The shocking truth about shocking is it’s shocking how infrequently most people shock their pool and hot tub water.
From that first sentence either I am in desperate need of a thesaurus, or a different word altogether. Let’s go with a different word; ‘shock treatment’ sounds scary.
When I was a kid my friend had a pool that we used almost every day during the summer. Every day except for one day every week. The day it got shocked. I thought it meant we’d be electrocuted if we went in it. I didn’t know why it had to be shocked, just that it ruined our lives for one day a week. Maybe that’s why so many don’t do it regularly. It sounds scary and they can’t use the pool.
Instead of shocking, lets change the word to oxidizing. Technically that’s what the purpose of it is, and it sounds nicer too.
To put the purpose of oxidizing as simply as I can; chlorine/bromine neutralize contaminants in the water but does not remove them from the water. That’s what oxidizing does. It gases neutralized contaminants out of the water as well as re-engerzies the chlorine/bromine that neutralized it in the first place. This article explains it in much more detail if you have 10 min to read it (please do at some point). In addition, modern non-chlorine oxidizing products only render the pool unsafe to use for 30min, not the whole day like when I was a kid.
Now getting back to the reason I wanted to write about this topic. Most pool and hot tub owners aren’t doing it enough, and since I now understand that it has nothing to do with electrocution and everything to do with the cleanliness of the water, I want to get the truth about it out there.
Here is the truth from a perspective that you as a pool or hot tub owner will appreciate. Of our hundreds of customers here in the Victoria, BC area I have noticed something. Those who oxidize their pools and hot tubs on a weekly basis rarely ever experience cloudy, smelly, and dull water, and avoid getting algae. Those who rarely oxidize, on the other hand, often deal with algae blooms, cloudy and dull water, and foul odors.
Something else you will appreciate, is cost savings. Let’s use a standard 80,000L backyard swimming pool as an example.
Cost for product to oxidize weekly for summer (16 weeks) – $245 Time involved – 5 min/week Pool down-time – 30min
Cost of treating 1 Algae bloom – $125 – 200 Time involved – 4-8 hours of your time spent adding product, vacuuming, brushing, backwashing filter. Pool down-time – 5 days – 2weeks
I am not going to inflate numbers to make oxidizing coming across as cheaper than treating an algae bloom. However, that is the cost to treat just 1 algae bloom. And for those who neglect to oxidize weekly, they will be very fortunate to experience only one algae bloom during the summer.
And beyond the cost of the products used to effectively kill and remove algae from your pool is the collateral damage it causes to other areas.
1. Backwashing – Algae blooms require backwashing every 2 days to remove dead algae from the filter. This means you will be sending thousands of liters of heated, balanced water down the drain. That is expensive water to be losing.
2. Wear and tear on equipment – Killing algae blooms quickly requires extremely high levels of chlorine. Levels high enough to damage anything metallic on a pool system. Heaters and pump shaft seals wear out prematurely as a result. They are not cheap to replace.
3. Possibly the most valuable thing algae blooms affect is your time and energy. Plus, the pool is unusable for on average 1 week. Which here in Victoria is a sizable chunk of our pool season.
I always feel bad for people who get algae blooms. Especially if they come into our store with their children and they ask how long will it take before they can use the pool again. I know that having to wait a week before using the pool again would feel like forever to a child, a day felt like forever to me when I was one.
I wrote this so that all of you understand how oxidizing weekly is directly linked to avoid the green monster we call algae, and as a result you will have more time to enjoy your pool like you should.
In the next article I’ll explain some more benefits that you will gain from weekly oxidizing, especially in hot tubs.
Thanks for reading.