Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Swimming Pool Shock Buyers Guide


Swimming pool shock is one of the most used chemicals in the swimming pool industry. It is used on the pool opening, pool closings and throughout the summer to help maintain the pool chemistry of your swimming pool. Pool shock can raise the chlorine level of the pool rapidly so you will always want to be careful when adding it to your pool water. It is also always best to check the chlorine level of the pool with a test kit or test strips before adding any shock.

Pool Shock Buyers Guide

There are two different ways that you can buy swimming pool shock. You can buy it in the liquid form that comes in a gallon or more sized bottles or you could buy it in the granular form. Granular pool shock is often referred to as powered pool shock and is sold in 1 LB or larger packages. Powdered pool shock is also commonly found in buckets that are sold by the pound. The most common sizes of granular swimming pool shock are the 10Lb and the 25Lb which both come in plastic buckets. You can also buy cases of 1Lb packages usually sold with 12 per case.

You can save lots of money when buying swimming pool shock if you buy it in bulk, but it is important not to buy too much and have left over. The average shelf life of swimming pool shock is around one year. If the pool shock goes past its shelf life or expiry date the potency will not be as strong as the day you bought it, leaving you will weak chlorine levels in your swimming pool. It is always best to buy new pool shock every year. If you use liquid chlorine you can often buy a carboy full from your local pool guy for a discounted rate per gallon.

When Is The Best Time To Shock My Pool?

Shocking your pool at the correct time can make a big difference to your pool. If you shock your swimming pool mid day in the middle of the direct sun the swimming pool shock will burn out of the pool faster. The best time to shock the swimming pool is after the sun goes down. Shocking the pool after the direct sunlight has passed over the pool is the best time to shock your pool.

How Much Shock Should I Buy?

The amount of pool shock you will have to buy for the entire pool season will depend on a few things. To calculate how many pounds or gallons of swimming pool shock you will need you first will have to know your pool size. Once you know your pool size you will have to look at your water condition. If your pool has been green since the time it was closed or gets green often you will need more shock. If you have a loop loc safety mesh cover you also will need more swimming pool shock then an average person that uses a solid swimming pool cover.

Some other things to think about when stocking up on pool shock is how often you swim in your pool. The more you or your family members and friends swim in the pool the more often you will have to shock it. Naturally when people swim they leave behind bacteria and in turn more of your chlorine is used to kill off that bacteria. The lower your chlorine level goes in the pool the more often you will have to shock it.

Should I buy Powdered Shock Or Liquid Shock?

ChemLab Vinyl Pool Shock
When buying liquid or granular (powdered) pool shock for your vinyl liner pool you will want to make sure that the pool shock will not harm the liner. With liquid pool shock there is almost a zero chance that when pouring in the shock you will harm the pool or the liner. With powered or granular swimming pool shock there is a chance you can do some damage if your not careful when adding shock to the swimming pool. Powdered shock comes can be designed for both gunite swimming pools and for vinyl liner pools. When buying a powered shock you will always want to be sure that it’s safe to add to a vinyl swimming pool if you have that type.

If you have a gunite or cement swimming pool you will not have to worry about doing damage when adding powdered shock directly to the swimming pool. Although if you do, you could wind up with bunches of shock in areas. You will then have to use your swimming pool brush and try to push the shock around to dissolve it.

When adding swimming pool shock to any pool it is always best to pre-mix the shock or use the re-circulate option on your multi-port for best results. This will ensure that all of the powered pool shock breaks up into the pool water and does not leave deposits of shock anywhere on the pool floor.

Can I Use Anything Besides Shock?

Baquacil Shock and Oxidizer
Chlorine is the most common used product to keep the swimming pool bacteria free in most homes. There are many great benefits and uses of chlorine and pool shock in your pool but it does affect some people. There are a few other options to keep your swimming pool clean and bacteria free besides using chlorine. You can use all Natural Chemistry Products like Pool Perfect + PHOSfree that work with natural enzymes or you can use something called Baqacil, which is also a non-chlorine pool sanitizer.

Baqacil is a good alternative to a chlorine based swimming pool shock. However Baqacil is a bit more expensive then basic chlorine. You cannot use pool shock and Baqacil at the same time as well. You will have to choose one which one you will want to use and then stick with it for the swimming pool season.

Natural Chemistry Products are made from natural enzymes that will keep your pool blue and bacteria free. This method is more expensive as well then ordinary pool shock or chlorine but if you get irritations from chlorine pool water then Natural Chemistry Products may also be a good choice for you as well.

Where Is The Best Place To Buy Swimming Pool Shock?

Liquid Pool Shock
There is no real “best place to buy pool shock” because pool shock is sold in so many places these days. You can find pool shock at your local swimming pool supply center or you can buy it right from your local swimming pool service company and even have them add it to your swimming pool for you each week.

You can also find swimming pool shock in many home centers and retail stores these days. You can find swimming pool shock in large home centers such as Home Depot and Lowes. You can find swimming pool shock, both powdered and liquid in other retails stores such as Target, Wal-Mart and even in some large supermarkets.

The thing you will want to remember that is certain places like home centers and the retails stores will only store and sell pool shock on a seasonal basis. This has its good and bad points. The bad points are that if you need pool shock close to the off-season or perhaps during the middle of the winter when your cover blows off the pool, they may be out of it. The positive part is that many home centers over order during the pool season and then have great sales on the pool shock. This is where you can find the pool shock for more then half price off the normal retail price.

What Do I Look For In Pool Shock Ingredients?

When buying swimming pool shock you will always want to look on the label to see what it is made from. You will want to do this with both powdered and liquid pool shock. There are going to be tow things to look for. You will be looking for active and inert ingredients that make up the pool shock.

You will want to buy a swimming pool shock that has a lot of active chlorine. Don’t be fooled by colorful packages and labels when buying the pool shock. Always be on the look out to actually see what the pool shock is made from. If you are buying pool shock online most of the time there will be a specifications page that will tell you what the pool shock is made from.

What Are Some Good Quality Brands Of Pool Shock?

There are many different brands of swimming pool shock on the market these days. You still have many of the older brands that have been around for many years and also the store brands that many are starting to offer. HTH has been a popular brand of swimming pool shock for many years. Homeowners and swimming pool professionals all over the place use it. HTH swimming pool products are a trusted name in the swimming pool shock industry. They are most known for their granular swimming pool shock that comes in the large sized plastic bucket.

Leslie’s swimming pool shock that is sold by Leslie’s swimming pool supply centers is also known to be a good brand used by many people. Leslie’s is also a well-known and trusted name in the swimming pool industry. They keep all of their stores fully stocked year round will both liquid and powered swimming pool shock. Leslie’s swimming pool shock is sold in 1Lb bags or by the case if you are looking for powered pool shock. You can also buy liquid pool shock buy the case or the gallon.

Bioguard Pool Shock has been a leader in the professional swimming pool industry for many years. If you are looking for a pool shock and sanitizer that is top notch then Bioguard may be the one for you. You will have to buy the shock from your BioGuard deal however. You will not be able to buy this brand anywhere else besides a BioGurad Dealer. If you shop around you may be able to get it on sale or a special promotional offer from time to time. Hardware Stores often offer man types of swimming pool shock as well. You can find some really decent swimming pool shock at hardware stores in your local neighborhood. Some hardware stores will also bring in special products for you if you ask. Hardware stores are always a great place to find specials as well as discounts on pool shock in the early and off seasons.


  1. Hello! We recently purchased an Intex swimming pool. The instructions for set up were very thorough. However, when it comes to maintaining the pool, that’s where the company sort of drops off the face of the earth! LOL!
    Our pool is not large, it’s a little over 1,000 gallons and about 30 inches high. It DOES have a filter though, so proper maintenance is necessary. With all the pool chemicals we have and have seen, the lowest number on each box, package, container, etc says, “10,000 gallons”. Well, we are obviously 9,000 gallons UNDER the ratio recommendations for these products. In the past, we have had these types of pools and have tried “winging” it when it came to adding chemicals, which has always resulted in a pool turning green and nasty and having to be drained. You can approximate how much money in our water bill alone went out to these darn things, which basically equalled out to be a BIG money pit that was NO FUN!
    We really want to get the ratios right this summer, for the sake of our kids fun and our bank account! LOL!
    We have purchased Dupont Pool Shock, along with some other items offered through Dupont at our local Lowe’s Home Improvement Store. Again, we are faced with the dilema of “Just how much of this stuff DO we put in this thing?”..
    Please feel free to submit your response directly to my email, in which I provided. Otherwise I have made a note of this site, so I can find where I left this inquiry!
    I can provide exact demensions if necessary!
    Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

    • Hi Casey,

      You need to basically worry about three things,

      1) Alkalinity

      2) PH

      3) Chlorine

      Go to Sams Club / Walmart and buy the 5 lb box of baking soda. On the side of the box it will show you how to add and adjust the ALK and PH in your pool. Baking soda is Sodium Bicarbonate which is the same thing as ALK UP in the pool stores but cheaper :)

      Next buy yourself a bucket of Chlorine tablets and a floater for the tabs,

      Next buy yourself some shock.

      Add 10 lbs of baking soda to your pool buy mixing it with water in a 5 gallon bucket, the next day check your ALK and PH. Your ALK should be between 80 – 120ppm and your pH should be between 7.2 – 7.4 ppm.

      Keep your Chlorine at 2.0 – 3.0 PPM.

      To check your chemicals easily you can use Aquacheck strips.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope this helps,


  2. Hi Joseph!
    THANK YOU SOO MUCH for your step by step help!
    My only concern is when I see “lbs” LOL! I saw where you said to add 10 lbs of baking soda and to mix it in a 5 gallon bucket. I just look at our little pool and even though there is a little over 1,000 gallons of water in it, it still looks very small to me. So I just want to make sure you are meaning lbs of something. LOL!
    I DO appreciate all of your help and cannot thank you enough for such a quick reply!!
    Could you clarify that and put my lil mind at ease? LOL!!

    • Hi Casey,

      I meant “buy” a ten pound box, excuse me and then look on the side for the amount you should add with the chart on the side of the box.

      You’re right, sorry about that :) I was answering like 41 questions yesterday,

      Let me know if you need more help,


  3. Thank you for clarifying! No problems at all, I’m just sooo grateful you are able to help!!
    I will keep you posted if I have any future questions!!
    Have a great day!

  4. All I have been adding to my pool is shock since noone is swimming in it. Once a week I put in a package. Is that messing up my filter. The pressure on my filter is really low,

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