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How Long After Shocking a Pool Can You Swim?

Pool Water Testing | Pool Water Professionals | Pool Cleaning

When you open your pool after winter, you will likely have to shock it before you swim in it. But it can be hard to resist diving right in after your pool has been closed during the colder months.

That leaves many pool owners asking, “How long after shocking my pool can I swim?”

What Is Pool Shock?

Before we tell you about the time you need to wait before you swim in your pool water, let’s talk about chlorine shock and why it’s important to wait to swim after adding it.

Your pool is subject to contaminants your everyday sanitizer program may struggle to keep up with. Chloramines such as perspiration, urine, cosmetics, leaves, algae, and other contaminants get added to your pool on a regular basis. Shocking your pool regularly (every 1 to 2 weeks) keeps these contaminants under control and lowers the stress on your filtration and normal sanitization process. These stresses are also present when your pool has been closed for the winter.

When you add shock to your pool, it kills the contaminants and can assist in bringing the water back into balance. Pool shock is an amplified cleaning process that uses multiple times the amount of chlorine used in regular pool cleaning.

For more information read our blog on how to shock your pool.

When Can I Swim After Shocking My Pool?

How long to wait until you can swim? The general guideline is that it’s safe to swim in a pool 24 hours after shocking it. To be safe, test your chlorine and pH using a chemical test kit to see if they are in balance. Make sure your free chlorine level has returned to 3ppm or less.

Pouring Pool Shock into Water | Pool Chemicals

If you are dealing with a serious alga bloom you will want to make sure the algae is completely removed before entering the pool. Depending on the seriousness of the algae bloom, times may vary as to how long it will take to get the algae out. It is best to talk with your local pool professional about your specific problem. Once you shock your pool, your chemical products will begin the hard work of eliminating the bacteria and other contaminants.

Once you shock your pool, your chemical products will begin the hard work of eliminating the bacteria and other contaminants.

Just a Little Longer

Once your pool has met the conditions we discuss above, it will be time to jump in and enjoy. Please visit our safety guides for more valuable information on how to keep your family and home safe.

Chlorine Free Shocks

If you can't find chlorine in your area but still need to sanitize your pool, consider alternative sanitizers otherwise known as chlorine free shocks. One of the best alternative sanitizer options for your pool is calcium hypochlorite, commonly called "cal hypo." For more info on swimming pool alternative sanitizer options, click here!