April 4, 2024

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How Long After Shocking Pool Can You Swim? 24 Hours

10 min read
How Long After Shocking Pool Can You Swim

Spending time in or close to the pool is a must during the summer. And as any pool owner is aware, regular water care and maintenance are essential to maintaining a spotless pool. Shocking, which involves using some pretty powerful chemicals, including chlorine, is an essential part of maintaining a clean pool. How long can you swim in a pool after it has been shocked? The general rule is 24 hours, but in some circumstances, you can swim sooner. Read and learn more about shocking a pool.

What Is Shocking A Pool

You can increase your free chlorine levels by shocking your pool. Increasing free chlorine also guarantees the eradication of bacteria and algae.

To make the water chemistry ideal for chlorine to work effectively, shocking the pool is a process that involves adding chemicals to the pool. Your shock also contains a variety of chemicals, including potassium peroxymonosulfate, dichlor, calcium hypochlorite, and lithium hypochlorite.

What Does Shock Do?

When you add shock to your pool’s water, the chlorine concentration quickly increases, aiding in the elimination of the combined chlorine molecules, also known as chloramines.

Following heavy usage of your pool, shock removes contamination and works to kill and remove mustard, green, and black algae. Shock also aids in the destruction of bacteria, clears pool water, and destroys other organic materials.

Why Should I Shock My Pool?

Some people perform this task as routine maintenance, while others use it to remove algae, clear a cloudy pool, or boost the amount of free chlorine. You typically shock your pool when

  • There are high levels of organics in the pool (leaves and debris)
  • The pool has algae
  • The pool is cloudy
  • Chlorine levels are extremely low
shock a pool

How Long After Shocking Pool Can You Swim

You can find rough estimates on the internet that range from “immediately” to “24 hours,” depending on your search terms. However, the TRUE response is: Don’t leave the article just yet; we’ll get to the real answer in a moment.

Now, you’ve probably heard that it’s best to shock your pool in the evening or at night, or after the sun has set. This is because shock acts like a vampire, soaking up the free chlorine you’re trying to add to your pool by adding shock.

UV rays from the sun do this by absorbing chlorine. So it’s simpler to just say, “Shock at night and keep the filter running overnight; test the pool water in the morning before you swim.”

But does it always work out that way? Let’s say you’ve had a surprise“body waste” situation.

For example, you might have planned an afternoon pool party but baby Chloe’s swim diaper didn’t quite hold up as intended in the pool at 10 a.m. Oh, yes. Isn’t life a journey? 

If the pool has been shocked, can you swim in it afterward? You must shock the pool during the day.

And how much time must pass before you can swim? Before allowing anyone to enter the pool, you should wait one hour for every pound of shock product added and test the water to make sure the pH and chlorine levels are within the recommended range.

As a refresher, for safe swimming, you need a pH of between 7.2 and 7.8ppm and a free available chlorine level of between 1-4ppm.

Factors That Determine How Long To Wait To Swim After Shocking

Type Of Shock

  • Cal-Hypo & Sodium Hypochlorite

Typically, when we discuss shocking a pool, we refer to the use of calcium hypochlorite (cal-hypo) or sodium hypochlorite.

These two substances are both chlorine-based substances. The first is a liquid chlorine product, and the second is a granular chlorine product that is frequently referred to as “pool shock.”

You must wait until the water’s high chlorine levels drop to 5 ppm because both of these are chlorines. especially if you or any of the pool enthusiasts have sensitive skin. Chlorine’s reaction with skin proteins and fats can result in excruciating burns.

Furthermore, even if you don’t feel anything right away, swimming before this occurs is still dangerous. You might have a delayed response later.

  • Potassium Monopersulfate Pool Shock

Additionally, chlorine-free pool shocks are available. Of those is potassium monopersulfate.

The benefit of using this product is that you can enter the pool as soon as 15 minutes after purchasing it. Pools are disinfected by oxidation when using potassium monopersulfate because it is entirely oxygen-based. This improves the pool’s chlorine efficiency.

How Long After Shocking Pool Can You Swim

The Amount Of Shock Used

More time must pass before swimming after a stronger dose. Although sometimes a pool must be avoided for a shorter period of time due to strong sunlight.

Algae Content

Large-scale shocking is necessary for pools with more algal blooms, which can take several days. The longer it takes for your pool to be effectively disinfected before use, the more algae it has.

Pool Maintenance

Less chlorine is required in a pool that has been well-maintained. This shortens the period of time needed to avoid the pool after the shock.

The opposite is true. For a pool to meet the necessary standards of pool hygiene, it will need larger doses of chemicals if it is not routinely maintained.

Manufacturer’s Instruction

I frequently make use of the information on the back of the packages containing the shocking chemicals. It is beneficial to know the precise parts of the shocker and how to use it.

The usage instructions that come with each shocker vary.

Pool Type: Indoor Or Outdoor

More quickly than indoor pools, outdoor pools will be ready for swimming. The chlorine level is naturally reduced by the UV rays in sunlight, which “burn” off the chlorine. The sooner your pool is safe to swim in after being shocked, the more sunlight it receives.

Why Can’t You Swim Now That The Pool’s Been Shocked?

After shocking the pool, you can’t swim because the chlorine hasn’t dissolved in the water. The effects of the shock therapy wear off over several hours.

In the coming week, you’ll need to add more chlorine to the water after removing a lot of it. To help the chlorine dissolve more quickly, be sure to circulate the pool. If you swim immediately after shocking the water, these things could happen:

  • Your hair could change colors (typically green or bright white). Ever notice how bleach colors everything it touches? Due to the chlorine content, this process takes place. Pool shock will dye your hair and clothing much faster than bleach because it contains a lot more chlorine.
  • You’ll undoubtedly have skin dryness, especially around your elbows, knees, and other areas where the chlorine sticks. Use soap and water to remove chlorine because it dries everything it touches. Aloe Vera may also be used to ease itching.
  • There’s a high chance that your eyes will burn if you open them underwater. There will be a lot of pain and redness from swimming through pockets of pool shock. In the first 24 hours after adding shock, if you swim, make sure you wear goggles. If you ever open your eyes underwater, it is actually advised to wear goggles.
  • You’ll probably have itchy skin from head to toe. Itching results from dryness and redness. The less chance you have of experiencing persistent itching, the sooner you scrub and rinse the chlorine off your skin. In the vicinity of exposed areas, itching is much more prevalent.
  • There’s a small chance that nothing bad could happen. chlorine pockets are dropped into shock treatments. You won’t experience any of the aforementioned problems if you manage to avoid swimming through the chlorine pocket. It’s uncommon to avoid chlorine, so make sure you use the methods mentioned above to remove it.
Shocking Pool

What Happens If You Enter A Pool That Was Recently Shocked?

A pool that has recently been shocked will cause you a number of health issues. These conditions include things like dry skin, peeling, breathing difficulties, and more. Your eyes can be burned and your hair color can be altered by the high chlorine content.

Pool shock is highly concentrated chlorine that needs to be handled carefully. Please follow these instructions if you unintentionally enter a pool that has just been shocked:

  • Get out of the pool immediately. It’s critical to reduce the amount of chlorine and other corrosive chemicals that contact your skin while swimming. The majority of the ingredient in pool shock is chlorine, but there are a few other concentrated filler ingredients that can be uncomfortable. Take a towel with you as you exit the water.
  • Wash the chlorine off of your body with a garden hose. To get rid of the majority of the pool shock, spray the entire body with the hose. Concentrated pool shock can harm your health in a number of ways and is extremely dangerous. To get rid of the liquid or granules of chlorine, scrub your skin and hair.
  • Take a warm shower with plenty of shampoo and soap. Scrub the chlorine from your skin and hair using a sponge or brush. The garden hose tip keeps chlorine from entering the house and discoloring everything, but it won’t do much to relieve skin rashes or hair stains.
  • Use body lotion and hair conditioner to bring moisture back to your skin and hair. It’s crucial to use a few hydrating products to prevent cracking and discomfort because concentrated chlorine dries out your skin and hair. Additionally, this technique prevents peeling and redness.
  • Test the pool’s chlorine levels and ensure they’re balanced. Check if you removed too much shock before waiting until the chlorine level is below 6 ppm. When you exited the pool, you unavoidably carried some of the granules and liquid with you because they stuck to your body.

If you know how much shock to add to the pool, these risks are significantly diminished. The risk of eye irritation and hair dryness will increase with excessive shock use.

Unless you are experiencing an algae bloom, your chlorine shouldn’t rise too high. Never enter a pool that is overgrown with algae or shock.

General Rules Of Thumb

It’s advised that you adhere to the instructions given by the manufacturer when adding any chemicals to your pool. It’s a good idea to retest the water before entering the pool to make sure the levels are safe. 

If there was a general guideline for how long to wait to swim after adding chemicals, that would be ideal. The truth is that it varies depending on the chemical used. 

Everyone who owns a swimming pool is aware that various chemicals are required to properly maintain your pool. Each one’s unique composition affects how long it takes to disperse in the water. Find out when you and your family can swim safely by using the guidelines below. 

  • pH, Clarifier, Alkalinity — It is advised to give yourself at least 20 minutes to pass after using these water-balancing substances before getting in the water. 
  • After you shock the pool — You can go swimming as soon as the chlorine content is 5 ppm or less. It can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few days, depending on the type and quantity of shock applied. 
  • Liquid chlorine — A minimum of four hours should pass after adding liquid chlorine to a pool in general. The size of your pool and the quantity of chlorine added do affect this as well. You can swim once your levels are 5 ppm or lower. 
  • Calcium chloride — Wait one filter cycle, or roughly two to four hours, after adding calcium chloride to the water. 
  • Algaecide — It is best to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when using algaecides. Within twenty minutes of adding some algaecides to your pool, you can swim without risk. Make sure to read the instructions because some require a longer waiting period. 

When Do I Call A Professional

You want to make sure that all chemicals are checked and balanced when working with a swimming pool. You might end up having some health problems if you dive into a pool that has recently received a chlorine shock treatment.

Always educate yourself on how to maintain a pool. A professional pool technician might be able to help you if you’re unsure of how to maintain the pool.

Additionally, you can get in touch with the neighborhood home inspection crew. They can perform a comprehensive pool inspection of your pool, pool equipment, and even your spa.

They can give you a recommendation for a trustworthy local swimming pool maintenance and service technician once your home inspection team has finished.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know how long you need to wait before you can swim in a shocking pool. Say you are unable to travel to the store to purchase the shock. Do green pools allow swimming? There are different ways to answer that, so do your research before diving into a green pool.

Getting a pool inspection may be something you want to think about if you have recently spent a lot of money shocking your pool or removing the green from your pool.

The reasons why the water in your pool cannot remain chemically balanced may be discovered by a pool inspection. It might occasionally be as straightforward as switching out your pool filter. Consider having your pool inspected.

Last but not least, while we’re talking about your pool and any potential safety issues you may have, think about checking to see if all of the safety features are in good working order. You’ll have an anti-entrapment cover on your pool’s main drain.

Examine the anti-entrapment drain cover after your pool has been cleaned up. This plastic object might deteriorate and break with time. If this is the situation, you should replace it.


Regular pool shocks will get rid of and stop algae growth. But until it dissolves, it’s best to stay out of the highly chlorinated water. Take your time and adhere to the instructions for the chemicals you decide to use when shocking your pool.

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