Shock Treatment


A simple way to restore your pool back to health

Shock treatment or shocking your pool refers to the process of adding chemicals to the water to remove or destroy ammonia and nitrogen compounds by oxidation.

When you shock your pool regularly, it rids the pool of debris from the outdoors and from swimmers. These things could be: sweat, makeup, sunscreen, lotion, body oils, urine (hopefully not), dead bugs, dirt, leaves, etc. By properly shocking your pool you can make sure the sanitizer is able to concentrate on killing bacteria and algae rather than trying to kill these other substances in your pool.

To summarize, when you shock your pool properly, it will be cleaner, sparking, and cloud-free.


Superchlorination is a form of shock treatment for your pool that uses a heavy amount of chlorine to kill whatever debris is in your pool. Superchlorination works best to kill ammonia- which typically enters your pool through swimmer’s waste. Ammonia is especially harmful for your pool because it combines with the chlorine forming chloramines. This causes the chlorine to be ineffective in killing the contaminants in your pool.

Superchlorination should be a weekly part of your pool maintenance routine to keep your pool sparkling and ammonia free. The negative side of using this shock process is that your pool will be unusable for around eight hours after shocking. Many people prefer non-chlorine shock because it has less of a chance of harming liners and swimmers are able to get right back in the pool afterwards.

Non-Chlorine Shock

This type of shock treatment is a good alternative to superchlorination. The active ingredient in non-chlorine shock is potassium peroxymono sulphate (permonosulphate). That’s a complicated word but all you need to know is it uses oxygen to destroy organic contaminants such as ammonia in your pool. This chemical cannot kill or disinfect like superchlorination, but it can control organics combined chlorine. This helps the chlorine to do its job more thoroughly.

Even if you add a small amount of non-chlorine shock, at least some of the organic particles will be destroyed. No additional chloramines will be formed, this is a bonus over superchlorination. Also, if you accidentally overdose with a non-chlorine shock by adding too much, no harm done. Swimmers will be able to resume their swimming in no time.

Warning: swimmers should not be present when any chemicals are being added to the water. This will interfere with the cleaning process. Swimmers can re-enter after the permonosulphate has a chance to completely dissolve-usually within a few hours.

Confused as to which shock treatment is best for your pool? Give us a call at Ask the Pool Guy!