Many pool owners choose bromine to treat their pool water over chlorine because bromine provides a more consistent source of disinfection. However, due to bromine's lower rate of oxidation, pools treated with bromine must be shocked more often than chlorine-treated pools. "Shocking" a pool refers to the process of adding chemicals to the point of over saturation to kill organic contaminants.
How Often to Shock a Bromine Pool
Bromine pools often require more frequent shocking than chlorine pools because bromine combines with organic ammonia in the pool, forming chemicals known as bromamines, which interfere with its effectiveness in disinfecting the pool. Since ammonia is almost always present in the pool in the form of swimmers' sweat, body oils and from lawn chemicals carried in the air, it is important to eliminate the bromamines through shocking the pool for the bromine to be effective.
To know when it is time to shock your pool, pay close attention to the water. If the water is dull rather than sparkling, or there is any evidence of algae or organic material in the water, it is time to shock your pool. Bromine-treated spas may even need to be shocked daily, depending on their frequency of use. Larger pools may need to be shocked twice a month during slow-use seasons and once a week at the height of summer when frequent use occurs and higher temperatures encourage the growth of organic contaminants in the water.
How and When to Shock a Bromine Pool
To shock your bromine pool, follow the instructions on the pool shock chemical packaging. Your pool professional will also have recommendations on when to shock your particular pool based on your pool's size and design, the type of swimmers who use your pool most often and your local climate.
A variety of shock chemical preparations, including several varieties of chlorine mixtures and potassium peroxymonosulfate, are generally marketed as non-chlorine shock. Different formulations will have different instructions. Always read the package instructions and remember never to pour water over pool chemicals. Add these volatile chemicals to the water slowly. Pouring water over them may produce a reaction that releases toxic fumes into the air.
Shock your pool in the evening after pool use is over for the day. This allows the chemicals to work without posing any danger to swimmers. You need to wait at least eight hours after shocking a pool before allowing anyone to use the pool. Do not cover your pool after putting in the shock chemicals as the fumes produced by the shock may build up under the cover and damage it.