New pail of powdered shock is hard as concrete - should I return it to the store

Carusoswi

Member
Jun 5, 2016
8
Richboro, PA
Opened my pool yesterday.
Stopped at my local pool store to purchase a pail of shock. When I opened it, it was hard as concrete. I know this should not be, and am inclined to return it, although, if I could be sure it was still chemically effective, I would probably not bother.

Any advise?
Why would it be hard, and does that influence its effectiveness?

Caruso
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,800
Damascus, MD
If you follow the advice of this forum, you will not need "shock". I have never used it like many others who have embraced the trouble-free pool methods. Check out pool-school (above) to see what you can do to stop buying masking chemicals from the pool store and having cleaner, more sanitized water to swim in. Our methods are based on proper testing and proper chlorine levels using a proper test kit like the TF-100 (above).

Oh - yes, bring it back and get a refund.
 
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gerg887402

Active member
Sep 29, 2017
37
Somerset County NJ
Beware, some places will not let you bring it back. I would call to check. I have seen people bring it back to a store and the store refuses to take it back because its considered hazardous and they longer can be certain of the chemistry since it has been removed and opened.
 

Carusoswi

Member
Jun 5, 2016
8
Richboro, PA
I purchased it yesterday around noon, just opened it, and it's bad. It will be going back. I appreciate the replies, but neither of you really addressed my concern as to whether it is any good. I have heard your comment, PoolGate, and will take heed.
Thanks.

Caruso
 
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justinc

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2019
591
Texas
I purchased it yesterday around noon, just opened it, and it's bad. It will be going back. I appreciate the replies, but neither of you really addressed my concern as to whether it is any good. I have heard your comment, PoolGate, and will take heed.
Thanks.

Caruso
You should take it back because you don't need it, it will add unncessary things to your pool water, and returning it will put money back in your pocket. I know the others who replied seemed like they just ignored your original question, but I think they answered it in an indirect way. The problem with pool store shock is that it is overpriced for what it is, and depending on exactly what you bought, it can add CYA or calcium to your water which both will eventually result in you having to drain and refill your pool when those levels get too high. You can shock your pool by testing your water with a test kit and raising your chlorine level to match the shock level required for your CYA level. This page has a chart you will need to reference after determining your CYA level: Chlorine / CYA Chart - Trouble Free Pool You will need to "SLAM" (shock level and maintain) your pool at that level until your combined chlorine is less than 0.5 parts per million and you have overnight chlorine loss less than 1 part per million. See this page about SLAMing SLAM - Shock Level and Maintain - Trouble Free Pool

You can determine how much chlorine you will need by using the Pool Math app or a pool calculator website based on how many gallons are in your pool. The recommended source of chlorine on this forum is liquid chlorine which is available as 6% in bleach found at a local store (Wal-Mart, etc) or 10-12% found at pool stores. I would go ahead and stop by Wal-Mart and buy as much of their "Great Value" cleaning bleach (unscented, NOT CLOROX, and no splash free). Just basic bleach. Buy as much of it as you can carry back to your car. It will hold strength for several weeks and you'll need a lot when you first open your pool if you are SLAMing. I would buy 10 gallons to start.
 

Carusoswi

Member
Jun 5, 2016
8
Richboro, PA
Ok, so I took the bad powder back to the local pool store and they gladly exchanged it. Having read your post, I probably will not use it. Will review all the references you cited and see if I cannot do a better job of managing my pool chemistry. I have to admit being blissfully ignorant of pool chemistry. I have been opening/closing my pool for 41 years, so old habits may be hard to break, but I will give it an honest try. I guess, in the grand scheme of things, you would (even I would, reluctantly) consider me old, but I am not too old to try a new method.
Thanks for the reply.

Caruso
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,572
Stuart/FL
I purchased it yesterday around noon, just opened it, and it's bad. It will be going back. I appreciate the replies, but neither of you really addressed my concern as to whether it is any good. I have heard your comment, PoolGate, and will take heed.
Thanks.

Caruso
Caruso,

Probably why most are not answering your question is that it's very difficult to guess. It should be very dry granules. Most likely it got some moisture in it that caused it to clump. So likely it will work. But we hesitate to put anything in the pool unless we first get a set of test results. For example, if you have calcium hypochlorite in the container and your pool water is high in calcium we'd say don't use it. Use liquid chlorine if that's all you need. TFP uses simple, scientifically proven, and pool-owner tested methods. Its very easy, and logical, and cheap to care for your pool the TFP way. Also we don't sell anything. You can get everything you need as generic less expensive chemicals from the grocery store or Home Depot type stores. All this said I'd definitely return the "shock". Also beware of the pool store tactics to offer you a "free" test and then load you up with a hundred bucks of chemicals you don't need. Not all operate this way but many do and you don't know what kind of store you have 'till it's too late. We take the mystery out of pool chemistry. You can do all the testing you need yourself with better accuracy than most pool stores. Then you only add what you need. We also have I huge number of experts here with nothing to sell you. We all just share a passion to help pool owners take care of their pool the simplest cheapest way they can.

I hope you'll give TFP a try and I hope this is helpful.

Chris
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
483
Columbus, Ohio
I joined TFP when pool store advice (and a lack of knowledge on my end) resulted in having to basically drain a 16,000 gallon pool to get my CYA level down. You are never too old to try something new.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,800
Damascus, MD
Ok, so I took the bad powder back to the local pool store and they gladly exchanged it. Having read your post, I probably will not use it. Will review all the references you cited and see if I cannot do a better job of managing my pool chemistry. I have to admit being blissfully ignorant of pool chemistry. I have been opening/closing my pool for 41 years, so old habits may be hard to break, but I will give it an honest try. I guess, in the grand scheme of things, you would (even I would, reluctantly) consider me old, but I am not too old to try a new method.
Thanks for the reply.

Caruso
Main takeaways for you from Pool School are understand and follow the CYA to Chlorine ratio. That is determined by proper (meaning NOT the pool store) testing using a high quality kit like the TF-100.

Chlorine / CYA Chart - Trouble Free Pool
 
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setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,572
Stuart/FL
Ok, so I took the bad powder back to the local pool store and they gladly exchanged it. Having read your post, I probably will not use it. Will review all the references you cited and see if I cannot do a better job of managing my pool chemistry. I have to admit being blissfully ignorant of pool chemistry. I have been opening/closing my pool for 41 years, so old habits may be hard to break, but I will give it an honest try. I guess, in the grand scheme of things, you would (even I would, reluctantly) consider me old, but I am not too old to try a new method.
Thanks for the reply.

Caruso
Caruso, good for you! I'm guessing we're about similar age. I started TFP 4 years ago and my pool has been sparkling ever since for about $10/month. My neighbors are amazed and one of them even copied me. One of the best things about TFP methods is you don't need any chemistry background. The tests are simple to do and then you know exactly if you need to do anything at all and exactly what to do. Most of the time it's just add some liquid chlorine or some acid. Both cheap and readily available at a big box store. We usually even have members in your area that will tell you the cheapest place to buy.

The only additional thing I'd recommend to you is to ask questions, lots of them! There should be no mystery with this method. Soon you'll know a LOT more about your pool and how to care for it than most pool store people. If you ever get an odd problem we have very high power technical people that will advise you. We also have people that can help you with equipment like pumps, filters, heaters and everything pool!

Good luck to you and please do let us know how it's going.

Chris