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Thread: When can you swim after "shocking"

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    plucky71's Avatar
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    When can you swim after "shocking"

    Just a general question. No specifics at this time. Just thinking ahead.

    I am a new pool owner and I am wondering at what point in the shock process is it safe to swim in the water? My understanding is that if you are actively shocking and the FC is being used up, that means that the chlorine is being used by the algae. So you shouldn't swim in a pool that has algae. Correct?
    When you are done shocking- the overnight FC not dropping more than 1.0 ppm- when can you swim in it? If your FC is say 12, is that o.k.? Or whatever the number may be? Thanks.
    Outdoor fiberglass inground 15,000 gallons, Clean & Clear Plus 420ft. sq. filter, 1 h.p. WhisperFlo pump, New water cycler automatic chlorinater(not using), 1996 pool, TF-100 test kit.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: When can you swim after "shocking"

    Once your FC is holding, swimming UP TO your shock level (depending on your CYA) is safe. As long as the water is not cloudy - it's okay to swim.

    Anytime the water clarity was such that you could not see the bottom, (even if the FC was holding) I wouldn't let swimmers in from a safety standpoint (you couldn't see a child submerged, etc.)

    Now remember- a properly chlorinated pool rarely, if ever needs shocking. So hopefully you won't need to worry about this too much in the future.
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    plucky71's Avatar
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    Re: When can you swim after "shocking"

    Quoting from pool school- How to shock.
    If you have algae, or the CC level is above 0.5, or the free chlorine (FC) level is zero, you should shock the pool. Many people also like to shock the pool when the FC level falls significantly, as it often does after a major storm or large swim party. This is done even if FC doesn't get all the way to zero, just to be sure everything is all right. If you are maintaining proper FC levels there is no need to shock weekly, or on any other regular schedule.

    What about the storms or swim party. And the part about doing it just to be sure everything is all right. That makes a newbie like me wonder when to do it.
    Anyway, I know I'll understand it a lot more after actually doing it. Thanks for the help.

    Am I correct in thinking that it is not safe to swim if you get to zero FC or see algae?
    Outdoor fiberglass inground 15,000 gallons, Clean & Clear Plus 420ft. sq. filter, 1 h.p. WhisperFlo pump, New water cycler automatic chlorinater(not using), 1996 pool, TF-100 test kit.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: When can you swim after "shocking"

    You'll "get to know" your pool, and feel much more confident. I'm more confident in 3 years of BBB then 5 years of traditional pool store methods.

    Okay. Say you check FC and it's at 0. First, it shouldn't ever happen - you are going to test and add chlorine each night to make sure you stay above your "min" FC level for your CYA level. But say it did, the first thing would be to raise it up to your "target" level - and then do an overnight test. If the FC holds overnight, there is no reason to shock.

    If you are having a pool party, bump your FC level up by 2-3 ppm AHEAD of time. This won't hurt anything and is a good preventative measure (especially if the swimmers are kids....). If there is a "baby ruth" incident, everyone should leave the pool and proper handling measures taken, LOL and then shock the pool.

    Now, if you have green, murky water then no - I wouldn't swim, it means the water probably isn't sanitary - though it's probably not much different than swimming in a lake. But then again, I don't swim in lakes LOL

    If you see spots of black algae or small areas of green algae, it's not going to hurt you to swim, but it means you are probably not chlorinating properly so take it as a warning sign and revisit your chlorination methods.

    For your situation - I wouldn't advise swimming until you are experiencing "sparkly" clear water and your FC is holding overnight. Once you are there, you won't have to look back, trust me.

    I've never shocked after a storm, but I have an AG pool. I suppose it depends on the amount of rain and if a lot of organic matter gets in the pool - then you might have to raise the FC levels up to deal with it, not sure if a traditional "shock process" would be required. Rain just dilutes - it's the organic matter that would be of concern.
    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
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    plucky71's Avatar
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    Re: When can you swim after "shocking"

    Thank you. That helps clear things up for me.
    Outdoor fiberglass inground 15,000 gallons, Clean & Clear Plus 420ft. sq. filter, 1 h.p. WhisperFlo pump, New water cycler automatic chlorinater(not using), 1996 pool, TF-100 test kit.

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