We should come up with a new term

MassNerd

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Apr 27, 2013
174
Central Massachusetts
I do have to admit that until 1 month ago when I started reading this forum, I thought "Shock" was the name of a product type. In general, I think non-pool owners have no clue how complex pool chemistry can be. Not that its *that* complete, but its not as simple as throwing some chlorine in the pool from time to time.

So calling it a "process" would help a little, but really any new pool owner should be told: Pool chemistry is not that simple and not hands off. Take time to educate yourself now and down the road you will save hours of time of correcting problems.
 
Pool chemicals are not really any specific "Shock" product. Consumers never know what is actually in shock the product. Right next to the 5.25% Austin brand Bleach in my local store is 12.5% Austin brand Shock. It is nothing more than a higher concentrated bleach. Others sell 10 or 12.5% bottles of Pool Chlorine as just that, Pool Chlorine. Other shock the product is various different chemicals, the same chemicals that are in the regular bags of powdered sanitizers and such. The same product is sold as sanitizer in one color of bag and sold as shock in another color of bag.

The problem lies with not the products but with the consumers. Consumers think of shock as both a product and a process. The consumers think they need to shock their pool. They say just that, they "need to shock the pool." That statement right there says, "I need to do a process." How do you do the shock process? Well, you use the shock product.

The easiest and best way to teach others is not to change too much. You don't teach them by telling them you need to do a completely different process than they think they are doing only to use a different product. They think they are already doing the shock process by shocking the pool. Essentially they are doing step 1 of the TFP shock process of elevating the free chlorine level. They are only using a different product along with unnecessary added products than is preached here, a product that they were told prior to coming here that is the proper product.

Really, what TFP does on this forum is not change what the folks asking for help are doing, but expanding on what they are doing. Step 1 of the "old" shock process is, elevate chlorine level using product X. Step 1 of the TFP shock process is, elevate chlorine using another product which is just normal household chemical of bleach. The "old" shock process that everyone knows is now finished at this first step. Pool is deemed clean. TFP expands the process from this with the proper chemicals and with proper testing and sustained elevated chlorine levels until it is proven clean.

The shock process should stay. The new folks only need to be taught that it goes further and beyond what they already know about shocking a pool and taught the proper chemicals to use. I think most people are acceptable to learning this and understanding that there is a better way with using bleach and how to sanitize and test until it is proven clean and do realize that it is the same thing they were taught or were doing in the past, only expanded and using the same chemicals but better more under control products.

You will always have the stubborn such as my coworker who asked me all the time last year how many times I shocked my pool. When I tell him not a single time, he argues with me how I should shock it once a month. I gave up trying to explain using bleach and a proper test kit is cheaper and easier to maintain perfect standards of the pool compared with him using pool chemicals. It is an explanation falling on deaf ears. He insists that he wants all the pool store (Walmart) chemicals in his pool and how his yellow on 1 side for chlorine and pink on the other side for pH test kit is a proper drop based test just like the TF100 kit.
 

DebbieO

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 20, 2011
329
Grand Rapids, Michigan
I never knew that "shock" was a process until I came here. It made perfect sense. The PS kept selling me shock products, sticks, tabs & SUPERDUPER shock stuff. All kinds of stuff that never cleared my cloudy water. After reading many posts & Pool School until I was cross-eyed I believe all my problems came from a sky high CYA level. All the stuff they told me to put in elevated my CYA. So I like that you keep stressing the process part long with the FC/CYA ratio. If I hadn't found this site my CYA would probably be around a gazillion by now!
 

crek31

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Jun 28, 2009
877
I think it should stay "shock", but we could try to use it less like a stand-alone verb and say something like you need to perform the shock process, instead of you need toshock.

In Definitions and Abbreviations, we could add descriptors like sustained superchlorination. The definition currently touches on shock as a verb and it being a process, but does not highlight the sustained part of it being key.
 

Isaac-1

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May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
Maybe we also need to start referring to the pool store method of shocking in a way to distinguish it from our process, I would suggest calling what the pool store tells people to do, Blind Shocking as this applies to both the lack of testing to confirm success and the lack of knowledge about what is in the Shock Product.

Ike
 

duraleigh

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Addressing the last few posts.....

Actually, we have been promoting "the shock process" a bit more than a year. After some discussions offline, we began to use that term but the very fact that some think we should start using it points to what a failure that campaign has been on our part.

Newbies with water issues very frequently post....

"I've shocked the pool 3 times in the last 48 hours......" and we say in reply, "No, you haven't shocked, it is a process called "shock" and all you have done is put shock in the pool (I am intentionally exaggerating here to make my point, but do you see how that is a bit confusing to a complete newb?)

Next, we get in a long discussion about something newbies have never heard before, at best sidetracking the thread that drags out the conversation and gets off the point.

So, if we changed our reply to, "You need to perform the (as an example) 'KISS' process, read how in Pool School."

Now, the newbie has a clear distinction that his packet of so-called shock is quite different from the process we want him to start.

He is hopefully curious about this new term and will surely go to Pool School to read more about it......it seems to me that is much easier, quicker and more intuitive rather than trying to get him to "unlearn" shock and then "relearn" the term the way we want him to.

Many of us have been waging the "shock" vs "shock process" battle for the last couple of years and it is simply not getting much traction...the quotes from this very thread are indicative of how unsuccessful we have been in "getting the word out".
I think it should stay "shock", but we could try to use it less like a stand-alone verb and say something like you need to perform the shock process, instead of you need toshock.
How about shock process? It covers shock which is easily recognizable, and process which is what we preach.
...so calling it a "process" would help a little
The more this discussion continues, the more I am becoming convinced we need to take a new direction and rather than trying to beat our newbies into submission, simply rename this process......the distinction is then immediate and intriguing. The exact name or acronym we come up with is probably not too important. It is important that we help him understand that 1 lb packet of di-chlor he is holding in his hand labeled "shock" is not what we are talking about.
 

crek31

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Jun 28, 2009
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Two thoughts about changing to a new term:
1. I would guess a lot of people get here through a search engine and go right to a historical post, as opposed to starting at the home page and browsing Pool School or definitions. So they will likely be starting at a historical thread where the term shock is used. If they are like me, they'll then start poking around to get a little educated and if they start reading new threads where KISS (or whatever) is used, I think that would add to their confusion. Also, even if you change it with the mods, experts, regular posters, there will always be posters who revert to the term "shock" in dispensing very accurate advice.

2. I also think that a new term might scare some people off. Just due to confusion. I'd worry that a newbie stumbling upon this site, either as a new owner or someone with an already green pool, will think our little cult is even more "out there." I'd guess that many newbies have heard of "shocking a pool" even if they have zero, or a poor, understanding of what that means. I think one of the scary parts of TFP/BBB for newbies is it seems like an "alternative" way of managing a pool at first. Really, it is not an alternative way - it is a normal, mainstream way that is merely properly administered (know your numbers; put in the right stuff to maintain good numbers and water quality; don't put in stuff you don't need). What we put in, and the chemistry behind it is not "alternative" or "new" or "out there." I think of the many many posts of one spouse asking how do I get my other spouse to agree to blindly entrust our pool to these crazies on the internet - I think abandoning "shock" as a concept here would make us look further removed from what people (wrongly) trust. I'd rather show the similarities (chlorine sanitizes in any form, etc) and just better put the clarifications out there.

So, if we think the use of the term "shock" is the root of a bunch of newbies' problems, we could do a short paragraph that bluntly explains our use of that term. I think our definition should be longer than it currently appears in Pool School.

Definition:
current:
Shocking is the process of raising your FC high enough to break down the CC that has formed, sometimes called breakpoint chlorination. "Shock" is a verb, not a noun! It is something you do to your pool, not a special product that you use. Any unstabilized chlorine is suitable to use in shocking.

proposed:
Shocking is the process of raising your FC high enough to break down the CC that has formed, sometimes called breakpoint chlorination. "Shock" is a verb, not a noun or a product on a shelf! It is something you do to your pool, not a special product that you use. Think of it as super-dosing or super-chlorinating your water. Any unstabilized chlorine, such as bleach from a supermarket, is suitable to use in shocking - powdered forms of chlorine are not suitable. 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. In fact, many many BBBers go years without shocking their pool.


And, it could also be added to the ABC's of Pool Chemistry as a NOTE - I would guess a lot of newbies who decide to poke around will go to Definitions and ABC's first - I know I did. We could add something like this:

It is important to understand that BBB is really just a more precise approach to pool maintenance, and applies the same basic rules of chemistry as what you'll find pool stores and big box stores offering in the pool aisle. The main difference is we strive to add only those chemicals our water needs to become or stay sanitized and we try to avoid adding anything our pool does not need. So, for example, we add liquid bleach because we want the sanitizing agent sodium hypochlorite (chlorine). When introducing chlorine to the pool via liquid bleach, we are not introducing other, unnecessary agents. That is why we generally do not use a stabilized form of chlorine (powdered or solid) - because all stabilized forms of that sanitizing agent also introduce agents we don't need on an on-going basis (some stabilized chlorine products include CYA and too much of that is a bad thing; some stabilized products introduce calcium which some pool surfaces don't need at all (vinyl) and some pool surfaces need some but are harmed by too much (plaster)). Another major concept of BBB is to know WHEN and HOW to properly "shock" a pool and how to properly complete that PROCESS. Generally, shocking a pool is introducing and sustaining a super-dose of chlorine so as to kill off organics, including algae. This super-dose is achieved by adding a calculated amount of liquid chlorine (bleach) and re-dosing as needed (as often as once every hour or two in the beginning) until your pool water passes a three part test. Depending on your test results and your filtration equipment, the shock process may take many days, or may be only a one-time super-dose of bleach. You should visit Pool School, under the How To heading, to learn the Shock Process. Once your pool chemistry is properly balanced and you have the means to keep it maintained (a good test kit and access to the right chemicals), "shocking" the pool is not generally needed. Many BBB users will go several seasons without ever shocking their pool.


You could also add a NOTE to the Basic Pool Care Schedule in Pool School:

NOTE: There is no regular or routine schedule for shocking one's pool. A properly maintained pool will not need be shocked and many BBBers will go several seasons without ever needing to shock their pool. A full understanding of when and how to properly complete the shock process can be found under the HOW TO heading in Pool School.


This got longer than intended, but those are my thoughts on trying to change the terminology. I think the learning curve on shocking can be made shorter and any attempts to change the terminology might have the unintended result of adding more confusion. But I love that the powers that be on this board are always looking at making the best forum on the www even better!
 

msgtdan

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2011
654
SW MO
I like Crek31's proposed addition to pool school for an immediate supplement, but I think Duraleigh is right that we need a new term. Once a new term is adopted we could integrate it into Crek31's changes.
 

duraleigh

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This morning alone, I posted "the shock process" in Pool School at least five times...... for people who have "shocked" their pool.

I would guess I have tried to distinguish our Shock Process from pool store shock at least 500 time over the years. I know the forum in general has posted the same subject 10,000 times.

We need to stop beating our heads against the wall. "people who try the same thing over and over but hope to get different results....."

I am convinced that all we need is a simple acronym that is easily remembered and that we ALL agree to use when posting.

We do not need to make the process any more complex....I would actually like to see the Pool School article even more brief if that is possible.

Folks, we are the premier pool site on the internet....nothing else is close. People have come to us for the common sense advice we provide and they are looking to break away from the old, out dated Pool Store and industry stuff to something new and different. We provide that difference.

Discussing interminably the almost identical names (as we do now) is at the very least unproductive and perhaps, well, pretty stupid on our part.

Changing the name completely cuts through the mire we have created and lets the newbie know that here is something different....not some subtle nuance that he chooses not to read.

Anyone else care to chime in?
 

rdhetrick

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2012
90
As the person who posted this question (this time), and reading through the comments, it seems like there is general support for a new term by the contributors, but there is mixed support from the moderators/experts.

I'd offer a suggestion that the moderators/experts make a private decision whether or not to introduce a new term. If they decide to proceed with a new term, then they could decide to either get input from the general community (maybe a vote on the top 5) or also make that decision privately. If they decide that a new term isn't warranted, then so be it.

I'm definitely in favor of a new term, but either way, no skin off my back, I know how to keep my pool sparkling!! :party:
 

duraleigh

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Shock is perfect....

It separates the TFP'rs from everyone else
I don't think I understand. "Shock" is the term that we are having the problem with conflict from pool store shock. How does it separate us? Seems the opposite.

Some Mod discussion offline is certainly in order, rdhetrick, we wont do this without a general consensus.
 

crek31

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Jun 28, 2009
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duraleigh said:
So, if we changed our reply to, "You need to perform the (as an example) 'KISS' process, read how in Pool School."

If we change the term, my fear is some version of this:
This is my fourth year with my AG pool. It has been clear every year except this year. This year it is cloudy and I can't even see the floor. I don't understand, I have put in just as many trichlor pucks this year as every other year. The pool store says I need to add some packets of shock. But then I read some stuff on here about BBB and I was thinking about adding bleach instead. Or should I do the KISS thing instead? I can't figure out which of the three choices I should follow.

Ultimately, I think we'd have just as much if not more clarifications to make. Although, I suppose linking to an introductory paragraph rather than re-typing it in would work -- but if we're going to do that, why not just link to an explanation of BBB Shock Process versus pool store or pre-packaged "shock."

I will follow this and play ball whichever way you guys decide, just offering food for thought.
 

duraleigh

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This is my fourth year with my AG pool. It has been clear every year except this year. This year it is cloudy and I can't even see the floor. I don't understand, I have put in just as many trichlor pucks this year as every other year. The pool store says I need to add some packets of shock. But then I read some stuff on here about BBB and I was thinking about adding bleach instead. Or should I do the KISS thing instead? I can't figure out which of the three choices I should follow.
Drop the pool store's advice.....they're the ones that got you here. Follow the "KISS" article in pool School and your pool will be crystal clear. (We used to call it the shock Process)
"BBB" is not part of this thread....we are discussing changing the "Shock Process"
 

Durk

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2007
654
New Jersey
The truth is: "shock" is a word that everybody knows even if they have never seen a pool. And it is a pretty poor descriptor for what we call 'shock'.

shock 1 (shk)
n.
1.
a. A violent collision or impact; a heavy blow. See Synonyms at collision.
b. The effect of such a collision or blow.
2.
a. Something that jars the mind or emotions as if with a violent unexpected blow.
b. The disturbance of function, equilibrium, or mental faculties caused by such a blow; violent agitation.
3. A severe offense to one's sense of propriety or decency; an outrage.
4. A potentially fatal physiological reaction to a variety of conditions, including illness, injury, hemorrhage, and dehydration, usually characterized by marked loss of blood pressure, diminished blood circulation, and inadequate blood flow to the tissues.
5. The sensation and muscular spasm caused by an electric current passing through the body or a body part.
6. A sudden economic disturbance, such as a rise in the price of a commodity.
7. A shock absorber.
The term generally refers to a sudden, intense and individual event. This exactly NOT the desired characteristics of the process we wish to promote. Continued use of the term is certainly possible, but it is swimming upstream against everything new people know about the word, in, or out of, the context of pools.
 

rhaas12321

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Jul 22, 2012
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Sunny Southern Oregon
Re: RE: We should come up with a new term

Ok, it might not be the most PC term but how about the Kill process? It's the goal to kill anything growing in the water. Keep it L Longer. Levitated? Liquid? Not living :)

Sent from my phone using Board Express
 

DebbieO

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 20, 2011
329
Grand Rapids, Michigan
The shock process is something the pool store never told me. I ALWAYS assumed it was a one time deal that would fix my water issues. (Well,l know now that's not true! ) So, I would go back a week later, get my water tested & tell them my water was still cloudy. They would tell me to shock it again. And on & on & on. I lurked here & read posts & articles after my 2010 pool season. I vowed to become a Lifetime Supporter and purchase a TF100 kit for my 2011 pool season. The first thing that made perfect sense to me was the difference between TFP shocking and the pool store's definition of shocking.

Now, I certainly do not want to offend anyone but some new folks jump in & ask how to clear their pool without ever reading any of the articles related to their question. Especially questions regarding shocking. They have been conditioned by the pool store to believe it is a one time event. Like me, they end up throwing so many bags of "shock" into their pool & don't understand why things get worse. Maybe the "TFP Shocking Method" would catch their eye. Heck, I don't know any catchy names for it!

I am fine with the "process" as I learned that by just lurking & reading. And reading some more. I didn't even want to post with a question until I joined & ordered a test kit!

Sometimes pools get so green that you gotta shock 'til ya drop! Thankfully mine was never that bad. The last 2 years it has never been better.