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Thread: Shock vs Bleach

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    Shock vs Bleach

    Hey all,

    Noob question. Must I use shock from a pool store or can I simply use bleach from the supermarket and save $$$?

    18 x 36 kidney bean IG vinyl pool.
    Hayward PRO™ Series High Rate Sand Filter model S244T
    Hayward super pump ( will update the specs tomorrow)

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    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Denton, TX

    Re: Shock vs Bleach

    Buy bleach. It's cheaper and doesn't add any extra stuff to your water.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL

    Re: Shock vs Bleach

    It varies greatly depending on region - around here the 12.5% pool store stuff is actually a tiny bit less for me than the Wal-mart brand.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    Perfectly Clear Pool Service, Find me on Facebook!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Shock vs Bleach

    "Shock" is a misleading term. All chlorine is the same once it gets into the water. Before it gets into the water, it may be more or less difficult to handle and may include other ingredients that you don't want to add to the water. All that is important, but the chlorine, which does the real work, is the same in all cases. Being labeled "shock" doesn't mean that it is any more or less appropriate for use when shocking. I have seen every kind of chlorine labeled as shock at one time or another. It is just a marketing term that pool stores use.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Shock vs Bleach

    AFAIK, to "Shock" your pool primary refers to bringing your Free Chlorine up to a level at which it quickly breaks down Combined Chlorine and other contaminants (algae, etc.).

    Note that "quickly" can mean days, depending on how much **** you have and how much more is added while you're at shock level.

    Because shock refers to a level of FC, it's really not relevant what product you use to bring your FC up as far as pure "shocking" goes. Different types have different side effects; trichlor also increases CyA, etc. Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) has the least side effects of the economical options. Sometimes your pool needs one or another side effect, at which point another option makes more sense.
    13,500 gallon, 24' round vinyl AG pool, fully encircled by deck. Hayward pump, DE filter, and chlorinator (use is being discontinued), one skimmer, one main drain. Polaris 65.

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