be unable to kill the algae,  which leads to green water. The best way to solve this issue is to lower the stabilizer levels. This can be done by adding fresh water to your pool and balancing the chemical levels.

Another reason for green or cloudy water is high phosphate levels in the pool. Even after adding chemicals to your pool, the water may still experience algae blooms due to the high phosphate levels. To solve this issue, you will need to use a phosphate-removing product for pools.

How To Shock a Pool

Shocking a pool is a fairly easy process that typically takes less than an hour to do. Before shocking your pool, make sure you’re well-protected by wearing goggles and gloves. Always be careful when working with pool chemicals, and never mix pool shock with anything other than water.

The first step to shocking a pool is to test the water. Use a water test kit or test strips to determine the pH levels of your pool. If the pH levels are in the proper range (7.2 and 7.8), turn on the pool pump and filtration system to circulate the water.

The next step is adding the pool shock. First, mix the pool shock in a five-gallon with pool water, and gently stir it. From here, begin walking along the perimeter of your pool and pour the shock mixture. Nighttime is the best time to add pool shock, as you won’t have to worry about the sun eating away the chemicals. Never add pool shock when people are swimming in the pool.

Allow the pool pump to run for 24 hours after shocking your pool. About 6 hours after adding pool shock, you’ll need to test the pool water to ensure it is properly balanced. The free chlorine levels will need to drop to 1-3 ppm before the water is safe to swim in.

To maintain clear water in your pool, it is recommended to shock your pool once a week. If multiple people are often using your pool, you may need to shock the pool more frequently.

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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