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What is “shocking” a pool?

Chlorine combines with water to create disinfectant chemicals. This is why we use it. But chlorine also combines with organic materials such as urine, sunscreen and body oils. This combination creates chloramines, which build up over time and create a very strong chlorine smell. Chloramines, although they contribute to sanitation efforts, are also responsible for eye and skin irritations. If there is enough chlorine available in the water, the production of chloramines is limited. When the regular chlorine starts being used up, chloramines will start to form. Every once in a while a pool will require “shocking” to get rid of the chloramines. This entails adding 5-10 times as much chlorine as usual, to oxidize chloramines and boost regular chlorine levels.

In a saltwater pool, the electrolysis system will continuously destroy chloramines and supply the pool with fresh chlorine. Though a saltwater pool will still need to be monitored for proper chemical levels, it will rarely require “shocking”.