The Different Types of Pool Shock and Their Benefits

2 Minutes Read

When people search for a swimming pool cleaning service, they often want to know how to use chemicals properly so their pool won’t turn green. Pool shock is a common term in the pool industry, but there are different forms and pros and cons to each of those types. I’ll explain the most common types and identify the benefits of each and hope it will aid in keeping your pool clean.

Four Types of Pool Shock


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Liquid Chlorine

First, liquid chlorine is used because it is fast-acting, but the downside to using this product is that is has a high pH, which requires the use of more muriatic acid to lower the pH to maintain the proper level (i.e., between 7.2 and 7.8).


Calcium Hypochlorite (Cal-Hypo)

A second type of shock available is Calcium Hypochlorite, or Cal-Hypo for short. This product is very good at killing algae if you are having problems with that. One drawback for this, however, is that it also has a high pH and requires the use of muriatic acid to keep the level balanced. A second problem using Cal-Hypo presents is that it doesn’t dissolve very quickly, and it’s raises the hardness of the water, which is already very hard here in Henderson and the rest of Southern Nevada. Your pool will be even more likely to develop a buildup of calcium around the water line, or around the spillover from a spa.



A third kind of shock that’s commonly used for pools is tri-chlor. The benefits of this is that it’s probably the most effective at killing algae. There are a couple of downfalls associated with this product, however. One is that the pH of this is very low, around 3, so you may actually have to increase the pH at some point. I personally find that most pools tend to develop a higher pH naturally over time, so it’s not really an issue in my experience. Trichlor also doesn’t dissolve immediately, although it is a lot more soluble than the Cal-Hypo previously mentioned.



Finally, a 4th type of shock typically used for pool maintenance is dichlor. The benefits of using this are that it’s pH is almost neutral at 7, and it dissolves very quickly. It’s also recommended if you have a pebble tech pool or a painted pool. The issue with this product is that is costs more than the liquid chlorine or Cal-Hypo, but in my opinion the fact that I’m not having to use acid to lower the pH after adding it is worth the extra money.


If you would rather not worry about the chemical balancing and wondering if you are maintaining the correct levels of chlorine,pH,alkalinity, etc, then please give Alpha and Omega Pools a call, or submit your information via the request form on this page.

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