Pool Pilot/Salt Chlorinator Maintenance Questions


May 24, 2007
Jacksonville, FL
After a year of pool ownership, I feel like I am still a newbie. I have some questions about ongoing maintenance (not adressing problems, regular day-to-day) that I have gotten very mixed responses from the pool store about...

I was told that there is a need to shock a salt pool on a regular basis and I have been told not to shock a salt pool, the Pool Pilot will take care of it. Should you shock a salt pool with chlorine chemical packs (not containing calcium, I have learned)? If not, and the Pool Pilot will take care of it, does this mean automatically or do I need to manually 24 hour boost on a regular basis? If I do need to boost or shock, how frequently?

I'm sure I have contributed greatly to my current algae problem and am trying to make sure, once it is gone, it doesn't return. Since TFP has Poolsean, I was hoping he could set me straight and help me save myself from myself :wink:


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
You don't need to shock the pool unless something goes wrong. Shocking is normally done to kill algae or to eliminate combined chlorine (CC). SWGs are normally very good about eliminating CC on their own, though getting significant CC in a pool exposed to sunlight is rare anyway.

If you don't already have a test kit that can measure CC you should get one. The FAS-DPD chlorine test is the standard everyone here goes by. There is a great test kit sold through an associated site, see the TF Test Kit section on this forum.

Pool stores tend to recommend shocking the pool reguarly because they figure people are clueless and have been getting their chemistry wrong. Shocking the pool is one way of getting back to a known state after verious problems that the clueless might not have even noticed. If you test your levels reguarly, which you really ought to be doing, you will know when there is a problem and only need to shock then. If you take good care of your pool the only time you will need to shock is on opening in the spring.


LifeTime Supporter
May 22, 2007
Toms River, NJ
JasonLion is right on the money. I've had a SWCG for about 2 1/2 years. The only time I shock (bleach) is opening in spring. I have a test kit and monitor my water regularly. I don't cover my pool in winter, so its pretty bad by the time I open it. Three days of bleach and running the pump, balancing out the water and its clear.